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Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business—Doctoral Program

 

The theoretically based, managerially relevant doctoral program in business administration seeks to prepare students for careers in research and teaching in management and related areas at leading business schools and universities. This is accomplished by fostering a learning environment in which students can achieve intellectual growth and fulfillment. Successful completion of the doctoral program therefore entails much more than the satisfaction of a set of formal requirements. Doctoral students are expected to assess their knowledge and skills in regular consultation with the faculty and to develop a set of educational experiences that will fulfill their needs and facilitate the pursuit of personal goals.

Contact Information

University of Pittsburgh
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
Doctoral Program
Director
282 Mervis Hall
412-648-1522
www.business.pitt.edu/katz/phd

Application Procedures

All application materials must be submitted by January 1 of the year of expected entry into the program. The basic prerequisite for admission to the doctoral program is the equivalent of an American bachelor's degree. Many applicants also have advanced degrees and professional experience. Scores on the GMAT or GRE (as well as on the TOEFL for international students) are required, along with recommendation letters and transcripts.

Financial Aid

Most financial aid for doctoral students is in the form of an assistantship that requires research and some teaching. The assistantship provides a stipend, tuition remission, and health insurance. Assistantships are available to domestic as well as international students. Funds associated with specific research projects are sometimes available to students, and faculty often help students obtain funding for dissertation research.

Sequence of Study

Progress to the PhD consists of, in order: the seminar phase, comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation. Students complete course work in the seminar phase. This is the time during which the student sets scholarly standards and goals. Every student prepares a written statement called the Field Statement upon declaring the student's areas of study. This is also the time to form relationships with faculty members and begin developing research skills.

Most doctoral courses involve research projects and the majority of students, including all those with assistantships, work on faculty research from an early stage. A minimum of 72 post baccalaureate credits is required for the PhD degree. A maximum of 30 credits from a previously earned master's degree may be applied.

Formal requirements in the seminar phase are:

 

  • Work to ensure a basic level of competence in the disciplines and functions relevant to management. Students choose 6 credits of MBA course work. Some or all of these requirements may be exempted depending on educational background and doctoral course objectives.
  • Eight courses in the major area of study and three courses in the minor area of study or a seven course research methodology minor.
  • A 6-credit teaching requirement.
  • At least four courses in research methodology or a seven course research methodology minor.
  • A grade point average of 3.3.
  • A preliminary evaluation (comprehensive examinations).

Comprehensive examinations are written and oral examinations in both the major and minor area of study. Each student's exams are designed individually, focusing on the area(s) of study. The student is expected to demonstrate comprehensive ability, meaning the ability to synthesize and build on all that the student has learned.

Dissertation

Doctoral students are required to demonstrate their capacity to engage in a sustained research effort by completing a doctoral dissertation. The dissertation entails an independent investigation of a problem of acknowledged significance and size in a management-related area. Only if the dissertation is judged to demonstrate such competence, after a formal defense in a final oral examination, does the department recommend the awarding of a degree.

For more details on requirements of doctoral students, see Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees in the front section of this bulletin.

Timeline to Graduation

Most students earn the PhD in four years. The seminar phase typically lasts two years, while the comprehensive exams and the dissertation together require an additional two years to complete.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations represents the maximum time permitted for the fulfillment of all requirements for the PhD degree. The statute of limitations is as follows:

  1. Comprehensive examinations must be completed no later than the seventh term of study.
  2. The dissertation overview examination must be successfully completed before the end of the fourth year.
  3. The dissertation defense must be completed successfully before the end of the sixth year.

Placement

The Katz School's goal is to place PhD graduates in universities that consistently produce high-quality business research, and a successful record has been established in this regard.

Individual Curriculum Design

The school offers structured doctoral programs in the following areas of study:

  • Accounting
  • Business Analytics and Operations
  • Finance
  • Information Systems and Technology Management
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategic Management

Within the framework of these standard areas, every PhD student plans a unique, individual area of study. A student may choose any of the areas as a primary (major) area of study or as a secondary (minor) area of study. Each of the areas of study provides additional choices to meet student interests and developmental needs. All have subspecialties; all explore a range of current topics. In addition, to expand the option in the core areas, students are invited to draw on courses and research opportunities at the Katz School, as well as other parts of the University, and other institutions.

Two goals must be balanced in planning an individual program. One is to acquire a sound body of knowledge in recognized disciplines and methods. The other is to choose a mix of courses, mentors, and research topics geared to the student's own interests and talents. Ideally, this will lead to a truly original dissertation, followed by a career of meaningful research.

Degree requirements for each of the areas of study are outlined below:

Accounting

The Katz Accounting Doctoral Program prepares graduates to succeed as accounting scholars and educators at top business schools in the United States and abroad. The program features rigorous coursework, thorough research training and close working relationships between doctoral students and faculty to prepare students to be leading accounting academics. Our graduates have an excellent track record of placements at research-oriented business schools and in succeeding in those environments.

All accounting doctoral students are provided with four years of financial support, with three of those years being appointments as a research assistant working with faculty members.  The remaining year is provided in exchange for teaching development and teaching activities.  This ensures that all graduates develop both excellent research and teaching skills.

Accounting Curriculum

Accounting doctoral students take two years of coursework and typically take their comprehensive exams in late August of the summer following their second year. Programs of study are tailored to students’ interests. However, all students take the same graduate level courses in Economics and Statistics and five Accounting PhD seminars. In addition, students will be required to take additional coursework in Finance, Econometrics, Game Theory, Cognitive Psychology, Experimental Design and other areas, as appropriate.

Katz Accounting doctoral students’ research interests have included experimental economics, behavioral auditing, capital markets, corporate governance, organizational design and incentives in healthcare and economic modeling of accounting phenomena.

 

 

 

Introduction to Accounting Research
Experimental Research in Accounting
Capital Markets Research in Accounting
Economic Models of Agency and Control
Empirical Research in Managerial Accounting

Business Analytics and Operations

The Decision Sciences, Operations, and Artificial Intelligence Group offers very flexible options for a doctoral student in a variety of related fields. These programs require coursework for about two years, followed by a period of dissertation-related research. The doctoral program prepares students for a career in teaching and research at institutions of higher learning, although a corporate job is also a possibility.  

Possible specialization areas are:

  • Data Mining and Business Analytics
  • Decision Sciences
  • Project Management
  • Revenue Management
  • Simulation Methodology
  • Stochastic Modeling and Applied Statistical Methods
  • Supply Chain Management

During the first two years, doctoral students typically work with multiple BAO faculty, either as graduate research assistants or as teaching assistants, so that they can learn about the different research interests of the faculty. Some of the coursework taken during the first two years is common for all the various specializations, but some is customized to meet individual student needs. Students, in consultation with their faculty advisors, take courses at Katz, but supplement them with courses from Pitt's Departments of Mathematics, Statistics, and Industrial Engineering and the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. Data mining is a dynamically evolving field, and course offerings may vary substantially from year to year. For their research, students have some flexibility to work on interdisciplinary management issues, such as those that overlap between operations and marketing, operations and strategy, and operations and accounting.  

These programs are designed to lead to involvement in research as soon as possible. Students typically take four courses in each of their first two terms, and then, in their first summer term, begin a significant research project, which may be related to their graduate student assistantship duties. The summer project is intended to lead to a journal submission, and it may also develop into a dissertation topic; a manuscript based on the summer work is expected to be completed by the end of the fall term of the second year of study. Students take additional coursework in their second year of study, and typically take their comprehensive exams no later than the summer of their second year in residence.

Depending on the complexity of the topic, a dissertation may either follow the three-essay model or be an extended, single document. In either case, a student is expected to have publications in appropriate journals before entering the job market at the end of the program.

Business Analytics and Operations Curriculum

PhD students must take three courses in the core plus 15 credits from the following advanced seminars or other approved electives. With the advisor's approval, students may substitute any of these courses with appropriate graduate-level courses from statistics, economics, or engineering disciplines.

Core Courses: BQOM 3011 Linear Programming, BQOM 3012 Nonlinear Programming, BQOM 3013 Stochastic Processes, BQOM 3020 Simulation

Advanced seminars: BQOM 3014 Networks, BQOM 3017 Advanced Topics in Operations Management, BQOM 3018 Decision Making in Complex Environments

The secondary area of study consists of BQOM 3011 and 3013, and one other approved PhD seminar from among those given above or from other approved electives.

The Data Mining and Business Analytics specialization  requires a minimum of eight courses, selected by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor, that cover the following core topics: (1) AI programming techniques, (2) mathematical optimization theory, (3) AI theory, (4) problem-solving and modeling techniques, (5) probability and statistics, and (6) networks and graph theory. Advanced seminars and electives should reflect the student's interests and intended area(s) of application. Students are encouraged to do research in areas of current faculty interest, for the opportunity to develop and use data mining techniques in management.

Finance

The finance doctoral program seeks to prepare students to make significant contributions to the existing body of academic research on topics such as: the financing and investment decisions of firms; corporate governance; the behavior and determinants of security prices, including stocks, bonds, and derivatives; and the management and regulation of financial institutions.  The program produces graduates that can independently identify important research questions and carry out theoretical and empirical investigation at levels suitable for publication in the top academic journals.  The finance faculty works closely with students to develop suitable research topics and very often collaborates with students on joint research.  In short, we strive for our graduates to obtain academic placements at top research institutions.

Finance Curriculum

Finance students take courses from both the Katz Graduate School of Business and the Department of Economics as part of their training.  The finance faculty offers seminars that provide the core of the doctoral students’ training.  These seminars introduce the theoretical underpinnings of finance.  Beyond these seminars, students are expected to take additional finance seminars that focus on their chosen areas of interest.  Since strong methodological skills are critical to a successful scholarly career, finance doctoral students typically also take courses in econometrics, statistics, and mathematical methods.  Students are free to matriculate into courses within the Katz school, other colleges at the University of Pittsburgh (such as Statistics or Mathematics), or at Carnegie Mellon University.

A minimum of eight major and seven methodology related courses are necessary to fulfill coursework requirements.  Students typically pursue four courses per semester for two years prior to taking their comprehensive exams in late summer following their second year.  The finance seminars that are consistently offered by Katz faculty are shown below:

-Finance Fundamentals

-Corporate Finance Theory and Methods

-Corporate Finance Seminar 1

-Corporate Finance Seminar 2

-Corporate Finance Seminar 3

-Empirical Methods in Finance

-Empirical Asset Pricing

-Market Microstructure

-Property Rights and Theory of the Firm


The courses that students often take outside of Katz are shown below:


Advanced Microeconomic Theory 1, 2
Introduction to Econometric Theory
General Econometrics
Advanced Econometrics 1, 2
Mathematics of Finance 1, 2, and 3

 

Information Systems and Technology Management

The doctoral program in Information Systems and Technology Management prepares students for successful scholarly careers in research universities.  The program provides students with theoretical knowledge and methodological skills to enable them to become productive researchers.  Students in Information Systems study problems that practicing IS professionals and managers face as they design, use, and apply information systems and technologies to solve business problems.

Information Systems and Technology Management Curriculum

The Information Systems and Technology Management faculty offer a number of seminars to doctoral students.  These seminars introduce the conceptual foundations of the field and current research topics, as well as a variety of topical seminars that reflect the interests and strengths of the ISTM faculty.  In addition to seminars offered by the ISTM faculty, doctoral students are encouraged to explore courses offered by other interest groups within Katz, by other colleges at the University of Pittsburgh (such as Psychology or Statistics), or at Carnegie Mellon University.

Doctoral students in Information Systems and Technology Management select a minor that complements and supports their research interests.  A minor area may be selected from a disciplinary area (for example, Psychology) or it may be constructed of a related group of courses from several areas (for example, courses related to change in organizations that are drawn from social psychology and organizational behavior). Students may also create a research methods minor by choosing seven research methods courses (combined minor/research methods requirement).


Information Systems and Technology Management students are also encouraged to explore a range of statistics and methods courses in order to develop strong methodological skills, which is crucial for a successful academic career.

During the first two years of study, students typically register for four seminar courses each semester.  Comprehensive exams are typically scheduled in late summer following the second year.

Two seminars are required for ISTM doctoral students:  BMIS 3011 Current Issues in ISTM Research, and BMIS 3012 Foundations of IS Research.  Students are strongly encouraged to register for all seminars offered by the ISTM faculty. 

Over a two-year period, the following Information Systems and Technology Management seminars are typically offered:

BMIS 3011: Current Issues in ISTM Research

BMIS 3012: Foundations of ISTM Research

BMIS 3019: Human Computer Interaction

BMIS 3022: Economics and Information Systems

BMIS 3023: ISTM Implementation & Organizational Change

BMIS 3025: Technology Innovation, Adoption and Diffusion

.

 

Marketing

The marketing doctoral program seeks to prepare students to contribute to the marketing discipline via the discovery, development, and dissemination of knowledge. The program is designed to equip students with the requisite theoretical background and methodological skills for successful scholarly careers at institutions of higher learning. The marketing group feels strongly that the apprenticeship model is the most efficacious approach to doctoral training and, to that end, students typically engage immediately in research projects with faculty.  Recent students have been successful in publishing these projects in leading journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, and the Journal of Marketing

 

Marketing Curriculum

The marketing interest group offers seminars that provide the theoretical core of marketing doctoral students’ training. These seminars introduce the central conceptual and phenomenological aspects of the marketing field, as well as the methodological approaches employed in their examination. Since the field of marketing scholarship segments into consumer behavior, modeling, and marketing management, seminars are offered in each of these areas, plus a methodological and marketing theory seminar.

BMKT 3014 Marketing Strategy
BMKT 3015 Consumer Behavior
BMKT 3017 Marketing Models

BMKT 3025 Market Behavior Research

Beyond these seminars, students are expected to take additional seminars (the minimum major course requirement is eight courses) that focus on their chosen area of interest. Students are free to matriculate into courses within the Katz School, other departments at the University of Pittsburgh (such as Psychology, Economics, or Statistics), or at Carnegie Mellon University.

Since strong methodological skills are critical to a successful scholarly career, marketing doctoral students typically take seven or more courses in analytical methods, statistics, and/or econometrics (the minimum course requirement for a combined research methods/minor is seven). A focus in analytical methods or advanced statistics is the norm.  Below is a list of some of the courses offered to satisfy this requirement.  These courses are offered University-wide, within Katz, or at Carnegie Mellon University.  Other choices may be proposed by the student and approved by the faculty advisor. 

Analysis of Variance
Probability Theory

Experimental Design
Multivariate Statistics 
Mathematical Statistics
Introduction to Econometric Theory

Human Judgment and Decision Making
Behavioral Economics

Katz Microeconomics
Learning and Memory
Advanced Data Analysis
Advanced Topics in Emotion and Decision Making

Students typically pursue four courses per semester for two years prior to taking their comprehensive exams in late summer following their second year.

First-Year Paper

Students are required to complete an independent research paper and submit it to the marketing faculty in the summer of their first year of study (third term). It is anticipated that this paper will develop into a publishable research article.

 

First-Year Paper

Students are required to complete an independent research paper and submit it to the marketing faculty in the summer of their first year of study (third term). It is anticipated that this paper will develop into a publishable research article.

 

Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management

 

The OBHR doctoral program focuses on preparing students to impact the study of people, process and outcomes within the fields of organizational behavior and human resources management. Through research, collaboration and dissemination of knowledge, students understand how to impact organizational effectiveness in a variety of different environments, industries and across multiple levels of analyses. Our expectation is that students will craft a program of research that is built upon rigorous theory as well as strong methodological skills that are both necessary for effective scholarship. We encourage collaboration with OBHR faculty that has a proven track record of publishing within a variety of top outlets (Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Labor Research, Harvard Business Review; Human Resource Management; Industrial and Labor Relations Review; Sloan Management Review).

 

Strategic Management

Students in strategy study the problems and issues facing general managers who must formulate and implement strategies for organizations in uncertain and ambiguous environments. Seminars cover theory and empirical findings related to strategy formulation and implementation, and are intended to familiarize students with the variety of research perspectives relevant to the strategy field. In addition, each faculty member leading a course will ask participants to build upon extant research to develop their own research topics as a first step toward publishing articles.

Curriculum

Eight research seminars form the core of the strategy doctoral student curriculum. These seminars immerse students in the issues and frameworks occupying scholars in the field of strategy, as well as introduce them to the methodological aspects of empirical research. The seminars leverage the current strengths and interests of the strategy faculty, including strategic planning in turbulent contexts, social networks and their impact on competitive advantage, surviving and profiting from radical technological change, and competitive intelligence processes. In addition, we encourage students to explore course options in other departments within the University of Pittsburgh and at Carnegie Mellon University, including Economics, Sociology, and Psychology, as well as more industry-oriented departments and areas such as telecommunications and health sciences.

Strategy majors may elect to minor in a complementary area of study found within Katz or in another University department. Students select a minor that supports their research interests and can provide additional training not available through the strategy area of study. Students may also combine their minor requirements (minimum three courses) with their research methods requirements (minimum four courses) for a research methods minor (minimum seven courses).


Requirements for a Strategy Area of Study

A minimum of eight strategy (and related) courses are necessary to fulfill the requirements of an area of study in strategy. Students typically pursue three or four courses per semester for five or six semesters prior to taking their comprehensive exams. Comprehensives exams must be completed no later than the seventh term.


These are the strategy core courses:

BSPP 3011 Strategic Management Systems

BSPP 3012 Research in Competitive Strategy

BSPP 3013 Foundations of Strategy Research

BSPP 3014 Research in Corporate Strategy

BSPP 3015 Strategic Management and Policy Workshop Strategy

BSPP 3018 Theory Development in Management

Requirements for a Strategy Focus

 

A focus in strategy (for minors and students in other areas) requires the completion of three strategy courses, which must include:

BSPP 3013 Foundations of Strategy Research

plus any two courses from the following list:

BSPP 3011 Strategic Management Systems

BSPP 3012 Research in Competitive Strategy

BSPP 3014 Research in Corporate Strategy

BSPP 3018 Theory Development in Management

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business PhD Course Listing

Listed below are the doctoral courses offered by the Katz School. 

 

BACC

3001

Introduction to Accounting Research

BACC

3010

Independent Study in Accounting

BACC

3014

Experimental Research in Accounting

BACC

3016

Advanced Topics in Accounting

BACC

3017

Accounting Workshop

BACC

3018

Empirical Research in Accounting

BACC

3023

Economic Models of Agency and Control

BACC

3025

Capital Markets Research in Accounting

BACC

3099

Readings in Accounting

BAIM

3099

Readings in Artificial Intelligence and Management

BENV

3011

Core Readings: Business Environment/Public Policy

BENV

3012

Advanced Theory: Values and Ethics

BENV

3013

Environmental Research Methodology

BENV

3014

Advanced Topics: Business Environment/Public Policy

BENV

3031

Government Regulation

BENV

3032

Managing Environments

BENV

3091

Independent Readings in Business Environment, Ethics and Public Policy

BFAE

3001

Microeconomics

BFIN

3010

Independent Study in Finance

BFIN

3011

Theory of Finance 1

BFIN

3012

Theory of Finance 2

BFIN

3013

Empirical Research in Finance

BFIN

3014

Seminar in Corporate Finance

BFIN

3016

Advanced Topics in Finance

BFIN

3018

Market Microstructure

BFIN

3020

Corporate Governance and the Structure of Enterprise

BFIN

3023

Empirical Research in Finance 2

BFIN

3025

International Finance

BFIN

3027

Interaction of Finance and Industrial Organization

BFIN

3099

Readings in Finance

BMIS

3010

Independent Study in Information Systems

BMIS

3011

Current Issues in Research

BMIS

3012

Foundations of Research in Information Systems

BMIS

3015

Advanced Topics in IS

BMIS

3018

Advanced Topics in IS: Workshop

BMIS

3019

Human Computer Interaction

BMIS

3022

Information Systems and Economics

BMIS

3023

Information Systems Implementation and Organizational Change

BMIS

3024

Communication: Structure, Behavior, Meaning and Technology

BMIS

3025

Technology Innovation Adoption Diffusion

BMIS

3031

Workshop Series in Information Systems 1

BMIS

3032

Workshop Series in Information Systems 2

BMIS

3099

Readings in Management of Information Systems

BMKT

3010

Independent Study in Marketing

BMKT

3011

Current Research in Marketing

BMKT

3014

Marketing Strategy

BMKT

3015

Consumer Behavior

BMKT

3017

Marketing Models

BMKT

3018

Special Topics in Marketing

BMKT

3099

Readings in Marketing

BOAH

3002

Seminar in Organizational Behavior

BOAH

3003

Foundations of Human Resource Management

BOAH

3021

Behavioral Systems and Management Thought

BOAH

3024

Leadership of People at Work

BOAH

3027

OBHR Workshop 1

BOAH

3028

OBHR Workshop 2

BOAH

3029

Group Dynamics and Decision Making

BOAH

3030

Leadership in Organizations

BOAH

3031

Advanced Topics in Organizational Behavior

BOAH

3032

Social Capital: Theory and Applications

BOAH

3033

Research Practicum

BOAH

3099

Readings in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management

BQOM

3010

Independent Study in Operations

BQOM

3011

Linear Programming

BQOM

3012

Nonlinear Programming

BQOM

3013

Stochastic Processes

BQOM

3014

Networks

BQOM

3015

Statistical Decision Theory

BQOM

3017

Advanced Topics in Operations Research

BQOM

3018

Decision Making in Complex Environments

BQOM

3020

Simulation

BQOM

3099

Readings in Operations Research

BQOM

3022

Optimization

BSPP

3011

Strategic Management Systems

BSPP

3010

Independent Study in Strategic Management

BSPP

3012

Research in Competitive Strategy

BSPP

3013

Foundations of Strategy Research

BSPP

3014

Research in Corporate Strategy

BSPP

3015

Workshop in Strategic Management

BSPP

3018

Theory Development in Strategic Management

BSPP

3022

Advanced Topics in Strategic Management

BSPP

3099

Readings in Strategic Management

BUSADM

3001

Behavioral Research Methods

BUSADM

3002

Multivariate Analysis for Behavioral Research

BUSADM

3003

Multivariate Statistical Analysis

BUSADM

3011

International Management

BUSADM

3012

Structural Equation Modeling



 

 

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