Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mission or purpose of the Ph.D. program in Business Administration –Concentration in Management?
The mission of the program is to prepare students to excel in knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination. The goal is to strive for continuous improvement in training world-class researchers and college professors who are able to conduct independent, original academic research and teach university-level courses in their major areas of study.
The Ph.D. Program in Business Administration is designed to provide students with enough flexibility to discover an intellectual niche while ensuring that all students acquire:
- General research expertise in a particular concentration of study;
- In-depth knowledge and expertise in a selected area of specialization; and
- Competence in quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Coursework will be tailored to students’ specific interests to provide depth in key areas most relevant to their planned research. Numerous seminars encourage students to meet faculty and students from other departments.
How to get help:
Who can I go to see if I feel lost in the program?
You should feel free to stop in to see any member of the faculty. If you don't already know the faculty member, you can knock on his or her door and introduce yourself, and ask about what is on your mind. It is an especially good idea to get to know outside the classroom each of the professors who teach your classes. Discuss with them anything that is on your mind. You should also stay in frequent touch with the graduate advisor and with your research mentor. The department chair is another good person with whom to discuss what's on your mind, as is the professor for whom you are working if you have an assistantship.
Graduate Assistant Information:
How are graduate assistantships awarded?
The Graduate Admissions and Financial Awards Committee considers all applications for assistantships on a competitive basis, and decides who to award the limited number of assistantships to based on its perception of the potential of each student to excel in the program. Naturally this perception is influenced by a student's past performance elsewhere (and here, if the student is already in the program).
How are graduate assistantship assignments allocated to particular graduate students?
The department chair assesses what assignments are available (grading and holding office hours for a professor, teaching a class, doing research for a particular professor, etc.), and assesses the degree of experience and expertise of each of the graduate students who have assistantships. She/he then matches students to job assignments, also taking into account to the extent possible any preferences which have been expressed to him either by faculty or by students. If you have any preferences in this regard, tell them to the department chair sooner rather than later.
How can I obtain a classroom teaching assignment?
The department tries to make sure everyone who plans to pursue a teaching career obtains some classroom teaching experience. To make sure that you qualify, obviously you need to do as well as possible in your classes and in your work as teaching assistant for any professors you are assigned to. When working for a professor, make sure you observe everything about how he or she conducts the class-teaching style, course organization, choice of course content, method of presentation, testing, etc. Ask for the opportunity to give a guest lecture in one or more class meetings. Discuss teaching philosophy with your professors. When you are ready, ask the department chair to give you a class to teach in the next semester or as soon as possible.
If English is not your native language, it is very important that you develop a clear accent so that undergraduate students will not have difficulty understanding you. English as a Second Language classes are very important for you in this regard-you should work hard in them, to ensure that you will eventually qualify to teach in the classroom.
How can I get a research assistantship?
Research assistantships are in limited supply. To qualify, you need to do very well in your classes, and you need to express an interest to a professor who will be having a research assistant in the future. Of course, you also need to inform the department chair of your preferences.
How else can I get involved in research projects with a professor?
You need to seek out a professor with interests similar to your own, and convince him or her that your interest and your expertise, demonstrated in part by your classroom performance, would make you a valuable partner on a project. You might build your relationship with your research mentor into work on a joint project.
How can I find a dissertation topic and chair?
You should start looking for a dissertation topic early in year two of the program, when you are taking core courses. Your dissertation will be in one of your core areas, so you need to read everything on the course reading lists; but don't stop there! If an article interests you, but you think there's more to be done in that area, look through the article's bibliography to find some other relevant articles to read on that topic, look through their bibliographies, etc. Always ask yourself: is there something here that I would have done differently, some different direction I would have taken with the ideas, etc. Discuss your ideas with your professors. In the research workshop, pay attention to how other students, even those not in your area of concentration, got their dissertation topics.
By the start of year three, you should have substantially narrowed down your area of dissertation interest. Use your summer research papers to turn your ideas into a concrete dissertation proposal. Your searches for a dissertation topic and a dissertation chair are really a joint search: a particular professor would be the natural choice to supervise a particular dissertation project. Keep this in mind when deciding which professor to ask to supervise your independent study course.
What funding is available for my dissertation work?
The department has funds available to support students' purchases of data sets, trips to conferences, etc. If you have a particular need, you should ask the department chair. Also, some professors may have funds available from their grants with which to support your needs; you should consider taking this into account when conducting your joint search for a dissertation topic and dissertation chair. Information on external funding opportunities is sometimes posted on the bulletin boards outside the management office or outside the college graduate office.
How does job placement work?
When you and your advisor agree that you are ready to go on the market, the two of you will make arrangements concerning the logistics. The department maintains a file of information on available job openings. You should provide all requested information to the department's job placement officer (the graduate advisor), who will provide your name and other information in response to inquiries from potential employers.
How can I succeed on the job market?
Do well in your classes, impress your professors, choose and complete your dissertation promptly, do a good job in your teaching and research assistantships, and get something published, perhaps out of your dissertation in progress, before going on the job market. Do not get into the market prematurely. If you do not have your Ph.D. in hand at the time of application for a job, your efforts are less likely to be successful.