Manning School of Business at University of Massachusetts Lowell offers a Ph.D. degree in Business Administration. The Ph.D. program is designed for highly qualified students who are committed to scholarly research and teaching, and are motivated to pursue an academic career at business schools. The program also appeals to working professionals who aspire to an advanced degree to enhance their credentials in their current or future industry role or for entrance to academic.
The program focuses specifically on the development of relevant, interdisciplinary research skills applied to current and future business problems and challenges. Students in each of the concentrations will study the theoretical framework of their functional area with the option of exploring timely, related interdisciplinary areas. They will master traditional academic research methodologies appropriate to their respective fields, grounded in current industry trends and issues and will understand the benefits of advancing knowledge while recognizing the practical application of that knowledge in advancing economic and regional development locally, nationally and internationally. Graduates will be prepared for academic careers, research careers and upper level executive positions in both public and private companies.
Program of Study
The Ph.D. program includes eight concentrations: Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, International Business, Leadership/Organization Studies, Management Information Systems, Management Science and Marketing. The curriculum consists of a minimum of 36 credits of in-class coursework and 22 credits of dissertation, in addition to the prerequisite courses.
The Ph.D. can be taken on a full or part time basis. Fall and spring sessions begin with the traditional semesters and the summer session begins shortly after the conclusion of the spring session. The expectation is that full time students will finish the program within four years; while part time students will require no more than seven years.
Prerequisites and Admissions Requirements
Applicants are expected to have successfully demonstrated graduate level knowledge in seven functional areas: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, MIS, Operations Management and Strategic Management. Additionally, they will demonstrate undergraduate competency in Calculus, Statistics and Micro/Macroeconomics. Applicants who have deficiencies in any of these areas will be required to successfully complete coursework to fulfill these prerequisites prior to matriculating into the Ph.D. program.
To qualify for admission into the Ph.D. program, applicants are expected to be graduates of an accredited U.S. college or university or an approved foreign equivalent institution and have earned grade point averages of 3.0 or better in all prior undergraduate and graduate studies.
All applicants must also submit a full Graduate Application, including an official GMAT or GRE score taken within the last five years, official undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts from all previously attended institutions, application form, statement of purpose, application fee, resume, and three letters of recommendation.
If an international transcript does not adequately demonstrate that an applicant has the equivalent of an American bachelor's or master's degree, the applicant must obtain such verification by an independent service such as the Center for Educational Documentation, Boston, MA (617-338-7171). In addition, international students are expected to at least meet the minimum UMass Lowell TOEFL requirements and must submit an official score report.
The faculty admissions committee will review all of the above admissions materials in a portfolio approach.
The program admits new students every other year. Applicants are accepted for the fall only.
Transfer Credit for the Ph.D. in Business Administration
Up to six credits from other AACSB institutions may be transferred on a on a case by case basis. The faculty committee for the Ph.D. in Business Administration can accept transfer credit for graduate courses from an accredited university with a grade of “B” or better which meet the University policy for graduate transfer credit.
Degree Requirements for each Ph.D. in Business Administration Concentration
Four Required Foundation Courses - 3 credits each
Plus one non-credit course - Managerial Research Seminar
* Or Qualitative Research Methods as approved by coordinator within the Leadership/Organization Studies Concentration
Accounting Concentration Overview
The accounting concentration will concentrate on relevant bodies of knowledge, such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing and taxation. The curriculum is designed to develop a high level of student technical and research competence in a specifically defined program area of business. Strong attention will be paid to linking accounting research with accounting practice, specifically guidance relative to best and evolving practices in the accounting field.
In addition to the Four Required Foundation Courses, students must take:
Two Required Advanced Research Design/Methods Courses
Six Concentration Courses
Additional information and concentration coordinator information may be found at: Doctoral Program Fields of Accounting Concentration
Entrepreneurship Concentration Overview
The Entrepreneurship concentration will develop scholars who are thought leaders in advancing theory and practice within the discipline of entrepreneurship. Ph.D. students will gain a thorough understanding of the existing research on both the micro and macro levels. In particular, the core emphasis is placed on technological commercialization, new venture strategy, corporate entrepreneurship and growth at the firm level.
And complete all dissertation credits and requirements. Additional information and Concentration information may be found at: Doctoral Program Entrepreneurship Concentration
The Finance concentration will develop scholars with a deep understanding of financial market, investment theories, financial innovations and strategies and the current challenges facing financial specialists. This program will be grounded with course content, research methodologies and projects developed collaboratively by faculty and financial industry partners to meet the research challenges facing the financial community.
Additional Information and Concentration Coordinator information may be found at Doctoral Program Finance Concentration.
International Business Concentration
The international business concentration will prepare scholars who have interest in the theory, research and practice of management with a cross-border or cross-cultural dimension. Given the trend of globalization and the importance of emerging economies, international business has become one of the fastest-growing area of interest by both academic researchers and practitioners.
Qualitative Research Methods (coordinator approval required)
And complete all dissertation credits and requirements Additional information and Concentration Coordinator information may be found at: Doctoral Program International Business Concentration.
Leadership/Organization Studies Concentration
The leadership/organization studies concentration crafts scholars in organizational phenomena. In addition to rigorous training in research methodology and statistics, the concentration entails courses in the science of organizational behavior, organization theory and leadership. Students build on this core grounding with tailored coursework that fits their research interests and chosen level of analysis. Accomplished faculty members mentor student research throughout the program and foster their engagement in the progression.
Two Required Advanced Research Design/Methods Courses.
Additional information and Concentration Coordinator information may be found at: Doctoral Program Leadership/Organization Studies Concentration.
Management Information Systems Concentration
The Ph.D. concentration in MIS provides students with a deep understanding of the technical and organizational aspects of information systems and business analytics. The program is designed to prepare students for teaching, research, and professional careers involving the design, analysis, implementation, and use of information systems and data-driven technologies. It trains scholars and professionals to conduct innovative research that cuts across areas such as information systems, data science, computer science, economics, and business functions, in order to address significant technical and managerial challenges related to the advances in information technology. The program offers foundation courses in research methodology, advanced courses in data analytics, electronic commerce, and enterprise systems, as well as research seminar courses on current state-of-the-are topics. The Ph.D. students will undertake research studies to advance the knowledge in the fields of information systems and business analytics.
And complete all dissertation credits and requirements. Additional information and Concentration Coordinator information may be found at: Doctoral Program MIS Concentration.
Management Science Concentration
The Ph.D. concentration in Management Science rigorously prepares students to conduct cutting-edge research and to be inspirational instructors in the field of fundamental and applied business modeling, sophisticated quantitative and analytical methods of decision-making. Students will pursue research in the areas of data-oriented decision analytics and will be equipped with analytical and modeling skills such as data mining, statitsics, mathematical modeling, simulation, optimization, and business analytics methods. The program emphasizes research that focuses on real-business problems and maintains a balance between theory and practice. Nationally and internationally known faculty members in both predictive and prescriptive analytics field supervise students' research progress and help them integrate in their career.
And complete all dissertation credits and requirements. Additional information and Concentration Coordinator information many be found at: Doctoral Program MIS Concentration.
The objective of the Marketing Concentration is to train students in the theories and methods necessary to conduct substantive research in areas including marketing strategy, consumer behavior, new product and service development, social media, digital marketing, and retailing. Strong emphasis is given to providing the students with the skills to contribute to extant knowledge in the marketing discipline as well as the flexibility to customize the program based on their interests and career goals.
And complete all dissertation credits and requirements. Additional information and Concentration Coordinator information may be found at: Doctoral Program MIS Concentration
First-Year Summer Paper
Ph.D. students will be required to submit one summer research paper at the end of the first year. The paper must be the student's own work; that is the student must be either the single author or the first author of the paper if it is based on a research project with MSB faculty member(s). The quality of the summer paper will be evaluated by the concentration faculty and a grade of "pass/fail" will be granted. Students who fail the summer paper may, at the discretion of their concentration Committee members, be permitted a second and final opportunity to resubmit the summer paper before the end of the first semester of the second year. Ultimately, if the student cannot meet this requirement, the student will be dismissed from the program.
Doctoral Qualifying Exam
Students must take a comprehensive doctoral exam, which must be passed prior to students’ enrollment in dissertation credits.
Doctoral Dissertation (minimum 22 credits)
The minimum number of dissertation credits is 22. During each semester of the dissertation stage, students will register for 1, 3, 6, or 9 credits of direct supervision with their dissertation advisor. Students must successfully pass oral defenses of both the dissertation proposal and of the completed dissertation and submit a complete, approved dissertation to the library for publishing.