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July 7, 2022

All About a PhD in Business Administration


The PhD in Business Program at a Glance

Here are some quick statistics about the business PhD program to help you gauge what you’ll need to do to complete your doctoral degree program.

Credits needed to graduate:90
Number of specialization classes:5
Number of core classes:8
Number of elective classes:5
Number of research and dissertation credits needed to graduate:36
Hours in class per week:9
Median weekly income of doctoral degree-holder (BLS, 2022):$1,909

What Does a Business PhD Program Entail?

Business degree doctoral programs prepare students to conduct highly specialized scholarly research. Most graduates with a PhD in business enter careers as university researchers and professors or as senior researches, leaders or consultants in business or government.

Business PhD programs are typically research-centric with a focus on the development of new theories in management, economics and related fields. Specialized areas of study include the following:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Human development (in organizational settings)
  • Information systems
  • Leadership and organizational change
  • Operations research
  • Organizational systems

Students pursuing a PhD in business work closely with a faculty adviser who is a recognized scholar or practitioner in the field. The faculty mentor and student collaborate on research projects, meet regularly to design and develop the student’s dissertation theory and research, and may co-produce papers for publication. The doctoral dissertation is the culminating product of a business degree doctoral program, and it is generally accompanied by a comprehensive exam or a series of exams.

Most schools require their PhD candidates to gain teaching experience in order to obtain their degree; students generally do so by working as a teaching assistant for their faculty mentor. Candidates may also elect to take on additional teaching assignments through their university.

Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Education Pays

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.