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Doctoral Program

College » BA » Programs » PhD » Areas » Marketing


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What is Unique about the Illinois Program?

The marketing program at the University of Illinois is known for its broad-based influence on marketing thought. Faculty and students conduct high-impact research on marketing issues in developing economies, consumer rituals, consumer psychology, cross-cultural consumer behavior, logistics management, multi-person decision making, and materialism, as well as on ways to improve new product development, customer/seller relationships, and other processes central to contemporary marketing.

A PhD from Illinois prepares you to generate new knowledge through rigorous research. The PhD students in marketing enjoy a low student to faculty ratio that enables extensive collaboration and mentoring.

At Illinois, students have unparalleled opportunities to interact with top researchers from across campus. Whether research interests intersect with those in engineering and process management, social cognition and psychology, anthropology and ethnographic studies, or other disciplines, Illinois boasts top-tier scholars eager to work with our doctoral students. Facilities for conducting research are up to date and extensive, including behavioral laboratories, consumer panels, and an outstanding University library system.

Recent graduates have joined the faculty at Michigan State University, Syracuse University, Loyola University, The University of Minnesota, and other institutions.

Coursework & Research

The program is designed to provide students with enough flexibility to discover an intellectual niche while ensuring that all students acquire:

What Makes the Marketing Curriculum Unique?

FLEXIBLE CURRICULUM: Coursework can be tailored around a student’s specific interests to provide depth in the key areas most relevant to planned research. Below are two sample curricula out of the many possible combinations of courses available in the College of Business and across the University.

EVALUATION BASED ON 1ST AND 2ND YEAR PAPERS: Rather than exam-focused preparation, student progress toward the PhD is marked by preparation of independent research papers on issues of interest to the student. These papers are submitted and evaluated at the end of each of the first two years in the program. The yearly papers provide unique opportunities to examine critically the current literature in a selected area, to stimulate creative thinking in proposing new research ideas, and to launch new projects designed to lead to publishable contributions to knowledge. Practice in oral presentation of these papers in a seminar atmosphere also is provided in order to enhance communication skills.

Sample Curriculum #1: (Focus on Consumer Behavior)

Year 1

Fall Semester
Spring Semester

Year 2

Fall Semester
Spring Semester

Sample Curriculum #2: (Focus on Supply Chain Management)

Year 1

Fall Semester
Spring Semester

Year 2

Fall Semester
Spring Semester


Multidisciplinary is not just a buzzword at Illinois. It is at the core of our research philosophy. The department boasts a highly visible, active, and collegial group of faculty with a diverse set of cutting-edge research programs. The research experiences and mentorship opportunities for PhD students extend well beyond this stimulating group.

For a complete list of Marketing faculty members please visit our faculty directory.

Current Students

For a complete list of current candidates in Marketing please visit our PhD student directory.

Comments From Recent Graduates

"The PhD program at UIUC has been instrumental for the development of my research agenda. It is preparing me well for the challenges of an academic life as a consumer behaviorist through a stimulating research environment. The abundant opportunities to collaborate with talented researchers all across campus has been a key element for enriching my theoretical background and for providing me with a great network of fun people to work with."
- Carlos Torelli, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

"The doctoral program at the University of Illinois offered a comprehensive and challenging learning environment. Particularly helpful in preparing me for the role of assistant professor was the faculty's genuine interest to share their knowledge - be it in research, teaching, or service. I have personally benefited from having two wonderful mentors during my years at Illinois, and they continue to share valuable insights with me. My experience at Illinois was highly positive in that the program combined rigorous coursework, challenging research, and helpful teaching assignments with a supportive faculty and environment."
- Jelena Spanjol, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

"I strongly believe that no other Ph.D. program could have afforded me the rigorous training I received while making the whole process so enjoyable. The motto I have for those considering a Ph.D. in marketing is: Come to Illinois, work hard, and see for yourself the fruits that follow."
- Ashok Lalwani, Assistant Professor, University of Texas, San Antonio

"The doctoral program here has fulfilled all my expectations and has been intellectually stimulating and satisfying. The rigorous curriculum provides a solid foundation for building our knowledge and sharpening our research skills. The faculty provides excellent guidance for our academic careers and research agenda. Similarly the Ph.D students are also very bright and supportive of each other. The mix of eminent scholars along with a cooperative atmosphere fosters a very healthy environment for productivity and creativity in research."
- Kumar Sarangee, Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University

"The best part of my Illinois experience was the opportunity to work with outstanding scholars and getting to know my fellow classmates."
-Linda Tuncay, Assistant Professor, Loyola University

"I thought I received excellent preparation at Illinois. My advisor allowed me to study what was relevant to me from my years in practice to create academically rigorous but managerially relevant research. We worked together to frame questions from practice about customer relationship management so these questions could be answered from a research context. The preparation I received not only in our department but throughout the university, particularly in the statistics classes in the psych department has been invaluable."
- Debra Zahay, Acxiom Corporation Professor of Interactive Marketing, Northern Illinois University



UIUC College of Business