Courses and Seminars

The Ph.D. in Business Administration – Operations and Supply Chain Management program normally consists of two to three years of coursework, plus two years of research work to complete the doctoral dissertation. A minimum of 64 credit hours beyond the master’s degree (96 beyond the baccalaureate) is required by university regulations, including 18-24 hours for dissertation research. For the academic program, the department requires 36 hours of coursework plus 6 hours of directed research study past the prerequisite requirements. The student’s academic committee might require additional coursework beyond these departmental requirements. The departmental requirements are:

  • Research Methods (15 hours) – Each student will complete five specified research methods courses. These courses provide the student with a working knowledge of the research methodologies commonly employed in operations and supply chain research. The requirement includes a course in each of the following: deterministic models, stochastic models, economics, statistics, and multivariate methods. Specific course selections are based on each incoming student’s academic background.
  • Doctoral Seminars (15 hours) – Five research seminars provide the student with exposure to a wide variety of research studies within the operations and supply chain management domain. The seminars are research focused and cover classic papers in the field as well as articles examining current and emerging research topics. Due to the evolutionary nature of research, seminar content will evolve over time. These seminars expose the student to a wide variety of research questions, methodologies, and provide the student with a platform for defining his/her own research program. Three of the five seminars constitute the core body of knowledge in the area of operations and supply chain management, while the other two of five seminars are offered as special topics. The special topic seminars are offered at the discretion of the Ph.D. advising committee and the department head.
  • Focused Research Methods (9 hours) – Conducting high quality research requires that the student obtain cutting edge expertise in the applied research methodology. This is accomplished by completing three advanced courses focusing on the dissertation research methodology. The student, in consultation with the academic committee members, will select the specific courses.
  • Directed Research (3 hours) – Directed research provides an opportunity for the student to work closely with a faculty member on a research project. The objective of the directed research is to lay the foundation for a research paper that is eventually presented at a national level professional society meeting and published in an academic journal. In addition, the directed research provides a significant opportunity for exploring in depth potential dissertation research topics. The direct research is scheduled during the first two years of the student’s course work.

Active participation in the research seminar series is an essential component of the program.  The research seminar series provides a forum for visiting scholars, faculty, and doctoral students to share and nurture research ideas.  Each student’s second-year paper, dissertation proposal, and dissertation defense will be presented in a scheduled departmental seminar.  All students are expected to actively participate in the seminar series by asking questions and providing constructive feedback.

Graduation Requirements

The Ph.D. in Business Administration – Operations and Supply Chain Management degree is not granted solely for the completion of coursework, residence, and technical requirements, although these must be met. To qualify for graduation, candidates must also demonstrate a strong grasp of the subject matter of a broad field of study along with an ability to do independent research that makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge. In addition, candidates must acquire the ability to communicate clearly and assertively, both orally and in writing.