Jul 18, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025 
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025

Management Ph.D.

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Core Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Management will equip you with comprehensive skills for exploring and solving the world’s most intriguing business problems. This 72-credit program is designed to be completed in five years with a combination of course work and dissertation credits.

Each semester, students are expected to take a selected number of graduate-level courses and doctoral seminars. The courses are structured into three buckets:

1) Tools and Methods Courses

2) Foundational Discipline Area courses

3) Thematic Research Seminars

Students must demonstrate knowledge that covers basic business disciplines. This includes courses taken at institutions prior to admission, or graduate courses at Rensselaer.

Typical Program Timeline:

  • Year One: Focus on coursework, create a plan of study, and complete the qualifying exam.
  • Year Two: Complete coursework, select a faculty advisor, and begin dissertation credits.
  • Year Three: Consists of dissertation research, and preparations to form a doctoral committee.
  • Year Four: Continue dissertation research, finalize doctoral committee, and complete candidacy exam.
  • Year Five: Consists of dissertation research and an oral defense of the dissertation.

With consultation, students create an outline of their goals and submit a Plan of Study by the end of the second semester to the Office of Graduate Education. The plan indicates courses the student intends to enroll in, including dissertation credits, to meet the 72-credit graduation requirement.

Areas of Research

Candidates typically work on research topics aligned with articulated thematic research themes. The Lally School, consistent with its mission to create and disseminate knowledge leveraging technological and analytics advances, to address the greatest challenges faced by the world in the 21st century, has articulated four research themes:

  • Decision Intelligence and Risk Analytics
  • Managing in the Digital Age
  • Digitization and Transformation
  • Ethics of Emerging Technologies

Candidates, while developing their research focus in one of more thematic research areas, will also develop their disciplinary domain through consultation with faculty. They include traditional disciplines such as finance, information systems, marketing, operations management, strategic management, organizational behavior, as well as interdisciplinary domains such as quantitative finance, supply chain management, financial technology, and entrepreneurship.

Students are expected to participate in research workshops and symposiums organized by the Lally school. Participation in these events should enable the student to get exposed to, learn about, and engage in, research in their research domains. These events also provide an opportunity for the students to present their work, get feedback and learn. Each semester, students are required to complete 10 hours of proctoring.

The student’s progress will be evaluated yearly with the Doctoral Student Yearly Review (DYSR) with their advisor or the graduate program director. Depending on the student’s stage of development in the program, criteria of evaluation include:

  • Successful completion of qualifying exams
  • Performance in the doctoral research seminars
  • Accurate Plan of Study.
  • Coursework/thesis registration.
  • Formation of doctoral committee.
  • Completion of candidacy exam.

The qualifying exam will be conducted at the end of the first year in the program and will test the student’s proficiency in research methods.

Once a student chooses a dissertation topic, their faculty advisor works with them to create a timeline of major milestone. The advisor will help students to form a doctoral committee. This recommendation is based on the student’s plan of study, objectives, and area of research.

Each student will prepare a dissertation proposal consisting of a problem statement, supporting literature, objectives of the study, a clear statement of the goals of the research and an accompanying research plan and proposed research methodology. 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 focal areas.

The culmination of doctoral studies is the dissertation, which represents the results of an original investigation and demonstrates capacity for independent research. 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 a doctoral degree in management.

Outcomes of the Graduate Curriculum

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competency, both theoretically and methodologically, in their area of specialization.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in conducting original research and contribution to knowledge.
  • Demonstrate ability to write and present academic research papers in scholarly settings, such as academic conferences.
  • Demonstrate ability to write high-quality papers for submission to academic journals.
  • Demonstrate effective presentation and speaking skills in the classroom and in professional academic and business settings.


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