Reviewing, Revising, and Reinventing the Undergraduate Marketing Curriculum at a Public University

Cathy J. Cobb-Walgren, Hiram C. Barksdale Jr, James S. Boles


The business community faces tremendous challenges in the 21st century and needs an educated workforce that can navigate the realities of empowered customers, new scientific and media technologies, growing environmental and social concerns, and global competition. Unfortunately, undergraduate business education, for the most part, continues to rely on 20th century theories and practices. Undergraduate marketing education, in particular, seems to have stagnated and continues to fall short on both relevance and rigor. This article presents the results of a two-year departmental initiative to review, revise, and reinvent the undergraduate marketing curriculum at a large public research university’s business school. After analyzing the internal and external forces that were the impetus for change, the article presents the process the marketing department used to reform the undergraduate program. Next, the articles discusses the results of six data collection projects among key constituency groups that revealed weaknesses in the undergraduate program and potential areas for improvement. The article concludes with the presentation of a transformed undergraduate marketing curriculum, along with initial assessment feedback. By engaging in continuous evaluation and improvement, the marketing faculty hope to provide undergraduate marketing students with a more rigorous and relevant academic experience that will enable them to succeed in the professional workforce of the 21st century.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Cathy J. Cobb-Walgren, Hiram C. Barksdale Jr, James S. Boles

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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