Marketing Requirements: Quantitative Track

I. Preparation

As preparation for the general program requirement, some marketing students, depending on their previous preparation, find it useful to complete the courses below or the equivalent in the summer prior to the first year or during the first year. Questions concerning what constitutes adequate preparation should be directed to the doctoral liaison.

Topic Courses
Probability STATS 116 Theory of Probability
Mathematics MATH 115 Functions of a Real Variable
MATH 205A & B Real Analysis

Students specializing in quantitative marketing are expected to have adequate computer programming skills (C++, MATLAB, or the equivalent). If students do not have adequate computer programming skills, they may learn this material on their own or take the Stanford Computer Science course CS106A: Programming Methodology.

II. Course Requirements

All required courses must be taken for a grade (not pass/fail or credit/no credit). Exceptions are made if the required course is offered pass/fail or credit/no credit only. Each course must be passed with a grade of P or B- or better. Substitutions of required courses (typically sought because a required course is not offered in the quarter of choice) require approval from the faculty liaison. Waiving a course requirement based on similar doctoral level course completed elsewhere requires the approval of the course instructor, faculty liaison, and the PhD Program Office. 

A. Required Courses

Sequence Courses
Marketing Sequence
(5 courses)
  • MKTG 644 Quantitative Research in Marketing - I
  • MKTG 645 Quantitative Research in Marketing - II
  • GSBGEN 641 Advanced Empirical Methods
  • MKTG 646 Bayesian Inference: Methods and Applications

Choose one of the following courses*:

  • MKTG 641 Behavioral Research in Marketing I
  • GSBGEN 646 Behavioral Economics and the Psychology of Decision Making

*Possible substitutes include any other GSB Behavioral Marketing doctoral level courses, with the approval of the PhD liaison.

Microeconomic Sequence
(3 courses)

Choose one class from each of the three sets.

Set 1

  • ECON 202 Microeconomics I
  • ECON 202N Microeconomics I (For non-Econ PhD students)
  • GSBGEN 675 Microeconomic Theory

Set 2

  • MGTECON 601 Microeconomic Analysis II
  • ECON 203 Microeconomics II
  • ECON 203N Microeconomics II (For non-Econ PhD students)

Set 3

  • ECON 204 Microeconomics III
  • MGTECON 602 Auctions, Bargaining, and Pricing
Econometrics Sequence
(4 courses)
  • MGTECON 603 Econometric Methods I
  • MGTECON 604 Econometric Methods II
  • MGTECON 605 Econometric Methods III
  • MGTECON 640 Quantitative Methods for Empirical Research

B. Recommended Courses

Topic Courses
Industrial Organization
  • ECON 257 Industrial Organization I
  • ECON 258 Industrial Organization IIa
  • ECON 260 Industrial Organization III

C. Optional Elective Courses

Topic Courses
Advanced Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON 210 Macroeconomics I
  • ECON 282 Contracts, Information, and Incentives
  • ECON 285 Matching and Market Design
  • ECON 291 Social and Economic Networks
  • MGTECON 602 Auctions, Bargaining and Pricing
Advanced Econometrics
  • ECON 273 Advanced Econometrics I
  • ECON 274 Advanced Econometrics II
  • ECON 275 Time Series Econometrics
  • ECON 247 Labor Economics II
  • MGTECON 634 Machine Learning and Causal Inference
Statistics / Computer Science
  • STATS 216 Introduction to Statistical Learning or STATS 229/CS 229 Machine Learning
  • CS 230 Deep Learning

III. Practicum

Students are required to sign up for either research or teaching practicum each quarter of enrollment. Below is a description of the practicum requirements for quantitative marketing students.

Year 1: Regularly attend and participate in the Marketing and Work-in-Progress (WIP) seminars. Work with a different marketing faculty in autumn, winter, and spring quarters for initial research exposure.

Years 2 – 5: Attend and participate in the Marketing and WIP seminars. Attendance is required for all Marketing Seminars designated as Combined or Quantitative, and recommended for the seminars designated as Behavioral. Continue research work with faculty of student’s choice. Students are also encouraged to take the visiting Quantitative/Combined seminar speaker to lunch after the Marketing seminar.

Years 3 - 5: Recommended that students enroll in MGTECON 628: Reading Group in Industrial Organization and attend and participate in the weekly “IO Lunch.”

IV. Summer Research Papers

Students will submit the first-year paper by the end of the autumn quarter in the second year. The first-year paper will be presented to the faculty early in the winter quarter of the second year. The primary goal of the first-year paper is to give students the experience of going through the entire process of a research piece, including data analysis. This is also the time to learn programming and to start thinking about working with data. The paper can be an extension of a published piece or a work-in-progress. Students are expected to work closely with faculty on the research. It is typical that the first-year summer paper is related to an extension of research conducted by one of the Stanford GSB marketing faculty, due to the ready availability of data. There is no expectation that the research is publishable. The key objective is learning the “art of research”.

The second paper is due by the end of the autumn quarter in the third year, and should be presented to the faculty early in the winter quarter in the third year. The second paper is expected to be of publishable quality in a good field journal, and driven primarily by the student. Co-authorship with faculty is encouraged (though not required); however, the student is expected to be the lead driver of the project.

The overall evaluation of each paper will be judged by two faculty members, one of whom could be the collaborating faculty member (if any), as High Pass, Pass, Marginal, or Fail. This evaluation will take into account the strengths and weaknesses of the research; the student’s effort and contribution; and whether the student evidences ability to produce high quality research. Passing both papers is required for maintaining good academic status and advancing to candidacy.

V. Field Exam

Students take the field exam in the summer after their first year. It is an open-book, open-notes exam. The student is to work on the exam independently over five days. The exam tests whether the student is able to apply the knowledge assimilated over the first year of coursework to a real Marketing problem.

VI. Teaching Requirement

A minimum of one quarter of course assistantship or teaching practicum. Requirement must be completed prior to graduation.

VII. Candidacy

Admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree is a judgment by the faculty of the student’s potential to successfully complete the requirements of the degree program. Students are required to advance to candidacy by September 1 before the start of their fourth year in the program.

VIII. University Oral Exams

The oral examination is a defense of the dissertation work in progress. The student orally presents and defends the thesis work in progress at a stage when it is one-half to two-thirds complete. The oral examination committee tests the student on the theory and methodology underlying the research, the areas of application and portions of the major field to which the research is relevant, and the significance of the dissertation research. Students are required to successfully complete the oral exams by September 1 before the start of their fifth year in the program.

IX. Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation is expected to be an original contribution to scholarship or scientific knowledge, to exemplify the highest standards of the discipline, and to be of lasting value to the intellectual community. The marketing faculty defer to the student’s Dissertation Reading Committee to provide general guidelines (e.g. number of chapters, length of dissertation) on the dissertation.

Typical Timeline

Year Three

Year Four