Business Schools in Michigan


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With nearly 75 schools with business programs, Michigan students have a lot of options. Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate degree, an MBA or even a PhD, you’ll find it. And, you’ll be able to pick from popular majors and specializations like finance and marketing as well as more specialized fields like purchasing management.

Marketing Degree Programs in Michigan

State of Michigan’s Marketing Industry

Michigan’s economy took quite a wallop in the recession. The automotive industry tanked and one-fifth of the state’s job base disappeared. From 2007-2012, it was the only state to see its population decline, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

But the Wolverine State hasn’t lost its feistiness. Employment and GDP are now growing at a robust pace, factories are again churning out cars, and the state government has implemented a series of tax and regulatory reforms to encourage new investments. That’s positive news for the marketing industry.

Michigan’s “Big Three” automakers – GM, Ford and Chrysler – bankroll many marketers, but the state is also home to Fortune 500 giants like Dow Chemical, Whirlpool, Lear and Ally Financial. Detroit itself ranked among the top five financial centers in the United States in 2007, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Keep an eye on the state’s high-tech and renewable energy sectors. Thanks to low real estate prices and business incentives, Detroit is attracting a slew of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists with stakes in the 21st century economy, according to the Hired My Way blog and MICHAuto’s 2013 annual “Michigan Is Auto” report. Some optimists are calling Motor City the next Silicon Valley.

Job Prospects for Michigan Marketing Graduates

Post-recession, job prospects for Michigan marketing graduates are average to good. For 2008-2018, the state’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives has projected positive employment growth for marketing managers (8%), PR specialists (17.4%) and market research analysts (22.2%). These last two jobs made Michigan’s list of “Hot 50 High-Demand, High-Wage Careers.

Recent graduates can try for positions in Michigan’s largest ad agencies – Doner, Mars Advertising and Valassis register tens of millions in sales volume as of 2013 – or look for jobs in district branches of famous firms such as Sapient and Digitas. In-house marketing departments are also regularly interested in smart folks.

Just remember that the auto industry remains king. Michigan employs more industrial and mechanical engineers, and produces more cars and trucks, than any other state in the country, accounting for 22% of total U.S. vehicle production, according to the “Michigan Is Auto” report.

Michigan Schools for Marketing

There are 51 accredited marketing schools in Michigan, not including private liberal arts colleges. Here are two of the major players:

1. University Michigan – Ann Arbor (UM) (

UM’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business is without question the best business school in the state. It reached #13 in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report rankings and #7 in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2012 list. It offers a Bachelor of Business Administration with an elective in marketing, a wide variety of MBA programs and a doctorate with a concentration in marketing.

Ross stays in close contact with southern Asia through a series of “India Initiatives” and plays host to a wide variety of business institutes and centers. Due in part to its Ross Leadership Initiative, Ross is ranked #1 in the world for leadership development.

2. Michigan State University (MSU) (

Ranked #44 in “Best Business Schools” (and #24 in undergraduate programs) by U.S. News & Report in 2013, MSU’s Broad College of Business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in marketing, an MBA, a Master of Science in marketing research or a doctorate in marketing.

Undergraduates and graduates have options to study abroad and to get involved with a plethora of clubs, organizations, honorary societies and business fraternities. The school also organizes internships with Michigan’s high-powered business community.

Professional Marketing Organizations in Michigan

Michigan has enough marketing organizations to satisfy even the most fanatically social of marketers. In return for membership dues, many provide excellent continuing education and networking opportunities.

Business Degree Programs in Michigan

Graduates of Michigan’s highly esteemed business schools that hold bachelor’s degrees and MBAs in specialized areas like marketing, finance, international business, and HR management, are responsible for continued growth among the diverse businesses found in the state.

Corporate recruiters, operations managers, financial controllers and marketing managers are just some of the qualified business professionals that serve as critical members of the twenty Fortune 500 companies based in Michigan. Among the multibillion-dollar businesses on the list that are based in Michigan are:

  • General Motors in Detroit – $155.9 billion in annual revenue, 216,000 employees
  • Ford Motor in Dearborn – $144.1 billion in annual revenue, 187,000 employees
  • Dow Chemical in Midland – $58.2 billion in annual revenue, 53,216 employees
  • Whirlpool in Benton Harbor – $19.9 billion in annual revenue, 100,000 employees
  • Lear in Southfield – $17.7 billion in annual revenue, 125,200 employees
  • TRW Automotive Holdings in Livonia – $17.5 billion in annual revenue, 72,900 employees
  • Penske Automotive Group in Bloomfield Hills – $17.4 billion in annual revenue, 22,100 employees

The importance of educated business experts to Michigan’s biggest companies is reflected in the income they earn, which often exceed six figures. Data courtesy of the US Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS) (

  • Marketing managers – $120,640 average annual income
  • Sales managers – $116,350 average annual income
  • Advertising and promotions managers – $113,340 average annual income
  • Financial managers – $109,930 average annual income
  • Purchasing managers – $102,940 average annual income

The Importance of Michigan’s Small Businesses

While many operations research analysts, HR specialists, supply chain managers, and other business professionals work for Michigan’s global powerhouses, many business school graduates serve as leaders for the state’s many small businesses. According to the Federal Small Business Administration (SBA), 169,053 of Michigan’s small businesses employ 1.8 million Michigan workers, representing over half of the state’s private sector workforce.

Small business entrepreneurs often rely on their business school education to serve multiple roles within their companies. These startup enterprise professionals often oversee diverse aspects of their company’s operations including finance, marketing, sales, and more.

Michigan’s small business employers are found primarily in the following sectors (small business firm employers are defined as having between 1-499 employees):

  • Retail trade – 22,171 employer firms
  • Other services (except public administration) – 20,958 employer firms
  • Health care and social assistance – 20,258 employer firms
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services – 19,579 employer firms
  • Construction – 17,906 employer firms
  • Accommodation and food services – 14,707 employer firms

University of Michigan

In addition to classroom study, students at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan learn outside the walls of the campus through Multidisciplinary Action Projects, known as MAPs. This school’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program involves addressing real business challenges through action-based learning in companies from around the world. The school’s Office of Career Development works with candidates to prepare them for successful careers, providing services such as career counseling, workshops and facilitating internships and interviews. The school touts the alumni network as the “ultimate social network” that provides lifelong support. In addition to the full-time on-campus MBA program, Ross has two part-time programs offered on weekends or in the evenings. The school also offers an Executive MBA program for those with 10 to 15 years of managerial experience, as well as a global MBA program which emphasizes building relationships across cultures.

Michigan State University

Michigan State’s Broad College of Business MBA is ranked by Businessweek as second in the nation for return on investment. The program is known for its international and multicultural focus and its experiential approach to learning. MBA candidates participate in case competitions, internships and hands-on labs, all within a global context. The program is offered both as a full-time experience and on a part-time basis with weekend classes. This weekend program adapts the traditional MBA program for experienced mid- and upper-level executives. The Career Services Center keeps pace with the highly-ranked academic program through a vibrant corporate recruiting program and an active alumni base.

Wayne State University

Wayne State’s well-regarded MBA is offered on campus and online, and both programs are accredited by the Association to Advance collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The traditional MBA is offered on the school’s three campuses in downtown Detroit, Farmington Hills and Warren. On-campus courses are offered in the evening and on some Saturdays to accommodate the working professionals who make up the majority of degree candidates. Students pursuing an MBA on campus also have the option of taking as many classes as they wish online. Wayne uses the Blackboard system for its online courses to give distance learners the same quality experience that is offered in person. In addition, Wayne State’s law school has teamed with the business school to offer a joint Juris Doctor/MBA degree option.

Michigan Technological University

A Tech MBA from the Michigan Technological University’s School of Business and Economics gives you a solid blend of technology expertise and business acumen. You will join a cohort of students with backgrounds in engineering, science and liberal arts as well as in business. The program consists of 36 hours and can be completed in as few as three semesters. Graduates join an alumni community of well-placed professionals at giants such as Boeing, Caterpillar and Phelps Dodge. The program is offered in a traditional on-campus setting as well as online. The Tech MBA Online program offers a global perspective and uses the latest advances in distance learning to provide an innovative and interactive experience. The three residencies spaced throughout this program allow you to create bonds and gain hands-on experience. Both the traditional and online programs are AACSB accredited.

Oakland University

The MBA program at Oakland is AACSB accredited and designed for working professionals, with flexibility built in. Most students pursue the degree part time; classes are offered on campuses in Rochester, Birmingham, Mount Clemens and Clinton Township, as well as online. You can customize your own course of study and are not locked into a specific sequence of classes. The program offers several areas of concentration: accounting, business economics, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources management, international business, management information systems, marketing, production operations management and supply chain management.