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Washington State University
Carson College of Business Ph.D.: Management Concentration

Ph.D.: Management Concentration

We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2021

This program will prepare you to conduct high-quality research publishable in top-tier journals and to teach at leading institutions of higher education throughout the United States and abroad.

The program requires an understanding of the academic discipline of management, which is divided into two tracks for research:

  • Strategic management
  • Organizational behavior

You will complete two years of intense coursework to learn about your area of specialization and develop the ability to conduct scientific research using tools of statistical analysis and research design.

The program typically requires four years to finish, including courses, a second-year area paper, a comprehensive exam, and a doctoral dissertation. In case of exceptional merit, students in the program may be awarded a fifth year of funding, determined at the discretion of the doctoral program committee.

Admission requirements

A minimum admissions index score of 1250 is required to be considered for admission. The index is based on the formula GPA x 200 + GMAT (and a TOEFL of 580 for ESL students). There is not a minimum GMAT score requirement. However, successful candidates typically exceed 630.

We prefer the GMAT, but we do accept the GRE test as a substitute. In either case, the exam must have been taken within 5 years of the time of application to WSU. A GMAT conversion will be applied to the GRE score submitted by applicants who take the GRE in lieu of the GMAT. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) provides a conversion chart. The converted GRE score will then be applied to the Carson College of Business admissions index score in the same manner as a standard GMAT score.

Desired prerequisites

Most successful applicants to our program have attained, at minimum:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a four-year accredited university
  • 3.25 GPA
  • 600 GMAT score

As an entering Ph.D. student, you should be competent in statistics and business (management, economics, psychology, human resources management, finance, accounting, marketing, and operations management), and have adequate computer skills and a good command of the English language. If you are deficient in any of these areas, additional coursework and preparation (beyond the major course of study) may be required. Your advisory committee will determine those requirements.

Academic progress expectations

Once admitted, you will be expected to sustain progress toward completion of the Ph.D. program. These are the required steps:

  • Form a Program Committee by the end of the second semester
  • Produce a second-year paper by the end of the fourth semester
  • Complete written field exams by the end of the fifth semester (but no earlier than the fourth semester)
  • Complete the oral part of the field exams by the end of the fifth semester (after completing the written field exam)
  • Form a Dissertation Committee by the end of the fifth semester
  • Defend a dissertation proposal (as approved by the Dissertation Committee) by the end of the sixth semester
  • Defend the dissertation by the end of the eighth semester
  • Pass the English Competency exam by the end of the second semester (ESL TAs only)

College-wide colloquium

You will complete BA 598: Research and Professional Development Seminar during the first semester.

Major field requirements

15 credits

You are required to complete the following doctoral seminars. The seminars are designed to familiarize you with the literature and integrate research streams in the management field, thus providing you with a foundation for comprehensive exams.

  • Mgmt 597: Doctoral Topics I (Seminar in Organizational Behavior)
  • Mgmt 595: Doctoral Topics II (Seminar in Organizational Theory
  • Mgmt 590: Doctoral Topics III (Seminar in Strategic Management)
  • Mgmt 584: Doctoral Topics IV (Seminar in Entrepreneurship)
  • Mgmt 594: Doctoral Topics V (Seminar in International Business/other specializations such as ethics and justice)
  • Plus 6 hours of Mgmt 600: Independent Study in Major Area

Supporting field requirements

15 credits

With the approval your advisory committee, you may select additional coursework from areas such as, but not limited, to anthropology, economics, marketing, psychology, and sociology.

In addition, with the approval of your advisory committee, you may transfer up to 12 credit hours completed in other accredited graduate programs to the WSU Ph.D. program.

Research tool requirements

12 credits

  • Bus 596:  Research Methods
  • ANOVA (e.g., Psych 512)
  • Regression/Econometrics (e.g., Soc 512, Stat 533, 535, Econ 511, 512)
  • Psychometric Theory (e.g., Psych 513/514)

Ph.D. research credit requirements

24 credits, minimum

In addition to the research tool and field requirements, the Ph.D. in Business requires an additional body of research credits in preparation and development of the final dissertation. A minimum of 24 (800-level) research credit hours is required.

Additional Ph.D. coursework requirements

6 credits, minimum

All Ph.D. candidates must complete the above requirements plus an additional 6 credit hours. These additional credits can be designated classes or specific study credits (independent readings) approved by your advisory committee. They can also include college and department colloquium credits.


Leah Sheppard
Associate Professor
Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship
Todd Hall 437D

Program at a glance

Degree offered: Doctor of Philosophy
Number of faculty working with students: 11
Number of students enrolled in program: 12
Students with assistantships/scholarships: 83%*
Priority application deadline: January 10

* Remaining students are Fulbright scholars or students supported by their governments)

Universities and colleges employing recent graduates:

  • Oregon State University
  • Illinois State University
  • University of North Texas
  • University of North Carolina-Wilmington
  • University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Peking University, China
  • Sungkyunkwan University, Korea
  • Wichita State University
  • University of Alaska, Anchorage; and more