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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Students in Isenberg’s PhD program in marketing uncover insights that can be used to improve marketing practice and/or improve customer experiences.

From unearthing the tactics that drive consumer behavior to understanding the implications of a company’s social media presence to determining how a public policy influences various stakeholders, students gain knowledge that increases understanding of the marketplace.

Message from the Coordinator

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At Isenberg’s PhD program in marketing, we’re passionate about understanding consumer and corporate behavior. We believe our line of inquiry delivers a deeper knowledge about our psychology, and informs us about how we can evolve as a society.

Our goal is to generate distinguished scholars and revered professors, and to assist our students as they make advancements in the field. Our department has experts in consumer behavior, various areas of public policy (e.g., health, sustainability and privacy), social media, and sales management.

In particular, we support our students by offering:

  • Close interactions with faculty—students work with a variety of different faculty who have open door policies
  • Cross-disciplinary training—students have access to a wealth of strong faculty in departments outside of marketing, and take much of their coursework from experts in complementary fields
  • Dual focus on research and teaching—students receive training in how to conduct high-level, scholarly research, and also gain teaching experience through leading classes and engaging with faculty mentors  

We welcome applicants who are motivated, personable and just as curious as we are to understand and analyze why people do what they do, why firms act or react, and why economies flounder or soar.

Elizabeth G. Miller

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Academic Overview

Students generally complete a PhD in marketing within 4-5 years. Students must take 48 hours of coursework, including marketing theory, statistics and research methods. Students complete an independent research project during their first two summers, and must pass a comprehensive exam. Students teach for three years at Isenberg and research, write and defend a dissertation. 


Sample of our required marketing courses:

  • Research Methods I
  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Marketing Management
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Applied Marketing Research in Sales Management
  • Theory and Science in Marketing
Degree Timeline

YEAR 1: Coursework, including statistics, research methods, and marketing courses; Summer paper

YEAR 2: Coursework, including statistics, marketing courses, and minor area courses; Summer paper and comprehensive exam

YEAR 3: Development of dissertation proposal; Teaching

YEAR 4-5: Dissertation research; Teaching

Marketing Doctoral Candidates

Marketing Doctoral Candidates