About the Ph.D. Program in Management

The Ph.D. in Management is a rigorous four-to-five year program preparing students for careers in management and higher education. Students enter into a research-oriented program producing top-level business professionals and educators. The mission of the doctoral program in Management is to advance the careers of students with research and teaching skills who can continue the creation, verification, application, and dissemination of knowledge to academic colleagues, future generations of students and business professionals.

The Ph.D. Program in Management faculty supports students interested in:

  • Business and Managerial Communication
  • Healthcare Analytics
  • Human Resources
  • Employee Well-Being
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Mental Health
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Person-Organizational Fit
  • Strategic Human Capital
  • Strategic Management
  • Workplace Stress

Admission

An excellent prior record from accredited universities is required and should include:

– High GPA (in excess of 3.5), and a positive trend in grades.

-High verbal and quantitative GMAT scores (recommended > 650, minimum = 600) or the GRE equivalent, taken within the past three years.

– Three letters of reference that speak to the ability of the applicant to successfully complete the Ph.D. program and his or her potential for teaching and research.

– A current résumé.

– Applicant’s statement of purpose for pursuing the Ph.D. program (1-2 pages).

– A writing sample (solely authored by the applicant; for example, a paper from a graduate course).

Note that a master’s degree is not required for our program. While there may be some advantages to having a master’s degree (particularly one that has already covered statistics and research methods), it is not a requirement for admission. Furthermore, because the goals of a Ph.D. and master’s program (particularly an MBA) are very different, working on them at the same time will not be beneficial and thus is discouraged. Only in very rare cases do we allow transfer of MBA courses or Ph.D. courses from other programs for credit in our program.

Application Deadlines

We encourage prospective students to get their applications to us by January 1 of the year they would like to be considered for admission. Applications are accepted after this date, but those submitted on or before January 1 will be given first priority.

We only accept students to start in the Fall semester due to the structure of our coursework.

After an initial screening of applications for minimum admission requirements, we conduct phone or video conference interviews with a select group of candidates in January. From there, invitations are given to a small number of potential students for spring visits to interview and meet the faculty during February and early March. Most acceptance decisions are made by March 15. We will accept applications into the summer only if we have yet to fill our available positions.

All applications must be completed through The University of Alabama Graduate School website. To apply, go to http://graduate.ua.edu/.

The Dissertation

Dissertation committee.

The dissertation committee is appointed by the department head or the graduate coordinator in the student’s major field, in consultation with the faculty and the student. The dean of the Graduate School must approve the committee upon submission of the form for Appointment/Change of Doctoral Dissertation Committee.  The committee consists of a minimum of five members of the graduate faculty; no fewer than two members must be from outside the student’s major field and at least one member must be from outside the student’s academic department. Each member of the committee must possess a terminal degree. Exceptions must be approved by the dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration and by the dean of the Graduate School. The director of the dissertation is the chairperson of the committee.

Program areas may impose additional procedures for approval of dissertation proposals. The dissertation committee is responsible for admission of the student to candidacy, supervision of the dissertation, and administration of the final oral examination.

Dissertation requirements.

A dissertation showing power of independent research and literary skill must be prepared on a topic in the major field. The subject of the dissertation must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee. A student who completes the coursework but fails to complete the dissertation within five years after being admitted to candidacy will be required to retake the written examinations and the preliminary oral examination. All candidates are expected to register for dissertation supervision each semester and summer session until the dissertation is completed.

Program Requirements

Student program committee. For registration for the first semester or summer session in residence, each student will be advised by the graduate coordinator or department head of the major field. The graduate coordinator guides the student in course selection and counsels the student regarding other aspects of the program.

Plan of Study.  The PhD Plan of Study is available at the Graduate School website. All doctoral students must have a completed Plan of Study approved by the Graduate School no later than the semester during which the student will complete 30 semester hours of UA and/or transfer credit toward the doctoral degree.  Otherwise, a “hold” may be placed on future registrations.  An amended Plan of Study (if needed) must be submitted to the Graduate School when the student submits the form for Admission to Candidacy for Doctoral Degree.

Scholastic requirements. If a student’s cumulative grade average falls below “B,” or if the student earns a “D” or “F” in a graduate course, the student may be dismissed from the program.

Residency requirements. The minimum period (following the bachelor’s degree) for earning the PhD will vary dependent on the discipline. The program is full-time and a student is expected to maintain continuous residence at The University of Alabama.  Additional information on doctoral residency is in the Doctoral Degrees section of this catalog.

Major field requirements. The student must choose a major field from one of the following programs: accountancy, applied statistics, economics, finance, management, marketing, or operations management. The major field may include cognate courses offered by divisions of the University outside or within the Manderson Graduate School of Business. The student must take at least seven graduate-level courses in the major field to prepare for the comprehensive examination.

Quantitative methods requirements. Each student is required to complete two courses in statistical methods equivalent to the content of ST 550 and ST 551, and two additional courses involving more advanced quantitative and/or statistical methods. These two elective courses are in addition to courses selected to satisfy the major or minor field requirements. A student who selects statistics as the major or minor field may satisfy the quantitative-methods requirement by completing at least four courses involving quantitative methods in addition to those selected to satisfy the minor field requirements in statistics.

Language/research tool requirements. There is no University-wide or College-wide language/research tool requirement for the PhD degree. Each program offering the degree may set its own requirements. In cases where the program has established a language/research tool requirement, candidates must complete the language/research tool requirement before taking the preliminary examination. Each student should contact the doctoral program coordinator in his or her major field for more information concerning language/research tool requirements.

Comprehensive and preliminary examinations. Each student is required to pass a  comprehensive examination in the major field, and, if required, a comprehensive examination in the minor field(s). The examinations primarily aim to determine the student’s ability to show relationships among the various segments of knowledge within the major and minor fields of study. The written examination in the major field is scheduled for each student by the department head or program director. Examinations in the minor field (if required) may be taken at any time scheduled by the respective programs.

Some disciplines may also require a preliminary or qualifying examination in which the student must demonstrate competency in the major field in order to continue in the program.  Such examinations will normally be administered after the first year in the program and will be scheduled by the department head or program coordinator.

In accordance with University policy, a student may attempt each examination no more than two times. However, each student should consult his or her program’s policies for the written comprehensive examination because programs may vary in approach and requirements.

Dissertation committee. The dissertation committee is appointed by the department head or the graduate coordinator in the student’s major field, in consultation with the faculty and the student. The dean of the Graduate School must approve the committee upon submission of the form for Appointment/Change of Doctoral Dissertation Committee.  The committee consists of a minimum of five members of the graduate faculty; no fewer than two members must be from outside the student’s major field and at least one member must be from outside the student’s academic department. Each member of the committee must possess a terminal degree. Exceptions must be approved by the dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration and by the dean of the Graduate School. The director of the dissertation is the chairperson of the committee.

Program areas may impose additional procedures for approval of dissertation proposals. The dissertation committee is responsible for admission of the student to candidacy, supervision of the dissertation, and administration of the final oral examination.

Admission to candidacy. Students are certified by the dean of the Graduate School for Admission to Candidacy for the PhD degree after they have met the following requirements:

  1. Completed the program of approved coursework
  2. Demonstrated in comprehensive examinations their competence in (a) the major field and (b) each minor field requiring an examination
  3. Satisfactorily fulfilled the language/research tool requirement, if any
  4. Passed the preliminary examination, if required
  5. Established an approved dissertation committee
  6. Received approval of the dissertation proposal from the dissertation committee

Dissertation requirements. A dissertation showing power of independent research and literary skill must be prepared on a topic in the major field. The subject of the dissertation must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee. A student who completes the coursework but fails to complete the dissertation within five years after being admitted to candidacy will be required to retake the written examinations and the preliminary oral examination. All candidates are expected to register for dissertation supervision each semester and summer session until the dissertation is completed.

Final oral examination. When the dissertation has been completed the candidate will be given a final oral examination by the committee. This examination is primarily concerned with the research work of the candidate as embodied in the dissertation and the field in which the dissertation lies, but it may extend over the whole primary field of study. The final oral examination is governed by the rules of the Graduate School of The University of Alabama. All faculty members of the Manderson Graduate School of Business are invited to attend final oral examinations. The candidate will present a copy of the final draft of the dissertation to each committee member at least two weeks in advance of the final oral examination.

Time limit for completion of the PhD. A student entering the PhD program must complete all requirements for the PhD degree within seven years of the date of admission in the graduate program. If a student is suspended from the PhD program for exceeding the time limits for completion of the program, the individual may petition the department chair and the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration’s PhD Programs Committee.

Extension of time and/or additional requirements for readmission to the program must be recommended to the Graduate School of The University of Alabama by the student’s departmental graduate faculty and the dean of the college.  A maximum one-semester extension may be granted in those rare instances in which the student presents documentation of compelling circumstances beyond the student’s control that made it impossible to complete the degree within 21 semesters after admission.  See Time Limits Extension Request (Doctoral Only) for the steps in the University’s policy and conditions needed for the dean of the UA Graduate School to consider a one-semester extension.

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