PhD Program Structure

The PhD program at the Shidler College of Business reflects the College's philosophy that a broad and cross-functional orientation is necessary to appreciate complex business problems that extend beyond the narrow confines of a particular discipline. It is small and individualized. It enables students to pursue their own areas of interest. Only full-time study is allowed.

Doctoral candidates choose one specialization from among five areas: Accounting, Finance, Information Technology Management, Marketing, and Organization and Strategy.

Required Courses

PhD students must complete all the required courses within a specialization during the first two years in the program.

In addition to the required course in their specialization, students are required to take four graduate-level courses in statistics. They also have to enroll in BUS 705 PhD Seminar in Business Administration for the first two years of their program. Subsequent enrollment in the BUS 705 is recommended but not required.

Departments for the specialized areas sometimes have additional requirements. Please double check with respective Program Representative.

Recommended Courses

Courses that students should consider taking include:

  • Graduate-level courses in research methods
  • Doctoral seminars (700-level courses) offered by Shidler College of Business that are outside students' specialty area
  • Graduate-level courses in economics and econometrics
  • Graduate-level courses in disciplines that meet students’ research interests
  • Independent study with Shidler faculty 

Degree Requirements

To graduate with a PhD in Business Administration, students have to:

  • Complete 44 total credits or more in a timely manner
  • Depending on the area of specialization, complete a first-year paper or pass a first-year qualifying exam
  • Pass a second-year comprehensive exam
  • Pass the dissertation proposal defense
  • Complete the dissertation and pass the dissertation defense