Business Administration Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

Overview

The Ph.D. in business administration is designed to inspire and train scholars to identify, investigate, and solve novel business challenges that influence business and society, particularly, those that are triggered by technological changes. Our program has a sharp emphasis on the effects of technological innovation on discipline-based theories and research. Our faculty adopt an apprenticeship model in working with students to become independent scholars, cutting-edge researchers, and well-trained educators at research-oriented universities.

The program offers three areas of specialization:

Digital Transformation: Digital transformation emphasizes the integration of digital technologies that have altered the marketing of products and services, as well as the management of information systems. In this area of specialization, you will study the design and development of digital artifacts and their implications for interpersonal interaction, analyze the modes of human information processing in digitally transformed business contexts, and theorize the emergence of new business models and ways of organizing in digitally immersive environments.

Strategy and Innovation: A distinct feature of 21st century competition is the pivotal role played by technological innovation as a competitive advantage for organizations. In the strategy and innovation specialization, research emphasizes the growing role of technological capabilities and innovation-based products and processes as a source of competitive advantage. You will acquire knowledge and skills to address novel research questions about firm-level strategy and innovation-related challenges faced by managers and policy makers.

Finance and Accounting: The finance and accounting specialization emphasizes new challenges and research areas that have emerged from technological innovations within finance and accounting disciplines. These areas include FinTech, high-frequency trading, alternative trading systems (dark pool and ECNs), crowdfunding platforms, P2P lending platforms, blockchains, cryptocurrencies, data analytic tools in auditing and credit rating, digital transformation of SEC filings and corporate disclosures. In this area of specialization, you will study the antecedents and consequences of technology in finance and accounting.

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Research

At the intersection of innovation, technology and business, Saunders faculty consistently publish their research in elite journals across the following three Ph.D. specialty areas.

  • Digital Transformation
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Strategy and Innovation

Learn more about Business Administration Ph.D. research

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Curriculum for Business Administration Ph.D.

Business Administration, Ph.D. degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
MGIS-815
Research Design
3
Choose one of the Research Methodology I courses:
ESCB-830
Econometrics I
3
MKTG-825
Multivariate Methods and Analyses
3
Choose one of the Research Methodology II courses:
ESCB-830
Econometrics I
3
ESCB-835
Econometrics II
3
MKTG-830
 Structural Equation Modeling
3
 
Focus Area Courses
6
 
Support Area Courses
6
 
SCB Electives
3
Second Year
SCBI-801
Business Administration PhD Second Year Paper
0
SCBI-895
Business Administration PhD Comprehensive Exam 
0
 
Focus Area Course
9
 
Support Area Courses
6
 
SCB Electives
9
Third Year
SCBI-890
Business Administration PhD Dissertation Research
10
Fourth Year
SCBI-890
Business Administration PhD Dissertation Research
10
Fifth Year
SCBI-890
Business Administration PhD Dissertation Research
10
Total Semester Credit Hours
78

 

Focus Areas

Students must declare a focus area in either Finance & Accounting, Strategy & Innovation or Digital Transformation.  The tables below detail the courses for each focus area and corresponding support area and graduate electives. 

Finance and Accounting Focus Area Courses

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
ESCB-810
Financial Economics
3
FINC-810
Technology in Accounting and Finance
3
Students must choose three courses from the list below
ACCT-810
Doctoral Seminar in Research in Financial Accounting
3
ACCT-820
Auditing Research Seminar
3
ACCT-858
Seminar: Special Topics in Accounting*
3
FINC-820
Research Topics & Methods in Corporate Finance
3
FINC-830
Research Topics & Methods in Investment & Asset Pricing
3
FINC-858
Seminar: Special Topics in Finance*
3

 

Finance and Accounting Support Area Courses

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Students must choose four courses from the list below
ACCT-745
Accounting Information and Analytics
The objective for this course is helping students develop a data mindset which prepare them to interact with data scientists from an accountant perspective. This course enables students to develop analytics skills to conduct descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analysis for accounting information. This course focuses on such topics as data modeling, relational databases, blockchain, visualization, unstructured data, web scraping, and data extraction. (Prerequisites: ACCT-110 or ACCT-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Summer).
3
BANA-680
Data Management for Business Analytics
This course introduces students to data management and analytics in a business setting. Students learn how to formulate hypotheses, collect and manage relevant data, and use standard tools such as Python and R in their analyses. The course exposes students to structured data as well as semi-structured and unstructured data. There are no pre or co-requisites; however, instructor permission is required for students not belonging to the MS-Business Analytics or other quantitative programs such as the MS-Computational Finance which have program-level pre-requisites in the areas of calculus, linear algebra, and programming. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
FINC-780
Financial Analytics
This course provides a survey of financial analytics applications in contexts such as investment analysis, portfolio construction, risk management, and security valuation. Students are introduced to financial models used in these applications and their implementation using popular languages such as R, Matlab, and Python, and packages such as Quantlib. A variety of data sources are used: financial websites such as www.finance.yahoo.com, government sites such as www.sec.gov, finance research databases such as WRDS, and especially Bloomberg terminals. Students will complete projects using real-world data and make effective use of visualization methods in reporting results. There are no pre or co-requisites; however, instructor permission is required – student aptitude for quantitative work will be assessed; waived for students enrolled in quantitative programs such as the MS-Computational Finance which have pre-requisites in the areas of calculus, linear algebra, and programming. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MGIS-725
Data Management and Analytics
This course discusses issues associated with data capture, organization, storage, extraction, and modeling for planned and ad hoc reporting. Enables student to model data by developing conceptual and semantic data models. Techniques taught for managing the design and development of large database systems including logical data models, concurrent processing, data distributions, database administration, data warehousing, data cleansing, and data mining. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MGIS-805
Advanced Data Analytics
3

 

Strategy & Innovation Focus Area Courses

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
MGMT-820
Foundations of Strategy Research
3
MGMT-821
Organizational Behavior & Creativity
3
MGMT-822
Innovation
3
MGMT-823
Business, Technology and Society
3
MGMT-824
Contemporary Topics in Strategy Research
3

Strategy & Innovation Support Area Courses

Group A Courses
Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Students must choose two courses from the list below
ESCB-835
Econometrics II
3
MGIS-805
Advanced Data Analytics
3
MGIS-811
Qualitative Research Methods
3
MKTG-830
Structural Equation Modeling
3
Group B Courses
Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Students must choose two courses from the list below
ESCB-810
Financial Economics
3
MGIS-810
Societal Impacts of Digital Transformation 
3
MGMT-825
Seminar: Emergent Topics in Management
3
MKTG-805
Psychological Foundations of Business Research
3
 
SCB Graduate Independent Study
3

 

Digital Transformation Focus Area Courses

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
MGIS-805
Advanced Data Analytics
3
MGIS-810
Societal Impacts of Digital Transformation
3
MGIS-812
Management Information Systems: Theories and Perspectives**
3
MGMT-822
Innovation
3
MKTG-805
Psychological Foundations of Business Research
3
MKTG-810
Marketing Theory**
3

Digital Transformation Support Area Courses

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Choose one from the following:
ESCB-830
Econometrics I
3
MGIS-811
Qualitative Research Methods
3
Choose three courses from the following: 
ESCB-835
Econometrics II
3
FINC-810
Research Seminar: Technology in Accounting & Finance
3
MGMT-820
Foundations of Strategy Research
3
MGMT-821
Organizational Behavior & Creativity
3
MGMT-825
Seminar: Emergent Topics in Management
3

 

 SCB Graduate Electives

Please discuss with your advisor about which electives aligns with the focus area

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
BANA-780
Advanced Business Analytics
This course provides foundational, advanced knowledge in the realm of business analytics. Advanced topics such as machine learning, analysis of structured data, text mining, and network analysis are covered. Industry standard tools such as R and Python are extensively used in completing student projects. (Prerequisite: BANA-680 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MGIS-725
Data Management and Analytics 
This course discusses issues associated with data capture, organization, storage, extraction, and modeling for planned and ad hoc reporting. Enables student to model data by developing conceptual and semantic data models. Techniques taught for managing the design and development of large database systems including logical data models, concurrent processing, data distributions, database administration, data warehousing, data cleansing, and data mining. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MGIS-735
Design and Information Systems
Students who complete this course will understand the principles and practices employed to analyze information needs and design appropriate IT-based solutions to address business challenges and opportunities. They will learn how to conduct requirements analysis, approach the design or redesign of business processes, communicate designs decisions to various levels of management, and work in a project-based environment. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MGIS-745
Information Systems Development
Systems development provides MBA students with the fundamental techniques and concepts necessary for programming in a modern programming language. Emphasis will be placed on object-oriented programming concepts. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate core programming concepts, and will be able to write simple business applications. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
MGIS-760
Integrated Business Systems
This course focuses on the concepts and technologies associated with Integrated Business Information Systems and the managerial decisions related to the implementation and ongoing application of these systems. Topics include business integration and common patterns of systems integration technology including enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise application integration (EAI) and data integration. The key managerial and organizational issues in selecting the appropriate technology and successful implementation are discussed. Hands-on experience with the SAP R/3 system is utilized to enable students to demonstrate concepts related to integrated business systems. (familiarity with MS Office suite and Internet browsers) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MGIS-811
Qualitative Research Methods
3
MKTG-763
Buyer Behavior
The course reviews the major theories that frame the understanding of both consumer (end-user) and business buying behavior. Topics include the buying decision process, the impact of emotion, product knowledge, and product involvement on purchasing decisions. In addition, behavioral, social and psychological perspectives will be discussed. All perspectives will be applied to designing marketing strategy. (Prerequisites: MKTG-761 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MKTG-768
Marketing Analytics
This course provides an overview of marketing analytics in the context of marketing research, product portfolios, social media monitoring, sentiment analysis, customer retention, clustering techniques, and customer lifetime value calculation. Students will be introduced to, mathematical and statistical models used in these applications and their implementation using statistical tools and programming languages such as SAS, SPSS, Python and R. Multiple data sources will be used ranging from structured data from company databases, scanner data, social media data, text data in the form of customer reviews, and research databases. Students will complete guided projects using real time data and make effective use of visualization to add impact to their reports. There are no listed pre or co-requisites; however, instructor permission is required – student aptitude for quantitative work will be assessed; waived for students enrolled in quantitative programs such as the MS-Computational Finance which have pre-requisites in the areas of calculus, linear algebra, and programming. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MKTG-772
Internet Marketing: Strategy & Tactics
This course examines the impact that the internet has on traditional and contemporary business-to-consumer marketing activities. It explores these implications in both strategic and tactical terms to enhance organizations' levels of competitiveness. The course identifies the use of the internet in enhancing value for consumers and considers the leverage of the latest technologies, trends, e-culture and innovation through the medium of the internet. (Prerequisites: MKTG-761 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
MKTG-776
Product and Brand Management
An essential element of corporate success is the management of products and brands. Firms in both consumer and commercial industries often manage their marketing strategies and tactics through the activities of their product and brand managers. This course will examine the role of product and brand managers in the development and execution of strategies that deliver value to targeted customers and grow the business. The role of product and brand managers will be examined through all phases of the firm's product and brand life cycle. The course emphasizes the decisions that firms expect product and brand managers to make to achieve market share and financial objectives. (Prerequisites: MKTG-761 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
MKTG-778
Commercialization and Marketing of New Products
This course emphasizes the marketing and product strategy-related activities required to create, develop, and launch successful new products. Topics covered include identifying the market opportunity for new products, defining the product strategy, understanding customer requirements, developing and updating the product business plan, marketing's role in the firm's product development process, developing the marketing plan for launching new products, and managing the product life cycle. The course emphasizes best practices in marketing-related activities required for successful new product commercialization. (Prerequisites: MKTG-761 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MKTG-825
Multivariate Methods and Analyses
3
MKTG-830
Structural Equation Modeling
3
 
SCB Graduate Courses 700 level or higher with advisor approval 
3

 

* Students can take either ACCT-858 or FINC-858, not both

** Students can take either MGIS-812 or MKTG-81, not both

 

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program in business administration, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete an online graduate application*. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for information on application deadlines, entry terms, and more.
  • Submit copies of official transcript(s) (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work, including any transfer credit earned.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or US equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information.
  • Not all programs require the submission of scores from entrance exams (GMAT or GRE). Please refer to the Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements page for more information.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. Students below the minimum requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for additional information on English language requirements. International applicants may be considered for an English test requirement waiver. Refer to the English Language Test Scores section within Graduate Application Materials to review waiver eligibility.

*Application fee is waived for fall 2022 applicants.

Assistantships and Financial Aid

All incoming students are provided an assistantship, which includes tuition and stipend. As part of assistantship, all first-year students are assigned research activities. In subsequent years, students are assigned a combination of research and teaching responsibilities. Students making satisfactory progress toward the degree can expect to be provided assistantship for a maximum of five-year period.

Learn more about graduate admissions