Advice and Guidance
The major mechanism for providing advice and guidance regarding course selection, first-year paper, research and teaching assistantships, and other matters is a first-year academic advisor system. Each student will be assigned two academic advisors before the beginning of the first year. These advisors will contact the student following admission and will continue to interact with the student regarding questions and information prior to the student’s arrival at Duke. These advisors may or may not be the same individuals to whom you are assigned as an RA/TA.
One of the major roles of the advisors during the first year is to assist with course selection, because the program calls for developing a program consistent with, and tailored to, each student’s background and goals. The advisors assist the student in selecting both Fall and Spring courses for the first year and Fall semester courses for the second year. The advisors also provide guidance to the student regarding involvement in research and teaching assistantships and other matters as appropriate throughout the first year. Finally, the advisors provide an important source of information for feedback to the student and for the first-year paper, as described in more detail next.
Throughout the PhD program, students are expected to take full advantage of faculty expertise and the intellectual environment at the Fuqua School. During the first year, students should meet with faculty members one-on-one to learn about different faculty members’ research projects. All students are also expected to attend all the seminars in the marketing workshop/seminar series, and this will be true throughout your time in the PhD program. These seminars are a central feature of intellectual life here. If you have a class that conflicts with seminar, please let your advisors know. Seminar speakers’ schedules typically include a meeting with PhD students; students are expected to take advantage of these opportunities to interact with visiting scholars.
An important part of any doctoral program is a mechanism for assuring that students receive timely and accurate feedback on their progress in the program. Although course grades and informal conversations with faculty members provide some of this information, more formal procedures ensure that each student has the benefit of as much feedback as possible about his or her performance. The procedures used by the marketing area in the first year are outlined below.
The marketing area faculty will gather information about each student’s first year performance Sources of information will include the student’s advisors, instructors, and faculty for whom he/she has been research or teaching assistant. In addition, the student will provide an annual report discussing first year accomplishments, shortcomings, areas of interest, and how the student would like to be positioned. The student will also submit a one to two-page proposal for the first-year paper. The annual report and the first-year paper proposal should be submitted to the marketing area’s PhD coordinator by May 15. Under the graduate school requirements, a separate report also needs to be submitted to the director of Fuqua PhD program by April 15. Students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of “B” (3.00) or better by the end of the first year and throughout the rest of the program. Any student who receives an “F” or fails to exceed or meet a cumulative “B” average by the end of the first year will be subject to dismissal. In assessing performance, incompletes in coursework will not be viewed positively.
An important component of the first year is the first-year paper. This paper is due to the marketing area PhD coordinator on or before the first day of the Fall semester of the second year. Failure to hand in the paper by this date may result in a recommendation for dismissal of the student. The student’s first-year advisors must approve the paper before it can be submitted. The paper should represent the student’s best work at this stage of the doctoral program. The paper may be a reworked paper handed in for a seminar or a new paper done over the summer. It may be empirical, theoretical, or a review. The important point is that it represents work that the student feels best demonstrates his or her capabilities at that point in time. Collaboration with the faculty is allowed with two stipulations: 1) the student should have played a major role in the generation and development of the core idea and 2) the student should do the writing of the first-year paper. The student should provide a statement describing faculty help on the project and the faculty involved should provide statements about their role and the student’s role.
During the Fall semester of the second year, the marketing area faculty will examine the first-year paper, the student’s annual report, grades, and feedback from faculty who have had the student in class and/or have had the student as a research or teaching assistant. The marketing area faculty will provide feedback to the student. If progress is not satisfactory, performance may be assessed again at a time determined by the area faculty. Poor performance may ultimately result in dismissal from the program.
Research and Teaching Assistantships
A critical part of the doctoral program is forming relationships with faculty members and learning about research and teaching processes. To encourage the early formation of such relationships, the marketing doctoral program requires that each student engage in an average of at least ten hours per week of research and teaching assistantship activities throughout the first year. Payment for these ten hours is guaranteed and part of the student’s stipend in the first year. In general, the student will be assigned to specific faculty who are responsible for providing work associated with these hours. The student’s advisors will also provide advice and guidance to help the student become engaged in activities that match their needs and interests with those of the faculty.