Program Overview

Over the past two decades, the Ph.D. program at the University of Florida has been consistently ranked as one of the best in the world. We produce researchers with innovative ideas and superior training. Our students are placed at some of the top universities, and have a profound impact on marketing and related disciplines. We achieve our success through our dedicated, knowledgeable faculty, our focus on developing conceptual and methodological skills, and our overriding commitment to producing the best researchers in the world.

Choosing a Ph.D. Program

Choosing a Ph.D. program is a difficult process. Prospective students need to determine the appropriate criteria for selecting a Ph.D. program and to gather the information about competing programs. We believe the most important criteria are:

  • The Performance of Prior Ph.D. Students
  • The Quality of the Faculty
  • The Flexibility of the Program
  • Support for Students

Performance of Prior Ph.D. Students

Our goal is to develop active researchers who can make a contribution to knowledge. One measure of our success is the placement record of our prior Ph.D. students. Our Ph.D. program has a placement record that ranks as one of the best in the world.

Two things stand out about these placements. First, we place all of our students in research-oriented academic positions. This is the objective of all Ph.D. programs, but only few achieve this objective. Second, we have a number of placements at prestigious institutions (e.g., Chicago, Columbia, MIT, NYU, Wharton). Only a few prestigious institutions hire in any given year. A placement at one of these institutions means our student was one of the best candidates on the job market in that year.

The Quality of the Faculty

For several decades, our faculty has ranked as one of the most productive and influential in the discipline of Marketing. They have been ranked in the top ten in research productivity in every study that has been conducted since 1985. They have consistently ranked in the top five in editorial review board representation. Our faculty members have won awards for best article of the year in Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, and the Journal of Marketing. You are encouraged to investigate the publications of the faculty who have research interests consistent with your own.

Flexibility of the Program

The strong representation of our faculty as editors, associate editors, and editorial review board members has resulted in a breadth of knowledge among our faculty. They have been exposed to most topics in the field and can support a student that has diverse research interests. More importantly, they can help a student develop his/her ideas in a manner that increases the impact of their research on the discipline.

Students have the flexibility to get training in one of two areas, consumer behavior and quantitative methods. Within each area, there is a diversity of research topics and methodologies in which students can specialize.

A recommended series of courses can be accessed in our section on the program description. Students may alter their planned course of study to suit their research needs. For example, our students often supplement their marketing coursework with seminars in the departments of psychology, economics, management, education, and statistics.

Student Support

Students need three types of support to be successful in a program. The first type of support is structural. Students are provided with a work area, a desktop computer, limited teaching responsibilities, and sufficient financial support. For students interested in consumer behavior, our department has one of the best-equipped and most productive laboratories for behavioral research in the nation. Our laboratory consists of 24 lab stations for face-to-face research, a network file server, and a web server and software for conducting on-line research. We also possess a unique web-based system for posting studies and awarding credits that makes these tasks simple and allows for complex relationships between studies.

The second type of support is research skill development. All of our faculty actively mentor students and involve them in research projects. Faculty at other schools may not always view it as productive to invest time in collaborative projects with Ph.D. students. We view it as the only means to achieve our goals of producing the best trained researchers in the discipline. View some of the papers resulting from faculty / student collaborations.

The third type of support is social. The most important people in a Ph.D. program are your colleagues in the program. Our Ph.D. students are supportive and emphasize the collective success of the group. All of our students make a conscientious effort to help students from different cultures acclimate to life in United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

For whom is this program appropriate?

Our Ph.D. program is appropriate for students who would like to become influential research scholars in the field of marketing. Applicants typically have strong academic backgrounds and test scores, undergraduate degrees in marketing or a related field (e.g., psychology, economics, statistics), and some research experience. Students should desire a research career (typically an academic position at a top university), and possess the motivation and ability to attain this goal.

How long is the program?

Most students complete the program in five years. Students who are particularly advanced may be able to complete the program in less time.

Do you offer a distance or weekend program?

No. A quality Ph.D. education requires that you be in residence taking classes and conducting research.

How much teaching is required?

Students are required to teach one section of an undergraduate class, typically in their third year of study.

What is a typical curriculum?

Every student has unique goals and backgrounds, and we tailor the program to best suit each student’s individual needs. Students must complete 90 credit hours, many of which may accrue through research. Some sample curricula can be found on our courses and curriculum page.

Can I transfer credits from another program?

The UF Graduate School determines on a case by case basis whether to accept a particular course for transfer. Typically, this is based on the applicability of the course to the Marketing Ph.D. program. No more than 30 credit hours may be transferred from a master’s program and no more than 45 total credits may be transferred from any program. Additionally, students must have received a B grade in any class they wish to transfer.

How many students are in the Ph.D. program?

There are usually from 10-15 students in the program at any point in time.

What are the goals of the Ph.D. program?

Our Ph.D. program is designed to train students to become influential researchers in consumer behavior and marketing science at top universities.

What is academic marketing research?

Academic marketing research answers fundamental questions about the behavior of consumers, companies, managers, and markets. It is distinguished from applied research which tends to answer narrower questions in a particular domain or with limited generality. For examples of such academic research, we suggest you read recent issues of the following journals:

  • Journal of Consumer Research
  • Journal of Marketing Research
  • Marketing Science
  • Journal of Marketing
Where else should I be applying?

There tends to be a relationship between the quality of a Ph.D. program and the research productivity of the faculty. To review research productivity rankings, visit the UT Dallas Research Ranking site, and search by the four marketing journals listed above. This will give you a sense of what some of the top schools are. Then, visit the websites for these departments, and review their faculty research and the details of their Ph.D. program. You should probably consider the productivity of the faculty, the degree of focus the department places on their Ph.D. program, the quality and type of training supplied by each program, and specific research interests of the faculty at each school.