Add context & meaning to the marketing landscape

To know what drives consumer behavior, businesses rely on relevant research. As a Marketing PhD at Tippie, your findings will inform and inspire the next wave of marketing innovation.

Iowa’s PhD program in Marketing gives you an opportunity to conduct the highest quality research, teach to standards of excellence, and become a well-rounded academic. Here, you’ll work collaboratively with faculty to gain the experimental, quantitative, and analytical skills you need to dive deeper into consumer behavior and quantitative marketing.

Tippie’s marketing research engages with topics such as judgment and decision-making, consumer psychology, healthcare marketing, marketing analytics and modeling, sales force, marketing communication and persuasion, social influence, self and identity, sensory marketing, and emotions. As a PhD student, you’ll lean into your own unique interests and get faculty support and guidance to explore self-driven projects.

Graduates of our program are placed in tenure-track positions at accredited universities around the world, where they continue to engage in top-level scholarship, teaching, and service. A PhD in marketing from Tippie provides the research, teaching, and writing skills—supported by close faculty mentorship—that will establish you as a productive marketing scholar.

Choose your area of interest

PhD students in marketing select one of two academic tracks.

Quantitative modeling

Focuses on developing models to explain marketing phenomena. This track is quantitatively focused.

Consumer behavior

Explores the psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select during buying decisions. PhD students have access to our top-of-the-line behavioral research technology.

Top-tier placement

Our PhD graduates go on to tenure-track appointments at research institutions around the country and the world.

  • Baylor University
  • University of Utah
  • University of Arizona
  • Armstrong State University
  • Mercyhurst College
  • State University of New York (SUNY)–New Paltz
  • Peking University
  • State University of New York (SUNY)–Binghamton
  • Korea University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Virginia State University
  • University of Auckland, New Zealand
"What really drove me to Tippie was the research environment. I value the freedom to conduct the type of research that I’m fascinated about.”
Jing Wang

Alice Wang, Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow in Marketing and Professor

Read Alice's story

Research with impact

You'll find a variety of cutting-edge and technology-driven topics in our faculty research roster. From Jing (Alice) Wang, who focuses her research on how aging and social exclusion influence buying behavior to Professor Tom Gruca, whose interdisciplinary work unites business and health care. Gary Russell uses complex statistical models to explore how the neighborhoods we live in affect our consumer choices.

See faculty research

Tippie's behavioral research lab

The best research tech at your fingertips

In our newly renovated behavioral lab, faculty and students conduct experimental research using cutting-edge technology and biometric data. Equipment includes heart rate monitors, Tobii X2-60 eye-trackers, skin conductance response sensors, emotion recognition software, and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. The kind of equipment that most researchers dream about is right at your fingertips in the Tippie College of Business.

Tippie marketing PhD students enjoy unfettered access to a 30-station, fully configurable behavioral lab, and three smaller lab suites containing state-of-the-art hardware for psycho-physiological measurements. With these tools, you'll be able to design better experiments that reveal new and intriguing data that's relevant to the field.

Getting in

First, you need to meet the minimum PhD admission requirements.

An undergraduate degree in marketing is not required. Applicants who have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in adjacent fields such as psychology, economics, or statistics are encouraged to apply. Criteria for admission include:

Academic record

The minimum GPA is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. We consider both undergrad and graduate GPA, as well as the rigor of your undergrad or master's institution(s).

Work experience

While it's not a requirement, successful students often choose to gain work experience in the private sector before pursuing their PhD.

GMAT or GRE score

Admits typically have GMAT scores that average 650+, with quant scores at the 90th percentile and above.

English proficiency

This requirement applies only to international applicants whose native language is not English. We follow the Graduate College's English proficiency requirements.

Statement of purpose

Content and overall quality are considered.

Letters of recommendation

We're interested in their assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, motivation, and ability to succeed.

Curriculum and sample plan of study

The PhD in Marketing requires 72 semester hours of credit, in addition to successful completion of program milestones. The typical time to complete the degree is five years. The required seminars in Marketing are designed to get you quickly up to speed on past and current research in theoretical, substantive, and methodological domains in marketing and introduce you to the background skills needed to successfully complete top-tier academic research. The topics alternate between consumer behavior and quantitative modeling.

Academic tracks

Your curriculum will vary based on which track you choose: Quantitative Modeling (QM) or Consumer Behavior (CB). In each track, econometric and/or statistical courses provide the methodological foundation for research. The program allows a fair amount of freedom over elective coursework based on your research interests.


Year 1
  • Required coursework common to all tracks: seminars in quantitative marketing and consumer behavior, econometric and/or statistical coursework
  • Elective coursework:
    • QM: Additional statistics and economics
    • CB: Cognitive or social psychology
  • First-year research paper
  • Qualifying Examination


Year 2
  • Completion of required and elective coursework, additional coursework related to research interest area
  • Second-year research paper


Year 3
  • Coursework if needed/desired for your research interest
  • Develop dissertation ideas
Year 4
  • Oral defense of dissertation proposal
  • End of year 4: Enter job market
Year 5
  • Defense of completed dissertation