University of Southern California

Requirements

Year 1

Sample Course Schedule

  • Behavioral Marketing Seminar I
  • Quantitative Marketing Seminar I
  • Research Methodology (2)
  • Base Discipline Classes (2)
  • Statistics (2)

Research Development
Beginning in the first semester, students apprentice a faculty mentor to learn research fundamentals. Typically students are assigned to a new mentor each semester in the first year.

Screening Examination
In the summer of the first year, students complete a screening examination which may take the form of a written or oral exam, written assignments, and/or summer research project. The results of the examination help the faculty determine students’ developmental needs and fitness to continue in the program.

Year 2

Sample Course Schedule

  • Behavioral Marketing Seminar II
  • Quantitative Marketing Seminar II
  • Base Discipline Classes (2)
  • Statistics (2)
  • Electives (2)

Research Development
Students continue apprentice a faculty mentor to learn research fundamentals and participate in research projects. Typically students are assigned to a new mentor each semester in the first and second year.

Qualifying Examination
With the recommendation of their faculty mentor, students take a comprehensive examination on the core knowledge of their discipline. The examination includes both written and oral components. Upon passing the examination, an individual becomes a Ph.D. candidate and begins work on the Ph.D. dissertation.

Year 3

Sample Course Schedule

  • Independent Dissertation Preparation (2)
  • Electives (Optional)

Research Development
At this stage in the program, the relationships Ph.D. candidates have developed through the research apprentices often lead to collaborative research projects. Ph.D. candidates continue to apprentice faculty with increasing responsibility. They also begin work on their dissertations.

Teaching Development
Ph.D. candidates begin developing teaching skills by serving as a teaching assistant for one or two classes and engaging in teaching skills workshops.

Year 4

Sample Course Schedule

  • Independent Dissertation Preparation (2)
  • Electives (Optional)

Research Development
Research is the primary activity in the fourth year and beyond. Faculty view Ph.D. candidates as “junior colleagues” and partner to write and present papers.

Teaching Development
Ph.D. candidates co-teach one course with a faculty member.

Dissertation Defense & Submission
The dissertation is the culminating work of a student’s independent research. In the fourth or fifth year of the program, students complete, defend and submit the dissertation. This is the last step to earn the Ph.D.

“While every PhD student looks eagerly for the light at the end of the tunnel (securing the degree), I must 'confess' that I had a great time with the process itself. I acquired many practical skills…But, more importantly, I studied under professors who truly loved what they were doing--be it research or teaching, I got a chance to take courses that made me appreciate the 'philosophy' angle of the degree and I made great friends who made and continue to make my life pleasanter."

-- Deepa Chandrasekaran, Lehigh University