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Thread: College senior wants to pursue a Ph.D Marketing

  1. #1
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    College senior wants to pursue a Ph.D Marketing

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    Hi everyone,

    I am a college senior with a major in Marketing. I recently completed a honors thesis project on computer-mediated communications on social sites and its implications for business. I had a really great time conducting this research, and it inspired me to pursue a Ph.D in this field.

    But nothing is that easy. I had my profile reviewed by a very well-known professor in CB and he shared that good doctoral program always look for students with prior research experience. He suggested me to look for a master's degree that can help gain some exposure to be a better candidate in the future.

    I want to seek advice from everyone on a good research-focused master's program that can be a stepping stone to a Ph.D in marketing. Fuqua has a Master in Business Analytics with an option to conduct research and get a certificate. In this a good option?

    I am also exploring MS in Information Sciences (human-comp interaction, social networks, electronic word-of-mouth) but I don't know how well it will translate into a Ph.D in Marketing? What do you think of the program in Michigan, Indiana U, and UNC Chapel Hill?

    Sorry for the long post and thank you in advance for your response

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    Re: College senior wants to pursue a Ph.D Marketing

    Accounting prof here, not marketing.

    But if you are thinking CB then it seems like a masters degree in psychology, human behavior, etc. may be the most useful. They will almost surely be more research focused than pretty much any masters degree from a business school. I have a friend who did a masters in psychology from a so-so directional state school, she applied to psychology PhD programs and did not get in anywhere. However, she applied to marketing PhD programs and was accepted into a top 10 CB program.

    Those that are closer to the field may have better advice, again, I'm accounting, not marketing.

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    Re: College senior wants to pursue a Ph.D Marketing

    Most well known CB profs have an availability bias because they see many CB PhD students in top schools having prior research experience. But every year many students enter good PhD program (though not top tier ones) without any research experience. I am not sure what college senior means? Wikipedia says its 4th yr. If that's so, are you about to complete 4 yrs or you have started your 4th yr?

    If you are about to complete 4 yrs, I would not spend money on doing a masters in US. Try to get an RAship under a psych/CB professor and start working on projects. The best master programs that prepares you for a PhD are actually in the Netherlands. If you are willing to move outside the US for 2 yrs, this will be a great step forward.

    If you are starting off your final year, take the GMAT and apply for PhD programs. See how you fare. I think you should be able to get into a decent program.

    Edit: Just to clarify, I wrote my response under the assumption that you want to do CB.
    Last edited by sb29; 05-12-2018 at 10:16 AM.

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    Re: College senior wants to pursue a Ph.D Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by sb29 View Post
    Most well known CB profs have an availability bias because they see many CB PhD students in top schools having prior research experience. But every year many students enter good PhD program (though not top tier ones) without any research experience. I am not sure what college senior means? Wikipedia says its 4th yr. If that's so, are you about to complete 4 yrs or you have started your 4th yr?

    If you are about to complete 4 yrs, I would not spend money on doing a masters in US. Try to get an RAship under a psych/CB professor and start working on projects. The best master programs that prepares you for a PhD are actually in the Netherlands. If you are willing to move outside the US for 2 yrs, this will be a great step forward.

    If you are starting off your final year, take the GMAT and apply for PhD programs. See how you fare. I think you should be able to get into a decent program.
    Seconded. Netherland's has very strong research master's programs: Tilburg, Rotterdam, etc. Fees are very reasonable (and lots of scholarship money) for a world class education.

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    Re: College senior wants to pursue a Ph.D Marketing

    Just to be sure, are you interested in Consumer Behavior or Quantitative Marketing? You wrote you talked to a CB professor, but you also wrote about an interest in a course in Business Analytics (and this looks more Quant). For CB, learning about subjects like psychology is more important. For Quant, learning about econometrics is more important. Of course both CB and Quant students have to learn about both psychology and econometrics, but the relevance for each one is different.

    Anyway, research experience is very important. A master's can help with that, but there are other ways too (as mentioned by another user, becoming a RA for example).

    It is possible to be accepted without a Master's, but most successful applicants do have some kind of graduate degree, usually a Master's. Not only because of the Master's, but also because a Master's often provides opportunities for other important factors, like strong letters of recommendation, research experience, and an understanding of what is academic research. So, doing a master's will probably make your profile stronger, but it is also possible to go to a PhD in the US without it. You can try, I guess no big harm in that. It also depends how high you are aiming. If you are aiming high, you need a strong profile.

    At least for me, doing a master's really made a big difference, and I'm really grateful for the experience. I think I did the right thing doing a master's before the PhD. But I don't know about master's in the US to recommend any in particular. And my master's was in Finance, something that really helps me during the PhD.

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    Re: College senior wants to pursue a Ph.D Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by BrazilianPhD View Post
    For CB, learning about subjects like psychology is more important. For Quant, learning about econometrics is more important.
    Econometrics? Some quant students do theory!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrazilianPhD View Post
    It is possible to be accepted without a Master's, but most successful applicants do have some kind of graduate degree, usually a Master's.
    I think the most successful applicants tend to be undergrads. If you could get into everywhere after college, you don't need to do a master.

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