Robert J. Trulaske Sr., College of Business, University of Missouri

PhD Concentration in Marketing

Mizzou’s PhD in marketing emphasizes the development of research and teaching skills needed to pursue career placement at a research-oriented university. Marketing offers great potential for student specialization and those interested in behavioral, strategic, or methodological issues are welcome in our program. The diversity of our faculty members’ research interests and expertise with varied research methods enables doctoral students to pursue a wide variety of interests.

The PhD in marketing offers small class sizes, marketing doctoral seminars, and a collaborative environment. Students develop skills by working with faculty on research projects and from faculty mentoring. Students also gain valuable experience by teaching undergraduate courses.

In our full-time program, students typically work 20 hours/week as a research or teaching assistant during Fall and Spring semesters and receive financial support including a full tuition waiver and fellowships for four years. Acceptance of financial support requires no substantive outside employment. The program is designed to be completed in four years by those with an MBA and graduate-level foundational math/statistics or econometrics coursework; entrants without an MBA or foundational graduate math/statistics or econometrics courses must take additional courses that will usually result in at least five years to complete the program.


General Admission Requirements

Applications must be received by February 1 for full consideration for admission in the fall. Earlier applications are encouraged. Admission to the PhD program in marketing is selective. Candidates typically have a GMAT score of at least 650 (or GRE equivalent), with satisfactory aptitude in both verbal and quantitative elements, and a GPA of 3.3+ in junior, senior, and graduate coursework. Those with a GMAT score of less than 600 (or GRE equivalent) should not apply. An MBA or research-focused graduate degree is strongly preferred, but not required.

Strong applicants have a demonstrated record of academic accomplishment, intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for discovery, and a general understanding of the demands of a doctoral program. Work experience in business, management, research, or similar endeavors is very welcome but not required.

Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students

All applicants for whom English is not the native language are required by the University to provide evidence of English language ability. Although the MU Office of Graduate Studies accepts scores from the paper-based TOEFL, the Marketing Ph.D. program accepts only the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) or the IELTS. Scores are considered valid by MU Graduate Studies for 2 years from the test date. MU Graduate Studies also requires electronic reporting of IELTS examination scores.

To be considered for admission, applicants must score a minimum of 61 on the iBT or 6.5 on the IELTS. In addition, applicants are expected to achieve subsection minimums of no less than 17 on iBT or 6.0 on IELTS (subsections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing). International students who have completed a graduate degree in an English-speaking country will be expected to meet these minimum requirements. Waivers will be granted only for exceptionally strong English proficiency.

All doctoral students will teach during their program, typically beginning in their third year. Prior to teaching, international students must demonstrate acceptable English proficiency on a language-screening test administered by the University’s International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP). Also, intermediate language proficiency levels that must be obtained by specific dates may be detailed in the offer of admission from the College of Business. Failure to demonstrate sufficient proficiency according to ITAP guidelines prior to the beginning of the third year in the program and any other requirements as specified in the offer of admission letter will result in the loss of the financial support package from the Trulaske College of Business and the Department of Marketing, including tuition waiver. 

The English-language training and practice needed to achieve required proficiency can consume significant blocks of time during the early stages of a doctoral students’ program to the detriment of progress in other areas. This can be minimized if an iBT speaking score of 28+ or an IELTS speaking score of 8.5+ is achieved, as this waives other requirements. We strongly encourage applicants to invest the time to improve English proficiency before applying and for incoming students admitted to our program to attain an iBT speaking score of 28+ or an IELTS speaking score of 8.5+ before beginning coursework.

Program of Study 

A marketing PhD student develops a program of study through discussion with, and subject to the approval of, the student's doctoral advisor and program committee. Enrolled coursework in the program includes:

  • Business foundation - at least 15 hours.  This requirement typically is waived for students with an MBA or prior applicable coursework.
  • Marketing concentration - at least 15 hours
  • Research support area(s) and research methodology and statistics – total of at least 30 hours.  Students often take additional support area, research methodology and statistics courses. The combination of support area(s), research methods and statistics will vary depending on the interests and needs of the student, but one of the following configurations must be achieved:
    • Two 9-hour support areas plus 12 hours in research methodology and statistics -- or
    • One 12-hour support area plus 18 hours in research methodology and statistics.
  • Research and professional development discussion seminar – at least 4 hours (enrolled).
  • Dissertation research – at least 12 hours.

The combination of coursework, seminar experience, and dissertation experience is designed to provide students with a sound foundation for a productive career as an academic in marketing.

Business Foundation

All doctoral students in the School of Business must fulfill the following core business requirements. Students with an MBA will typically have these requirements waived.

Required Courses:

ACCT 7310:  Accounting for Managers
FIN 7440:  Managerial Finance
MKT 7460:  Managerial Marketing
ECON 7332: Microeconomics for Managers

Elective Course - one of the following:

MGMT 7380:  Organizational Behavior and Management
MGMT 8310:  Strategic Human Resource Management
MGMT 8340:  Organizational Theory and Design

Marketing Concentration

Students must have completed basic calculus and statistics (equivalent of MATH 1320 & STAT 1400) prior to taking the required MRKTNG 9220 Seminar in Marketing Models. If basic calculus and statistics are lacking, students are strongly encouraged to take STAT 7710 or its equivalent in the summer prior to starting the doctoral program or in the entry Fall semester.

Required Marketing Seminars:

MRKTNG 9010:  Introduction to Research Methods in Marketing 
MRKTNG 9210:  Seminar in Marketing Strategy 
MRKTNG 9220:  Seminar in Marketing Models 
MRKTNG 9230:  Seminar in Consumer Behavior 

Marketing Elective (minimum of 3 hours):

MRKTNG 9185:  Doctoral Independent Study in Marketing

Courses from other doctoral programs (e.g., Washington University) subject to the approval of the program committee chair and the doctoral coordinator.   

Online seminars such as those offered by Penn State’s ISBM. Each 8-10 week online module may earn 1.5 hours subject to the approval of the program committee chair and the doctoral coordinator.

Analytical Tools

Courses in research methods and statistics are required to provide each doctoral student with a sound foundation in research skills. The requirement includes (a) minimum of 12 hours for students with two support areas or (b) a minimum of 18 hours for students with one support area. Students often take additional analytical tool courses beyond the minimum in order to develop depth of knowledge in tools required for their specific research interests. 

Required Analytical Marketing Seminars:

MRKTING 9030:  Applied Multivariate Analysis in Marketing
MRKTING 9600:  Applied Modeling Techniques in Marketing  

Sample Analytical Electives:

ECON 7370: Quantitative Economics
ECON 7371: Introductory Econometrics
ECON 8470:  Dynamic Optimization
ECON 8473:  Applied Econometrics
PSYCH 8710:  General Linear Models in Psychology I
PSYCH 8720:  General Linear Models in Psychology II
PSYCH 9320:  Social Psychology Methodology
PSYCH 9330:  Applied Research Methodology
PSYCH 9520:  Psychometrics
PSYCH 9710:  Multivariate Stat Psych
SOC 7120:  Social Statistics
SOC 7130:  Advanced Social Statistics
SOC 8120:  Research Methodology
SOC 9287:  Seminar in Qualitative Methods in Sociology
SOC 9837:  Seminar in Multivariate Analysis Techniques
STAT 7210:  Applied Nonparametric Methods
STAT 7310:  Sampling Techniques
STAT 7350:  Operations Research
STAT 7510:  Regression and Correlation Analysis
STAT 7530:  Analysis of Variance
STAT 7540:  Experimental Design
STAT 7750:  Introduction to Probability
STAT 7760:  Statistical Inference
STAT 7830:  Categorical Data Analysis
STAT 7850:   Introduction to Stochastic Processes
STAT 9640:   Bayesian Analysis 1
STAT 8640:   Bayesian Analysis 2
STAT 9710:   Mathematical Statistics 1
STAT 9720:   Mathematical Statistics 2

Courses from other doctoral programs (e.g., Washington University) subject to the approval of the program committee chair and the doctoral coordinator.

Online seminars such as those offered by Penn State’s ISBM. Each 8-10 week module may earn 1.5 hours subject to the approval of the program committee chair and the doctoral coordinator.

Support Areas

Either (a) two support areas with a minimum of 9 hours each or (b) one support area of at least 12 hours. At least 15 hours must be in 8000- and/or 9000-level courses. Support areas should be selected to provide depth in theory and research appropriate for the particular research interests of the student. The specific support areas and courses chosen should be customized to achieve the objectives of the PhD candidate.

Typical support areas for students in marketing are social psychology, organizational behavior, economics/econometrics, and statistics, but other areas may be appropriate based on the student’s research interests. Sample courses in various support areas include (but are not limited to):


ECON 7340:  Economic Theory of Games
ECON 7351:  Intermediate Microeconomics
ECON 8451:  Advanced Microeconomic Theory 1
ECON 8470:  Dynamic Optimization
ECON 8472:  Econometric Methods 1
ECON 9452:  Advanced Microeconomic Theory 2
ECON 9471:  Advanced Game Theory
ECON 9473:  Econometric Methods 2

Organizational Behavior

MGMT 9087:  Seminar in Human Resource Management
MGMT 9087:  Seminar in Organizational Behavior I
MGMT 9087:  Seminar in Organizational Behavior II
MGMT 9087:  Seminar in Strategic Management I
MGMT 9087:  Seminar in Organizational Theory
SOC 7487:  Seminar in Sociology of Organizations

Psychology/Social Psychology

PSYCH 7340:  Attitude Change
PSYCH 8310:  Survey of Social Psychology
PSYCH 8610:  Motivation
PSYCH 9310:  Theories of Social Psychology
PSYCH 9360:  Seminar in Social Psychology          


STAT 7530:   Analysis of Variance
STAT 7750:  Introduction to Probability Theory
STAT 7760:  Statistical Inference
STAT 7830:  Categorical Data Analysis
STAT 7850:   Introduction to Stochastic Processes
STAT 9210:   Bayesian Statistics
STAT  9710:   Mathematical Statistics 1
STAT  9720:   Mathematical Statistics 2

Courses from other doctoral programs (e.g., Washington University or University of Kansas) subject to the approval of the program committee chair and the doctoral coordinator.

Online seminars such as those offered by Penn State’s ISBM. Each 8-10 week module may earn 1.5 hours subject to the approval of the program committee chair and the doctoral coordinator.

Research and Professional Development Discussion Seminar

Students are expected to participate in this one-hour seminar each Fall and Spring semester while in residence at the University of Missouri. They enroll formally in MRKTNG 9101 during the first two years in the program (total of 4 hours). The seminar is intended to provide an open forum for the exchange of research ideas and the discussion of current topics in marketing.


Following the conclusion of other coursework and successfully passing the comprehensive examination, students enroll in MRKTNG 9090 Dissertation Research until the dissertation is completed. A minimum of 12 hours is required (at least 2 hours each Fall and Spring semester and 1 hour each Summer semester).

Other Requirements and Evaluative Components

Annual Reviews of Satisfactory Performance and Progress

Every marketing doctoral student’s progress is reviewed by the faculty annually at the end of the Spring semester. First-year students are also reviewed at the end of their first semester in the program. At the discretion of the student’s program committee and the doctoral coordinator, additional intermediate reviews may be conducted at other points in time when there is concern satisfactory progress is not being achieved. Failure to attain satisfactory performance and progress will lead to probation in accord with MU Graduate School guidelines. 

Research and Teaching Assistant Assignments

Assistantships are contingent on satisfactory performance in the doctoral program. During the Fall and Spring semesters of the first two years in the doctoral program, students will usually be assigned as research assistants to faculty members (20 hours per week, typically 10 hours per week for two faculty members). In the third and fourth years of the program, students typically are given responsibility for classroom teaching in preparation for their future roles as marketing professors. The typical teaching assignment is one undergraduate course in both the Fall and Spring semesters.

In accord with University policy, all international students must achieve Level 4 on an oral language proficiency screening prior to classroom teaching. In the Trulaske College of Business, Level 4 must be achieved by the end of the student’s second year in the program. Failure to do so prevents receipt of teaching assistantship funding and is grounds for dismissal.

Qualifying Examination

Every marketing doctoral student is required to complete a qualifying examination, which is a project and related paper completed in the summer after the first fall and spring semesters in the program. The details regarding this project are described in the department’s Qualifying Examination Policy. This project promotes early research engagement and serves as a means to evaluate the student’s possession/development of skills that are critical for successful completion of the doctoral program. 

Ongoing Research and Scholarship

Students are expected to pursue their own research projects in conjunction with faculty, other doctoral students, or independently. They are expected to keep abreast of current developments in marketing by reading marketing publications and attending appropriate conferences. Presentation of scholarly research at national conferences and/or preparation of articles for publication in marketing journals is expected. Research funds are available to cover some of the expenses of these research projects and collaboration with faculty generally results in faculty funding for research projects.

Comprehensive Examination

Every marketing doctoral student must pass the comprehensive examination following the completion of required marketing coursework. Typically, the comprehensive examination is taken after the first two full years in the marketing doctoral program. The examination consists of a written paper and a subsequent oral examination, as detailed in the department’s Comprehensive Examination policy. 

Dissertation Proposal Defense and Dissertation Defense

A dissertation is required to complete the doctoral program. Each student, working under the supervision of the doctoral program committee chair, must propose an original scholarly research project. Ideally, the dissertation proposal is defended at the end of the third year of the program in an oral presentation. The committee chair and committee may require a written component for the proposal as well. The proposal must be approved formally by the student’s program committee. 

Following completion of the research, the written dissertation must be orally defended and approved by the student’s program committee.

By the Numbers