Ph.D. Curriculum

Students will progress through the Ph.D. in Business Administration in three distinct phases: pre-candidacy, dissertation proposal, and candidacy.

Pre-Candidacy (about 1 to 3 years)

In this phase of the program students complete coursework in the business core, finance, economics, and mathematics. Business core courses are designed to provide students with breadth of knowledge in each of the business disciplines. Students with an academic background in business may receive credit for the business core based upon previous undergraduate or master’s level coursework. In addition, students will serve as teaching assistants for one or more professors. Below is a list of required courses in finance, economics, and mathematics.

Business Core

To ensure their preparation for doctoral level coursework in all business specialties, students must demonstrate proficiency in the Business Core. Students may satisfy this requirement either by taking the following courses or by having previously taken equivalent courses:

  • MBAD 6152  Financial Management (3)
  • MBAD 6171  Marketing Management (3)
  • MBAD 6194  Global Strategic Management (3)

Students who lack sufficient preparation in accounting, economics, or information systems may, at the discretion of the Program Director, be required to complete one or more 5000-level business courses in these disciplines.  For the 6000-level courses listed above, only graduate courses may count as equivalent courses.  However, students may, at the discretion of the Program Director, be permitted to take other 6000-level or higher-level courses in place of those listed above if the student’s background indicates that this would benefit the student.

Major Coursework (Finance)

The Plan of Study for the finance major must consist of a minimum of six courses in finance. Normally these courses are:

  • BPHD 8200  Financial Economic Theory (3)
  • BPHD 8210  Investments and Portfolio Theory (3)
  • BPHD 8220  Financial Economic Theory II (3)
  • BPHD 8230  Theory of Corporate Finance (3)
  • BPHD 8240  Derivatives (3)
  • BPHD 8650  Advanced Seminar in Finance (3)

Minor Coursework (Economics)

The Plan of Study for an economics minor must consist of five courses in economics.  These courses are:

  • BPHD 8100  Microeconomic Theory I (3)
  • BPHD 8110  Microeconomic Theory II (3)
  • BPHD 8120  Econometrics I (3)
  • BPHD 8130  Econometrics II (3)
  • BPHD 8140  Econometrics III (3)

Research Field Coursework (Mathematics)

The Ph.D. in Business Administration requires that students have at least nine hours of research support courses in their Plan of Study.  For the finance major, these research support courses must come from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics or Department of Economics.  Students are required to choose three courses from the following:

  • MATH 8203  Stochastic Calculus for Finance (3)
  • MATH 8206 Stochastic Calculus for Finance II (3)
  • MATH 8204  Numerical Methods for Financial Derivatives (3)
  • ECON 6257  Applied Computational Economics (3)
  • MATH 6205  Financial Computing (3)

Two Examinations

  1. Diagnostic Examination: The Students entering the program are required to take a Diagnostic Evaluation at the end of their first full year in the program. The purpose of the diagnostic examination will be to determine whether the student is making sufficient progress toward the degree.

  2. Qualifying Examination: After completing all coursework, students sit for the Qualifying Examination. The exam is offered twice a year (January and June).

Dissertation Proposal (about 3-4 months)

Upon passing the Qualifying Examination, each student begins formulating his or her dissertation proposal. Working with a dissertation advisor, the student selects and defines a topic. The student then makes a formal Dissertation Proposal to the advisory committee for approval. Once the advisory committee and the Graduate School approve the student’s topic, he or she enters the Candidacy phase.

Candidacy (about 2 years)

After entering the Candidacy phase of the program, it typically takes a student two years to write his or her dissertation. The final step in this process is a formal presentation to the university community. Upon passing this final stage, the student graduates and begins an academic career.