Through courses taken prior to admission or courses within the doctoral program, management Ph.D. students must demonstrate knowledge that covers basic management areas, such as marketing, finance, and organizational behavior. In addition to area content courses, students are expected to take courses related to Lally’s thematic focus areas. The doctoral adviser and committee evaluate each student and specify any courses needed to fulfill the breadth and depth requirements. Each semester, the student is expected to take a selected number of doctoral-level seminars offered by the Lally School.
In addition, all doctoral students must take a three-course research methodology sequence and a two course sequence in advanced statistical techniques. Since the doctoral degree is research oriented, the student must complete a research paper as part of the research-methods course sequence. In consultation with their faculty adviser, students normally submit an outline of their goals and a Plan of Study by the second year. The plan indicates courses the student intends to use, including thesis credits, to meet the 90-credit graduation requirement. The student’s past experience and study may allow for considerable flexibility in plan development. By the third year, the student is expected to complete all course work, a comprehensive examination on business and economics fundamentals and quantitative methods, and a field exam in their area of concentration. This is followed by a candidacy exam and a final defense.
Research programs and concentrations are developed through tutorial relationships with faculty. They include traditional disciplines such as finance, marketing, and organization, as well as interdisciplinary programs such as international business, financial technology, entrepreneurship, environmental management, and new product development. Candidates are encouraged to combine fields; for example, entrepreneurship and management of information systems or the strategic uses of technology.
Students choose specific courses in consultation with the Ph.D. director, concentration area advisers, and members of the research committee. They also may petition the doctoral committee for a program of advanced studies and research not included in the above. Faculty in the student’s area of desired expertise will prepare the field examination, which includes a written and oral examination. For information concerning the requirements for a typical program of study, applicants should contact the director of the Ph.D. programs.
The appropriate faculty evaluate a student’s progress yearly. Depending on the candidate’s stage of development in the program, criteria of evaluation include:
- Performance in the doctoral research seminars and the required methodology courses.
- Appropriate Plan of Study.
- Coursework/thesis registration.
- Successful completion of the field exam.
- Formation of doctoral committee.
- Completion of candidacy exam.
- Identified goals, expectations, accomplishments, and career path.
- Successful completion of the qualifying exam.
Students failing to satisfy the requirements of the annual evaluations will be terminated from the management doctoral program.
Once a student chooses a dissertation topic, the student adviser recommends a doctoral committee for that student to the Graduate School. This recommendation is based on the student’s desires and objectives within the Plan of Study. Before completing 75 credit hours of graduate study, each student will prepare a research proposal consisting of a problem statement, supporting literature, proposed research methodology, and anticipated results. The presentation of this research topic to the academic community, followed by an examining session conducted by and limited to the student’s doctoral committee, will comprise the candidacy examination. A student will be admitted to candidacy upon satisfactory performance of the candidacy examination and by meeting the requirements in designated core disciplines (through their study in the concentration or program area and through the preparation of a research paper).
The culmination of doctoral studies is the dissertation, which represents the results of an original investigation and demonstrates capacity for independent research. The candidate’s studies lead to the dissertation and include participation with faculty in research activities. This participation may form the basis of the dissertation topic. Participation in these projects should enable the student to structure, engage in, and report on a research endeavor concerned with management processes. This is a requirement that must be satisfied prior to the admission to candidacy. Students will present the results of their dissertation research to the Rensselaer community and be examined by their doctoral committees. Upon satisfactory completion of this examination (and university requirements), students will be awarded the doctoral degree in management.