Ph.D. Policies and Procedures

Core course requirements

To ensure all students have the skills to be successful in their chosen fields, only Ph.D.-level courses are accepted for credit beyond the master’s level. Exceptions must be approved by the Ph.D. program committee.

Two elective independent study courses are mandatory. Within these courses, the student will work with a professor in the School of Business to develop a research paper. The papers must be submitted to a conference or to a journal.

Every Ph.D. student must give at least one research presentation once a year at the School of Business Ph.D. conference. This may be a 20-minute whiteboard talk in the Ph.D. research conference, or an outside talk, such as a workshop or conference.

Ph.D. activity review

Each student's learning and research progress is reviewed by the Ph.D. program committee near the end of the fall and spring semesters.

  • In preparation for this review, each student must submit a brief progress report describing the learning and research progress since the last review as well as plans for the time period before the next scheduled review.
  • The report myst be approved by the student's adviser, then submitted to the Ph.D. program director.
  • Each faculty instructor of a doctoral seminar will be required to provide a brief report about the performance of the student. The report should be submitted to the Ph.D. program director.
  • In addition, Ph.D. students who have taken research credits must also submit a report to the Dean of Graduate Academics on a special form, the Doctoral Activity Report (DAR). The DAR must be signed by the adviser and the Ph.D. program director.
  • It is acceptable to write a single report and submit the DAR to the Ph.D. program director as well as to the graduate office.

The outcome of the progress review is that a student is placed into one of three categories: good standing, probation, or terminated.

  • A student in good standing is making satisfactory progress toward the degree, and is expected to follow through on the plans outlined in the progress report.
  • A student on probation is making inadequate progress toward the degree. A student on probation will receive a letter from the Ph.D. program committee that explains what remedial actions must be taken to return to good standing, and by what time each action must be taken.
  • Only students who were on probation in the preceding semester will be considered for termination.

Qualifying examination

Each full-time Ph.D. student must pass qualifying exams no later than the fourth semester of study. Each part-time Ph.D. student must pass qualifying exams no later than the sixth semester of study. Exceptions must be approved by the Ph.D. program committee.

The exam is designed to certify that the student is broadly educated in key research methods and management research areas, and has the knowledge to perform original research. Students will be examined in research methods and specific research fields based on their doctoral coursework

A student may take qualification examination up to two times. Any parts of the examination that were passed the first time do not need to be taken the second time.


It is expected that once students enroll in the doctoral program, they will remain enrolled without interruption until graduation. However, it is sometimes necessary for a student to take a leave for a reason such as personal difficulty or health. If such a situation arises, the student must petition the Ph.D. program committee in writing for a leave, which, if granted, will last for one semester. To extend the leave, a new petition must be filed. Neither indefinite leave nor excessive repetition of leave is permitted. While the student is on leave, any time limit faced (such as completing the qualifying exam within two years) is suspended for the length of the leave.