Degree Requirements

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration is awarded for completion of scholarly research that advances knowledge in the field of research. Evidence of this is demonstrated by a successful dissertation defense. Additionally, recipients of this degree must demonstrate mastery of the body of knowledge within their major field and potential for success in future teaching and research.

Students who enter the program work with the Program Director to develop a Plan of Study during their first two semesters in the program. This Plan of Study will determine the exact coursework that the student must meet in order to be eligible to take the Qualifying Examination. The Plan of Study must meet all Graduate School and Belk College of Business requirements.

The Graduate School requires that any student earning a Ph.D. must complete at least 72 post-baccalaureate semester-hours, including at least 18 hours of dissertation credit. Some of these graduate credit hours may include courses taken while enrolled in other graduate programs. It is a Belk College of Business requirement that any program of study within the Ph.D. in Business Administration must contain at least 42 semester hours of doctoral coursework, regardless of other graduate hours that the student may have previously earned. These 42 semester hours are in addition to the minimum 18 hours of dissertation credit that the Graduate School requires. The Plan of Study must contain a minimum of 18 hours in the major field, a minimum of 15 hours in the minor field, and a minimum of 9 hours in research-support courses.

In addition to the general requirements above, if a student enters the program without a Master’s degree, the Plan of Study must include an additional 30 hours of coursework. This coursework must be taken at the graduate level and will generally include courses that are part of the Master of Accountancy, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Economics, or Master of Science in Mathematical Finance programs. These 30 hours of additional coursework are subject to the approval of the Program Director.

The full curriculum guide for the Ph.D. in Business Administration is available in the Graduate Catalog.