PhD in Marketing Programs

Doctorate and PhD in Marketing programs could enable students to build managerial skills in tandem with a deeper grasp of buyer behavior. Course plans for marketing doctoral programs often draw on economic, behavioral, psychological and administrative theory.

Participants might therefore grow as thought leaders while they generate holistic solutions to marketing problems faced by a firm and its administration.

Marketing Doctorate degree

What Is a Doctorate in Marketing?

Marketing doctoral programs include the research PhD in Marketing and the applied doctorate, the DBA in Marketing, both of which are terminal degrees. A doctorate in marketing program commonly melds a wide variety of courses, research methods and some independent inquiry.

DBA vs PhD in Marketing

Some universities offer both a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration with a focus in marketing. These are often available through their business school, as marketing is thought of as the heart of business operations.

Typically, the PhD is a research oriented degree and the Doctorate degree is to be used in real-world context. Read below to learn more about the differences of each degree.

Certainly, at the actual course level, there may be some overlap. But there are other requirements that one could be attentive to in order to line up program selection with personal career goals.

PhD in Marketing Programs

A PhD in marketing is a research degree. Marketing PhD programs may intend to prepare students to conduct original research. That is, to explain phenomena previously not well understood and then to test proposed explanations empirically.

The research in Marketing PhD programs might enhance an individual’s scholarly voice. This type of program usually has a student take a wide array of courses to build breadth of knowledge. Then, choose an area to cover more explicitly and in which, to focus their dissertation and publishable contributions to business knowledge or theory.

This type of program might appeal to candidates who want to pursue a career in academia and research (e.g. marketing professor). Per O’Net, over half (66%) of Marketing professors have a Doctoral degree.

In some marketing graduate schools, students may need to complete about 60 credits of coursework. Curricula could help a participant grow skills in sales, research and promotional techniques that may be applied to virtual, global or domestic markets.

Through various courses, students might explore strategies for a sound, systematic, ethical and legal approach to modern marketing practices and research theory. While topics could vary, some general examples are provided below.

  • Consumer Behavior Theory and Practice
  • Essentials of Marketing
  • Strategic Market Assessments

At the same time, students could learn how to assess and evaluate buyer needs and wants. Then, construct advertising strategies that aim to establish quality goods or services and enhance customer loyalty.

Sometimes, PhD students choose a research topic that reflects the interests of faculty, however there may be latitude. Either way, courses in statistical methods, quantitative and qualitative research methods may round out a course plan and steer students further along in their dissertation process.

DBA in Marketing Programs

A DBA in Marketing is a professional doctorate. It often expands on theoretical knowledge and its use in business practice. Students may take a spectrum of business, research and concentration courses. Unlike a PhD, though, a DBA program often asks students to thoroughly examine current data and literature. Then use it to analyze or solve a real-time marketing concern.

Sometimes, DBA in Marketing programs may be geared to experienced professionals who want to build expertise as problem solvers in a real-world context. That is, one might explore marketing challenges and learn how to leverage strategies in global marketing and international pricing to stay competitive.

To this end, a DBA program might highlight the skills needed both to lead and make advanced business decisions. At the same time, students might gain an in-depth knowledge of both theory and applied research.

In some universities with DBA in Marketing programs, students may be required to complete 60 credits. Of these, several courses could include some focus on the development of writing and critical-thinking skills at the doctoral level.

One of the common hallmarks of a DBA is its core of functional and advanced concepts in business and business strategy. These are usually added to with research methods and the chosen emphasis – marketing.

Here are 4 examples:

  1. Organizational Leadership
  2. Information Systems
  3. Marketing Strategy
  4. Finance and Fiscal Leadership

In addition, participants may study key marketing concepts such as market segmentation, marketing channels, competitive intelligence, integrated marketing, product development and commercialization, and consumer behavior.

For each course, students might be asked to complete projects or assignments (independently or in a group). As an example, a course in market analysis could require students to analyze a consumer market and market segments for its product/service, then answer questions about it.


In May 2016, the average annual salary for marketing managers was $139,220, according to the

How long does it take to get a Doctorate in Marketing?

The DBA and PhD might take three to five years or more to complete by a full-time student. However, this is an only an estimate. Consider the course work and time you have to devote to coursework, research and other duties. For more details, some schools might indicate ‘average times to completion’ or may have more info about specific programs.

Admission Requirements

At each university there are unique sets of admissions processes. For some programs (E.g. partner school, Walden), applicants need a masters degree or higher. Since details vary, consult individual schools for their requirements.

What Might I Study in Marketing Doctoral Programs?

Today’s business leaders often need to spot trends, understand data, and identify new research opportunities. Marketing doctorate curricula might prepare individuals with the insights and tools of analysis needed to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Candidates could, for instance, learn how to develop target consumer audiences and move products from producers to consumers. Especially, given the advances in multi-media and digital platforms. At the same time, students could fine tune their ability to think critically, creatively and systematically about decisions.

Key coursework in marketing doctoral programs could vary between schools, programs and even seasons, so it is a good rule of thumb to check out a school’s forecasted course list. Below, are some examples of potential topics of study that may be offered at the doctorate level. iii

  • Principles of Marketing Research
  • Demand Analysis
  • Cost-Volume and Profit
  • Pricing Theory and Product Management
  • Marketing Campaign Strategy
  • Market Segments
  • Consumer Behavior

An Inside View of 7 Doctorate in Marketing Courses

Take a look at seven of the dynamic course topics that might be discussed in DBA and PhD in Marketing programs.

  1. Marketing Research: In this course, students might survey marketing research methods in the context of understanding competitive opportunities, new product development, and ways to position a product or service in the marketplace.
  2. Business to Business (B-2-B) Marketing: In this course, students might examine current methods in play that enhance marketability and value while also maintaining key relationships with consumers. Some of the concepts that might be discussed could include online promotion and advertising, communication strategies to promote online initiatives and client acquisition.
  3. Consumer Behavior: In this course, one of the central themes is to identify what drives people to make purchases since this is closely tied to how, where, and when to market a product. Students might study individual behavior and the psychology of choice, motivation, and ways to maintain customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  4. Strategic Marketing Management: In this course, students might build awareness about what steps feed the analytical decisions involved when a strategic marketing program is formulated, implemented and controlled for a product market entry. Current practices in digital marketing could also be discussed.
  5. Brand and Product Management: In this course, students might discuss how to incorporate product and brand strategies to create an optimal marketing plan. Brand development focuses on image and equity as well as product management.
  6. Marketing Promotion: In this course, students might learn to understand and apply key promotional theories, strategies and tactics. Apart from theory and design, students could learn how to increase brand awareness and sales growth.
  7. Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC): In this course, students might learn about the effective use of IMC programs and processes. Students might analyze the elements of IMC such as trends and technology that impact marketing communication.

Marketing vs. Advertising

Marketing is a field of study that involves learning how to create and implement advertising and public relations strategies. Typical marketing processes are advertising and promotion as well as an evaluation of the right distribution channels to reach a target market.

Campus or Online Doctorate Degree in Marketing?

Do you want to earn a Doctorate degree in Marketing online? Are you someone who prefers face-to-face interaction and live seminars? There are two program formats to choose from – online and on campus.

Either of these could be convenient, though online programs typically allow students some flexibility to study when and where they are able. Some of these are fully online in terms of program coursework, though there may be a brief residency where students might network and meet their faculty mentor. 

That stated, one could also search for marketing graduate schools in a preferred city, state or country. Traditional programs may have set hours though these may be in the evenings to make it accessible for those who have careers in motion. Explore the possibilities as you set these filters to narrow results.


One thing that interested students might consider is accreditation. Accreditation is an indicator that an academic institution or program meets high standards of quality in all aspects. Degrees from accredited PhD programs may be recognized by governments, academic institutions, professional organizations and employers throughout the world.

There are two basic types of accreditation: institutional accreditation covers an entire university while professional accreditation examines a particular program within an educational institution, such as business.

In the business field, Doctorate in Marketing programs might be found in business grad schools that bear approval by an agency such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Career Outlook

Graduates of marketing doctoral programs might pursue diverse interests and career paths.

Per the BLS, the demand for post-secondary business professors is expected to grow by 15 percent from 2016 to 2026.

The overall outlook for marketing managers is also “faster than average” with a projected growth of 10 percent from 2016 to 2026. vIn fact, per the BLS, “advertising managers who can navigate the digital world should have the best prospects.” offers 38 Marketing Doctorate Degree Programs

Browse below to find the DBA or PhD in Marketing programs that sounds perfect for you. Or use the filters above to sort through programs to find specific types (online, campus. location) to yield partner programs that you could easily apply to with the on-page form.

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