Additional Expectations & Policies

Physical Presence

Being in the Kellogg Ph.D. program is a full-time job. It is crucial that students maintain a physical presence at the department, including during the summer months. On days when students choose to work at home or in the library, they are expected to be available for meetings with faculty during normal office hours.

Each year the Marketing Department invites eminent scholars from peer research institutions to present their research at seminars. Students are expected to attend all seminars, even if the topic is not related to their own research interests. By attending these seminars, students gain important general skills and an understanding of the communication norms that are critical for improving their own research presentations. Mastering the Ph.D. is not the result of one or two activities, but an accumulation of hours of varied activities.

When scholars visit from other institutions, time is usually set aside in their schedule to meet with doctoral students. Students are expected to take advantage of these opportunities—they offer an excellent chance to get advice about everything from choosing a dissertation topic to publishing in top journals.

Expected Grade-Point Average (GPA)

The Marketing Department requires that students maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.35. In addition to the University’s rules and requirements on incomplete grades, the Marketing Department strongly discourages doctoral students from taking incomplete grades in their courses. Note that the Marketing Department’s minimum grade point average requirement is higher than, and thus supersedes, the Graduate School’s (TGS) guidelines that each student maintains a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in graduate courses.

Annual Feedback

In September of each year, the faculty meet to discuss the progress of each doctoral student. This includes discussion of the student’s class grades, research projects, work as an RA or TA, and contributions to the department’s research culture. First-year and second-year students also receive written feedback summarizing the faculty’s perspective on the student’s progress, and includes discussion of the student’s strengths as well as the most significant opportunities for improvement. Students who have made satisfactory progress will advance to the next stage of the doctoral program. In cases where a student’s performance is unsatisfactory, the student may be placed on probation or dismissed from the program, as determined by the faculty’s assessment of the aforementioned factors.

Research and Teaching Assistantships

A critical part of the doctoral program is forming relationships with faculty members and obtaining firsthand experience about the research and teaching processes. Throughout their tenure in the Ph.D. program, students are involved in research and teaching assistantships. The Marketing Directors of Graduate Studies (DGSs) will schedule TA and RA assignments before the start of the academic year. First-year students are not required to work as teaching or research assistants, but are encouraged to get involved in research activities early. Fifth-year students are also excused from all teaching or research assistant work. Often students split this year off from these duties between their fourth and fifth years, due to the timing of the academic job market in the summer.

The faculty has high expectations for TA and RA performance. Students should approach their assignments in a professional manner. It is strongly recommended that students schedule a meeting with their assigned faculty prior to TA and RA work at the beginning of each quarter to discuss faculty expectations. Students are to keep an accurate account of the hours spent on TA and RA assignments each week.

Sometimes students have opportunities to perform TA or RA work beyond the required work indicated above. While such additional work is allowed, it should optimally contribute to a student’s overall research progress and it should be halted if it impedes progress in any way.  Students who seek to earn additional money for this work must complete a Graduate Student Permission Work Request Form. This form must be signed by the faculty member hiring the student as well as the department’s Director of Graduate Studies, and must then be submitted to the Kellogg doctoral program office.

General Advising for First-Year and Second-Year Students

The Marketing Directors of Graduate Study (DGSs) are available and willing to advise all doctoral students regarding their academic performance and progress, to answer questions about school or department policy, and to provide advice on other matters related to the doctoral program. At the same time, the DGSs are often not experts in the area of research that students wish to pursue. Students are therefore generally expected to seek out and establish research partnerships with faculty who better match their areas of interest; these faculty members often become the student’s key advisor or mentor.

The DGSs are the primary advisors for first-year students when they arrive, and this advisory relationship can continue into the second year if the student has not identified alternative primary advisors. The DGSs assist first-year and second-year students in course selection and provide annual feedback on their performance.

Obtaining a Master of Science (MS) In Marketing

Students who have completed the first year of study may be eligible for a Master of Science (MS) degree in Marketing. The requirements include the following:
  1. Complete 10 graded doctoral courses and maintain an overall 3.35 GPA from the list of approved Ph.D. courses.
  2. Complete and present a satisfactory first-year paper (minimum MS pass). The paper and presentation to faculty must be completed by mid-September and/or before the start of their second year.
  3. Approval by the student’s MS committee consisting of three faculty members. Unless otherwise approved by the department, this committee will consist of the department chair and the two Directors of Graduate studies. Students must receive a “MS pass” from the committee to be awarded the Master of Science.

Childbirth Accommodation Policy

The Northwestern Graduate School childbirth accommodation policy applies to Kellogg doctoral students. More information can be found at the Northwestern Graduate School website.

Research and Academic Support

The Marketing Department strives to provide Ph.D. students with the resources necessary for a successful academic career. Each Ph.D. student is given a workspace, a personal computer with office software and access to the university mainframe, library access, online academic journal access and an e-mail account. Throughout the Ph.D. program we encourage students to attend academic conferences in their area.

Beyond the stipend provided by the school, the marketing department provides each student with a budget for research and academic expenses such as textbooks, research software, conference expenses, etc. Student budgets are determined on an annual basis by the Marketing Department. Requests for reimbursement from this budget must be submitted with original receipts to the Departmental Assistant within 90 days of incurring the expense. Only legitimate expenses are approved—for example, conference travel must be relevant to the student’s research and career objectives.

Additional Work

As a general guideline, Ph.D. students are discouraged from performing extra work beyond the assigned TA/RA responsibilities. The generous research support is designed to provide Ph.D. students with sufficient financial resources. A limited amount of extra work on grading, Dean’s Office surveys, etc. may be acceptable, provided that it does not interfere with research progress. Extra work such as consulting and non-Kellogg activities is strongly discouraged and may impact both future funding and status in the Ph.D. program.

Students must receive approval of the DGSs BEFORE engaging in any additional work. In all cases, hours of extra work must be reported to the DGSs and they will evaluate whether this work is affecting progress in the Ph.D. program.

Doctoral Program Policy Information – PDF Document

Please click here for a pdf document containing all of the policy information posted on this website.