Business Schools in Iowa


Earn your MBA online through Capella University and serve as a leader in your field. Capella’s accredited online MBA program lets you customize your education by choosing from 11 focus areas most relevant to today’s business leaders. Make your move today by requesting information about Capella University’s online MBA program.

Syracuse University’s online MBA through the Whitman School of Management is designed to give students the analytical and decision-making skills they need to advance their careers in today’s business environment

MBA@American, the online MBA from American University is designed for domestic and global business professionals who want to start or advance their career.

Students wanting to study business in Iowa have their pick of over 45 schools. Programs are available online to cater to working professionals and anybody located outside the major metro areas and include everything from undergraduate options like the BBA to MBAs and doctoral degree programs in the most high-demand concentrations.

Marketing Degree Programs in Iowa

State of Iowa’s Marketing Industry

A strong agriculture sector saved Iowa from the depths of the great recession, according to Chase’s 2012 Iowa Economic Outlook. Thanks to new farm markets opening up abroad – and a heavy concentration of business in manufacturing, finance and insurance – Iowa’s economy is projected to improve steadily.

Iowa marketers are a diverse group. Some advertising and PR folks work with Principal Financial, a global financial services company ranked #295 in the 2012 Fortune 500 list. Others are running business-to-business (B2B) campaigns for the aviation electronics powerhouse, Rockwell Collins.

Even though the land of rolling prairies may seem to put crops before advertising agencies, three firms appeared on Inc.’s Top 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in 2012: EdgeCore, ME&V and Mudd Advertising. EdgeCore, in particular, outdid itself, going from $1.4 million in revenue in 2008 to $6.2 million in 2011.

Job Prospects for Iowa Marketing Graduates

The employment market for Iowa marketing graduates looks pretty good. According to 2008-2018 statistics from Iowa Workforce Development, jobs for market research analysts are expected to grow 24%. Projected increases for marketing managers (13%) and PR specialists (21%) are also in line with national figures.

As is to be expected in a state with a relatively low cost of living, your take-home pay will be below that of your coastal peers. The median annual income for an Iowa-based marketing manager was $94,400 in 2011, according to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (

Recent graduates should take a look at the dark horses. There were thirty-eight Iowa companies in Inc.’s Top 5000 list of 2012. Two of these – Tailgate Clothing and TMG Financial Services – saw revenues jump over 1,000% in three years.

Iowa Schools for Marketing

There are 17 accredited marketing schools in Iowa, most of them located in Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Take a look at:

1. University of Iowa (UI) (

Ranked #49 in “Best Business Schools” by U.S. News & World Report in 2013, UI’s Henry B. Tippie School of Management offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing, an MBA with a concentration in marketing, and a doctorate.

Graduate students have the option to consult for area companies at the school’s Business Solutions Center and conduct experiments in the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory.

2. Iowa State University (ISU) (

Though ISU’s College of Business doesn’t rank as highly (#64) in “Best Business Schools” as UI, it has some strong degree options. You can pursue a Bachelor of Science with a major in marketing or an MBA. It does not, however, offer a doctorate specifically in marketing.

ISU has several on-campus labs, including the Virtual Reality Applications Center and the HCI User Experience Lab. and also offers optional study-abroad programs.

Professional Marketing Organizations in Iowa

Looking for networking and continuing education opportunities with Iowa’s marketing community? Here are a few organizations that may be of assistance:

Business Degree Programs in Iowa

Iowa’s business economy is much more than just agriculture, home to companies like Principal Financial, Casey’s General Store, and Rockwell Collins, representing important economic sectors in Iowa, as national leaders in the insurance, retail, and aerospace industries, respectively.

One of Iowa’s most profitable companies began as a small father-and-son business in 1933 in Cedar Rapids. Known then as the Collins Radio Company, Rockwell Collins began as an equipment store for the newly invented AM radio. It came to national prominence when it supplied radio equipment for an expedition to the South Pole, as well as for US space missions and the first US space station Skylab. The company acquired the “Rockwell” part of its name when Arthur Collins sold his venture to the manufacturing giant Rockwell International in 1973.

Today Rockwell Collins is estimated to be worth $12.77 billion, with around 20,000 employees and 2014 profits of $604 million. With the right degree from one of Iowa’s respected business schools you too could bring one of Iowa’s 264,617 small businesses to the next level and achieve international success like Rockwell Collins.

Public, private, large, and small companies need qualified Iowa business school graduates at the helm. Many of today’s CEOs, marketing managers, business communication specialists, HR directors, CFOs, and sales executives got their start with a bachelor’s degree in business or an MBA. These degree programs can also include concentrations in finance, marketing, human resources, sales, and many other fields.

The following are examples of potential career paths you can pursue after completing specific degree programs:

  • CEO – MBA with a concentration in Management
  • CFO – MBA with a concentration in Finance
  • Director of Marketing – Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a concentration in Marketing
  • Director of Finance – Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a concentration in Finance
  • Human Resources Manager – Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a concentration in HR
  • Budget and Financial Analyst – Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a concentration in Finance

Prepping for a Business Career in Iowa

Understanding the nuances of Iowa’s economy can help you tailor your education to a specific career or industry. In 2015, Iowa’s Gross State Product (GSP) totaled $37.9 billion, generated by a total workforce of 1.63 million. The following numbers from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis show the contribution each of these sectors made to Iowa’s GSP and the number of people they employed that year:

  • Finance and insurance – $20.0 billion, 95,606 employees
  • Real estate – $17.9 billion, 14,539 employees
  • Non-durable goods manufacturing – $16.2 billion, 87,472 employees
  • Health care and social services – $11.9 billion, 189,940 employees
  • Wholesale trade – $10.1 billion, 68,004 employees
  • Retail trade – $9.5 billion, 181,755 employees
  • Management of companies and enterprises – $2.2 billion, 19,226 employees

Iowa’s Top Employers

  • Rock Island Arsenal – 8,500 employees
  • Deere and Company – 7,300 employees
  • Genesis Health System – 4,900 employees
  • Hy-Vee Food Stores – 4,100 employees
  • Trinity Regional Health System – 2,900

Iowa’s Most Profitable Companies

  • Principle Financial – based in Des Moines and estimated to be worth $15.1 billion
  • Rockwell Collins – based in Cedar Rapids and estimated to be worth $12.8 billion
  • Casey’s General Stores – based in Ankeny and estimated to be worth $3.5 billion
  • HNI – based in Muscatine and estimated to be worth $2.5 billion
  • American Equity Investment Life Holding – based in West Des Moines and estimated to be worth $2.2 billion

Iowa State University

The Iowa State University Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a traditional program encompassing 48 hours of hands-on study. The degree is offered as a full-time, two-year program and as a part-time program which can be completed in two-and-a-half-years or less. The curriculum is identical in both cases: after the 30 hours of core classes, you customize your degree by earning the remaining credits in electives in your area of interest. The school offers five specializations: accounting, finance, marketing, supply chain management and technology and innovation management. The school also offers several dual degree programs that combine an MBA with a bachelor’s degree in engineering or chemistry, a Master of Science in information systems or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

University of Iowa

The full-time MBA from the Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa is an international field-intensive program that emphasizes analyzing and solving business challenges in the real world. Consulting projects (through the student-run Tippie Business Solutions Center) and an internship are every bit as important as foundation classes. This program uses individualized coaching by faculty and working executives to convey the “soft skills” so critical to leadership today. Areas of specialization are called “Career Academies” and are organized around marketing, finance and strategic innovation. The school also offers a part-time MBA-PM program that allows professionals and managers to earn their degree at night, over a period of two to 10 years, while continuing to work. Another alternative is the Executive MBA, a concierge program for experienced business leaders that takes care of the details so they can focus on the intensive course of study.

Drake University

The Drake MBA focuses on solving current business problems, emphasizing the application of classroom learning in actual business settings with technology playing an integral role. The degree can be earned in two years of part-time study. The program’s 39 hours are spread among foundation courses and courses in an area of specialization, including accounting, entrepreneurial studies, executive development, finance resources, health care, human resources, marketing, non-profit management and operations management. In addition, three one-credit seminars provide an up-to-date understanding of issues such as managing turnarounds, country risk analysis, working with news media and behavioral finance. Drake has a comprehensive recruiter and career services program to help you find a job when you exit the program.

University of Dubuque

Earning your MBA at Dubuque can take you far from the banks of the Mississippi to places as far flung as Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore – all locations where the university offers this degree, in addition to its Dubuque campus. This degree program is global in scope, yet also makes use of the school’s deep ties to the local and regional business community. You will gain hands-on experience by working through a variety of business projects within this global and local community. Classes held at the Dubuque campus are scheduled in the evenings so that you can complete your degree in two and a half years while continuing to work.

Clarke University

An MBA at Clark University combines theory with experience in applying it. The curriculum is designed to accommodate working professionals with evening and weekend classes. Core classes give you a solid foundation in business, while electives allow you to specialize in project management, human resource management, finance or general business. In keeping with the school’s Catholic heritage, this MBA program “promotes ethical and collaborative scholarship and business practice.