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Management Doctoral Degree Requirements

Program | Faculty | Master's | Doctoral | Courses

The goal of the Ph.D. Program in Management is to produce scholars capable of teaching and doing research related to the management of business organizations. To accomplish this goal, the program is designed to produce students who have demonstrated competence in:
a) the foundation areas of
1) research methodology, (including statistics) and
2) a student’s major concentration, plus
3) a minor core foundation area of either economics or the behavioral sciences.
b) a major area of concentration within business administration and an allied area of minor concentration.
c) designing, executing and completing a significant research project.
d) teaching.

General Program of Study
The program of study normally consists of two to three years of coursework and one to two years of extensive research toward the completion of a dissertation. During the first year, students take foundation courses in research methodology, statistics, economics, and the student’s major field of concentration, which may require a written qualifying examination at the end of the first year. Over the next one to two years, students take advanced courses in research methods, then a major field and a minor field. The program of study is completed by taking the comprehensive examination, usually during the third year. Students must then complete a doctoral dissertation. In addition, all students must have one year of teaching experience prior to graduation.

A minimum program consists of 45 credit hours of course preparation plus a teaching preparation course, and 18 credit hours for the doctoral dissertation.

Prerequisites to the Program
All applicants are expected to be graduates of an accredited American college or university or a foreign institution determined to be equivalent, and to have achieved acceptable grade point averages in all prior undergraduate and graduate studies. Majors in Strategic Management must have an M.B.A. or its equivalent. Applicants are required to submit a Graduate Management Admission Test score.

Students not meeting the program’s entrance requirements generally must take more courses than students who have met the requirements. Applicants with a recent M.B.A. degree are usually considered to have met the entrance requirements.

Specific course requirements are kept to a minimum so that students, in cooperation with their advisers and the director of the Ph.D. Program, may choose a program which best meets their own needs. Introductory course requirements listed below, therefore, are prerequisites to ensure a minimal level of competence in doctoral-level courses.

The following prerequisites should be met upon application, or shortly after entry, to the Ph.D. Program:

a) Information Systems and Management Science
Working knowledge of computer programming, knowledge of management’s use of computers, and knowledge of basic management science applications and models.

b) Mathematics and Statistics
Working knowledge of differential and integral calculus, matrix algebra, probability, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, experimental design, and regression.

c) Economics
Intermediate level knowledge of microeconom-ics and macroeconomics.

d) Social and Behavioral Sciences
Demonstrated competence in the behavioral and social sciences.

e) Business Administration
Introductory level knowledge of the following areas: accounting, finance, marketing, business policy, operations, management, public policy toward business, and business law. Students with a prior business degree are assumed to have this knowledge. Those without prior business degrees are expected to demonstrate their competence in these areas.

Students entering the program may have acquired the knowledge by formal course work, self-study, or work experience.

Core Requirements
All students are expected to demonstrate competence in the foundation or core areas relevant to their major. Therefore, at the end of the first year (third semester for accounting), all students are evaluated by the faculty in their area. For some of the areas this means that students must pass a written or qualifying examination in their area of concentration. It is also expected that marketing and organization studies majors demonstrate satisfactory coursework in economics, and that finance, accounting, and management science majors demonstrate satisfactory course work in the behavioral sciences. This last requirement should be satisfied before students take their comprehensive examination.

Fields of Concentration
The fields of concentration normally consist of a minimum of 30 semester hours; 21 in a major field and 9 in a minor field. The minor concentration may be selected from graduate courses offered anywhere at the University. The major concentration must be selected from one of the following:

Strategic Management
Organization Studies
Management Science
Sport Management
Hospitality and Tourism Management

The major field of Strategic Management is intended to be broad in scope and does not require a specified minor field. The major field of Organization Studies may include aspects of Human Resource Management.

Upon arrival in the fall, a student is assigned an adviser from the major area selected. The student and adviser draft a tentative program of study, semester-by-semester. During the second semester a three-person guidance committee, including the adviser, formally approves the student’s plan of study, including the nature of the comprehensive exam. The plan of study is also approved by the doctoral program director. The nature and scope of the comprehensives must be approved at least one semester before the exam actually takes place. The comprehensive committee must include representation by the minor area; the exam must be written, and may include an oral portion.

Doctoral Dissertation
Upon completing the comprehensive examination, the student forms a dissertation committee in consultation with the projected chairperson and doctoral program director. The committee is composed of at least four members, including one person from outside the Isenberg School. Members on the committee are officially appointed by the Graduate School. A dissertation proposal is written and orally defended before the dissertation committee. After the committee accepts the proposal, the student completes the dissertation research to the satisfaction of the committee. The student must then successfully complete a final oral examination.

Teaching and Research Requirements
All doctoral students must have one year of teaching experience prior to graduation. This requirement is satisfied by serving as a teaching assistant in the Isenberg School of Managment, for which enrollment in the school’s teaching preparation course is required. All doctoral students must also have one year of experience conducting research under the guidance of a faculty member.

Minimum Doctoral Program Schedule

Phase One (primarily first year)
Research Methodology Core 9 credits
Major Field Core 9 credits
Minor Field Core 3 credits

Phase Two (primarily second and third year)
Major and Minor Concentrations 18 credits
Advanced Methods 6 credits
Teaching Preparation
Comprehensive Examination

Phase Three (third and fourth year)
Dissertation Proposal Defense
Dissertation Research 18 credits
Final Oral Examination

Questions concerning the Ph.D. Program should be addressed to: Director of the Ph.D. Program, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. 01003.