Information for applicants – PhD Management

Welcome to USN and the PhD programme in Marketing Management

To be qualified and accepted into the PhD programme i Management, the candidate must have a Master of Science degree in marketing, business, management or equivalent. Students enrolled in a master programme are also welcome to apply, but must expect to have gained their degree before the time of appointment.

To be qualified and accepted into the PhD programme i Management

MSc (120 ECTS) in marketing, business, management, or equivalent with documented command of research methodology with average grade B or higher. Highly qualified candidates with other educational backgrounds may be considered. Candidates with other backgrounds must at a minimum have a master level course in research methods and a master level course in their main field of study. Applicants with MSc degrees from institutions outside Europe must document GMAT results of a minimum of 600 points (or GRE equivalent).

Candidates must have an excellent command of written and spoken English. Norwegian or another Scandinavian language will be an advantage.

How to apply

There are two ways you can be enrolled into the program.
1) Apply for and get an announced Research fellow position (Vacancies at USN).
2) Have a financial guarantee from an employer/organization. Such a guarantee normally includes 3 years of salary, operating costs, work-place and supervision. The School of Business at USN does not accept private financial support (own saved money, funding by spouse/family, etc.) as a basis for admission to the PhD program.

  • Meet formal admission requirements concerning grades and subject area (regulations)
  • Have the required competence in academic English
  • Respect residency requirement: The candidate should normally spend at least one year at USN

Applications must include the following documents:

Please note that the motivation letter, CV and research proposal must be written in English. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applicants will be evaluated based on academic performance (grades from bachelor and master degrees), relevant research work, the project plan and interview performance. Applicants are encouraged to include documentation of earlier, relevant work that shows academic potential. Applicants are encouraged to plan a stay abroad during the fellowship period.

Statement of motivation

Applicants must provide a statement of motivation, outlining their reasons for applying, future career plans, and other information, which may aid in the evaluation of their attitude, level of competence and motivation for PhD work.  The letter may also explain how the project will provide new and relevant knowledge to the given field of research.

Research proposal

Applicants are required to submit a tentative research proposal with the application. The project description shall be brief and concise, maximum ten pages, and contain the following elements:

  • the topic for the planned PhD research and a research problem (area),
  • relevant theory and a preliminary plan for data collection (source, methods and statistics) 
  • an account of expected outcome, preferably with verifiable hypotheses
  • a time schedule.
  • list of partners, participation in meetings and conferences etc.
  • reference list (maximum 25 references)

Certified copies of relevant transcripts and diplomas

Admission is based on a master of science degree in marketing, business, management or equivalent.

Copy of official transcripts from each college or university must be submitted with the application. Students with academic records from schools outside of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland must provide a thorough explanation of the programs’ degree requirements and grading system.

Students currently enrolled in a master programme are also welcome to apply, but must expect to have earned their degree before the appointment begins.

A copy of the master’s thesis should also be submitted, if finished. (If not, please submit a one-page summary of the ongoing thesis)

Letters of recommendation

Two letters of recommendation evaluating the applicant's academic potential are required. These should be from professors that know the applicant well.

GMAT or GRE test

The applicants should provide and attach a GMAT or GRE score to the application and it must be from within the last five years. A test is not required for applicants with a master degree from a Norwegian institution. Other exceptions may also be considered.  The minimum test scores to be considered for admission are:

  • GMAT - a total score of 600 points
  • GRE - a total score that is equivalent to the GMAT score of 600 points.
    USN's GRE code is 2124

Documents of funding

Applicants who don’t apply for a research scholar position must be able to document funding for the three year duration of the PhD program.

If you already have obtained funding from outside USN please contact Ingvild Bysting, PhD Coordinator.

Link to possible financial funds:

Contact information

Associate Professor and programme director:Therese Dille

PhD coordinator:
Ingvild Bysting