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Undergraduate Marketing Major

What is Marketing?

Marketing is at the heart of every enterprise, whether big or small, for profit or not-for-profit, local or international, in the public or private sectors.  Marketing begins by defining the target consumers of an organization, and understanding their needs. Marketing involves creating products and services that meet the needs of those consumers, and then communicating about and delivering these products and services. Consumers compare the value inherent in the offering and contrast it against the price (another marketing decision), and offerings of competing firms and make their choice.  Great marketers are able to convert these sales into long-term sustainable relationships with their customers, by constantly innovating, researching consumer and environmental trends, following up with consumers post-purchase, and staying several steps ahead of the competition. The central philosophy of the marketing discipline is that consumers are the only reason that organizations exist.  As an academic discipline, Marketing is the multi-disciplinary study of exchanges, and the players involved – buyers and sellers.

Why pursue a major in Marketing?

Marketing straddles many different disciplines (economics, psychology, statistics, sociology to name a few) and brings together theories and methods from all these areas to help organizations to understand, influence and predict consumer behaviour. Marketing activities touch every aspect of our lives and are vital to the very survival of organizations. From the marketing of fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs), durable goods, services (such as airlines, banks, telecommunication companies), people, places and ideas (such as celebrities, or Singapore, or the idea of giving ex-prisoners a second chance) to marketing research, advertising, and consulting, there is a wide range of applicability of these theories and methods. The marketing major prepares you for an entry level job in a wide variety of industries world-wide. Across these industries and careers,  marketing jobs can potentially can make good use of almost every different kind of aptitude  - quantitative, creative, people oriented, communication and research/analysis. Marketing fits well, academically, as well as career-wise, with a wide variety of other SMU majors (but perhaps especially finance, operations, strategy, corporate communications, information systems, economics and psychology).


The requirements of the Marketing Major

Completing a marketing major at  SMU involves taking six  courses.
Core course:

  • MKTG 101: Marketing - an introduction to the marketing discipline

Required courses:

  • MKTG 102: Consumer Behaviour - the study of how marketing activities affect consumer perception, attention, learning, memory, attitudes and decision making, at both a micro and macro level.
  • MKTG 103: Marketing Research – understanding how to conduct research on consumers, especially focused on survey research methods, from defining research problems, to designing questionnaires, sampling schemes,  coding and analyzing data, and reporting  

These courses must be taken at SMU (i.e. not on exchange) and can be completed anytime over your SMU tenure.
Elective courses (any three; *any four from August 2015 onwards):

A variety of elective courses such as Strategic Brand Management, Advertising, Retailing, Pricing, Marketing Strategy, New Product Development, Services Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, Digital Marketing and Marketing Analytics are offered regularly. Any three of them need to be taken to complete the marketing elective. Most electives only require MKTG 101 as a pre-requisite, but please check course outlines for specific exclusions or requirements. Elective courses may also be taken on exchange, as long as the Office of Global Learning approves your chosen course as a marketing elective. The matrix below suggests electives appropriate for various marketing career choices.

(Note that this is a representative listing of electives; not all courses listed are currently offered)


  Marketing (FMCG) Marketing (Services) Sales/Business Development Marketing Research Advertising Retailing Consultancy
Core courses              
Marketing 101              
Marketing Research              
Consumer Behaviour              
New Product Development              
Services Marketing              
Customer Relationship   Management              
Promotions Management              
Sales Management              
Strategic Brand Management              
Retail Management              
International Marketing              
Service Experience:   Design/Management              
Digital Marketing              
Marketing Analytics              
Marketing Strategy              
B2B Marketing              
Suggested Second Major Psych Operations HR Applied Stat Corp Comm Operations Economics
    Psych Psych Economics Psych   Law
              Pol Science



Last updated on 26 Jan 2016 .