PhD in Business Administration

The PhD program in Business Administration 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.) See the page for the emphasis in Business Administration for details on the three concentration areas.

Degree Requirements

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 Marketing1-3
FINANC 8210Microeconomics for Business1-3
And one of the following:
MANGMT 7380Organizational Behavior and Management: The Individual
MANGMT 8390Organizational Behavior and Management: Dyadic, Group and Organizational Processes1.5
MANGMT 8960Introduction to Strategic Management1.5
Concentration Area of Finance, Management or Marketing
Minimum of 15 hours of 8000/9000 level courses.
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 student 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 hours of credit 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.

Back to Top

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.

Back to top

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.

407 Cornell Hall 
Columbia, MO 65211

Back to Top