Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. Students Handbook

Welcome to the Graduate Programs Offices Ph.D. program in Marketing. We have an outstanding program and feel that both you and our program will benefit from your presence. The purpose of this Handbook is to provide answers for some commonly asked questions about the program and to provide some guidelines for Marketing students. It is intended to supplement the Graduate Programs Office official Ph.D. Program Handbook.


At the Ph.D. level, the Department's objective is to prepare students, through advanced coursework and apprenticeship with graduate faculty: (1) to acquire the knowledge necessary to establish expertise in a specialized area of marketing, (2) to develop the conceptual and methodological skills required for conducting original research in the specialized area of marketing selected, (3) to prepare for the responsibility of teaching marketing at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and (4) to understand the utilization of expertise in the resolution of prevailing business and social problems at the local, state, national, and/or international level.

The faculty of the department subscribe to the principle that Ph.D. students generally require seminar classes dedicated exclusively to study at the doctoral level. In addition to imparting specialized marketing knowledge, these seminars foster independent, critical thinking on the part of the students.

The emphasis in the doctoral seminars is on the development of an appreciation for theoretical research, model building, and model testing. This is, however, to be done in a manner that also helps students to develop an understanding of the role of such research in managerial and organizational contexts. Thus, the primary focus of the doctoral curriculum is on basic scholarship (i.e., the creation of new marketing knowledge) with applied scholarship (i.e., the application, transfer, and interpretation of knowledge to improve marketing management practice and teaching) playing a secondary role in the student s education.

Currently, the Department faculty have a strong focus in issues related to Consumer Behavior, International Marketing, and Marketing Management.

Course Work

The Marketing Concentration: The Ph.D. Marketing Concentration requires the following courses:

  • MKTG 85066  Marketing Theory
  • MKTG 85063  Analytical Methods in Marketing Research
  • MKTG 85057  Marketing Research
  • MKTG 85064  Buyer Behavior

(the above courses should be taken in order, beginning with the first Fall semester attended)

In addition, the Concentration requires selection of one of the following courses (in consultation with the Marketing area coordinator):

  • MKTG 75060  Marketing Strategy and Planning
  • MKTG 75054  International Marketing
  • MKTG 85097  Seminar in Marketing

Minor Coursework

The minor area consists of a minimum of either three courses (9 hours) with a comprehensive examination or four courses (12 hours) without a comprehensive examination. It is the minor area which defines the minor and whether or not a comprehensive examination is required.

The purpose of the minor is to provide a strong support area for the student s research. Students interested in International Marketing might consider minors in International Business or Political Science; those interested in Consumer Behavior might consider minors in Sociology or Psychology; Strategists might be interested in a minor in the Management area. The selection of a minor should be discussed with the Department s Ph.D. coordinator.

Quantitative Tools and Other Departmentally Selected Courses:

Because of the strong research orientation of the Marketing Concentration, the student needs to develop strong analytical skills. In conjunction with the Quantitative Tool and Economic Theory Courses, the Ph.D. program requires three other "Departmentally Selected Courses." These courses are intended to be tailored to the research interests and methodological needs of the student.

Examples of appropriate courses selected recently, include:

  • PSYC 71651  Statistical Inference in Psychology
  • PSYC 71654  Psychometric Methods
  • PSYC 71684  Experimental Design and Method
  • SOC 72209    Quantitative Data Analysis
  • SOC 72211    Research Design and Methods
  • SOC 72219    Qualitative Methodology
  • GEOG 79007  ISREL in Quantitative Methods in Geography

Selection of the courses must be done in consultation with the Department s Ph.D. Coordinator.

The Mentorship Program

Our Mentorship Program is a very special and unique part of our program. In the research Mentorship Program, all students are assigned a faculty member. Working jointly with the mentor as a research "team," they develop a research idea, which the student presents in a one hour lunch time "brown bag" session at the end of the first semester. After receiving feedback from faculty and students, the research team completes the study in the second semester and the student does another brown bag presentation. The research team is then, at a minimum, expected to submit a completed paper to the Internal Department of Marketing Working Series. Appendix A contains a list of some of the publications which have resulted from our Mentorship Program.

A new faculty/student assignment typically will be made during each year until the student reaches candidacy (i.e., passes comprehensive examinations). In most cases by the third year, students are working on research related to their dissertation.

An important idea behind the Mentorship Program is that students should be exposed to a variety of research perspectives. Normally, during the program, students will be involved with three different faculty mentors. Each mentor will have different perspectives on research, as well as differing individual strengths (and weaknesses). The student can maximally benefit from working with a variety of mentors. Regardless of whether the study is actually accepted for publication, the student learns a great deal about the process of research from these experiences.

The amount and type of work done by the student should be expected to change as the student progresses. Typically, first-year students will need more guidance at all stages of the process than will third year students. In general, the student should be heavily involved in the creation of the research idea, in the execution of the design, in the analysis of the results, and in the writing of the early drafts of the research paper. The faculty mentor will often be heavily involved in the development of the research design, in guiding the analysis, and in "polishing" the research paper and moving it through the publication process.

The Mentorship Research Forum presentations give the students the opportunity to develop and refine their research ideas and methodology and their presentation skills. These skills will be necessary when the student presents research at conferences, does job interview presentations, and are similar to those used in some classroom situations. It is intended that the Ph.D. student (not the Mentor) make the presentation and address questions at the Research Forum. The Mentor should play a minor supporting role during the Forum presentation. Students should be prepared to be evaluated both on the content and quality of their research material and on their presentation skills.

The Teaching Mentorship Program

As a part of the teaching mentorship program, Ph.D. students who are teaching a course for the first time are strongly encouraged to discuss the course with a faculty who has previously taught the course or with the Department s Ph.D. coordinator. This interaction should help the student to think about how to develop course material and to teach the class effectively (also see the attached Appendix N from the Department Handbook)

In addition, first year Ph.D. students will be videotaped during in a classroom situation once in their first term and once in their second term. To this end, the student will provide the Ph.D. coordinator with three potential dates for the video taping. The coordinator will select a date for the video taping and arrange for the taping with the University Audio Visual Services (ext. 3456). The coordinator with then schedule a meeting with the student and an appropriate faculty member. The student and faculty member will view the tape together with the purpose of providing the student with constructive comments relevant to teaching. When deemed necessary and appropriate by the Ph.D. coordinator and the involved faculty, this exercise will be repeated beyond the first two terms of teaching.

Annual Review of Ph.D. students progress

In order to help ensure satisfactory progress toward completion, the department s Ph.D. subcommittee and interested faculty will perform an annual review of each Ph.D. student s accomplishments. The review is chaired by the Department s Ph.D. coordinator.

Prior to the review, all students will be expected to complete a "Progress Form". Additional input concerning the students performance is solicited from the Department s faculty and the students mentors.

Where possible, students are interviewed in person during this annual review. When an in person interview is not possible, telephone contact with the student is made and/or a member of the Department s faculty who is working with the student is consulted for additional input on the student s progress/status.

Prior to the in person interview, the review committee assesses the student s progress report and any additional information provided by the faculty to determine whether there are any concerns, weaknesses, or problems which should be brought up during the interview. During the interview, the student is invited to discuss his/her progress and plans, and the committee comments on the student s strengths and weaknesses, as appropriate. The student is invited to provide feedback about any concerns s/he has. Finally, the committee sets forth its expectations for the student s future progress through the program (both verbally in the interview and afterwards in writing with copies to the student and the Department s Ph.D. coordinator). It is intended that this evaluation and discussion proceed in a professional, non-threatening, and open manner.

Comprehensive Examinations

All concentrations require their majors to take comprehensive examinations. Comprehensive examinations in your major area cannot be taken until all of the courses required by your program are completed. Some minors require comprehensive examinations, while others require satisfactory completion of four courses in the minor areas. For those minors requiring comprehensive exams, the exams can be taken once all courses required by the minor are completed.


A comprehensive list of dissertation topics and initial/current placement for our Ph.D students is available. In viewing this list, it may be useful to keep in mind that prior to 1989 we offered a D.B.A. rather than a Ph.D. The D.B.A. had a stronger teaching than research focus. Of course today our Ph.D. has a traditional research orientation.