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Marketing PhD Program

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.

Marketing PhD Program


Quantitative Marketing

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

  1. Applications of artificial intelligence in marketing
  2. Understanding how businesses manage social interactions
  3. The impact of digital platforms on different industries
  4. Social networks and network structures in markets
  5. Strategic pricing decisions
  6. Distribution-channel strategies
  7. Innovation and product growth
  8. Global markets

Consumer Psychology

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

  1. Status and luxury goods
  2. Branding and consumers’ attachments to brands
  3. Consumers’ strategies to maintain a positive self-evaluations
  4. Emotions and their effects on consumers’ valuations of products
  5. How the use of technology affects consumers’ enjoyment and memories of experiences
  6. Consumers' responses to service and product failure
  7. Budgeting and saving decisions
  8. Consumer Creativity

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: Gülden Ülkümen, 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.

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).


You will work hands-on in a thriving research culture with constant exposure to new and important ideas. Marshall is ranked 5th in the world in research for the years 2018–2022 by the UT-Dallas Research Rankings.

Our faculty regularly publish in the field’s top journals, such as:

  • Journal of Marketing
  • Journal of Marketing Research
  • Journal of Consumer Research
  • Marketing Science
  • Management Science

Our faculty also continuously publish in the premiere journals of related disciplines

  • American Economic Review
  • Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  • Journal of experimental Psychology: General
  • Psychological Science
  • The Rand Journal of Economics


Program Culture

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 Environment
Faculty 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 Background
Our 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.

Marketing 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).



Our PhD graduates contribute to marketing research and practice throughout the world. We have a long history of mentoring PhD students who are on the faculty of top universities around the world.

Recent Placements (2023-2019)

Elisa Solinas (2023) Assistant Professor, IE, Spain

Wensi Zhang (2023) Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Dallas, USA

Gizem Ceylan (2022) Postdoctoral Researcher, Yale University

Ilya Lukibanov (2022) Data Scientist, AXS, USA

Sajeev Nair (2022) Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, USA

Isamar Troncoso (2022) Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School, USA

Chaumanix Dutton (2021) Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, USA

Jihoon Hong (2021) Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, USA

Mengxia Zhang (2021) Assistant Professor, Ivey Business School, Western University, Canada

Jennifer D'Angelo (2020) Assistant Professor, TCU, USA

Amy Pei (2020) Assistant Professor, Northeastern University, USA

Yao Yao (2019) Assistant Professor, San Diego State University, USA



    December 15, 2023: Application Deadline - Accounting, Data Sciences & Operations, and Management & Organization* 

    January 15, 2024: Application Deadline - Finance & Business Economics and Marketing 

    The link to the PhD Program application is available on the Admissions page and the next opportunity to apply is for Fall 2024 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.


    Ph.D. Program
    USC Marshall School of Business
    3670 Trousdale Parkway, BRI 306
    Los Angeles, California 90089-0809