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Marketing is fundamentally concerned with the description and prediction of decision outcomes, involving all aspects of the firm that relates to its customers, competitors, distributors, and business regulators. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws theories and methodologies from a variety of sources including psychology, sociology, mathematics, statistics and economics.

The doctoral program in Marketing is designed to produce scholars. We train our graduates to become academics in a university setting. We aim to produce teachers and researchers. If your interest is consulting, industry or other non-university sector employment, you would be better to pursue a MBA or MSc degree.

Marketing doctoral students take a series of courses, including research methods, marketing theory, consumer behavior, judgment and decision making, experimental design and others drawn from non-business areas such as economics, psychology, statistics and sociology. Other aspects of the program are tailored to fit the student’s own research, teaching and professional interests.

In the marketing seminars, professors normally participate in sessions related to their areas of expertise and research interests. Students consider recent scholarly work in the field, develop research approaches, increase their understanding of conceptualizations and models, and develop the ability to solve managerial problems in marketing. The seminars are sequenced so that in one seminar you will be with others who have entered the program earlier, and in a second seminar, with those who enter the program after you.

Areas of Research Focus

  • B2B and B2C relationships
  • Big data and social media
  • Marketing metrics
  • Branding
  • Radical innovations
  • Psychology of money
  • Gambling
  • Decision making
  • Political marketing
  • Marketing strategy
  • Addiction
  • Pricing

Post-graduate Opportunities

The doctoral program in Marketing is designed for those interested in pursuing academic careers in marketing at top business schools. Typical courses in the first two years are listed below.

Program Requirements

Students have program requirements, put into place by the PhD office, and discipline requirements, which are governed by the student’s respective area group. On a case by case basis, some students may be able to waive out of particular required courses or substitute others. Such a course of action must be approved by the PhD director

All PhD students must complete the following requirements.

Discipline Requirements

All to be completed before the comprehensive exam:

  • Earn 80% or more on Bus 9764 Research Paper (equivalent to 9723 for DE students; due August 1 of Year 1).
  • Bus 9804 Theories of Marketing
  • Bus 9814 Decision-Making
  • Bus 9824 Experimental Design
  • Bus 9834 Consumer Behaviour
  • Presentation: upon passing comps, students must make a formal presentation of their general dissertation-related research idea to faculty and students. This presentation must be completed by the end of September (For students take comps outside the June 1 – July 15 window, they should complete this presentation within 2 months of passing comps).

*If further development is identified in any area, students may be required to take additional courses as requested by the student’s supervisor or the PhD coordinator. PhD students do not formally name their supervisor until they have passed their comprehensive exams. A doctoral student becomes a doctoral candidate only upon passing comps.


Discipline Coordinator

Matt Thomson

Matt Thomson an associate professor in marketing at the Ivey Business School, Western University (Canada). His PhD (University of Southern California) was supervised by Debbie MacInnis and CW Park. He also earned degrees from Indiana University, Bloomington (MBA) and McGill University (BA). His primary research interests lie at the intersection of brands and consumer engagement such as through relationship- and experiential-marketing. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Consumer Psychology and a fellow at the Brands & Brand Relationships Institute. He directed the PhD program at Ivey from July 2014 to 2017. Before becoming an academic, he worked for the Information, Privacy and Ethics Commissioner of Alberta.

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