Marketing Doctoral Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the structure of the program?

The program typically requires two years of course work after which the student must pass an oral comprehensive examination. The student must also successfully complete first and second year papers. The student is then admitted to candidacy. The student must then develop and successfully defend a dissertation proposal and complete and defend the dissertation.

How long will it take to complete the program?

Most students complete the program in five years, but it is possible to complete the program in four years. Completion time relates to student ability, motivation and the dissertation topic selected.

University policy states that students must complete dissertations within four years of being admitted to candidacy, which occurs when the candidate has passed the doctoral comprehensive examination and has formed a dissertation committee.

What factors are considered by the selection committee?

We seek students who are highly motivated and have a basic understanding of what is entailed in earning a PhD. A graduate degree, usually a MS in Marketing or a MBA is required. A GMAT score of 600 (or better) is generally necessary for an applicant to be considered.

Since the program is small, the selection committee carefully evaluates the applicant's reason for pursuing a PhD and letters of recommendation. Additionally, the committee looks for a good fit between the applicant's interests and the interests of our PhD program faculty.

How many students are admitted to the program each year?

The program is intentionally small, allowing for greater student/professor interaction. As such, two to three students are admitted each year. Admissions are made only during fall semester.

Can I enroll in the PhD program part-time?

No. Only full-time students are admitted.

When should I submit my application to the PhD program?

Check USF's Graduate School website for the deadline (which is usually December 15).

Are GRE scores an acceptable substitute for the GMAT?

We can accept it, but the GMAT is strongly preferred. GMAT scores must have been earned within five years of the desired date of application.

Are TOEFL scores required at the time of application?

TOEFL scores are required if English is not the applicant's native language or the applicant has not earned a degree in the U.S. Any applicant with a TOEFL score of less than 213 (on the computer-based test) or less than 550 (on the paper-based test) is automatically denied admission. As all PhD students are required to teach, international students or students whose first language is not English are required to earn a score of at least 50 on the TSE (Test of Spoken English) or SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment) test. Additionally, all students will be required to take a series of CTE (Center for Teaching Enhancement) mini-courses.