PhD in Business Administration with Emphasis in Business

The PhD program is designed to prepare graduates for careers as effective university researchers and teachers or for senior research positions in business or government. A primary objective of the program is to train PhD candidates to become proficient researchers. Therefore, course work involves research activities such as literature review and critique, theoretical modeling, research design, computer-assisted empirical analysis and preparation of proposals and research papers. Another objective is to train students to become high-quality teachers. PhD candidates are provided the opportunity to teach undergraduate courses in their specialty area. In addition, students are expected to participate in national and regional academic conferences and are encouraged to work with faculty in developing individual research and teaching skills.  The PhD in Business Administration offers three concentration areas: Finance, Management and Marketing. (Concentrations will not appear on diplomas or transcripts.)

Concentration in Finance

The PhD program with a concentration in Finance emphasizes university-level research and teaching skills. The program of study is flexible to meet individual needs and interests, but all students take advanced classes in Finance, Economics, and Statistics. Students are only admitted on a full-time basis and normally work as research or teaching assistants. Students must complete an on-campus interview before any decision can be made regarding their ultimate admission. The GMAT is strongly preferred with the GRE only considered in special circumstances.

Concentration in Management

PhD students with a concentration in Management emphasize university level research and teaching skills. The program of study is flexible to allow students to focus on their personal interests. The program includes a business core of at least 15 hours, at least 15 hours of doctoral seminars in management, one 12-hour or two 9-hour support areas, and a minimum of 12 hours in research methods and statistics (18 hours with one 12-hour support area). Students typically work as research or teaching assistants. The PhD program in management is designed to provide students with a sound foundation for a productive career as an academic at a research-oriented university.

Concentration in Marketing

Students with an interest in behavioral, strategic, or methodological issues marketing are a great fit for this program. It emphasizes the development of research and teaching skills needed to pursue career placement at a research-oriented university.  The program is flexible to meet individual  needs and interests and graduates annually well-situated professionals prepared for the market. In addition, the program offers small class sizes, a set of doctoral specific seminars, and a collaborative environment. Students develop research skills by working with faculty on research projects and from faculty mentoring. Students also gain valuable experience by teaching undergraduate courses. 

Degree Requirements - all concentrations

Below are the degree requirements for all PhD students in Business Administration, regardless of the concentration chosen.

General Business Courses
Before enrolling in concentration area courses, all students must take or have waived the following courses (students with an MBA typically have these requirements waived):
ACCTCY 8310Accounting for Managers3
FINANC 8140Managerial Finance3
MRKTNG 8460Managerial Marketing3
FINANC 8210Microeconomics for Business3
And one of the following:
MANGMT 7380Organizational Behavior and Management: The Individual
MANGMT 8390Organizational Behavior and Management: Dyadic, Group and Organizational Processes
MANGMT 8960Introduction to Strategic Management
Concentration Area of Finance, Management or Marketing
Minimum of 15 hours of 8000/9000 level courses. See below for details.
Support Areas
Supporting areas offer students considerable latitude in identifying a course of study that can be tailored to the individual's interests and goals.
Two support areas of at least 9 credit hours each, one of which must be taken outside the College of Business
One support area of at least 12 credit hours
Research Methods and Analysis Sequence
Includes appropriate courses in economics, mathematics, psychology, sociology, statistics or other areas deemed appropriate by the program committee.
If 2 support areas chosen, student must satisfy 12 hours analytical tool requirement.
If 1 support area chosen, student must satisfy 18 hours analytical tool requirement.
Ongoing seminar experience each semester until successful completion of comprehensive exams, to acquaint students with current literature and research in the major area of interest. This is in addition to other seminars offered departmentally. Minimum of 4 credit hours.
Minimum 12 credit hours in 9090.

These requirements are independent of one another; courses taken to satisfy one requirement may not be used to satisfy any other requirement. Previous graduate work taken before admission to the PhD program may be used to satisfy these requirements if it is deemed appropriate by the student’s program committee.

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Degree Requirements - Finance Concentration

Prerequisites typically needed for Finance program of study:
ECONOM 7351Intermediate Microeconomics3
MATH 1500Analytic Geometry and Calculus I5
MATH 1700Calculus II5
STAT 2500Introduction to Probability and Statistics I3
Required courses:
FINANC 9100Seminar in Corporate Finance3
FINANC 9200Research in Corporate Finance3
FINANC 9300Financial Economics3
FINANC 9400Seminar in Investment Analysis3
FINANC 9001Advanced Topics in Finance3
FINANC 9101Topics Seminar in Finance (taken for 1 credt hour each semester while taking other course work)1-3
ECONOM 7370Quantitative Economics3
ECONOM 8451Microeconomic Theory3
ECONOM 8472Econometric Methods I3
ECONOM 9473Econometric Theory II3
ECONOM 9452Advanced Microeconomic Theory II3
STAT 7510Applied Statistical Models I3
or MATH 7140 Matrix Theory
STAT 7750Introduction to Probability Theory3
STAT 7760Statistical Inference3
Support Areas
Students must complete either two 9-hour Support Areas or one 12-hour Support Area to complement advanced training in Finance. Successful completion may require a written examination. At least one Support Area must come from outside the College of Business. Most students choose Support Areas in Micreconomics and Statistics resembling the following examples.
Example support area in Microeconomics:
Quantitative Economics
Microeconomic Theory
Advanced Microeconomic Theory II
Example support area in Statistics:
Applied Statistical Models I
Introduction to Probability Theory
Statistical Inference
Collateral Area
Students must complete a Collateral Area (12 hours if completing two 9-hour Support Areas, or 18 hours if completing one 12-hour Support Area) selected in cooperation with a student's program committee. Coursework applied to a Support Area cannot be applied to a Collateral Area.
The purpose of the Collateral Area for Finance students is to provide them with the necessary quantitative skills to undertake original empirical research.
Recommended is a Collateral Area in Accounting, Econometrics, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, or Corporate Law. Some representative examples are shown below.
Example collateral area in Econometrics:
Econometric Methods I
Econometric Theory II
Advanced Topics in Econometrics II
Example collateral area in Economics:
Microeconomic Theory
Advanced Microeconomic Theory II
Example collateral area in Corporate Law:
Business Organizations
Criminal Clinic
Example collateral area in Statistics:
Applied Nonparametric Methods
Introduction to Probability Theory
Statistical Inference
Introduction to Stochastic Processes

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Degree Requirements - Management Concentration

Students are required to take four core seminars, and 3 credits of additional seminars that will be offered to match the needs and interests of current students.
Four core seminars:
MANGMT 9030Seminar in Macro Organizational Behavior3
MANGMT 9040Seminar in Human Resource Management3
MANGMT 9060Seminar in Corporate Strategy3
MANGMT 9080Seminar in Entrepreneurship3
While pursuing required course work, all students participate in MANGMT 9101 Topics Seminar in Management (1 hour per semester), which is taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
Support Areas
Students must complete either two 9-hour or one 12-hour Support Areas, tailored to the research and teaching goals of the student. Programs are highly individualized to reflect student interests and desired focus, and subject to approval by the student's program committee.
Typical Support Areas include psychology, economics, research methods and statistics, career development, sociology, marketing, and communication. Below are examples of Support Areas.
Example support area in Psychology:
Personality Psychology
Positive Psychology
Studies in Social Psychology
Example support area in Economics:
Economics of Institutions and Organizations
Advanced Topics in Economics II
Advanced Topics in Finance
Industrial Organization and Competitive Strategy
Microeconomic Theory
Example support area in Research Methods and Statistics:
Introduction to Research Methods in Marketing
General Linear Models in Psychology I
Statistical Software Packages
Studies in Clinical Psychology
Application of Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research
Structural Equation Modeling
Multilevel Modeling
The Logic of Social Research
Ethnographic Fieldwork
Quantitative Economics
Econometric Methods I
Applied Econometrics
Topics in Qualitative Research Methods
Statistical Software and Data Analysis
Applied Statistical Models I
Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
Research Methods & Analysis (RM&A) Area
Students must complete an RM&A Area (12 hours if completing two 9-hour Support Areas, 18 hours if completing one 12-hour Support Area). These courses, selected in cooperation with a student's program committee, will provide students with the tools and techniques necessary for conducting empirical research.
Sample courses are those listed in the Support Area in Research Methods and Statistics above. Courses applied to a Support Area canoon be applied to the RM&A.

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Degree Requirements - Marketing Concentration

Prerequisites typically needed
STAT 1400Elementary Statistics for Life Sciences3
MATH 1400Calculus for Social and Life Sciences I3
Required courses:
MRKTNG 9010Introduction to Research Methods in Marketing1-3
MRKTNG 9020Seminar in Advanced Research Methods in Marketing3
MRKTNG 9030Seminar in Applied Multivariate Analysis in Marketing1-3
MRKTNG 9210Seminar in Marketing Strategy3
MRKTNG 9220Seminar Marketing Models3
MRKTNG 9230Seminar in Consumer Behavior3
Electives (minimum of 3 credits):
MRKTNG 9185Doctoral Independent Study in Marketing3
MRKTNG 9101Current Topics Seminar in Marketing (taken each fall and spring while in residence at MU)1
MRKTNG 9090Research in Marketing (Dissertation - minimum of 12 hours with at least 2 hours each fall and spring and 1 hour each summer semester)12
Support Areas
Students must complete either two 9-hour Support Areas or one 12-hour Support Area, to provide depth in theory and research appropriate for the particular research interests of the student.
Typical Support Areas are social psychology, organizational behavior, economics, and statistics, but other areas may be appropriate. See examples below.
Example support area in Psychology/Social Psychology:
Theories of Social Psychology
Seminar in Social Psychology
Example support area in Organizational Behavior:
Seminar in Management (Human Resource Management)
Seminar in Management (Organizational Behavior I)
Seminar in Management (Organizational Behavior II)
Seminar in Management (Strategic Management I)
Seminar in Management (Organizational Theory)
Example support area in Economics:
Introduction to Game Theory
Intermediate Microeconomics
Microeconomic Theory
Econometric Methods I
Advanced Microeconomic Theory II
Advanced Game Theory
Econometric Theory II
Example support area in Statistics:
Analysis of Variance
Introduction to Probability Theory
Statistical Inference
Categorical Data Analysis
Introduction to Stochastic Processes
Bayesian Analysis I
Advanced Mathematical Statistics I
Advanced Mathematical Statistics II
Econometric Methods I
Econometric Theory II
Analytical Tools
Students must complete courses in research methods and statistics (12 hours for students with two support areas, 18 hours for students with one support area) to provide each student with a sound foundation in research skills.
Two marketing seminars that focus on research methods are required, with additional courses chosen as appropriate for the student's specific research emphasis. Courses in multiple regression, analysis of variance, and multivariate statistics are required.
Students often take additional analytical tools courses to further develop the depth of knowledge in tools required for their specific research interests.
Example analytical tools courses are listed below.
MRKTNG 9010Introduction to Research Methods in Marketing1-3
MRKTNG 9030Seminar in Applied Multivariate Analysis in Marketing1-3
ECONOM 7340Introduction to Game Theory3
ECONOM 7351Intermediate Microeconomics3
ECONOM 8472Econometric Methods I3
ECONOM 9473Econometric Theory II3
PSYCH 8710General Linear Models in Psychology I4
PSYCH 8720General Linear Models in Psychology II4
PSYCH 9320Social Psychology Methodology3
PSYCH 9330Field Research Methods3
PSYCH 9520Psychometrics3
PSYCH 9710Multivariate Statistics in Psychology3
SOCIOL 7120Social Statistics3
SOCIOL 8120The Logic of Social Research3
SOCIOL 8130Advanced Social Statistics3
SOCIOL 9287Seminar in Qualitative Methods in Sociology3
STAT 7210Applied Nonparametric Methods3
STAT 7310Sampling Techniques3
STAT 7510Applied Statistical Models I3
STAT 7530Analysis of Variance3
STAT 7540Experimental Design3
STAT 7750Introduction to Probability Theory3
STAT 7760Statistical Inference3
STAT 7830Categorical Data Analysis3
STAT 7850Introduction to Stochastic Processes3
STAT 8640Bayesian Analysis I3
STAT 9710Advanced Mathematical Statistics I3
STAT 9720Advanced Mathematical Statistics II3
MRKTNG 9010Introduction to Research Methods in Marketing1-3
MRKTNG 9020Seminar in Advanced Research Methods in Marketing1-3
MRKTNG 9030Seminar in Applied Multivariate Analysis in Marketing1-3
MRKTNG 9210Seminar in Marketing Strategy1-3
MRKTNG 9220Seminar Marketing Models1-3
MRKTNG 9230Seminar in Consumer Behavior1-3

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Sample Plan of Study - Management Concentration

First Year
MANGMT Seminar3MANGMT Seminar3Support Area Course #23
Research Methods #13Research Methods #33 
Research Methods #23Support Area Course #13 
MANGMT 91011MANGMT 91011 
 10 10 3
Second Year
MANGMT Seminar3MANGMT Seminar3Research Experience 
Support Area Course #33Support Area Course #43Comprehensive Exam Preparation 
Research Methods #43Research Methods #63 
Research Methods #53MANGMT Seminar3 
MANGMT 91011MANGMT 91011 
 13 13 0
Third Year
Comprehensive Examination MANGMT 9090 (Dissertation)Variable Credit 
MANGMT 9090 (Dissertation)Variable Credit  
 0 0  
Fourth Year
MANGMT 9090 (Dissertation)Variable CreditMANGMT 9090 (Dissertation)Variable Credit 
 0 0  
Total Credits: 49

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All Concentrations

Qualifying Process

Program Committee

During the first semester of course work, the PhD Coordinator, a member of the doctoral faculty from the major area of study (finance, management or marketing), serves as the student’s faculty advisor.

By the end of the first year of course work, a student should make formal application for the doctoral degree and, after consultation with faculty, request appointment of a Doctoral Program Committee. This committee consists of at least three members from the student’s major area of study and at least one member from a supporting area of study.

The Doctoral Program Committee conducts the qualifying examination and works with the student to design a plan of study.

Residency Requirement

In compliance with University regulations, the doctor of philosophy degree requires the completion of 72 semester hours of graduate work beyond the baccalaureate degree. Within the credit-hour requirement is the residency requirement. To satisfy the residency requirement, a student must complete at least two 9-hour semesters or three 6-hour semesters in an 18-month period at MU. All courses taken to satisfy the residency requirement must be MU courses approved for graduate credit and approved by the student’s doctoral program committee. Correspondence and off-campus courses may not be counted toward the residency requirement. This program is designed for full-time students and requires a minimum 4-year on-campus commitment.

Qualifying Examination and First-Year Project

Every marketing doctoral student is required to pass the qualifying exam consisting of two major components. The first component is a comprehensive evaluation of overall performance in coursework and RA assignments and participation in formal and informal doctoral program elements. The second component is a first-year project addressing a scholarly research topic in marketing consisting of three major parts: a written outline, presentation, and paper suitable for submission to a conference or journal. The goal of this project is to promote early research engagement, interaction with faculty, and the development of communication and presentation skills that will enhance the overall experience of the student throughout the doctoral program. 

Finance students take the comprehensive exam following the completion of their doctoral course work requirements.  The exam consists of written and oral sections and is typically scheduled at the beginning of the fall semester in the third year of study.

Management doctoral students are required to pass a qualifying exam composed of two parts: 1) major written sections of a faculty-led research paper and 2) an oral presentation of the entire research project.

First year students are expected to write first drafts of one or more major sections of the paper and to present the entire project before the end of the Spring semester of their first year. During this presentation, students are expected to demonstrate excellence in their specific contributions and to demonstrate they understand all aspects of the research project.

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Comprehensive Examination Process

Typically, after completion of the course work specified on the plan of study, the student’s doctoral program committee determines the student’s readiness to undertake the comprehensive examination. The student must be enrolled at MU the semester s/he takes this examination.

The comprehensive examination process differs by department, but consists of written and oral sections. Both sections must be completed within one month of each other, and at least seven months before a final dissertation defense. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination requires that the student’s doctoral program committee vote to pass the student on the entire examination, both written and oral sections, with no more than one dissenting or abstaining vote. The student who fails this exam may not take a second comprehensive examination for at least 12 weeks. Failure to pass two successive comprehensive examinations automatically prevents candidacy.

Dissertation Requirements

A dissertation is required to complete the doctoral program. Each student, working under the supervision of the doctoral program committee chair, must propose an original scholarly research project. The dissertation proposal is normally defended at the end of the third year of the program in an oral presentation. The proposal must be approved formally by the student's program committee. Following completion of the research, the written dissertation must be orally defended and approved by the student's program committee.

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