Dean Geoffrey Garrett
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Teaching + Innovation
Experiential Learning Center
Open Expression Statement
BS Business Administration (BUAD)
BS Accounting (ACCT)
World Bachelor in Business (WBB)
BS Business of Cinematic Arts (BCA)
BS Artificial Intelligence for Business (BUAI)
Full-Time MBA (FTMBA)
Executive MBA (EMBA)
Part-Time MBA (MBA.PM)
International MBA (IBEAR)
Online MBA (OMBA)
MS Business Administration (MSBUSAD)
MS Business Analytics (MSBA)
MS Entrepreneurship + Innovation (MSEI)
MS Finance (MSF)
MS Global Supply Chain Management (MSGSCM)
MS Marketing (MSMKT)
MS Social Entrepreneurship (MSSE)
Master of Business for Veterans (MBV)
Master of Management Studies (MMS)
Master of Accounting (MAcc)
Master of Business Taxation (MBT)
Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals (MBT.WP)
Data Sciences + Operations
Management + Organization
GC in Business Analytics
GC in Financial Analysis + Valuation
GC in Management Studies
GC in Marketing
GC in Optimization + Supply Chain Management
GC in Strategy + Management Consulting
GC in Sustainability + Business
GC in Technology Commercialization
GC in Library and Information Management – Online
Business Communication (BUCO)
Data Sciences and Operations (DSO)
Finance + Business Economics (FBE)
Leventhal School of Accounting (ACCT)
Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (BAEP)
Management and Organization (MOR)
Institutes + Centers
Randall R. Kendrick Global Supply Chain Institute
Peter Arkley Institute for Risk Management
VanEck Digital Assets Initiative
Institute for Outlier Research in Business
Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
USC Marshall Venture Fund
Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab
Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making
Center for Effective Organizations
Center for Global Innovation
Center for Investment Studies
Initiative on Digital Competition
Giving + Support
Alumni Engagement + Resources
Marketing PhD Program
Marketing is an interdisciplinary field that examines the interactions of consumers and businesses in the marketplace. Academic research in marketing draws upon theories and methodology from a wide variety of fields, including psychology, sociology, mathematics, statistics, and economics. Faculty members in Marshall’s marketing department represent numerous theoretical backgrounds and substantive interests. As mentors, they encourage students to identify their own interests and develop the analytic and methodological skills to pursue their own research questions.
This area of marketing shares theories and methodologies with economics, mathematics, and statistics. Faculty advising students in this area are experts in a variety of topics such as
This area of marketing shares theories and methodologies with social and cognitive psychology and behavioral economics. Faculty advising students in this area are experts in a variety of topics such as
Developing Marketing Scholars
The aim of the PhD program in marketing at USC is to develop outstanding researchers and prepare them for productive careers in academia. During their studies, students will transition from consumers of knowledge to producers and disseminators of knowledge.
Marshall’s PhD program in marketing is highly selective. The small size of the program allows for close collaborations between students and faculty and for students to tailor their program of study to fit their background and research interests.
From the beginning of the program, students have the opportunity to engage in different research projects and receive guidance and mentorship from faculty experts. Students are strongly encouraged to develop their own research program and have the freedom to pursue their own ideas.
Faculty members are experts in their areas and are highly committed to the training and guidance of PhD students.
Faculty Coordinator: Kristin Diehl, Professor of Marketing
During their first two years in the program, students are required to complete a series of classes in marketing as well as in other departments in Marshall and USC at large.
Within marketing, PhD students complete four marketing seminars (two in quantitative marketing and strategy, two in consumer behavior). These seminars cover the key areas of academic marketing research and provide students a broad perspective of the field of marketing.
Fall Semester — Even Years
MKT 613: Marketing Models in Consumer and Business-to-Business Markets
Spring Semester - Odd Years
MKT 616: Consumer Behavior Theory and Research
Fall Semester - Odd Years
MKT 615 Strategic and Marketing Mix Models
Spring Semester - Even Years
MKT 618: Consumer Behavior and Decision Making
In addition, students take classes in other departments in the business school (e.g., Management and Organizational Behavior, Data Science), as well as in departments across campus (e.g., economics, psychology, statistics, computer science).
First Year Summer Research Paper
The first year paper allows students to develop their own research interest and to demonstrate their research potential. Students develop an original research question and provide initial tests of their predictions. A faculty mentor and other marketing faculty form the first year research paper committee that guides the student’s process.
Following the spring semester of their second year, students will take part in a qualifying exam that leads to the assessment of whether the student is ready for ascension to candidacy. The topics pursued in the qualifying exam often evolve into a substantial portion of the student’s dissertation. A faculty mentor and other faculty members from marketing and from outside the department form the qualifying exam committee that guides the student’s process.
After passing the qualifying exam, students are admitted to PhD candidacy and pursue their research, culminating in their dissertation.
Students work with different research mentors over the course of the program. In the first two years, students work with different faculty member each semester, in order to expose students to different researchers and research approaches. By the end of year two, students should have identified a primary research mentor who will guide them until completion of the dissertation, i.e., their faculty advisor.
Year 1: In year 1, the research mentor aims to advise the student with their courses, studies, and overall strategies in the program. Students may assist with a faculty research project if it offers a good learning experience and does not interfere with classes and other program requirements. In some cases, the relationship may involve the student working on their own research project, in which case the research mentor serves as an advisor. Further, the research mentor may be involved in guiding the development of the first-year paper.
Year 2: In year 2, the student should gain further research skills by assisting the faculty mentor with a research project that offers a good learning experience. Activities may include data collection, data cleaning, data organizing, coding, and estimation for empirical projects, and checking models and proofs for theoretical projects. In some cases, the relationship may involve the student working on their own research project, in which case the research mentor serves as an advisor. Further, the research mentor advises the student in developing the second-year paper.
Year 3: In year 3, the student will continue to gain research skills by working on research projects from previous years that should involve different faculty. If not yet done, the student will start developing their own research projects and agenda. The research mentor will primarily serve as an advisor.
Year 4: In year 4, the student will continue to improve their research skills, advancing research projects from previous years, and start new ones. The research mentor will continue to serve as an advisor.
Year 5: In year 5, the research mentor serves to advise the student on completion of the dissertation. In most cases, the advisor will serve as the student’s dissertation chair.
You will work hands-on in a thriving research culture with constant exposure to new and important ideas. Marshall is ranked 6th in the world in research for the years 2015–2019 by the UT-Dallas Research Rankings.
Our faculty regularly publish in the field’s top journals, such as:
Our faculty also continuously publish in the premiere journals of related disciplines
Selective List of Journal Publications With Students (2017-2021)
From the very beginning of the program, students collaborate with faculty on research projects with the goal of producing research that will be published in the top journals. Below, please find a selection of recent articles that resulted from these collaborations.* denote current or former PhD students.
D’Angelo*, Jennifer K., Kristin Diehl, and Lisa A. Cavanaugh. "Lead by Example? Custom-Made Examples Created by Close Others Lead Consumers to Make Dissimilar Choices." Journal of Consumer Research 46, no. 4 (2019): 750-773.
Donovan*, Leigh Anne and Priester, Joseph (2020). Exploring the psychological processes that underlie interpersonal forgiveness: Replication and extension of the model of motivated interpersonal forgiveness. Frontiers in Psychology.
Donovan*, Leigh Anne Novak, and Joseph R. Priester. "Exploring the psychological processes underlying interpersonal forgiveness: The superiority of motivated reasoning over empathy." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 71 (2017): 16-30.
Dukes, Anthony and Yi Zhu* (2019) “Why Customer Service Frustrates Consumers: Exploiting Hassel Costs by a Tiered Customer Service Organization,” Marketing Science, 38(3): 500-515.
Jayarajan*, Dinakar, S. Siddarth, and Jorge Silva-Risso. "Cannibalization vs. competition: An empirical study of the impact of product durability on automobile demand." International Journal of Research in Marketing 35, no. 4 (2018): 641-660.
Jia*, He, Sha Yang, Xianghua Lu, and C. Whan Park. "Do consumers always spend more when coupon face value is larger? The inverted U-shaped effect of coupon face value on consumer spending level." Journal of Marketing 82, no. 4 (2018): 70-85.
Paulson*, Courtney, Lan Luo, and Gareth M. James. "Efficient large-scale internet media selection optimization for online display advertising." Journal of Marketing Research 55, no. 4 (2018): 489-506.
Pei*, Amy, and Dina Mayzlin (2021), "Influencing the Influencers." Marketing Science, forthcoming.
Proserpio, Davide, Isamar Troncoso*, and Francesca Valsesia* (2021) "Does gender matter? The effect of management responses on reviewing behavior." Marketing Science, Forthcoming.
Tellis, Gerard J., Deborah J. MacInnis, Seshadri Tirunillai*, and Yanwei Zhang*. "What drives virality (sharing) of online digital content? The critical role of information, emotion, and brand prominence." Journal of Marketing 83, no. 4 (2019): 1-20.
Valsesia*, Francesca, Kristin Diehl, and Joseph C. Nunes (2017), “Based on a True Story: Making People Believe the Unbelievable,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 71, 105-110
Valsesia*, Francesca, Joseph C. Nunes, and Andrea Ordanini (2021), “I Am Not Talking to You: Partitioning an Audience in an Attempt to Solve the Self-Promotion Dilemma,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 165, 76-89.
Valsesia*, Francesca, Davide Proserpio, and Joseph C. Nunes. "The Positive Effect of Not Following Others on Social Media." Journal of Marketing Research (2020): 0022243720915467.
Xu*, Zibin and Anthony Dukes, (2021) “Personalization, Customer Data Aggregation, and the Role of List Price,” Management Science, forthcoming.
Xu*, Zibin, and Anthony Dukes. "Product line design under preference uncertainty using aggregate consumer data." Marketing Science 38, no. 4 (2019): 669-689.
Zhu*, Yi and Anthony Dukes (2017), “Prominent Attributes under Limited Attention,” Marketing Science, 36(5): 683-698.
The research of our faculty has been recognized repeatedly as innovative and highly impactful. Faculty members have been named fellows in the field’s leading professional organizations.
Proven Thought Leaders
Our faculty have a substantial role in shaping the discipline through their positions as editors, associate editors and editorial board members of:
Our faculty also include former presidents of major professional organizations, such as the Association for Consumer Research, the Association for Consumer Psychology, and INFORMS Society of Marketing Science (ISMS).
The culture of the program is research focused, collegial, supportive, and highly interactive. PhD students are “junior colleagues” encouraged to participate in academic research with faculty from the very beginning. The low PhD student/faculty ratio coupled with the marketing faculty’s “open door” policy promotes frequent and meaningful interactions between faculty and students about research, careers and teaching. Students also serve as colleagues and mentors to each other and often develop papers together.
Research EnvironmentFaculty and students attend weekly scholarly presentations from invited faculty from around the world. In addition internal brown bag seminars and reading groups allow students and faculty to exchange ideas and receive feedback on research topics.
Student BackgroundOur students come from all of over the world. They have strong academic backgrounds and bring with them a variety of experiences prior to joining the program.
AwardsMarketing Ph.D. students have contributed to the field by publishing in leading journals and winning numerous prestigious research awards, including the SCP Sheth Award and the William O’Dell Award for long term contributions to marketing for articles published in the Journal of Marketing Research. Students have been recipients of INFORMS Society for Marketing Science (ISMS) Doctoral Dissertation Competition Award, finalists for the John D. Little Award for best paper in Marketing Science, and early career achievement award in marketing. Student research proposals have been funded by the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) and the Institute for The Study of Business Markets (ISBM).
JOB MARKET CANDIDATES
Elisa Solinas is a Ph.D. student in Marketing specializing in consumer behavior research.
APPLYING TO THE PhD PROGRAM
DATES + DEADLINES
September: Application OpensDecember 15 Application Deadline: Accounting and Management and Organization*January 15 Application Deadline: Data Sciences & Operations, Finance & Business Economics and MarketingFebruary 15 Decision Notifications BeginApril 15 Admit Decision DeadlineThe Fall 2023 application is open!The link to the PhD Program application is available on the Admissions page and the next opportunity to apply is for Fall 2023 admission. Late applications may or may not be considered at the discretion of the admissions committee.Admissions decisions are made from mid-February to mid-April. You will be notified by email when a decision has been made.
For more information about this program please fill out THIS FORM.
Ph.D. ProgramUSC Marshall School of Business3670 Trousdale Parkway, BRI 306Los Angeles, California 90089-0809EMAIL