Marketing PhD Program

The Lundquist College of Business Doctoral Program in Marketing develops scholars who will be productive researchers and effective teachers at leading colleges and universities throughout the world.

The program emphasizes analytical training in marketing and quantitative methods along with economics or the behavioral sciences. It equips students to conduct original research on important problems that are of interest to both academics and practitioners in the field of marketing.

The marketing faculty have received their doctoral training at leading business schools and behavioral science departments. They are active researchers who publish regularly in scholarly marketing journals. Many have or currently serve in editorial positions with prominent journals and are widely recognized for their empirical research in the areas of corporate marketing and investments. Many have had their research recognized with national research excellence awards.

Marketing PhD Program Coordinator
Associate Professor Ryan Rahinel


Program Structure

PhD program requirements include courses and a comprehensive examination in the major area of marketing; courses in statistics and economics or the behavioral sciences; two (2) research papers; and a dissertation. Students are also strongly encouraged to collaborate with faculty on publishable research.

Download Marketing Department PhD guidelines

Major Area Requirements

Students are required to take at least two (2) PhD seminars in each of the first two years. In preparation for the PhD seminars, they are also encouraged to take upper-level marketing courses in the MBA program to fill gaps in their applied marketing education. In addition to courses offered in the marketing department, students take courses and seminars in statistics, econometrics, psychology, sociology, and communications. Individual programs of study are tailored to students’ interests and prior coursework.

The comprehensive examination in marketing, given in two two-day sessions, is generally taken at the end of spring term in the second year of the PhD program. Students who fail the exam have an opportunity to retake it.

View Course Catalog

Marketing PhD Seminars

Formal PhD coursework in marketing takes place in the PhD seminars. The objective of the seminars is to teach students the fundamental theories, analytical techniques, and empirical methods that are employed in theoretical marketing research. The seminars typically involve lively discussions and debate and are designed to enhance the students' ability to critically evaluate others' research and to develop their own research projects. Currently, faculty expertise resides in the behavioral foundations of the consumption process and the doctoral seminars reflect this orientation.

First-Year Research Review Paper

The first-year research paper is due at the beginning of the fall term of the second year in the program. This paper focuses on a critical review and analysis of a current research topic such as emotional responses to internet ads. It gives students the opportunity to do independent, but guided research at the beginning of the doctoral program. In addition, the paper helps students identify specialized interests, develop writing and research skills, and offers them the chance to interact with faculty. The student submits a short proposal spring quarter and a faculty advisor is assigned at that time. Most of the work on this project is completed during the summer following the first year. Students present the results of their research during the second year of the program.

Second Research Paper

The second research paper is due at the beginning of the students' third year. It follows the same process as the first-year paper but requires the collection and analysis of original data. This paper advances the student's research capabilities and generally leads to the research topic for the doctoral dissertation. Students present the second research paper to the faculty and other PhD students.

The Dissertation

The dissertation is an original project that adheres to high standards of exposition, contributes to knowledge in the field of marketing, and demonstrates an ability to conduct independent research. Students are responsible for identifying their area of research and work informally with faculty in developing their topic and project. When the project is well defined, the student forms a dissertation committee that typically consists of a faculty advisor, two other faculty from the Lundquist College, and one faculty from another college of the university. The student presents a dissertation proposal to the faculty and other PhD students after the dissertation committee agrees that a suitable topic has been chosen and an effective research design has been developed. Ideally, the dissertation proposal is defended in the spring of the third year of the program.

A successful defense of the dissertation proposal results in a written agreement between the student and the committee that acknowledges the project can be successfully completed. A defense of the dissertation is presented when the student and the dissertation committee agree that the dissertation project is completed. A student making steady progress should complete all of the degree requirements within four years of entering the program.

Courses in Economics and Statistics

Students must complete at least three (3) courses in a support field, generally the behavioral sciences, and five (5) courses in statistics or econometrics. Typically, students take a statistics courses in the Lundquist College of Business and in the psychology or economics departments. Most take more than three behavioral sciences courses in the university's world-renowned psychology department.