Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The doctoral program prepares individuals for careers as researchers and educators. Graduates typically take faculty positions in colleges and universities. Our program of study provides students with a solid grounding in the foundations of research within their area of specialization and in research methods, and assists in the development of strong technical skills. Student admission is highly selective so that our program affords rich discussion in doctoral seminars and maximum contact with faculty members. Doctoral students are involved in mentoring relationships with faculty and participate in a broad array of departmental research, teaching and service activities that prepare them for their future careers in academe.

Following is a general overview of the program of study for a Ph.D. These requirements may vary by specialization in managerial sciences. The Ph.D. program consists of coursework, field examinations, and completion of dissertation research.


Coursework requirements are usually completed in the first two years and consist of 48 semester hours. Major field requirements are met through a combination of 30 hours (10 courses) of seminar courses, independent studies, and directed readings courses. Fifteen hours (five courses) of research methods and design coursework build skills in conducting high-quality research. Individual programs of study may vary depending on the applicant’s prior educational record. Students entering the program without an MBA or master’s degree in a related field may be required to take master’s-level business courses prior to taking Ph.D. seminars.

Field Examinations

Written comprehensive field examinations are taken upon completion of all coursework. These examinations are designed to test a student’s command of the literature, including his or her ability to integrate and extend the existing literature in his or her area of specialization.

Dissertation Research

Dissertation research completes the program. Under the supervision of a committee of faculty, the student develops and conducts an original research project within his or her area of interest. This process begins with the student working closely with his or her advisor to identify a suitable dissertation topic, select a dissertation committee, and develop a dissertation proposal. Once the committee has approved the proposal, the student conducts the research and writes the dissertation. An oral defense of the finished dissertation and submission of the final written version to the graduate school completes the Ph.D. program.

Students who enter the program with appropriate master’s-level qualifications typically take an average of four to five years to complete all graduation requirements.