Master of Science in Data Marketing Communications

Degree Offered

  • Master of Science


Data-driven marketing campaigns are rapidly becoming the industry standard. Organizations are realizing a greater need for marketers who are literate in data-driven marketing communications to bridge the gap between data scientists and communicators.The WVU Reed College of Media's Data Marketing Communications (DMC) graduate program produces critical thinkers who utilize available data to inform their strategic decisions, from campaign planning and development to measuring ROI and communicating success. Until now, academic programs that address this emerging industry need are designed either for statistics professionals or computer programmers. Our program is neither; it is completely designed around the marketer.

The DMC program is offered exclusively online with no on-campus classroom attendance required. The DMC curriculum currently consists of 11 courses and is always evolving and changing to stay current with the industry. Students move through the program in 16 months as a cohort, taking the prerequisite course and the related Quantitative Assessment Exam, followed by eight core courses taken in thematically paired blocks, one elective and one capstone course.

In the WVU DMC program, communications professionals learn how to integrate data and quantitative processes into their organizations to support key decision-making about communications initiatives.  Students earn a practical and in-demand degree to bridge the gap between data scientists and communicators and help their organizations reach their key audiences and stakeholders. Graduates of the DMC program will be able to meet employer needs by being literate in the many ways data can be utilized to support marketing communication decision-making.

The program is taught by a diverse faculty who are recognized leaders in their fields.

Graduate Assistantships

Students in the DMC program who secure a graduate assistant position at any academic or non-academic unit on campus will be eligible to receive a waiver of University tuition for DMC courses, as well as any stipend/compensation offered by the unit hosting the position. For complete information on graduate assistant options at WVU, please visit the Graduate Education Assistantships webpage.

Program Format

The program’s academic year consists of five accelerated terms: Early Fall (August–October), Late Fall (October–December), Early Spring (January–March), Late Spring (March–May) and Summer (May–July).


Admission to the Data Marketing Communications online graduate program at West Virginia University is highly competitive and the total number of available seats for each entry term is limited. Admission to the program is based on a holistic, case-by-case analysis of the applicant’s WVU Graduate Application for Admission, academic record (undergraduate transcript), GRE or GMAT scores, years of relevant professional experience (resume), and writing ability and intent (personal statement). 

Students are currently admitted to the DMC program twice per year, in Early Fall (August) and Early Spring (January).

Visit the DMC website for comprehensive information about the online graduate program, including faculty biographies, curriculum and course information, details on the application and admissions process, and to register for a free online information session.

Completion of DMC 660 and related Quantitative Assessment Exam is required before DMC students can proceed to the rest of the core courses.

Degree Requirements

Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 required.
Minimum grade of C- required in all courses provided that a cumulative 2.75 GPA is maintained.
Introductory Course
DMC 660Introduction to Data Marketing Communications3
Core Courses
DMC 661Audience Segmentation3
DMC 662Message Customization3
DMC 663Brand Data Collection & Visualization3
DMC 664Social Media Optimization3
DMC 671Data Management Platforms3
DMC 672Campaign Planning & Programmatic Media Buying3
DMC 673Campaign Metrics and Assessment3
DMC 674Messaging for Customer Relationship Management3
DMC Elective Courses
Select one DMC or IMC course at the 600-level or above from the list below3
DMC 681
B2B Programmatic Marketing Communications
DMC 682
Creativity and Data
DMC 683
Data Communication and Visualization for the Client
DMC 684
Digital Marketing Communication Channels
Consumer Sales Promotion
Business-to-Business Direct Marketing
Applied Public Relations
Mobile Marketing
Visual Information Design
Social Media and Marketing
Web Metrics and Search Engine Optimization
Capstone Course
DMC 680Data Marketing Communications Campaigns3
Total Hours33

* Students complete the DMC 660 course and quantitative post-test in their first term in the program. Following successful completion of DMC 660, students will proceed through the courses in ordered blocks of DMC 661 & 662, 663 & 664, 671 & 672, and 673 & 674.  Introductory course, elective course and campaigns course are all taken as stand-alone courses in the applicable semesters.

Upon successful completion of DMC 680 in the student's final term, the student will graduate from the program.

It should be noted that the plan of study listed below relies on condensed parts of term where two parts of term can be completed within the traditional fall and spring semesters.

First Year
Early Fall Part of Term Early Spring Part of Term DMC 6713
DMC 6603DMC 6633DMC 6723
Late Fall Part of Term DMC 6643 
DMC 6613Late Spring Part of Term  
DMC 6623Elective Course3 
 9 9 6
Second Year
Early Fall Part of Term   
DMC 6733  
DMC 6743  
Late Fall Part of Term   
DMC 6803  
Total credit hours: 33


Degree Requirements

Major Learning Outcomes

Data marketing communications

Marketing communications professionals have been relying on data in various forms since the early days of media. However, new technologies are having a dramatic effect on how marketing communications campaigns are planned and assessed. With unprecedented access to individual transaction-level data, marketing communicators can now use available information to customize a target consumer’s exposure to advertisements and other promotional communications. While much of the data processing is automated, marketing communicators increasingly must be adept at managing vast amounts of information to glean key insights and give their organizations a competitive advantage.

Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Understand the basic principles of data marketing communications, media and web analytics.
  • Understand the differences between reporting and analysis.
  • Recognize how metrics and analysis inform marketing communications decision making.
  • Explain how marketing communicators use current analytic methods such as segmentation, profiling, and recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) analysis to deliver return on investment (ROI) for their clients.
  • Communicate key insights gleaned from data to marketing communications decision makers.
  • Make marketing communications decisions informed by data.


DMC 660. Introduction to Data Marketing Communications. 3 Hours.

An overview of the Data Marketing Communications program with a focus on upcoming curriculum and industry trends at large and an overview of campaign management systems available in the market. Course will include specific units on privacy, law and ethics and focus on the many uses of data and the ramifications of misuse.

DMC 661. Audience Segmentation. 3 Hours.

PR: DMC 660. An analytical exploration of how data can be used to break down mass markets into specific, reachable target markets and impact addressable advertising initiatives. An examination of what demographic data and other key indicators can inform successful campaigns, and what data best serves as lines of demarcation in the development of unique market segments to support specific marketing communication goals.

DMC 662. Message Customization. 3 Hours.

PR: DMC 660. An exploration of how data can allow marketing communicators to customize messages to target audiences as small as a single consumer. Students will examine how different messaging strategies impact different advertising and marketing goals and which data can most influence potential messaging strategies. This course will focus on which data can be most effective in developing unique messaging strategies.

DMC 663. Brand Data Collection & Visualization. 3 Hours.

PR: DMC 660. An exploration of the benefits of mining your own brand for insights that could influence marketing communications decisions with an emphasis on how that data can be presented visually to key stakeholders for maximum impact. Students will examine the relevant merits of internal versus external data collection and the proper times, sources and processes to engage in either.

DMC 664. Social Media Optimization. 3 Hours.

PR: DMC 660. An examination of how data from social media can be leveraged to ensure marketing communications reach their intended audiences effectively. This course will focus on both gathering data from social media as well as customization of messages for maximum reach. Students will focus on how marketing communications initiatives succeed and fail and which data sets can best inform their campaigns.

DMC 671. Data Management Platforms. 3 Hours.

PR: 660. This course offers an exploration of the myriad database platforms available and how data can be analyzed to develop specialized and highly targeted marketing communications. Students will examine the relative merits of various platforms based on their specific needs.

DMC 672. Campaign Planning & Programmatic Media Buying. 3 Hours.

PR: DMC 660. A survey of the automated media buying landscape with a focus on the tools used, risks and rewards of automated media buys. Students will examine software platforms available for automated buying and understand the connection between how data input affects media buying output. Students will examine which data is best gathered to better inform mass media advertising decisions.

DMC 673. Campaign Metrics and Assessment. 3 Hours.

PR: DMC 660. An exploration of how data can inform key performance indicators that define a campaign’s success. This course will have a specific focus on how metrics and assessment can rely on data for maximum benefit and will include a survey of available metrics and assessments platforms.

DMC 674. Messaging for Customer Relationship Management. 3 Hours.

PR: DMC 660. An examination of how data is leveraged for communications intended to retain current customers and acquire new ones. This course will focus on how to accurately assess per customer lifetime value and the best data-informed communications strategies to maximize and retain that value.

DMC 680. Data Marketing Communications Campaigns. 3 Hours.

PR: DMC 660. Students will develop a cohesive marketing communications campaign that demonstrates a conceptual mastery of data driven marketing communications. All aspects of the campaign will be informed by data including ad placement, message strategy and campaign assessment.