Below please find the program requirements for a students in Marketing. Doctoral students in Marketing generally complete the program in five years.


A minimum of 13 semester courses at doctoral level are required. Each semester students will consult with the Marketing faculty coordinators to receive approval of their course selections.

Foundational Courses (2 courses)
Students in the Marketing program choose one of the following sequences
  • Microeconomic Theory I (HBS 4010/Economics 2020a)
  • Microeconomic Theory II (HBS 4011/Economics 2020b)
  • Social Behavior in Organizations: Research Seminar (Psychology 2630)
  • Advanced Social Psychology (Psychology 2500)
  • Sociological Theory: Seminar (Sociology 204)
  • Organizational Analysis: Seminar (Sociology 224)

Research Methods Courses (4 courses)

Students must take four research methods courses, including at least one course in research design.

Research methods courses that meet this requirement include, but are not limited to:

Consumer Behavior
Research Methods Courses
  • Intermediate Statistical Analysis in Psychology (Psychology 1950)
  • Multivariate Analysis in Psychology (Psychology 1952)
  • Intermediate Quantitative Research Methods (Sociology 202)
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods (Sociology 203a)
  • Analysis of Longitudinal Data (Sociology 203b)
Research Design Courses
  • Design of Field Research Methods (HBS 4070)
  • Experimental Methods (HBS 4435)
  • Field Experiments (HBS 4430)
Quantitative Research Methods
Research Methods Courses
  • Introduction to Econometrics (Economics 1123)
  • Introduction to Applied Econometrics (Economics 2120);(prerequisite Economics 2110; the pre-req will count towards 4 course requirement)
  • Econometric Methods (Economics 2140)
  • Advanced Applied Econometrics (Economics 2144)
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods II (KSG API 210i)
  • Probability Theory (Statistics 210)
  • Statistical Inference (Statistics 211)
  • Bayesian Data Analysis (Statistics 220)
  • Incomplete Multivariate Data (Statistics 232)
Quantitative Research Design Courses
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methodology (Gov 2001)
  • Program Evaluation: Estimating Program Effectiveness with Empirical Analysis (HKS API-208)
  • Statistical Methods for Evaluating Causal Effects (Econ 1127)
Additional Doctoral Courses (7 courses)
Marketing students are required to take five additional doctoral courses.
Consumer Behavior-track students are required to complete:
  • Consumer Behavior (HBS 4630)
  • Marketing Models (HBS 4660)
  • Micro Topics in Organizational Behavior (HBS 4882)
  • Behavioral Approaches to Decision Making and Negotiation (HBS 4420)
  • Two breadth courses
  • One elective doctoral course
Quantitative-track students are required to complete:
  • Consumer Behavior (HBS 4630)
  • Marketing Models (HBS 4660)
  • Two breadth courses
  • Three elective doctoral courses
MBA Courses (2 courses)

All students without an MBA degree are required to complete two case-based HBS MBA courses.


Students are strongly encouraged to attend and participate in seminars throughout their program. Students are expected to attend the Marketing Unit Seminars.

Good Academic Standing

To remain in good academic standing, doctoral students are expected to maintain a B grade point average.


Students are required to complete a teaching engagement of one full academic term that includes at least 8 hours, or 3 class sessions, of front-of-class teaching experience and at least 16 hours of teaching preparation time.

Special Field Exam

Students are required to pass the Special Field Exam at the end of the second year or beginning of the third year. This exam has two parts: a written exam and an oral exam based on a reading list that encompasses the relevant literature in the field. Students are also required to submit a research paper and to present the paper to the Exam Committee.

Dissertation Proposal

By the end of their third year, all students are required to obtain approval of their dissertation proposal by their Dissertation Chair.

Oral Examination

Students are required to complete a dissertation proposal oral examination. In evaluating the student’s performance at the orals, the Dissertation Committee will take into account the quality of the student’s oral presentation, the quality of the student’s responses to questions from the Dissertation Committee, and the written material prepared prior to the oral date.


Students are required to write a dissertation, which typically takes the form of three publishable papers, to the satisfaction of their Dissertation Committee. The dissertation defense is oral and open to the public.