Doctoral Program Details
Students interested in the Ph.D. program in Economics should click here. For students interested in the PhD programs in Management, there are a variety of concentration areas available to students. The management doctoral program allows specialization in the following areas (linked to requirements for each specialization):
- Management Information Systems
- Operations Management
- Quantitative Methods/Management Science
- Strategic Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management(OBHR)
There is a set of general program requirements listed below that all Ph.D. students in Management and OBHR must satisfy. Within the limits of these general requirements, individual areas have significant latitude in specifying specific course requirements that are tailored to their students. Typically doctoral students collaborate with faculty members in designing their program of study. In addition to course work, students must pass a preliminary examination in their major area, and are required to defend their proposed research. Students also are required to write and orally defend a dissertation of suitable scholarly content and scope.
Academic and professional development at the doctoral level is distinct from undergraduate and MBA education. While course work is an important component of your learning process, much of your learning takes place outside classroom time in self-directed study and in interactions with other students and faculty. Ultimately a successful graduate student must make the transition from acquiring knowledge to creating knowledge. During this learning process, the faculty serve not only as mentors but also as colleagues. They are very interested in fostering an environment where you can receive the best education available.
The general requirements for the Management Ph.D. program listed below should be viewed as minimum requirements. Your area Academic Advisor and area faculty will provide you with additional guidance and requirements during your time as a Ph.D. student to assure you are successful in your career. To assure an up-to-date Ph.D. program, the faculty in each area regularly reviews and modifies as needed the area-specific requirements for its doctoral students. The Doctoral Office maintains a comprehensive listing of the current requirements for each area.
I. General Managerial Skills Requirement
The purpose of the managerial skills coursework is to expose students to various functional areas of Management. This coursework also provides an exposure to the case method of teaching and to a professional master's education. To satisfy the requirements in the general managerial skills (core) area, a student must take (or receive a waiver based on equivalent master's-level courses) any two of the following six core courses:
- MGMT 60000 Financial Accounting
- MGMT 61000 Financial Management I
- MGMT 62000 Marketing Management
- MGMT 65000 Strategic Management
- OBHR 68100 Behavior in Organizations
II. Research-Methods Requirement
The purpose of the research-methods requirement is to prepare students to do research in any Management area. Substantial emphasis is placed on this coursework. Competence in research methods is seen as a defining characteristic of the program. The research-methods requirement is described below. These are minimum requirements and may be increased by the faculty in the student's major area.
Students must demonstrate competence in research writing. The exact requirements to do so are set by the student's Area Academic Advisor based on an assessment of the student's deficiencies. To assess writing ability, many areas institute a research paper requirement to be completed during the summer following a student's first or second year in residence. This paper applies the material learned in research-methods courses to a specific research question in the student's major area. Often the paper is a collaborative effort with a faculty member. A student who has been identified as requiring training in writing, may be asked to participate in tutorials and labs sponsored by the English Department. For instance, there are seminars provided by English Writing Lab instructors ("traveling tutorials") on such topics as: Documenting Sources, Higher Order Concerns (HOCs)/Lower Order Concerns (LOCs), OWL (Online Writing Lab), Peer Response/Editing, Punctuation, Research Papers, Sentence Combining and Clarity, and Transitions.
Students must complete a minimum of 2 research-methods topics and a minimum of 15 credit hours. Areas can, and usually do, require additional coursework in research methods. As part of the 15 credit hour requirement, students must take at least 6 hours from Category 1 or 2 in the Applied Statistics topic. Note that students who take the additional coursework to complete the Applied Statistics topic can count this as fulfilling one of their research-methods topic requirements. The research-methods topics and specific courses contained within each topic must be approved by the Area Academic Advisor. Details on the course requirements for each topic can be found by clicking on the topic.
- Applied Statistics
- Advanced Statistics/Econometrics
- Designing Laboratory and Survey Research
- Stochastic Processes
- Special Topic
There is a minimum school wide grade-point average requirement of 3.2 for courses taken at Purdue University to fulfill the research-methods requirement. Individual areas may have higher grade-point requirements. In addition, an area may require its students to pass a preliminary exam covering the research-methods topics. The research-methods requirement must be satisfied before a student takes the preliminary examination in his or her major area of study. In attempting to attain this minimum grade-point average, a student may retake any two courses once. If the grade achieved by retaking the course is higher than the initial grade, the second grade will be substituted for the first in computing the student's grade point average for the purpose of satisfying the research-methods grade requirement. If a student does not achieve the minimum 3.2 grade-point average, the student will be dropped from the program. A waiver or substitution of a course or courses within a specific research method topic is allowed, but only if the change has been formally approved by the Area Academic Advisor and the Director of Doctoral Programs and only if it remains the case that the research-methods requirement is fulfilled with courses distinct from courses required to fulfill the major area and minor area requirements.
III. Concentration Area (Major) Requirement
The purpose of the major area requirement is to ensure that students are sufficiently knowledgeable in a body of knowledge to be able to competently teach graduate level courses in their chosen subject matter and have a sound basis for future research. To satisfy the major area requirement, a student must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of doctoral-level courses in one of the following major areas of study: accounting, finance, management information systems, management science (applied optimization or applied statistics), marketing, operations management, quantitative methods, strategic management, organizational behavior, or human resource management. No course waivers will be considered and no course taken to fulfill the research-methods requirement or the minor area requirement can be counted in fulfilling the major area requirement. Students should work closely with their Area Academic Advisor in selecting the courses for their major area. The courses that meet the major area requirement must be approved by the Area Academic Advisor in the student's major area.
IV. Related Area (Minor) Requirement
The purpose of the minor area requirement is to build on the major area coursework and to broaden the student's knowledge base. To satisfy the minor area requirement, a student must complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of doctoral-level courses in related fields, chosen from accounting, finance, management information systems, management science (applied optimization or applied statistics), marketing, operations management, quantitative methods, strategic management, organizational behavior, human resource management, or an area of economics. A minor outside the Management School must be approved by the Area Academic Advisor in the student's major area. No course waivers will be considered and no course taken to fulfill the research-methods requirement or the major area requirement can be counted in fulfilling the minor area requirement.
Students should consult with the Area Academic Advisor who represents their chosen minor area as they select the courses for their minor. The courses that meet the minor area requirement must be approved by the Area Academic Advisor in the student's major area.
Students will not be required to take a preliminary examination in their minor. Rather, a student will satisfy the minor requirement by earning a grade of no less than "B" in each of his or her minor area courses. A student must satisfy his or her minor area requirement before taking the preliminary examination in his or her major area of study.
V. Plan of Study Requirement
Students are required to submit a formal plan of study (POS) to the Purdue Graduate School by the end of the spring semester of their second year in the doctoral program, and prior to taking the preliminary examination. If a student enters the program without equivalent course work at the MBA level and must take core courses, this requirement may be delayed until the start of the student's third year of enrollment.
To submit a plan of study (POS), a student must a) form a POS committee composed of the student's major professor and a minimum of two other qualified faculty members who will supervise the student's dissertation research, b) complete a POS that includes a list of required courses for the PhD degree with the help from his/her Major Professor and the other POS committee members (forms can be obtained from the PhD advising office), c) have the POS approved by the POS committee, and d) file the POS with the PhD advising office. If there are changes in the list of courses or committee membership after the plan is approved in the Graduate School, the student must submit for approval any revisions.
VI. Preliminary Exam Requirement
Students are required to pass a preliminary examination in their major area. The exam tests the student's mastery of the broad literature in his or her major field and knowledge of past and current research activities. Before a student can take this examination, he or she must have completed the course requirements for the research-methods requirements and the approved courses in the student's major and minor areas.
A preliminary examination session generally will be held each May and each January. Each area determines the content and extent of its preliminary examination. A student may be given an oral examination at the discretion of the preliminary examining committee. If a student fails the preliminary examination, the student must retake it the next examination session. If the student fails the exam a second time, the student will be dropped from the program.
VII. Doctoral Dissertation Proposal/Dissertation Committee Requirement
Within 12 months after passing the preliminary examination, a student must formally present, and defend, a dissertation research proposal to his or her formal dissertation committee. In keeping with Graduate School requirements, the dissertation committee shall consist of at least 4 members. The chairperson or at least one of the co-chairs must be from the student's major area. At least 3 members must be from the Krannert graduate faculty. It is the student's right to choose and alter the composition of the dissertation committee. However, it is the right of the faculty to decline any student's invitation to serve as a dissertation committee member or chair.
The doctoral dissertation proposal presentation is open to other faculty and to PhD students. To be accepted, a student's research proposal is expected to represent substantial progress toward completion of a doctoral thesis along with a statement of further work to be performed. Once a student's research proposal is accepted by his or her advisory committee, it is to be considered a "contract" which will guide the student through the final preparation of his or her dissertation. If the research proposal is not accepted by the dissertation committee, the student may be given the opportunity to make a second attempt. However, significant delay in achieving an acceptable proposal may be cause for withdrawal from the program.
VIII. Defense of the Dissertation Requirement
For the dissertation, students are expected to demonstrate competence and ability to conduct research as an independent scholar. Also, the dissertation is expected to be a research effort that makes a contribution to the body of knowledge it addresses. During the conduct of the dissertation, students are encouraged to consult their doctoral dissertation committee frequently. It is the student's responsibility to keep the committee informed at all stages.
A student's public defense of his or her dissertation is required. Note that any major concerns committee members may have about the dissertation are expected to be resolved before the public defense of the dissertation is scheduled. The following procedures hold for the dissertation defense and need to be followed:
The dissertation must be approved by the dissertation chairperson before it is submitted to the final examining committee. Each member of the dissertation committee shall receive a copy of the dissertation at least two (2) weeks before the date of the final examination.
Written notice of the dissertation defense shall be given to Krannert faculty and students at least two (2) weeks prior to the defense.
Copies of the dissertation abstract shall be circulated along with a written defense announcement.
The defense will be conducted by the dissertation committee under the guidance of the dissertation chairperson. The defense format should allow for adequate presentation of the research work and sufficient time for questions and answers by the committee and others present. The format should also include a time when the public is excused so that the dissertation committee may ask further questions of the candidate or deliberate among themselves.
In keeping with Graduate School regulations, only the dissertation advisory committee has the authority to vote for or against the acceptance of the dissertation. These regulations also state the decision rule to be used in determining the final outcome of the defense. Currently, for example, there may be a maximum of one dissenting vote in a successful defense of a dissertation.
Students are cautioned to familiarize themselves with the full set of School and University regulations regarding dissertation format and procedures. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they comply with these regulations.
Specific Admission Requirements
Admission to the management doctoral program is limited to students of outstanding promise. Applicants may have varying undergraduate backgrounds and students can be admitted with only a bachelor's degree. Calculus is required, as many courses use sophisticated mathematical concepts. Students are expected to have sufficient preparation in college-level mathematics and statistics prior to enrollment. For additional admission requirements, please go to our admissions page.