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PhD in Business Administration: Marketing Emphasis

A Proven, Research-Based Education

The PhD in Business Administration: Marketing Emphasis program will not be accepting applications for Fall 2024, please check back later for programmatic updates. The UIC PhD in Business Administration with an area of emphasis in marketing trains future researchers and educators. The program benefits from research-active faculty that have consistently published in the premier research journals in marketing, a diversity of research interests among the faculty that spans the breadth of the marketing discipline, and a faculty highly-dedicated towards the success of the doctoral program.

Coursework in the program includes a series of required seminars in methodology, statistics, and content domains relevant to marketing. In addition, UIC’s location in the heart of Chicago and partnership with neighboring research universities allows students to take coursework for credit at nearby Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Students also have easy access to the large number of academic marketing conferences and seminars that regularly take place in the Chicago area.

Important Dates Heading link

Admission Heading link

Admission is competitive and applicants are considered on an individual basis. The college considers applications for full time degree seeking status for the Fall term only. The deadline to submit the application, fee and required materials is January 15. Please see the admissions section of our catalog for application requirements.

Requirements and Dissertation Heading link


Minimum Credits Required

96 hours for students entering the program directly from the baccalaureate.
64 hours for students entering the program from an MBA or a business-related master’s degree.
A minimum of 32 hours of dissertation research is required.

Time Requirements

  • The typical time for a student with an MBA to complete the program is four to five years of full-time study.
  • The maximum time allowed by the Graduate College for students with the MBA is six years.

Qualifying Exam

This exam is based primarily on the core and depth requirements. Students must take this exam within two years from time of admission. This exam may be taken a second time if the first attempt results in failure.

Preliminary Exam

Within three months of completing the qualifying exam, the student will begin coursework in their area of interest under the supervision of the faculty advisor. At least 32 hours of course work will take place at this stage (not counting dissertation research). At the discretion of the exam committee, the preliminary exam will be either written or oral. A major purpose of the preliminary exam is to ensure that the candidate possesses sufficient general and specialized knowledge to undertake dissertation research.

For a full list of program requirements, visit the UIC Catalog.


The final stage of doctoral studies is the dissertation defense. The dissertation must make an original contribution to knowledge in the chosen field. A dissertation may address theoretical or applied problems and is expected to take at least one year of full-time study. The Graduate College requires one year between the preliminary exam and the dissertation defense.

Explore the UIC Catalog

Program Faculty Heading link

Small and Interactive

We keep the size of our program small so that we can provide a highly customized program with extensive student-faculty interaction. This means we only admit 1-3 new students per year, with a total of 8-10 students in our program at any point in time. Successful applicants have strong records of prior academic achievement, and typically have GMAT scores near or above 700, with strengths in both verbal and quantitative areas. We also consider grades and courses taken as well as the quality of schools attended for undergraduate and master’s degrees. Finally, we consider applicant research interests relative to the expertise of our faculty. Most of our applicants have MBA degrees plus a few years of work experience, but marketing is a highly interdisciplinary field, so we consider applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and prior degrees.

Strong Research Focus

Our program is highly focused on research. Students are required to take seminars on core topics in marketing and entrepreneurship, in addition to courses on research methods, statistics and electives from other departments on campus, such as psychology, sociology and educational psychology. Through the Chicago Metropolitan Exchange Program, UIC graduate students are also allowed to take some courses at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

PhD Research Partnerships with Faculty

We have developed a strong research culture, with students working with faculty and other students on numerous research projects. Nearly all of our students graduate with peer-reviewed journal publications and presentations at leading national academic conferences to their credit.

International Recognition

Our program is highly visible internationally. Department faculty members regularly publish their research in top international journals, give presentations at major academic conferencesand serve on the national boards of the American Marketing Association (AMA Academic Council) and Product Development Management Association, as well as on the editorial review boards of leading journals in the field.

Marketing Research

In order to get a feel for what marketing research is like, we recommend that you begin reading articles from the top peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of MarketingJournal of Marketing ResearchJournal of Product Innovation ManagementJournal of Consumer ResearchJournal of Consumer Psychology and similar journals in related fields of management, psychology and sociology. These are the journals that our faculty and students target as publication outlets for their research. Reading articles may help you to decide if a doctorate is right for you and, if so, to develop your own research interests.

Placements Heading link

Meet our Current Students Heading link

To learn more about our programs and whether you would be a good fit here at UIC, take a look at our current doctoral student to learn more about their backgrounds and research interests. Click here to view our current students.