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When I started my business school research, Daniels College of Business was the first institution I visited. I sat through an impressive overview of the 10 programs offered and afterwards I spoke with an admissions manager. I told her about my background: a marketing degree, a marketing internship, and five years of professional experience in sales and event planning. She smiled and asked me “Have you considered a Master of Science in Marketing?” I hadn’t.

I’ve just completed my second quarter at Daniels and I love it. Here are the reasons that I chose the Master of Science (MS) Marketing program rather than the MBA.

Become an expert.

In all my previous jobs and roles, I have been a jack of all trades and never an expert. While an MBA would provide me with a well-rounded managerial perspective, the curriculum in the MS Marketing makes me an expert at a trade necessary in every industry. Plus, as an expert I still have the choice to become a manager or operate as an independent consultant.

Start your career sooner.

The full-time MS Marketing program lasts 15 months, and includes a six-week winter break and a 12-week summer break. You can earn your masters and begin the career of your dreams after one year! If you already have industry experience, you can waive the required summer internship and begin your career in June. Or you can begin your career in September because there’s only two classes during the last quarter, which are held in the evenings and complement a 9-to-5 work week.

The MS Marketing program offers flat tuition rates.

What’s the benefit of a flat tuition rate? It means that the program waives tuition for courses taken beyond 12 credits. This was advantageous for me when I added the SXSWi: Marketing, Technology & Innovation course to my schedule this quarter (an invaluable opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas and attend South by Southwest® Conference!). At Daniels, over 80% of students receive grants and scholarships. I received a partial tuition scholarship for the duration of my program and for an interterm course. Work-study for graduate students is available, too!

The MS Marketing program truly values well-rounded applicants.

Statistically speaking, GMAT scores from marketing applicants vary across the board. I appreciated that my resume, essays, and experience were valued in the application process rather than only a GMAT score. I recommend taking the five-week GMAT prep course that Daniels School of Accountancy hosts in January. I found this course extremely helpful, especially after being out of school for five years, and was able to earn a modest exam score. It’s expected that marketing students have strong creativity skills, so be sure to showcase this in your written work, rather than stress about your exam score. The program’s admissions manager, Camila Angelim, regularly posts application tips on her LinkedIn account, so I recommend following her for more advice.

Opportunities outside the classroom.

Daniels sets you up for success. The quarter begins with a three-day retreat in the mountains to connect with your cohort and develop leadership skills. Various businesses host programs and recruit at Daniels every week. The Career Services team will connect you to executives and companies you want to know. There are several organizations to get involved with and Daniels students receive free or discounted memberships and tickets to professional organizations and events. This quarter, at no cost to me, I was invited to Arrow Electronics’ Diversity Day conference, received tickets to the Cable-Tec Expo in downtown Denver, and attended the Net Impact conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Update: As of fall 2021 the Daniels College of Business is a GMAT/GRE-optional institution, meaning each candidate must determine whether one of these exams will support their candidacy and merit. Scores from these standardized tests should be submitted with your application if you feel that they will strengthen your application.