Doctoral Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the program approved or accredited?

Both. The program was reviewed and approved by the UMass Board of Trustees, as well as the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. In addition, the Manning School of Business is in a select group of colleges that has AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation.

How big of a commitment is pursuing a full-time Ph.D.? 

Regardless of the institution, earning a Ph.D. is a significant commitment. Full time students can expect to dedicate between 50 – 60 hours to class work, research, and class preparation.

Why is work experience preferred?

The study of business is a social science, similar to psychology or sociology. Organizations are made up of people. Whether or not these individuals are making financial, accounting, technical or people decisions. We believe that prospective Ph.D. students will be more effective researchers and teachers if they have work experience.

When will I start conducting research? 

Day one. Ph.D. students will be assigned to a faculty member. The student will work on a faculty member’s existing and on-going research projects. This research will be the basis for conference presentations, grant deliverables, and journal publications.

When will I start teaching? 

Not until year two. Students must successfully complete core and comprehensive exams prior to teaching. 

How long will it take to earn a Ph.D.?

The Manning School of Business is different in its approach. We offer both a full and part time degree options. We are one of only a few institutions with such flexibility. The expectation is that full time students will finish in four years, while part time students will finish in seven years. Regardless of the path, the hope is that Ph.D. students will secure a position in a peer or aspirant institution. 

What is the number one factor in the success of a Ph.D. student? 

The ability to build and maintain positive relationships with MSB faculty and fellow Ph.D. students. The importance of the faculty in a Ph.D. student’s development cannot be overstated. Lone wolves seldom make it through Ph.D. programs. 

Is a Ph.D. the next step up from a MBA? 

Absolutely not. The MBA and Ph.D. are two very different degrees. The MBA is a practitioner focused degree designed to make more effective managers. The Ph.D. is a research intensive degree designed to make scholars. Research is the currency in academia. Career mobility, salary, and prestige are a function of an individual’s research. If you are considering a Ph.D. in order to be a teacher first and researcher second, then the Ph.D. is probably not the right path for you. This is not to say you cannot make a living as a college instructor.  More and more, there are non tenure roles, such as visiting instructor and adjunct that allow for business professionals to teach.  

After I complete my degree, what are the typical career paths? 

The Manning School of Business gears its program towards a career in scholarship. Our hope is that Ph.D. students will remain in higher education, at peer or aspirant schools, nationally and internationally.