Doctorate Degree in Marketing

What Is a PhD in Marketing Degree?

A PhD in marketing is a doctoral degree for marketing professionals with an emphasis on postgraduate research and data analysis. A comprehensive and intense course of study that includes higher division coursework as well as original research and writing, a PhD in marketing typically takes between three and five years to complete. Many PhD programs focus on scholarly research and skills, as most students pursuing this degree intend to work in research institutions, whether teaching or advancing the study of marketing through independent inquiry.

What Can You Do with a PhD in Marketing?

Most, though not all, of those who seek a PhD in marketing are looking to become teachers and professors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary business teachers earn an average annual wage of $85,730.1 In addition, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is forecasting healthy growth for postsecondary teachers, at 17% between 2010 and 2020.2

With the emphasis on quantitative and empirical research and advanced study of marketing theory, marketing PhDs may also become top executives at government, public, private, or not for profit organizations in need of professionals with an understanding of marketing operations and management. The BLS reports that top executives earn an average annual salary of $101,250, and that the profession will see a 5% job growth rate between 2010 and 2020.3

Prerequisites and Requirements

Admission to PhD in marketing programs can be highly competitive due to the relatively small number of schools offering such programs and the large number of applicants for limited spaces. School selectivity is also an important consideration in admissions. In general, applicants should have a bachelor’s or master’s degree with a concentration in marketing or advertising. Many programs require students to show evidence of mathematical and quantitative reasoning skills through advanced courses in math, statistics, economics, and related fields of study. A minimum college GPA of 3.0 is a common requirement, as are competitive scores on the GMAT or GRE exams.

Typical Coursework

Many PhD in marketing programs require the completion of a thesis or dissertation, and may require a passing score on a comprehensive final exam. In addition, after completing the core coursework and before beginning work on a dissertation, students may be required to take a general examination to reach PhD candidacy. Students should expect to work towards maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or better during pursuit of the PhD as a program requirement. Some schools require doctoral candidates to teach while pursuing the degree. Common courses encountered in a marketing PhD program include:

  • Intensive Writing Seminar
  • Dissertation Seminar
  • Developing a Research Paper
  • Empirical Research in Accounting
  • Corporate Financial Reporting
  • Seminar in Marketing Models
  • Marketing Literature Review
  • Behavioral Applications in Marketing
  • Quantitative Modeling in Marketing
  • Psychological Theory in Consumer Behavior
  • Price Theory
  • Econometrics
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Multivariate Analysis

A PhD is the highest degree that marketing professionals can earn, which makes it a prestigious certification for individuals interested in pursuing research and data intensive marketing careers, particularly in a scholarly setting.

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