Marketing is an area of business that encompasses several sub fields, including advertising and brand management, marketing analytics and research, digital media and public relations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in marketing and other areas of business and finance is projected to grow 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, resulting in roughly 774,000 new jobs. This faster-than-average growth is spurred in part by widespread use of data and market research that studies the relationship between customers and product demand.Advanced degrees in marketing may prepare graduates for post secondary teaching roles at colleges and universities and for marketing leadership roles. The Doctor of Business Administration is concentrated in professional studies and applied research, unlike the Ph. D. in business administration, which focuses more on theoretical and academic research. Online DBA in marketing programs explore frameworks for marketing strategy and decision-making as well as management and research.


An online DBA with a marketing focus offers flexibility for students who are also working professionals. Web-based programs typically follow the same rigorous curricula as brick-and-mortar options, leading to similar advancement opportunities for graduates. The online format is also ideal for students who must tackle additional commitments – such as child or family care – on top of their work and class schedules.

How long does it take to earn this degree online?

Most online DBA programs with a marketing emphasis span 54 to 60 total credits. Full-time students can typically complete these programs, including dissertation requirements, in three to five years.

How much does this degree cost?

The cost of an online DBA with a marketing specialization depends on several factors. State residency is an important consideration, since many colleges and universities charge higher tuition for out-of-state students. However, some schools charge flat tuition for online students regardless of residency. Technology fees are another key factor; these fees often apply to online students but not their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
Per-credit costs for an online DBA with a marketing specialization typically range from $595 to $1,095. Students should expect to pay between $32,000 and $66,000 in total tuition.

Online admissions requirements

A master’s degree from an accredited institution is normally required for admission into an online DBA in marketing program, and some institutions will accept only candidates with an academic background in business.

Choosing an accredited online degree program

Accreditation status is one of the most important considerations for prospective students. Colleges and universities in the U.S. receive accreditation from agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; the accreditation process involves an extensive review of a school’s educational programs and student services.
A school’s accreditation impacts course credit transfer ability, as well as student eligibility for federal financial aid, so students should ensure the school offering the program has earned national or regional accreditation.

Online Coursework

Example courses

  • Marketing: strategic innovation in globally diverse markets
  • Seminar in marketing research
  • Brand and product management
  • Quality management and productivity
  • Advanced business research methods
  • Consumer behavior theory and practice
The curricula of most online DBA in marketing programs include coursework that explores the key concepts and decision-making processes behind strategic marketing management. Tools and methods used in market research are also commonly addressed.Branding is another focal point of many online marketing doctoral programs. Courses look at strategies for building brand and product awareness within different markets as well as strategies for brand growth. Other courses may examine ethical considerations for business leaders.
Online DBA programs with an emphasis in marketing also typically include courses that explore business research techniques, including applied qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as strategies for conducting and designing research based on business case studies.

Research project

Most online DBA in marketing programs culminate in a comprehensive research project. Students commonly conduct research that explores a current issue in business and submit their findings for faculty approval. The research project phase typically occurs during the latter stages of the program.

Professional Associations

Professional associations provide a wide range of valuable resources for students earning an online DBA in marketing, as well as for recent graduates. Benefits of membership typically include access to online journals and trade publications, professional development opportunities, job listings and in-person networking events. Three professional associations for DBA in marketing students and graduates are outlined below.
  • American Marketing Association: The AMA offers professional certification programs in digital marketing, content marketing and marketing management as well as face-to-face training programs. The association also publishes multiple online journals and marketing trade publications. Special membership rates are offered for doctoral students.
  • Association of National Advertisers: Founded in 1910, the ANA features a unit called ANA Business Marketing that represents 15 regional chapters across the country. The organization’s website includes an online library with more than 1,600 articles related to business-to-business marketing. ANA also offers members-only webinars and hosts national, regional and local events each year.
  • Society for Marketing Professional Services: SMPS is home to the certified professional services marketer program, which requires candidates to complete a comprehensive exam. Other educational opportunities include daylong workshops, lunchtime lab sessions and e-learning professional development courses. Members can choose from nearly 60 regional chapters across the U.S. as well as a Canada chapter.

Job Outlook and Salaries for Graduates

The employment outlook for professionals with a DBA in marketing varies by specific job title. Employment for business teachers at the postsecondary level, for instance, is projected to rise 18 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than the average rate of growth for all college-level teachers, the BLS says. The number of available jobs for marketing managers is also expected to rise 10 percent during the same period, resulting in more than 22,000 new positions.

What can you do with this degree?

An online Doctor of Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing can prepare students to become effective leaders and decision-makers. This degree is suitable for those who wish to teach business-oriented courses at four-year colleges and universities as well as those seeking management roles.
  • Marketing manager: Marketing managers develop and oversee advertising and merchandising sales campaigns related to organizations and their goods and services. This role involves collaboration with other teams as well as consumer research to target key demographics. Postgraduate study in marketing is typically preferred for these positions.
  • Marketing vice president: Marketing vice presidents are executives who manage strategies and market-share evaluations for goods and services. These professionals draw on consumer and product research in order to make informed decisions and supervise employees who manage different areas of marketing, such as branding and advertising. Considerable education in marketing and business management is usually required.
  • Postsecondary business teacher: These teachers lead business courses at colleges and universities. They generally teach from a state- and school-approved curriculum but are responsible for individual course lesson plans. Those who teach at four-year institutions typically need a doctoral degree in business.

Licensure and certification

Individuals who work in marketing can choose from a wide selection of certification programs offered through professional associations. These include the DMA certified marketing professional available through the Data & Marketing Association, the professional certified marketer program available through the AMA and the certified professional services marketer program available through SMPS.

How much are salaries for graduates of this program?

Marketing manager
Post secondary business teacher
Marketing vice president

Before You Apply: PhD Prerequisites

Prepare to apply for a PhD or DBA in Marketing and Advertising by gathering the required materials. Prerequisites for doctoral degrees in this field vary by school. In general, any application should include four parts:
  • Degree Experience: Some programs prefer or require a master’s degree in business, while others look more favorably upon a bachelor’s degree plus years of experience in the field
  • Examination: Most applicants must excel on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), plus the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if necessary
  • Academic Excellence: Exact GPA requirements vary by school, but could range between 3.5 and 3.9 for undergraduate and graduate course study. Coursework in economics, mathematics, and business administration will be particularly useful
  • Recommendation: Collect letters of recommendation from contacts in the academic and professional world
Each school has different application requirements and should be contacted individually for more information. Using’s doctoral portal, it’s simple to contact schools for more information on application prerequisites and other details.

Marketing Doctorate Degree Coursework

Your coursework experience will vary based on the individual program, degree, and your own interests in research. Students generally complete seminars in the field before beginning the research and dissertation writing process. Here are just a few sample seminars in a PhD in Marketing degree:
  • Research Methods in Marketing
  • Marketing Models
  • Managerial Research in Marketing
  • Behavior in Markets
A typical doctoral degree in marketing includes courses in statistics and research methods, and qualifying exams after one or two years. An academic minor may also be required, giving students a chance to further diversify their education at the doctoral level.

Doctoral Degree Resources

Whether you’re returning to school after years in the workforce or making the switch to online education after attending traditional colleges and universities, can help you get the facts on your doctoral degree. Here are just a few helpful sections you can find on the site:
  • For information on job statistics, career trends, and degree specializations within specific majors, see the Guide to College Majors page. Detail is available for a range of majors and degree levels, including doctoral degrees.
  • If you’re wondering how to finance your doctoral degree, look to the Financial Aid section for more information on public and private sources of financial aid, including scholarships, federal student loans, military aid, and aid information for international students
  • See the Education Resources section for tips and facts on test preparation at the graduate level and additional information about online learning. More information on accreditation can also be found on the page.
Use these free resources to help take the mystery out of researching for graduate degree programs and majors.

Other Marketing & Advertising Degree Resources

A number of sites on the Web include helpful, free resources for your doctoral degree program research. From respected ranking sites to government funding options, these resources can help you at various points on your search.
  • The U.S. News & World Report ranks the top business schools with marketing specialties on their Best Business Schools page. New rankings are released every year, culled from a list of master’s degree programs.
  • Visit the U.S. News & World Report University Director for a listing of PhD in Marketing schools. The listing is drawn from the magazine’s larger list of best business schools.
  • Check out the government’s Federal Student Aid Web site and begin a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA determines your federal loans and grants; the results may also be requested by your school as they determine your financial need.
You should never pay a fee for information like school rankings, scholarship and grant information, or individual school requirements. Knowing where to look can reduce your research drastically as you seek out on-campus and online PhD programs.

Essential Contacts: Individuals and Groups

Beyond Web sites and rankings publications, there are a few important individuals and groups that can contribute to your doctoral program research process. Here are a few important contacts:
  • Admissions counselors: These trained representatives can be found at each potential doctoral program. Use them to find out more about individual school information, including admissions requirements, alumni statistics, and financial aid.
  • Use this helpful site to contact a group of schools at one time instead of contacting programs individually. is best utilized as a first step, helping you make initial contact with a wide range of colleges.
  • Financial aid representatives: Find more information on financial aid from the source, either through individual colleges and universities, or through federal and local financial aid representatives.

Narrow Down Your PhD & DBA Program Choices

As you learn more about individual schools offering business doctoral degrees in marketing and advertising, you will likely narrow down your choices to a handful of schools and degree programs that appeal to your career goals. From there, consider the following elements and narrow down your choices even further.
  • Environment. Because such a large part of the doctoral process lies in completing original research, look for schools with unique research opportunities and resources. Whether the school is on-campus or online, it should have listings of databases that graduate students use to complete their research requirements.
  • Competition. A more competitive marketing program could offer everything from a better reputation to a higher amount of financial aid. The drawback of such programs is the competition itself, which keeps all but a few from enrollment. Ask individual schools for statistics on their applicants, and see where you measure up.
  • Faculty. If you intend to spend years interacting with faculty in a particular business school, it can help to research them beforehand. Look for a doctoral program with faculty members whose research and study somewhat match your own.
  • Financial aid. Beyond state and federal funding, colleges and universities typically offer some level of financial aid to entice potential students. Research the school to learn what percentage of doctoral students are fully funded within the specific marketing or advertising program of your choice.
  • Requirements. Before you attend a doctoral program, you will need to pass a qualifying exam such as the GMAT or GRE. Once you’re in a marketing or advertising doctoral program, degree requirements vary by school and likely include qualifying exams, transcripts, research assignments, seminar participation, and papers.
  • Placement. Colleges and universities keep records on the success of their alumni. Ask admissions counselors for statistics on placement within the advertising and marketing fields as well as academic statistics, such as the number of graduates who secure tenure-track positions.
By keeping the above categories in mind during your research, you can narrow your options down to a doctoral program that works with your background, budget, and goals. Focusing your search can save you costly fees and the time-consuming application process. Apply only to doctoral programs that suit your needs; you’ll appreciate the time you put into researching schools.

Joining a Worldwide Business Community

Anyone in business will attest to the importance of networking. Before you apply to marketing and advertising graduate degree programs, you should have some awareness of the journals, professional organizations, and popular conferences in the field. Check out some of the most popular ways to network with fellow doctoral candidates, educators, and other professionals:
  • JournalsJournal of Marketing Research, Journal of MarketingJournal of Consumer ResearchMarketing Science, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Interactive Advertising, Advertising & Society Review
  • Professional Organizations: American Marketing Association, Academy of Marketing Science, Association for Consumer Research, American Association of Advertising Agencies, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
  • Conferences: American Marketing Association Educators’ Conference, Asia Pacific Marketing Conference, Retail Innovation Conference
Interest, attendance, or publication with one or more of the above groups could improve your application standings with competitive marketing and advertising doctoral programs. Admissions representatives appreciate proof of a potential student’s academic contribution; working within the established community is one way to provide that proof.

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