Fall Program Delivery & Services: visit the Smith info page for updates regarding the reopening of the University in Fall 2021.

Program Structure

The PhD in Management program is designed to develop highly skilled and ethical researchers who discover and transmit new knowledge that contributes meaningfully to the academic community, the broader business community, and society. As a PhD student, you will foster the critical thinking skills necessary to serve as a respected researcher, teacher, colleague and mentor, respectful of the diversity of methodologies, philosophies and perspectives through which contributions to knowledge can be made.

There are three stages to the PhD program structure, each designed to help you learn the skills necessary to develop a successful academic career. The three stages of the PhD program are:

Stage One: The Foundations

The first two years of the PhD program are comprised of the following three stages, each designed to capture the foundational skills you will need for your academic career.

The Common Core

This part of the program, which is common to all PhD students across all areas of specialization, is designed to help you:

  • build an understanding of an academic career, which includes understanding the publication process, how to develop interesting and impactful research questions, the development of your communication skills and research mentorship skills, as a few examples;
  • develop an appreciation of the ways in which knowledge is generated and communicated in a School of Business;
  • develop foundational skills for teaching.

Behavioural / Quantitative Core

This part of the program helps you hone the fundamental skills in research methods that are tailored to your research interests. Students in the “Behavioural” subject areas, such as Behavioural Accounting, Digital Technology, Marketing, and Organizational Behaviour, will follow the Behavioural Core courses. Students in the “Quantitative” subject areas, such as Analytics, Business Economics, Finance, Financial Accounting, will follow the Quantitative Core courses.

Area of Specialization

This part of the program exposes students to the content and application of the research methods relevant to each area of specialization.

Stage 2

Stage Two: Testing the Foundations

After completing the first two years of coursework (core plus area specific courses), all students must successfully complete a comprehensive exam in their respective areas of specialization. The comprehensive exam, which is conducted during the second year in the program, is designed to help you solidify the foundational knowledge and research skills you will need to successfully complete your thesis, and ultimately emerge as an independent scholar.

Stage Three: Putting It All Together

After successfully passing the comprehensive exam, students are ready to move on to the thesis development stage of the PhD program. This stage typically takes 2 – 3 years, but includes more than just completing a PhD thesis. In addition to the development of your thesis, you will continue to build on the foundational skills established in the first stage of the program, by working to build your stream of research in collaboration with your faculty mentor; serving as a mentor to students just entering the PhD program; continuing to develop your teaching skills by assuming independent teaching opportunities; participating in academic conferences in order to present your research ideas to other scholars in the field; garnering faculty and program support as you pursue academic career opportunities.

Throughout all 3 stages of the PhD program, you will have the opportunity to develop cutting edge teaching skills, preparing you further for success in your academic career.

Stage 3