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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

Matt Thomson

Isenberg’s marketing PhD students are immersed in a full-time program designed to develop them as researchers and teachers and to place them in select marketing departments around the world.  We provide an apprenticeship to our students, involving them in research from the earliest days of their program.  Our faculty are focused on understanding consumer and corporate behavior. We have experts on a range of topics including financial well-being, services marketing, sales channels, diversity and culture, consumer well-being, social media marketing, experience design, innovation, and branding.

We support our students by offering:

  • Close interactions with faculty — the marketing department provides a highly collegial atmosphere where students work with faculty to develop ideas.
  • Cross-disciplinary training — students have access to the many outstanding departments at Isenberg and across the university, taking much of their coursework from experts in complementary fields.
  • Dual focus on research and teaching—students receive training in how to conduct high-level research and gain teaching experience through leading classes and engaging with faculty mentors. 

We welcome applicants who are inquisitive, ambitious, and determined.

Matt Thomson
Professor of Marketing

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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. 

Coursework

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