Blick in das LC Gebäude

Quantitative marketing PhD

PhD dissertation

Marketing research, like all areas of marketing, is a science. There is no substitute for rigorous methodology in any area of marketing. This is why the Ph.D. program in marketing at WU is highly selective. The small size of the program allows for close collaborations between students and faculty and for students to take advantage of the instruction available only in the program. This makes the Ph.D. program a great place to start your research career or continue your exploration of ideas about how best to improve the marketing curriculum.

The goal of the Ph.D. program in marketing at WU is to serve as a stepping stone toward a research career in marketing. This is achieved via multiple channels:


Collaboration between students and faculty is extremely important. Building strong relationships allows students to take advantage of the instruction available only in the program and to take advantage of the instruction available only through the many excellent WU extension courses in the program, such as

  • Economics

  • Managerial economics

  • Microeconomics

  • Macroeconomics

  • International macroeconomics

  • Auctions, bargaining and pricing

are among the finest economics courses in our program in the world.

Teaching requirement

To promote engagement with faculty and integration with the intellectual life of the department, all students must receive continuing education (CE) instruction. Continuing education involves providing individualized training in specific skills through multiple formats, including practical training in specific skills through the use of laboratory equipment, field experiments, observational studies and related fields like sociology. These skills-based approaches allow students to take advantage of the training afforded by the specialization while also expanding their theoretical and empirical understanding of marketing.

Continuing education (CE) training typically includes coursework in marketing specific skills such as consumer behavior, firm behavior, the development of hypothesis-testing strategies, and the development of quantitative methods for improving the study of marketing. While training in marketing specific skills is required, this is thus typically the route taken by students who choose to obtain the training.

Qualifying exams

Students will take several qualifying (prelim) exams during their Ph.D. years. These exams are comprised of several fields and questions, based on material learned during the marketing doctoral seminars, that determine the major and minor areas of research.

Research papers

A research paper proposal is due before the beginning of the second year. Research papers should be presented to the department by the end of year two, with a final paper due before the end of the Ph.D. program.


The core curriculum for the Ph.D. program in marketing at WU is grounded in quantitative research, and related fields like microeconomics, microeconomic theory, and optimal resource allocation theory. These theories explain how firms manage the interactions of multiple firms in their supply chains and what role pricing, promotion, product design / positioning, and channel management play.

Secondary curriculum items

First, second and third year students will take advantage of the tools of marketing research such as experimental research, observational analysis, quantitative marketing, and field experiments. These explorations lead to new ideas and conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of models and applications.

Quantitative Marketing

For us, marketing is a quantitative science, and therefore still a developing science. However, as the discipline matures and becomes more applicable to the real world, so does the opportunity for science.

The quantitative marketing faculty at WU develop and publish top research papers, which include studies that examine topics such as digital, online, retail competition, pricing, advertising, product innovation, retailing, retailing growth, retailing competition, retailing growth and competition from other retailers, retail channel management, retailing strategy, retailing competition and recovery, channel management, and innovation.


The business of marketing is inherently competitive. Because of this, it is critical that students develop the analytical skills to pursue research questions that are relevant to their areas of specialization. This is why, in addition to the specialization, quantitative marketing students also have access to research from our research centers. Researchers work with companies to understand the causes, effects, and cures of marketing phenomena. These studies inform methods development and development of new ideas.

First and second year students have the opportunity to interact with researchers in the research program through other departments, graduate schools of business, public schools, and universities. Third year students have the opportunity to interact with diverse researchers in the research program through related institutes like management or graduate schools of business.