In an increasingly globalized world characterized by rapid change and progress, business communities need innovative scholarship that challenges established convention and gives practitioners, policymakers, and cultural influencers cutting-edge, evidence-based findings and tools to help them manage, lead, innovate, and excel in their careers and organizations. Scholarship such as this is produced at business schools with a vibrant, innovative PhD program in Business.

The PhD program in Business is designed to address such needs.  The PhD Program in Business will enhance GMU’s mission by increasing the number of doctoral programs, research intensity, and university-wide interdisciplinary research and collaboration. By providing access to regional research sites and the diverse Mason community, our students will emerge from the program prepared to study many of the organizational problems within the Commonwealth as well as the world. 

This program is designed as an overarching degree with four concentrations from which the students must pick one.  The concentrations will be in Organizational Behavior, Strategic Management, Information Systems, and Operations Management.  Each student will declare their concentration prior to admission, in order for the school and faculty to properly prepare courses for degree completion. While some courses will be in common for all students taking the PhD in Business, each concentration will contain unique courses.  The goal with this model is both to simplify the overall administration of the program (one degree), but allowing the students the relevant domain knowledge to succeed in their specific field (required concentration).

Admissions

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions

In addition to the University's requirements for graduate admission, the School of Business will require applicants to the proposed program to submit the  following:

  • Scores from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last five years. Minimum scores are as follows:
    • GMAT: 600
    • GRE Verbal: 155
    • GRE Quantitative: 155
    • GRE Analytical: 3.5
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one letter from a current or former professor, and one letter from a current or former supervisor.
  • Resume, including relevant work and/or research experience.
  • Statement of professional and academic mission and goals.
  • Personal interview for selected applicants.

Policies

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Banner Code: BU-PHD-BUS

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 72

The PhD in Business includes courses in the Business Core, within each concentration, and then credits towards dissertation research. Within each concentration there are required and elective courses. 

PhD in Business Core

All students pursuing the PhD in Business will take the following courses:

BUS 701Professional Practicum3
BUS 702Writing for Business PhD Students3
BUS 703Research Project3
BUS 801Field Research in Business 16
Total Credits15

Concentration in Organizational Behavior (ORGB)

All students pursuing the concentration in Organizational Behavior will be required to take courses in the domain, research methods courses, and specialization or elective courses. 

Required Courses
MGMT 711Seminar in Organizational Behavior3
MGMT 712Seminar in Strategic Management3
MGMT 893Special Topics in Organizational Behavior 16
Total Credits12

 Concentration in Strategic Management (STMT)

All students pursuing the concentration in Strategic Management will be required to take courses in the domain, research methods courses, and specialization or elective courses. 

Required Courses
MGMT 711Seminar in Organizational Behavior3
MGMT 712Seminar in Strategic Management3
MGMT 892Special Topics in Strategic Management 16
Total Credits12

Concentration in Information Systems (ISY)

All students pursuing the concentration in Information Systems will be required to take courses in the domain, research methods courses, and specialization or elective courses. 

Required Courses
MIS 721Seminar in Information Systems1.5
OSCM 721Seminar in Operations and Supply Chain Management1.5
MIS 722Seminar in Economics of Information Systems3
MIS 723Seminar in Technology Research in Information Systems3
MIS 892 Special Topics in Information Systems 13
Total Credits12

Concentration in Operations Management (OMGT)

All students pursuing the concentration in Operations Management will be required to take courses in the domain, research methods courses, and specialization or elective courses.

Required Courses
MIS 721Seminar in Information Systems1.5
OSCM 721Seminar in Operations and Supply Chain Management1.5
OSCM 731Seminar in Supply Chain Management3
OSCM 732Seminar in Innovation and New Product Development3
OSCM 893Special Topics in Operations Management 13
Total Credits12

Research Methods

Research methods courses are designed to prepare students to evaluate and investigate a range of research approaches including data collection and analysis, data mining and econometrics, and empirical and analytical modeling. All courses must be approved by a faculty advisor.

Select 15 credits from the following:15
Microeconomic Theory
Econometrics I
Econometrics II
Linear Programming
Integer Programming
Stochastic Processes
Multiple Regression
Quantitative Methods IV: Multivariate Techniques in Psychology
Special Topics in Psychology
Survey Research
Qualitative Research Methods
Ethnography
Social Networks, New Media, and Inequality
Analytic Techniques of Social Research
Nonparametric Statistics and Categorical Data Analysis
Applied Regression Analysis
Applied Statistics I
Case Studies in Data Analysis
Statistical Inference
Applied Statistics II
Regression Analysis
Multivariate Statistical Methods
Total Credits15

Specialization

Students must choose a specialization area closely related to their concentration, which consists of 15 credits of approved coursework. A student may select a specialization with a second concentration in Business, or may develop a specialization with the approval of the academic advisor. No more than one Independent Study course with a faculty member may be used toward satisfying the specialization requirement.

Examples of acceptable specialization areas include psychology (for students in the Organizational Behavior concentration), industrial engineering and statistics (for students in the Operations Management concentration), sociology (for students in the Strategic Management concentration), and economics and computer science (for students in the Information Systems concentration). Courses taken to fulfill the specialization must be in addition to any other requirements for the concentration.

Electives

Students complete the remaining credits through additional elective courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.0-3

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all courses required by the program. Students must also successfully complete and pass written and/or oral comprehensive exams.

Dissertation Research

All PhD in Business students must satisfactorily complete a doctoral dissertation. A PhD in Business dissertation culminates doctoral study. Such work must clearly demonstrate the candidates' abilities to apply principles of business-related problems within one’s chosen concentration. It must integrate knowledge of various disciplines with knowledge of relevant practice and theory. The dissertation must also make a significant contribution to existing knowledge or practice within one’s chosen concentration.

Students must register for 3 or 6 credits the first semester enrolled in BUS 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal. Students must register for at least 1 credit of BUS 998 thereafter until they are permitted to register for BUS 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.  Students must register for 3 credits the first semester enrolled in BUS 999 and must register for at least 1 credit of BUS 999 thereafter until all work has been completed, including the semester in which the degree is received. Students must apply a minimum of 12 dissertation credits (BUS 998 and BUS 999 combined) to the degree.