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Marketing students


Tepper School's doctoral program in marketing has a reputation of producing highly skilled and innovative researchers who are well grounded in the basic disciplines underlying marketing thought, and who and practice and create the state of the art in marketing. Most go on to become faculty members at premier academic institutions throughout the world.

The PhD program offers one of the most complete and solid sequence of PhD courses among leading universities in the world. Students usually take one and a half years of required courses offered by marketing, economics, psychology and statistics departments. After passing the qualifying exam at the end of the one and a half years, they begin the research stage, find advisors according to their own research interests, and start writing their PhD dissertation under the guidance of the advisors. Typically, it takes four to five years to complete the program and obtain the PhD degree. In addition to rigorous course work, students benefit from the weekly seminars in which scholars from all over the world come present their most recent research. Students also have their own workshops in which they present their own research work.

The Tepper School boasts of excellent faculty - according to the rankings computed by the business school at UT Dallas (, the marketing faculty at Tepper ranked 1st in 2008 in terms of per capita publications in leading marketing journals. The faculty specializes in adopting analytical, empirical and consumer behavior approaches to address fundamental marketing problems. Historically, Tepper faculty and graduates have made fundamental contributions to marketing theory in the areas of brand-choice models, analytical models for marketing strategy, empirical structural models, conjoint analysis, marketing and operations management interface, marketing and information systems interface and theories of consumer behavior. A few examples of research questions that students and faculty members have recently worked on are:

  • How should a manager allocate marketing resources to various alternatives such as promotion, advertising and sales force? By developing decision support systems to aid managers, we hope to understand better the allocation problem and to improve marketing efficiency.

  • How to design new products while simultaneously considering consumer preferences, engineering constraints and design aesthetics?

  • How to understand latent preferences of online customers by statistically analyzing their web browsing patterns?

  • What are the psychological processes that drive consumer choice among alternative products? How can we help them make better decisions?

Starting from 1971, the Tepper School has produced a significant number of leading researchers in marketing, including at least ten chaired professors at top-ten business schools and many other world renowned marketing researchers (high ratio given the size). Recent students who graduated from the Tepper marketing program have obtained faculty positions at top research schools such as Chicago, Columbia, Duke, Stanford, and New York University. More recent graduated have won dissertation awards from the American Marketing Association, the Association for Consumer Research, and the American Psychological Association. Given the size of our PhD program, these achievements of our PhD alumni demonstrate the outstanding quality of our PhD program and also win us the reputation as one of the best schools that produces the most promising marketing researchers.

As a PhD student of marketing at Tepper, you will notice a few things that distinguish your experience at Tepper.

  • Outstanding Training in Economics, Psychology and Statistics Foundations
    As a tradition, our students are required to obtain rigorous training in economics, econometrics, psychology, and statistics. The comprehensive and rigorous training equips our students with the solid understanding of economics and psychology, the state-of-the art research techniques, and cutting edge approaches for solving fundamental research problems. Historically, this approach has had high payoffs - our students are not only capable of solve ground-breaking research problems using the most cutting edge techniques, but also demonstrate great endurance in their future academic career.

  • Comprehensive Sequence of Marketing Doctoral Courses
    We offer the most complete sequence of PhD courses. You will find many PhD courses offered by marketing faculties that cover their research expertise. These marketing PhD courses progressively and comprehensively introduce cutting-edge research methodologies, the development of literature in each discipline, and the most recent research interest of each faculty. Faculty are almost available 24/7 to work with PhD students. They also spend enormous amount of time preparing students for their job market. Most students continue working with faculty at CMU even after graduating and enjoy a lifetime of support and friendship from them.

  • Close and Caring Working Relationship Between Faculty and Students
    At Tepper, our most important mission is to produce the best PhD students. We treat PhD students as junior faculty and the excellent mentoring system guarantees enough time from faculty to each PhD student. The school typically admits only a few students each year. The doctoral program is intentionally kept small in order to increase faculty-student interaction and to take advantage of the business school's resources. They develop, in close conjunction with the faculty members, flexible programs addressing their specific research interests. Our students have access to award-winning faculty - many of whom are leaders in their field. Our faculty works closely with students creating new knowledge on a daily basis with their students.

  • Inspiring and Innovative Inter-Disciplinary Research Environment
    Recognized for our unique interdisciplinary environment, students are often encouraged to work across departmental lines. As a result, our graduates have opportunities to engage in groundbreaking research and sharpen their ability to solve complex problems through leadership and collaboration.

In summary, the marketing group has a strong commitment to research and devotes considerable resources to training future scholars. We emphasize the development of sophisticated, state-of-the-art research skills that are required to solve fundamental research problems and create new knowledge in a chosen area of marketing. The PhD program welcomes applications from candidates form all countries with distinguished academic backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a career in research universities. Admission to the marketing program at the Tepper School offers the student an opportunity to continue in this tradition of high achievement and excellence.

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