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Manning School Launches Ph.D. Program

Business Program Emphasizes Advanced Research

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Manning School of Business Ph.D. student Jenna Tang has found strong support from faculty members like her adviser Asst. Prof. SangHyun Suh. 

By Jill Gambon

Drawn to the idea of immersing herself in research and teaching at the college-level, Jenna Tang has long wanted to be a business professor. Enrolling in the Manning School of Business’ new Ph.D. program brings her closer to that goal.

Tang is one of 12 students to who started in the Manning School’s Ph.D. in business administration program in September. 

“I feel so lucky to be here,” says Tang, who is focusing on accounting. “There are a lot of resources available and the faculty has been incredible. Their doors are always open.”

There was a high level of interest in the program, with 60 applicants for the first semester, which exceeded expectations, says Scott Latham, associate dean of the Ph.D. program.
Students from across the globe are enrolled, with eight different countries represented, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, China, India, and Vietnam. In addition to accounting, students can choose concentrations in finance, technology management, management information systems and leadership.

With an emphasis on advanced academic research, the doctoral program is elevating the profile of the Manning School, says Professor Khondkar Karim, accounting department chairman.

“This raises our stature and makes us extremely competitive,” he says.

“There’s a huge difference in being a Ph.D.-granting institution,” says Latham. “It’s about being a thought leader.”

To support a doctoral program, the Manning School has recruited several new faculty members and invested in tools such as Wharton Research Data Services, which provides online access to key financial, economic and marketing data.  The school has also established a Research Advancement Committee as a forum for faculty and Ph.D. students to exchange ideas and get input on projects.
“Sharing ideas is important. It helps with high-quality research,” says Asst. Prof. SangHyun Suh, who joined the accounting faculty last year and is teaching in the Ph.D. program.

For Tang, who earned her master’s degree in accounting from Boston College and a bachelor’s degree in Finance and English at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China, the give-and-take with other students and faculty members is one of the things she likes best about the program so far.
“I love the environment here. You focus on your interest and you get inspired,” she says.