Ph.D. Admission Requirements and Procedures

Students need not have an undergraduate degree in marketing to enter and successfully complete the Ph.D. program, nor is a foreign language required. All applicants to the Ph.D. program must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum overall grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0. Historically, all students have an MBA or other master’s degree prior to admission. In keeping with the important role of mathematical tools in modern marketing management, the Ph.D. program in marketing maintains a heavy emphasis on quantitative skills. Entering students must have at least two semesters of calculus and one semester of linear algebra.

Admission decisions are determined competitively and do not employ fixed rules. Application requirements and factors affecting admission decisions include overall undergraduate GPA, overall graduate GPA, work experience, scores on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE), particularly the quantitative score, and three letters of reference from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic performance. Applicants are advised to take the GMAT or GRE early, as there normally is a four- to six-week delay from completion of the exam until receipt of the scores. Students admitted to the program in the last few years have average GMAT scores that total above 650, with quantitative subscores exceeding the 90th percentile.

Our program accepts only fall admissions. To be guaranteed consideration for fall admission, your application file—including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and official scores should be uploaded to the Ph.D. Portal by January 15. Our admissions committee generally begins reviewing applications and starts making admission decisions, including financial aid commitments, shortly thereafter.

Applicants whose native language is not English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and arrange for submission of the official scores to the university. The Department of Marketing requires a TOEFL score of at least 600.

Alternative to the TOEFL

An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) total score of 7.0, with no subscore less than 6.0, may be used to satisfy the TOEFL requirement. All IELTS test-takers will be required to take the on-campus English Proficiency Evaluation.

Students’ experience as both teaching and research assistants are considered to be an integral part of the Ph.D. program. As a result of University of Iowa-wide graduate student teaching requirements, international students will need to pass a two-part English proficiency examination. In addition, if the faculty feel it is necessary, students may be asked to take oral and/or written communication courses to prepare them for their teaching responsibilities.

Financial Support

The department offers financial support in the form of fellowships or teaching and research assistantships. Most Ph.D. students are supported throughout four years of study. Contingent on satisfactory academic progress, support continues for subsequent years at similar or higher levels, though the nature of the service required may vary. Upon successful completion of the first year in the program, students receive a tuition scholarship to cover the costs of one course for the following summer. Although not guaranteed, the department has been able to provide tuition scholarships for summer courses in succeeding years in the program. Other summer support is available on a limited and competitive basis.

Iowa Fellowship Programs

Highly qualified applicants are nominated by the department for consideration for university fellowships, which are awarded on a competitive basis. For more information, please visit this link.