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Marketing is concerned with decisions that relate to a firm’s customers, competitors, and network of partners including channel members and promotion agencies. It focuses on how customers make choices and how companies design products, services, and programs to satisfy customer needs.

Given the breadth of marketing decisions, marketing scholars study a variety of marketing issues ranging from marketing strategy to product development, consumer decision making, and customer satisfaction. The field of marketing is interdisciplinary, drawing theories and methods from disciplines such as economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics, among others.

The PhD program in marketing is designed to provide students with the skills necessary for a successful academic research and teaching career. We train students to identify and define interesting and important marketing phenomena and develop the necessary methodological tools to investigate these insights with original research.

PhD Program Milestones

Marketing faculty, current Marketing PhD students, and recent placements

Since interaction with faculty mentors is an essential component of doctoral training, students in our program generally initiate research projects with one or more faculty members. Faculty and students are involved in joint research cutting across a wide spectrum of issues at the core of marketing, as well as multidisciplinary topics that interface with other functional areas such as management, economics, and psychology.

The culture at Georgia Tech encourages multidisciplinary collaboration across areas within the College of Business, and across Colleges within the Institute. In addition, the Georgia Tech program is designed to expose students early on to the methods and contributions of all three research areas in marketing— consumer behavior, modeling and strategy.

While our program’s emphasis is on preparing students for academic research, our PhD students also learn to teach and have the opportunity to strengthen their teaching skills by leveraging the resources of the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL). The Center runs a number of specialized programs for junior faculty and graduate teaching assistants designed to develop teaching skills.

PhD students are not required to enter the program with a pre-established area of specialization. During the first year, they will be guided to select an area to specialize in. 

As part of this training, students take a common set of “breadth” courses as well as “depth” courses tailored to their specific interests. In addition, students learn by working with faculty members on joint research, conduct a series of original research projects, and assist in the teaching of marketing courses.

Marketing Specializations

Consumer Behavior focuses on the study of consumer-level behaviors by conducting laboratory and/or field experiments, among others, to understand consumers’ decisions, actions, and responses and to explain why those behaviors are taking place. This line of research tends to emphasize the cognitive psychology of consumer decisions, though alternative perspectives such as sociology and social psychology can also be adopted. 

Marketing Modeling  focuses on the study of a variety marketplace phenomena related to marketing decisions including market entry, competitive reactions, pricing, and innovation, among many others. The focus tends to be on advancing the field’s knowledge related to the understanding of market-level responses or methodological techniques. It attracts students with an interest in the application of higher-level econometrics, probability, and statistics to marketing questions.

Marketing Strategy focuses on the study of firm and manager behavior, across a broad range of marketing topics including sales force management, innovation management, competitive strategy, and marketing communications.  It studies the evolution and effect of managerial decisions and marketing capabilities, processes, and orientations on firm behavior and performance. Strategy researchers use surveys, archival data, qualitative studies, or large-scale third-party data to study related phenomena.

(* = required courses)

Consumer Behavior
Marketing Modeling
Marketing Strategy

Faculty Members: Dr. Samuel Bond and Michael Lowe

Consumer behavior*
Marketing strategy*
Theory construction*

Cognitive psychology*
Introduction to cognitive science*
Social psychology*
Introduction to research methods*
Regression analysis*    
Statistical methods*    
Cognition and development i*
Cognition and development ii*
Multivariate data analysis
Empirical models in marketing
Statistical models and designing experiments
Analysis of behavior
Cognitive modeling
Advanced design of experiments
Advanced statistical modeling
Statistical analysis ii
Equation modeling

Faculty Members: Chris Gu and Adithya Pattabhiramaiah

Marketing strategy*
Consumer behavior*
Theory construction*

Introduction to research methods*
Empirical models in marketing*
Regression analysis*    
Statistical methods*    
Multivariate data analysis*    
Applied econometrics
Applied statistics and econometrics
Microeconomic theory i    
Econometrics i    
Microeconomic theory ii    
Game theory
Econometrics ii    
Discrete choice econometrics
Bayesian statistics    
Time series econometrics    
Industrial organization    
Computational statistics
Nonparametric data analysis    
Applied statistics and econometrics ii    
Applied game theory

Faculty Members: Ajay K. Kohli, Koushyar RajaviTracey Swartz, and     Francis Ulgado 

Marketing strategy*
Consumer behavior*
Theory construction*
Organizational theory

Empirical models in marketing*
Introduction to research methods*
Regression analysis*    
Statistical methods*    
Multivariate data analysis*    
Econometrics i
Econometrics ii
Qualitative research methods
Limited dependent variables
Structural equation modeling
Event and survival analysis
Longitudinal and time series analysis
Bayesian statistics

A list of some of the main sources for funding support available to students during their time at the program:

  • Graduate assistantships are offered to all accepted students.
  • President’s Fellowship awarded to US citizens based on merit.
  • Travel stipend provided to all PhD students in their second year of the program.
  • Graduate conference fund for currently enrolled graduate students to present research at leading marketing conferences.
  • Additional student association travel funds are offered by the Student Government Association.
  • Other complementary departmental and sponsored funds.

In addition, the Scheller College of Business has the following resources to help advance behavioral research:

  • On-site computer lab for conducting experiments, focus groups, and other research.
  • Lab equipped with video and audio recording options and one-way mirrors.
  • Student subject pool (~250 participants) available every semester.

To promote inter-university collaboration, we host in rotation the Annual Georgia Research Symposium whose participants include faculty and students from Emory University, University of Georgia, and Georgia State University.  It is a day-long event to promote the exchange of research ideas and work-in-progress in consumer behavior, modeling, and strategy.