The Marketing PhD program is top-rated and highly selective; we usually admit only four students a year. To begin the application process, we'll ask you to create an account with us. This will keep your application secure and allow you to edit and revise your information before final submission.

To be considered for the program applicants must submit their materials via the online portal no later than December 31. Applications received after this date will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. 

Application Materials

Essay

The Marketing Division is interested in your reasons for pursuing doctoral studies. Please describe them in an essay that is 500-700 words in length and indicate the subarea (consumer behavior or quantitative modelling) that seems like the best fit for you, given your background. Note that your selection at this time is not binding. In fact, our PhD program has a set of core classes that all students take regardless of the subarea you indicate in your application and you are free to work on any marketing-related topics using the most appropriate methodologies.

Recommendation Letters

Two letters of recommendation are required, however a total of five may be submitted. 

Transcripts

A bachelor’s degree or the equivalent is required for admission. A master’s degree is not required, although many applicants have a master’s degree in such fields as management, economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics. Superior academic performance is expected. 

GMAT or GRE

Applicants may take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), but scores from one are required. Test scores should be input into the appropriate section of the application. Admitted students will be asked to submit an official copy if there is not one on record. Decisions are not binding until these materials have been received.

  • The GRE is administered by Educational Testing Service at numerous centers throughout the United States and abroad.
  • Further information about the GMAT is available from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC).
  • Test scores are only one of many factors that are considered when the School makes admissions decisions and there is no minimum score that must be met in order to apply. 

TOEFL

Applicants from abroad must also take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the IELTS unless they received a degree from an institution where English was the language of instruction. 

Application Fee

An application fee of $100 must be submitted with your application. An application is not considered complete until the fee has been paid. 

Fee waivers are available to active duty US military personnel, and members of the Peace Corps, Teach for America, Teach for China, or Teach for India who are currently in service. Applicants who qualify for a fee waiver should email a fee waiver request, as well as proof of service, to [email protected].

 

Enrollment Commitment Deposit

Students admitted to the program are required to pay a deposit to reserve a place in the entering class. This commitment deposit can be waived for an applicant who is already a registered student at Columbia University. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get CBS my letters of recommendation?

We only accept letters of recommendation through our online system.

How do I pay the application fee?

An application fee of $100 in the form of a credit or debit card must be submitted in tandem with your application. An application is not considered complete until the fee has been paid. You may use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover when using our online application.

By when do I need to submit my scores and undergraduate transcript?

Ideally, you would submit these in advance of the application deadline. All test scores (GMAT, GRE and TOEFL) should be self reported in the application form. When admittance decisions are made we will ask admitted students for official copies of both their transcripts and test scores. Decisions are not binding until these materials have been received.

Can I enroll in the program part-time?

Our PhD Program is full-time only. We do not offer a part-time course of study.