The marketing doctoral program provides an opportunity for specialized study in one or more of the following marketing areas: consumer behavior, marketing strategy and quantitative marketing. The core of the program consists of a set of courses required of all students. This is supplemented with special courses and electives.
The University of Texas Marketing Ph.D. program at McCombs is committed to delivering the highest quality of doctoral education. We offer small seminar classes and mentoring by world-class faculty. Our program is small and selective so our faculty can devote considerable time to each student. Our philosophy is an apprenticeship system where our ten to fifteen Ph.D. students receive hands-on training from twenty award-winning faculty.
The goal of the University of Texas Marketing Ph.D. program is to develop students who will conduct scholarly research and be future leaders in academia by creating and disseminating business knowledge. We are proud of the achievements of our Ph.D. students with publications in top-tier marketing journals and presentations at national and international conferences.
A unique strength of the University of Texas Marketing Department is the breadth of its expertise in all areas of marketing including consumer behavior, marketing strategy and quantitative modeling. Our faculty and students bring rigorous training and backgrounds in business, economics, engineering, management, psychology and statistics to bear in their cutting-edge examination of marketing topics.
These are exciting times at the McCombs Business School. The number of research faculty has expanded by 25% and Ph.D. student resources have greatly increased. The University of Texas is located in Austin, Texas, a growing green and high-tech city that is consistently rated as one of the top U.S. cities. If you want to be a leader in developing and disseminating marketing knowledge, we hope you will consider the University of Texas Marketing Ph.D. program.
To be eligible for admission to the doctoral program in marketing, we require an applicant to have (at least) a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, and a high level of competency in the English language.
All doctoral students are admitted for a full-time degree program, which begins in the fall. Spring enrollment is not permitted. We receive over 100 applications each year for three to six spots in the entering class, so the admissions process is very competitive. For example, the average GMAT percentile score for entering students is typically around the 95th percentile.
All applicants are required to take either the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) in time for the results to reach the Department of Marketing by the application deadline, December 15. The test must be taken within the past five years. International students must also submit an official report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An exception is made for foreign students who obtained a bachelor's degree in the U.S. or another English-speaking country.
How to Apply
Please note, all applicants are expected to review the Graduate Admissions page of the Graduate and International Admissions Center webpage for a list of minimum requirements and other important university admission information.
The application for admission to the doctoral program consists of TWO parts. You must submit both parts in order for your application file to be reviewed. Please follow the instructions carefully. Apply online at Texas Common Application.
Part 1 :
The following materials must be uploaded after you have completed and paid for your application via UT's Status Check webpage by December 15. Please note all uploaded documents will be considered unofficial copies and official copies of transcripts must be mailed to GIAC only after you have been admitted into the program. Do not send any paper copies or originals to GIAC until you have been admitted to the program. The mailing addresses for GIAC are available at http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/admissions/usgradcontact.html.
Transcripts (Please request your official transcripts, with the final grades from all of the colleges and universities you have attended, be sent directly to GIAC only after you have been admitted into the program)
When uploading transcripts, note you will only be allowed to upload one PDF file per school. This means if you have a multiple page transcript for one school you will need to create one PDF file for that school. Gradesheets should not be uploaded in place of transcripts. Applications with gradesheets in place of transcripts will be considered incomplete. If you are uploading a foreign transcript, you must also include the translated version as part of the one PDF file for that school.
Official GRE or GMAT scores
Please request your GRE or GMAT scores be sent to GIAC. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for the University of Texas at Austin is 6882.
Official TOEFL scores (International students)
An exception is made for foreign students who obtained a bachelor's degree in the U.S. or other English-speaking country. International students must submit an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Application fee (please note: applications submitted without the required application processing fee will not be reviewed)
Please do not send cash or personal checks. You may pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), cashier's check, money orders or bank drafts in U.S. dollars drawn in U.S. banks. ($65 US and $90 International).
Part 2 :
The following materials must be uploaded for the Department of Marketing via your application status link by December 15. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator if you have any questions.
Departmental application form (PDF document)
This is for the Marketing Department only. Please download the form and Supplemental Information/Financial Page and upload the completed form via UT's Status Check webpage or send to the Marketing department.
Three Letters of Reference and your Statement of Purpose (PDF document)
You will be asked to list the names and email addresses of the three people you have chosen to recommend you for admission. Once you submit your application, an email will be sent to each recommender instructing them to visit a website and complete a questionnaire. The letters will automatically be routed to the department. If you have requested your letters of reference electronically and submitted your statement of purpose online you do not need to mail them in to the department. Online submission of recommendations is strongly preferred, but we will accept paper recommendations if absolutely necessary.
Your Statement of Purpose should discuss your interest in our Ph.D. program and your reasons for doing graduate work at the University of Texas. Your statement should be no more than two pages long; it may be accompanied by a current resumé or c.v., list of publications, etc. Your statement of purpose is an important part of your application and care should be taken in writing it. If you have requested your letters of reference electronically and submitted your statement of purpose online you do not need to mail them in to the department.
- A Phone Number and E-mail Address
Please provide your phone number and an e-mail address where you can be reached.
- Send COPY of GMAT and TOEFL (international students only)
Forms for Items 1 and 2 can be obtained by clicking on the items above. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the PDF documents.) Questions about the application procedure can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information contact Helen Anderson at email@example.com. Application Deadline is December 15.
Ph.D. Program Staff:
Ph.D. Program Coordinator: Helen Anderson
Ph.D. Program Faculty Advisor: Raj Raghunathan
"We aim to place our Ph.D. students in the top academic research institutions in the world. Among the more important determinants of achieving this goal are the students' motivation, maturity and preparedness for a research career. The Texas Marketing Ph.D. program fosters a culture that helps nurture each of these factors."
-Raj Raghunathan, associate marketing profession, McCombs School of Business, has been awarded a $442,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for his ongoing research in consumer behavior.
When do new students enter the marketing doctoral program?
We accept applications for the fall semester only. Generally, we complete our selection process during the spring.
What form of financial aid do you have?
All admitted students receive some form of financial support. We have competitive Graduate School and Dean’s (McCombs School of Business) fellowships, which are offered to the most qualified applicants. In addition, most students receive 20-hour appointments as teaching and research assistants, which enable a student to receive a tuition reimbursement.
How long is the program?
The goal is for students to complete the program in 4 to 5 years. The first two years are devoted to coursework. Students are involved in research projects from the onset of the program and an original research paper is required during the first summer. Students take a comprehensive written exam in their chosen area of specialization at the end of their second year and do a third year research paper which will be reviewed by a committee. Students then take additional courses in their area of specialization and proceed to submit a dissertation proposal. The last 1 to 2 years of the program are devoted to dissertation research and coursework.
What is a good indicator of Ph.D. coursework and research?
Coursework revolves around scholarly research in journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, and Marketing Science. Similarly, the expected output from McCombs Ph.D. students is scholarly research in these journals. Examination of these journals to gain insight into the research process and research topics of interest is highly recommended.
What is the latest date the GMAT can be taken?
It must be taken before December 1st of the planned entrance year (no exceptions).
What is the average GMAT score for admitted applicants?
The average GMAT score is 700 (for the last 5 years). There is no minimum GMAT/CRE score required to apply. Average GMAT/GRE for entering students is typically around the 95th percentile.
How many applicants are admitted each year?
Approximately 2-4 people are admitted out of 90-100 applicants. The program currently has about 12 students.
What is the suggested application deadline?
The application deadline for the Marketing doctoral program is December 15 of the year you wish to enter the program.
How much teaching do your students do?
Students typically teach once during their tenure in the Ph.D. program. In the third or fourth year, students have the opportunity to teach an undergraduate Principles of Marketing course as an assistant instructor (AI). All other semesters, students serve as teaching assistants (TA) to top faculty instructors. Our aim is to have students gain quality teaching experience while having ample time to focus on research.
Can I transfer credits from another program?
The Graduate School limits transfer credits to six course hours.
What is the overriding goal of the Ph.D. program in marketing program at McCombs?
The general objective of the marketing Ph.D. program is to prepare you for an academic career at a leading university. Each course of study is designed to accommodate an individual’s educational background, experience and career goals. Obtaining a doctoral degree in marketing requires mastery of fundamental business and research-related concepts, competency in core marketing subjects, demonstrated expertise in a marketing specialty and successful defense of a dissertation. Due to this, the doctoral program requires a robust combination of formal coursework and independent study.
What is the required TOEFL or IELTS score?
A score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (internet-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to The University of Texas at Austin.
As an international applicant, how can I waive the TOEFL?
If you hold a bachelor's degree from a U.S. institution or from an institution in another English-only speaking country, you will receive a waiver of the TOEFL or IELTS. We will not waive the requirement for the TOEFL or IELTS scores if you earned only a master's degree from a U.S institution or from an institution in another English-only speaking country.
Can I apply for admissions for the spring semester?
No, spring enrollment is not permitted. We only enroll new students for the fall semesters.
What the average cost of the program?
Because the tuition, fees and other program cost vary based on several factors, we cannot provide you with an exact number. For an estimate please review the Graduate School's Tuition, Fees and Other Costs webpage.
What is the ETS code for UT at Austin?
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for the University of Texas at Austin is 6882. Test scores sent to this code are made available to all graduate departments. The GMAT code is 396-44-45.
After I apply, where can I check my application status and upload application material?
Once you have completed your online application you can upload application material and monitor your application status using the University's My Status webpage.
The Marketing Department at the McCombs School of Business offers competitive financial merit-based fellowships to students that gain admission. Contingent on satisfactory progress, resident Ph.D. students in good standing generally continue to receive financial support throughout the program for up to five years. Before accepting an offer of admission, each prospective student receives a detailed description of the financial aid package for the first year of the program and in subsequent years.
Basic funding for Ph.D. students at McCombs consists of:
- Up to five years of funding through teaching, research assistantships, and fellowships
- 9-month stipend in the form of teaching and research assistantships and/or fellowships
- 3-month summer support annually to all those making satisfactory academic progress
- The University offers several generous and competitive fellowships for doctoral students
- Tuition Reimbursement
- Paid health insurance and reduced rate dental and vision insurance for students who are on a teaching assistantship (TA) or are an assistant instructor (AI); such students also qualify for reduced rate health, vision and dental insurance for spouse and dependents
- Some travel funds to support conference presentation and attendance
Most students receive a 20 hour/ week appointment with 10 hours as a Research Assistant (RA) to a faculty member in the student’s area of interest and 10 hours as a Teaching Assistant (TA) to a faculty member to assist with grading. In order to gain teaching experience, most students teach one semester of an undergraduate Principles of Marketing course as an Assistant Instructor (AI) in their third or fourth year.
Applicants wishing to be recommended for a financial award by the Department of Marketing Administration must complete the Supplemental information/Financial statement application, in addition to the all other required application materials, to be considered for monetary awards. In addition, information about loans, work-study programs or other financial assistance based on need, can be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Services.
The first stage of the program consists of successfully completing required courses in marketing, research methods, and area of specialization as well as initiating research projects. The Marketing Department offers six doctoral seminars.
- MKT 397 Marketing Management & Strategy
- MKT 397 Marketing Research Methods
- MKT 397 Buyer Behavior I
- MKT 397 Buyer Behavior II
- MKT 397 Marketing Models I
- MKT 397 Marketing Models II
Students may specialize in Consumer Behavior, Marketing Strategy or Quantitative Marketing Models. Five of the six seminar courses are required for each specialty. However, students are encouraged to take all seminars.
- Consumer Behavior: Buyer Behavior I, Buyer Behavior II, Research Methods, Marketing Strategy, either Marketing Models I or II
- Quantitative/Marketing Models: Marketing Models I, Marketing Models II, Research Methods, Marketing Strategy, either Buyer Behavior I or II
- Marketing Strategy: Marketing Strategy, Research Methods, 3 of the following 4 courses (Buyer Behavior I, Buyer Behavior II, Marketing Models I, Marketing Models II).
Students are also required to complete a minimum of 9 hours of research methods and statistics and 12 hours of electives in their area of specialization. Read more about program course requirements.
The second stage is coursework, research papers and exams required for admittance to candidacy. To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the student must:
Fulfill the core course requirements in marketing and research methods
Students are also required to complete a minimum of 9 hours of research methods and statistics and 12 hours of electives in their area of specialization. Read more about program milestones.
The third stage of the doctoral program involves taking additional specialization coursework, research paper and completion of dissertation coursework and dissertation. Students also have the opportunity to teach an undergraduate Principles of Marketing course.
- Complete and pass a first year summer paper requirement
- Complete course requirements in their area of specialization
- Pass a written comprehensive exam by the end of the second year in the program
- Complete a third year research paper
- Select a dissertation topic and dissertation committee
Professor Frenkel Ter Hofstede was awarded the William F. O'Dell award for
outstanding article in the Journal of Marketing Research, among other research honors.
First Year Summer Paper
At the end of the first year in the program, each student writes an original research paper that is due by the end of the second summer session. The paper is formally evaluated by the student’s adviser and one other faculty member and presented to the entire faculty.
Every August each doctoral student will submit a progress report and plan to the Graduate Advisor. This annual report and plan will serve in part as the basis of an evaluation by the Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC). The evaluation will also take into account performance in all formal coursework, the first year summer paper and/or Comprehensive Examination, as well as satisfactory involvement in seminars and research activities. The evaluation will be based in part on input from the student's area committee.
Students take a comprehensive exam in their Area of Specialization in the second year. Most students elect to take the exam at the end of the academic year in June. This examination, which will be prepared, administered, and evaluated by the DAC (Doctoral Advisory Committee), in conjunction with a student’s area committee, is eight hours in length. The examination is designed to test a student’s knowledge of marketing and related disciplines as they pertain to his or her area of specialization.
Third Year Research Paper
The third year paper would be due on the first day of November of the third year in program. Two research options would be: 1) a completed manuscript ready for submission or 2) research proposal with literature review, hypotheses, model development, and some initial data that holds high publication promise (in all cases, the students must be either the sole or lead author). The student would present in January at the first Brown Bag of the Spring semester after committee evaluation. After passing the GSC would recommend for advancement to candidacy, if passed the paper requirement.
Admission to Degree Candidacy
To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the student must:
- Fulfill the core course requirements in marketing and research methods
- Complete and pass a first year summer paper requirement.
- Complete course requirements in their area of specialization.
- Pass a written comprehensive exam by the end of the second year in the program.
- Select a dissertation topic and dissertation committee.
Dissertation and Oral Defense
To fulfill requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Business Administration, students must conduct appropriate research and present an acceptable dissertation under the supervision of a Dissertation committee. Independent and original research that makes a contribution to marketing knowledge is required for an acceptable dissertation.