Jing Zhang, Graduate Program Director
Katrina Davenport, Graduate Program Manager
The Doctor of Philosophy degree in business administration (Ph.D.) is a scholarly, research-based program with a professional orientation. The objective of the program is to prepare individuals of superior promise and potential for careers in higher education as faculty members engaged in teaching and research and for high level administrative and research careers in the private and public sectors. Persons completing the degree program must have demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of international business, research methods, and high potential for making significant contributions to their field of specialization in business.
The Ph.D. degree requires competence in basic disciplines of international business, research tools, and in one of the following concentrations: finance, information technology, marketing, or strategic management.
Work for the doctoral degree is usually preceded by the successful completion of a Master’s degree in a business-related field (i.e., MBA) from a recognized AACSB-accredited college or university. The applicant must submit an application, official transcripts of all college or university-level work, provide Graduate Management Admission Test scores taken within the last five years, and provide three letters of recommendation, two from academic references, which attest to the individual’s academic potential and ability for achievement. The applicant must also submit a personal statement of goals, approximately two to three pages, on how the completion of the doctoral program will assist in achieving personal and professional career goals.
The completed application materials will be reviewed by the graduate program director and faculty in the major area of study. They will evaluate the individual’s abilities and motivation to succeed in the doctoral program. A personal interview may be required before the admission decision can be reached. A recommendation is made by the faculty and a final decision on admission is made by the graduate program director.
The following are the minimum requirements for the Ph.D. degree and must be considered in preparing the student’s plan of study:
- Satisfactory completion of at least 48 semester hours of course work . (At least 48 hours of post-master’s course work (including dissertation) is a University requirement);
- Demonstrated competency in the following areas: international business, research methods and techniques, and the chosen functional field of business. Passage of a comprehensive examination covering international coursework is required. A student may retake the International Business comprehensive examination only one time;
- Acceptable performance on a written and oral candidacy examination in the major field of study. A student may retake the candidacy examinations only one time;
- Completion of a dissertation representing the candidate’s ability to conduct scholarly, original research. The quality of this research should be such that it would be worthy of publication in a refereed, scholarly journal; and,
- Successful oral defense of the dissertation.
|BUSN 800||Seminar in International Business||3|
|ECON 806||Econometrics I||3|
|FIN 864||Empirical Asset Pricing||3|
|ECON 807||Econometrics II||3|
|FIN 861||Seminar in Investments||3|
|FIN 865||Financial Econometrics Methods||3|
|ECON 808||Econometrics III||3|
|FIN 860||Advanced Financial Theory||3|
|FIN 862||Seminar in International Finance||3|
|FIN 863||Seminar in Current Financial Topics||3|
|MGMT 821||International Strategic Management||3|
|MKTG 826||Seminar in International Marketing Problems||3|
|Total Credit Hours||54|
International Business Comprehensive Examination to be taken in May after the completion of coursework in the second year of the program.
Field Comprehensive Examination to be taken in August after the completion of coursework in the second year of the program.
To remain in good standing after admission to the program, students must maintain a minimum, cumulative grade point average of 3.20 in all graduate course work completed at the University. Students who fall below this minimum standard will have nine credit hours to remedy this deficiency. Further, students may earn no more than three credit hours with the grade of C. Any student receiving a grade lower than C in a graduate course work will be dismissed from the program.
Time Limitation and Residency
The Ph.D. program assumes that a well qualified and highly motivated student can complete all degree requirements in four years of full-time work. If a student is unable to pursue the degree on a full-time basis, or if the major field is different from previous academic training, more time to complete the degree is usually required. The maximum time allowed to complete all degree requirements is eight calendar years from the date of initial enrollment in the program.
Each student is required to complete at least four regular semesters in full-time residency. These need not be consecutive. Full-time residency is defined as a minimum of nine credit hours per semester.
A maximum of 12 semester-hour credits (or equivalent) may be transferred from another university (including six hours earned through experiential learning credit options) and applied toward the Ph.D. course requirements. Transfer credit is approved at the discretion of the program director in consultation with the faculty in the student’s major field of study.
The examination qualifying the doctoral student for candidacy for the Ph.D. in business administration is comprehensive in nature and designed to test the student’s knowledge of subject matter in the major field, international business, and the ability to engage in independent research. These examinations are given in two parts:
- international business and
- field of study.
The International Business Exam is a written exam scheduled for the third week of May and may be taken by a student in good standing after the student has completed BUSN 800, FIN 862, MGMT 821, and MKTG 826 . The candidacy examination in the field of study is scheduled at the beginning of fall semester classes. Students in good standing may take the Field of Study Examination after completing all courses in their field which are to be taken during the first two years of the program. See Curriculum. The Field examination contains both a written and oral component. The written portion is administered first. After successful completion of the written examination, the student sits for an oral examination, which includes topics discussed in the written examination and any additional materials that the advisory committee feels are appropriate. The student will be expected to perform well on both the written and oral components of the examination. Rather than being merely pro forma, the oral examination is a serious and integral part of the qualifying procedure for candidacy. A student must pass both the written and oral sections. The candidacy examinations are prepared and evaluated by the examination committees composed of the graduate faculty who are primarily responsible for teaching doctoral courses in international business and the field of study. The results of all examinations are reported to the student and program director.
The dissertation represents the final stage in obtaining the doctoral degree and provides evidence of the student’s ability to conduct independent scholarly research. To effectively initiate, conduct, and conclude the dissertation phase of the program, the candidate must:
- form a dissertation committee;
- develop and defend a dissertation proposal;
- complete the dissertation research and report the results in writing; and
- orally defend the dissertation.
The dissertation committee is formed by the student with the approval of the program director. The committee’s purpose is to supervise the selection of the dissertation topic, constructively critique the research methodology, and serve as a guidance body until its completion. The committee should have at least three members, one of whom is from outside the department of the major field of study. The chair of the committee will be from the candidate’s major field and be an authority in the field of specialization chosen for the dissertation research. The proposal, dissertation, and the final oral defense of the dissertation must have the majority approval of the members of the dissertation committee and subsequent approval by the program director and dean of the college.
Dissertation Proposal Defense
A candidate will select a topic for dissertation research under the guidance of his/her committee. The candidate will defend a proposal for the dissertation demonstrating the originality of the research, requisite literature review, and the methodology that will be used in conducting the research. The committee will judge the merits of the proposal, making any suggestions and/or additions as deemed necessary, and approve the proposal in writing, providing copies to the program director.
Dissertation Research and Preparation
Progress on the dissertation should be reported on a periodic basis to the chair of the dissertation committee and the appropriate members. In most instances, research results, drafts of the manuscript, and guidance will be forthcoming between the committee and the candidate during the research phase. While preparing the dissertation, candidates must be continuously enrolled for a minimum of one credit hour per semester. The total number of credit hours for the dissertation shall be no less than 18 and no more than 24 credit hours. Advice or assistance from committee members should not be expected unless the candidate is officially enrolled. General regulations and procedures governing the submission of the doctoral dissertation are provided in the University Guide for Preparation of Theses and Dissertations available from the Office of the University Registrar.
Oral Dissertation Defense
The objective of the oral defense of the dissertation is to explore with the candidate the methodological and substantive contributions of the dissertation. Through this process, the examiners and the candidate reach a common understanding of the research area and can mutually agree upon its merits for publication. Majority approval by the examiners constitutes successful completion of the defense of the dissertation. The Doctor of Philosophy in business administration will be awarded upon successful completion of this examination and all other program requirements within the eight-year time limit.