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Washington State University
Carson College of Business PhD: Marketing Concentration

PhD: Marketing Concentration

We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2021

This program will prepare you for a career in research and teaching at AACSB-accredited peer institutions (preferably with a doctoral program of their own) throughout the United States and abroad.

The program encompasses a variety of formal and informal interactions and projects with faculty and others, as well as coursework, comprehensive exams, and dissertation research. It enables you to develop substantial competencies in the theory, practice, and research methodology essential to the advancement of marketing knowledge, while accommodating individual backgrounds, experiences, and objectives.

Coursework covers topics associated with the scholarly pursuit of marketing as well as topics from supporting fields such as psychology, sociology, and management. Research methods and statistics associated with the social sciences also is a large component of the program.

In addition to specific coursework, the program also provides an environment in which you can develop research competencies in close association with the marketing faculty and other graduate students.

Students entering the program with a completed master’s degree in a business discipline can complete the doctorate in four years of full-time resident study.

Admission requirements

A minimum admissions index score of 1250 is required to be considered for admission. The index is based on the formula GPA x 200 + GMAT (and a TOEFL of 580 for ESL students). There is not a minimum GMAT score requirement. However, successful candidates typically exceed 650.

We prefer the GMAT, but we do accept the GRE test as a substitute. In either case, the exam must have been taken within 5 years of the time of application to WSU. A GMAT conversion will be applied to the GRE score submitted by applicants who take the GRE in lieu of the GMAT. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) provides a conversion chart. The converted GRE score will then be applied to the Carson College of Business admissions index score in the same manner as a standard GMAT score.

Major field requirements

15 credits

5 doctoral seminars in marketing (15 credits)

  • Consumer Behavior (MKTG 590)
  • Marketing Management (MKTG 591)
  • Marketing Foundations (MKTG 592)
  • Methods Seminar (MKTG 593)
  • Additional Graduate-Level Seminar Relevant to Marketing

Supporting field requirements

9 credits

In addition to the courses just listed, students are required to take an additional 9 credits of (graduate level) supporting field requirements. This coursework is intended to provide the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct research in the student’s chosen field of interest. Examples include (but are not limited to) courses in anthropology, psychology, sociology, economics, management, international business, political science, and mass communication. Courses must be related to an area of study selected by the student and approved by the student’s program committee.

Research tool requirements

12 credits

The research tool requirement prepares students to understand, evaluate and conduct academic research. Students must take at least four methods courses (12 credits) that give sufficient preparation in each of the following areas:

  • ANOVA (e.g., PSYCH511, STAT507, STAT512, SOC522)
  • Regression, Econometrics and Linear Models (e.g., PSYCH512, SOC521, STAT530, ECONS511/STAT 531, ECONS512/STAT552, MGTOP 591)
  • Psychometric Theory (e.g., PSYCH514)
  • Multivariate Statistics or Categorical Data Analysis (e.g., STAT519/MGTOP519, STAT 520)

The student may, with the approval of his/her program committee, substitute other courses for the suggested courses above, as long as the alternative courses treat each of the above topics in a comprehensive fashion.

Students are expected to have the necessary background to take research tool courses.  A good overview course for basic statistics is STAT 412 (Introduction to Applied Statistics). If necessary, additional background courses must be taken at the student’s own initiative and time frame.

Other requirements

  • BA 598 (1 Credit)
  • This seminar (BA 598) is a pass/fail, 1 credit hour colloquium designed to enhance research and teaching skills and to provide professional socialization of doctoral students from all fields within the College of Business. Students are required to take this course during their second semester in the program.
  • Second year research paper (3 credit hours)
  • In addition to their coursework, students must complete a second year paper. The second-year paper is a pass/fail, faculty-supervised independent research project involving an empirical study. Expectations are that the project will test research hypotheses using data gathered and analyzed by the student. The goal of the project is to develop a manuscript the student can submit to a recognized scholarly journal. Publishing a solid second-year paper in a reputable journal will help students in their job placement. Hence, both students and faculty place a high degree of importance on writing a good 2nd year paper
  • Ph.D. Research Credit Requirements (32 Credit Hours)
    Beyond the coursework just noted, students must register for a minimum of 32 additional (MKTG 800) research credits associated with the preparation and development of the final dissertation. NOTE: To be considered full-time, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 10 credits each fall and spring semester. When credits for coursework do not total 10 or more credits, students should enroll in additional credits of MKTG 800 to reach the required 10 credits.

Additional details about the PhD program, including more information about course requirements, are available in the marketing department office, Todd Hall Addition, 367.


Betsy Howlett
Todd Hall 373

Program at a glance

Degree offered: Doctor of Philosophy
Number of faculty working with students: 11
Number of students enrolled in program: 11
Students with assistantships/scholarships: 100%
Priority application deadline: January 10

Universities and colleges employing recent graduates:

  • University of New Mexico
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • Michigan State University
  • Colorado State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Nebraska