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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Fundamentals of Modern Marketing

Dates: June 24-July 15, 2017 (3 weeks)
Credits: 3 credits
Eligibility: current sophomores, juniors, seniors
(see eligibility requirements)
Status: This program is full but we are accepting applications for the wait list.


From buying sneakers to choosing political candidates, our decisions are shaped at least in part by professional marketers who create and use strategies to influence our behavior. Whether you hope to use such strategies in your own career or just want to be an informed consumer, this course will help you understand the forces at work in the buying and selling of goods, services, and ideas.

In this rigorous and comprehensive three-week program, you'll

  • become familiar with the principles and fundamentals of modern marketing,
  • learn to analyze complex business situations, and
  • improve your teamwork skills, a critical component of academic and career success.

Led by Sherif Nasser, a visiting assistant professor in Cornell's top-ranked Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, you'll learn how organizations plan, price, promote, and distribute their goods and services in today's global economy. You'll discuss the issues marketing managers face and delve into the techniques they use in choosing and evaluating their marketing strategies.

Throughout the course, you'll use numerous real-world marketing examples to illustrate topics. For example, while discussing branding, you'll delve into the evolution of Apple products and brand positions since 1984, and while learning about promotional strategies, you'll look closely into how brands such as Cottonelle and Pedigree dog food were able to coordinate their many communications channels to deliver clear, consistent, and compelling messages about their products.

You'll perform an in-depth analysis of a case study on Unilever's successful marketing strategy for a laundry detergent in Brazil. And during classes on marketing in the digital age, you'll investigate how Google and Facebook design their advertising platforms.

Working with other students, you will define and develop marketing tactics and strategies as you explore topics such as

  • marketing math
  • consumer behavior
  • segmentation and targeting
  • market research
  • branding
  • retailing and wholesaling
  • integrated marketing communications
  • advertising, PR, and personal selling
  • digital marketing
  • international marketing
  • competitive strategies, and
  • social responsibility and ethics

In the process, you'll sharpen your decision-making capabilities and develop your communication skills.

In class discussions, you and your classmates will be responsible for raising relevant issues and maintaining the exchange of ideas, while Professor Nasser will facilitate discussion. All opinions and recommendations will be respectfully considered, and together you'll synthesize your different perspectives to form a framework for decision-making.

Cornell's Dyson School is a highly regarded leader in applying practical economic and management tools to solve the world's most significant business and social challenges. It has an international reputation for the quality and breadth of its research, undergraduate and graduate education, extension, and outreach. The Dyson School's undergraduate business program, among the largest and most selective majors at Cornell, is currently ranked in the top ten nationwide by both Bloomberg Businessweek and U.S. News and World Report.

Course expectations

Students are expected to:

  • arrive and be seated prior to the start of each class session;
  • complete the readings, case preparations, and other assignments prior to each class session;
  • be prepared to actively participate in class discussion;
  • refrain from using laptops (except for class exercises), tablets, cell phones, and other electronic devices in class, which can be distracting to your classmates and your professor; and
  • adhere strictly to the standards of academic integrity outlined in Cornell's Code of Academic Conduct


You'll be enrolled in the three-credit course Marketing (AEM 2400).

This course meets Mondays through Fridays from 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Maximum enrollment: 45

Note: You may combine this program with a three-week 2 program to create a six-week Dual Program.

Textbook and course pack

Title Author Cost
Course Pack* N/A $TBD
Principles of Marketing 16th Edition** Kotler and Armstrong N/A

*The course pack, which is required, contains articles and cases that will be discussed in class. About a month before class starts, we will provide you with the link you’ll need to purchase this pack from Harvard Business Publishing.

**This textbook is optional. If you would like to have a good marketing reference book, feel free to purchase it.

Special scheduling


  • Tuesday, July 4: In observance of Independence Day, we will not have classes.
  • Monday, July 10: College Admissions Workshop, 2:30–3:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 15: Graduation ceremony: 11:00 a.m.–noon


Students and their families are cordially invited to an informal graduation on Saturday, July 15 from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Students will each receive a Cornell University Summer College certificate and be able to take farewell photos with their friends and faculty. Note that attendance is not required, but is highly recommended and is a nice way to conclude the program. Dress is smart casual.

Checkout dates and times

Before making travel plans, review the checkout dates and times for your program. We strictly adhere to these deadlines.

Program directors

Sherif Nasser

Sherif Nasser is a visiting professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Prior to coming to Cornell, Nasser taught at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Nasser earned marketing degrees from Baruch College (MBA 2001) and the NYU Stern School of Business (MPhil 2016 and PhD 2008). He also holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Cairo University, Egypt.

Nasser is the recipient of several teaching awards, including an Outstanding Faculty Award (2013 and 2009) and an MBA Reid Teaching Award (2013) from the Olin Business School at Washington University. He has published articles in journals and conference proceedings and has presented at numerous conferences and seminars. He has received several fellowships and is a member of the academic honor society Beta Gamma Sigma.

"Teaching a discipline that I am very passionate about gives me great joy. I have always been fascinated by modern marketing’s emphasis on creating value to consumers, organizations, and societies. Organizations of all types thrive or fail depending on how well they design and implement their marketing functions. Teaching at Cornell allows me to interact with very intelligent and creative students around marketing. It is the most gratifying experience to watch these bright young people not only learn about the discipline but also learn and develop skills to think more openly, more critically, and more creatively. I am grateful that I get to witness their development and be part of it."

Student experiences

"Academically, Summer College was tremendously stimulating and engaging. I was fascinated by my class's material every day. Besides the intellectual aspects of Summer College, there is a thriving social environment. I met so many people with diverse interests and backgrounds, all of whom are deeply passionate about their studies." — Elizabeth Phelan