Marketing Ph.D.

Student at Walton College; Marketing Ph.D. program

The Ph.D. in Business  with a Marketing Concentration allows students to concentrate within one of three areas: retail, marketing management (e.g., strategy, sales, relationship marketing), or communications (e.g., consumer behavior, advertising, promotion, digital media). Methodological approaches to these areas include analytics, experimental design/analysis, and qualitative. The student's concentration will determine the courses taken in fulfilling the supporting fields requirement and the specialization for the comprehensive examination.

Program Structure

Course work for the Ph.D. Program in Marketing is completed during the first two years of the program. Students normally take three seminars per semester.

Seminar topics include marketing theory, marketing strategy, consumer behavior, interpretive consumer research, multivariate analysis, analytics, and structural equations.

Six additional seminars related to the student's area of specialization may be selected from outside the college.

Following completion of coursework, students take written and oral comprehensive exams. Near the end of the third year, students must successfully defend their dissertation proposal. The successful completion and defense of a dissertation are required during the fourth or fifth year.


Generally, the program is composed of 60 credit hours. Up to 6 credit hours of prior coursework may be applied to the requirements for the Marketing Concentration with the recommendation and consent of the student’s Ph.D. Program Advisory Committee.

Marketing Tools

MKTG 64303: Seminar in Research Methods Extensive review of literature illustrative of marketing research studies. Focuses upon theoretical foundations of research design, methodology, and analysis as well as interpretation of univariate, bivariate, and multivariate data in marketing theory exploration. May be repeated for up to 3 hours of degree credit.
ISYS 63303: Individual-Level in IS This course aims to expose students to individual-level research in IS. It provides a window into major streams of individual-level research in IS and reference disciplines. May be repeated for up to 18 hours of degree credit.
  • 12 hours of electives to be determined in consultation with the Ph.D. Program Advisory Committee

Marketing Core

MKTG 64403: Seminar in Marketing Theory Comprehensive survey and critical review of the history of marketing thought and contemporary schools of thought in marketing discipline. In-depth research, review, synthesis, and a research proposal will be required in a selected topic from the perspectives of advancing marketing theory.
MKTG 64103: Special Topics in Marketing (must be consumer behavior content) Seminar in special topics in marketing. Topics vary depending upon the instructor. May be repeated for up to 3 hours of degree credit.

Supporting Fields

  • Courses for the supporting fields requirement are made in consultation with the student's Ph.D. Program Advisory Committee. All courses taken for the supporting fields must be at the graduate level and/or taken for graduate credit. A minimum of nine hours should be taken in graduate research seminars.


  • A dissertation will be written under the guidance of the marketing faculty. The dissertation committee consists of a minimum of 3 graduate faculty members. One graduate faculty member outside the Marketing Department may be chosen for this committee depending on the dissertation topic.


Marketing Ph.D Degree

Marketing Ph.D.

Marketing Faculty
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Duration of Program: 4-5 years

Program Start Date: Fall

Application Deadline:
December 1

Curriculum Overview
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Admissions Information
View Info and Requirements / F.A.Q.

Required Test: GMAT or GRE

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Admissions Requirements for the Ph.D. Programs

All doctoral programs require a valid GMAT/GRE for admissions review. Applicants who wish to apply for the doctoral program with an emphasis in Marketing must submit their applications to the Graduate School of Business by December 1st.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many Ph.D. students are in the department? The Marketing department typically has ten to twelve Ph.D. students, at differing stages of their program, at any one time.
In what areas do Ph.D. Marketing students specialize? Our Ph.D. students typically specialize in management (e.g., strategy, international), or communication (e.g., consumer behavior, promotion).
I’m an international student. What information do I need to know?

The TOEFL is required. A spoken English test score is required of all international Ph.D. applicants and the internet-based TOEFL is our recommended test. You may take the IELTS Academic or the PTE-A as an alternative.

Required Scores:

We require a minimum score of 79 on Internet-based TOEFL, a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS Academic, or a minimum score of 58 on the PTE-A.

We require a minimum score of 26 on the speaking section of the internet-based TOEFL, a minimum of 7.0 on the speaking section of the IELTS Academic, or a minimum of 71 on the speaking section of the PTE-A.

Non-native speakers of English, regardless of citizenship, even if eligible for a TOEFL waiver, must demonstrate competency in both spoken and written English to be eligible for a graduate assistantship that requires direct contact with students in a teaching or tutorial role, in a traditional classroom setting or via distance education.

Competency in spoken English may be demonstrated by:

Submitting a test score of at least 7 on the IELTS Academic (speaking) sub-test, 26 on the Internet-based TOEFL (speaking) sub-test, 71 on the PTE-A (speaking) sub-test, or “pass” on the Spoken Language Proficiency Test (SLPT) and

Competency in written English may be demonstrated by:

a. Submitting a test score of at least a 6.0 on the IELTS Academic (writing) subtest, 26 on the Internet-based TOEFL (writing) subtest, a 4.0 on the GRE, a 4.5 on the GMAT (analytical writing) subtest, a 71 on the PTE-A (writing) sub-test, or a 75 on the English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT)


b. Concurrently enrolling in ELAC 20303 Reading and Writing II and ELAC 00101 Grammar OR ELAC 20303 Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers and ELAC 00101 Writing Workshop: Grammar through Editing. Course placement is determined by test scores (5.5 IELTS Academic writing sub-test, 23 Internet-based TOEFL writing sub-test, 3.5 GRE or 4.0 GMAT analytical writing subtest, 62 PTE-A writing sub-test, or 70 on the ELPT). The Graduate Coordinator or Department Chair must request this option.

Do I need a master’s degree to be admitted to the Ph.D. Program? The majority of the applicant pool for the Ph.D. program has their Master’s degree. Your application will be more competitive with a Master’s degree and therefore the Department recommends that applicants obtain their Master’s degree prior to applying for the Ph.D. program.
Will you accept the GRE? Yes, the Marketing program does accept GRE and GMAT scores.
Can I participate in this Ph.D. program part-time or distance ed? No. This Ph.D. program is full-time and requires a minimum of four years to complete. Most students are on assistantship and are required to work 20 hours a week. Between your coursework, teaching, and research, this program is a full-time commitment.