General Program Requirements

The general expectation is that students can complete the program within five years of admission. Within this general framework, the seven areas of concentration have specific requirements, as well as guidelines for format and timing. Detailed requirements information can be found under each area of concentration:


The first two years are spent taking pertinent coursework, determined by the student with the advice of the area coordinator. Students must complete at least 40 semester credits or coursework within the first two years of the program, including:

  • Courses in a major area and in a minor or supporting program
  • An integrated sequence of methodology courses in areas such as statistics, research design, cognitive modeling, econometrics, psychometrics, survey methodology, or database design
  • Also maintain a 3.3 minimum GPA

Research & Teaching

All students are assigned teaching and research assistantships each year as part of the requirement for their stipend, tuition waiver and health insurance.  While expectations vary by department, students will typically work an average of 20 hours per week (50% time) as a TA and/or RA. In addition to serving as a teaching assistant, students will be teaching one or two courses before they complete the program. 

Preliminary Examination

Students must successfully complete both a written preliminary exam and oral exam. The written exam usually occurs during the summer after the second year of coursework. After passing the written prelim, students can schedule the oral prelims typically during the third year.

Dissertation Proposal and Final Defense

As a research degree, all PhD students receive comprehensive research training by working closely with faculty advisers. Following the oral preliminary exam, students pursue their dissertation research, completing a proposal and final dissertation defense.

Doctoral Minor in Business Administration

Carlson School offers a graduate minor in business administration through its PhD Program.

To complete this minor a student must complete at least 16 graduate credits from one of our concentrations: Accounting, Finance, Information Decision Sciences, Marketing, Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain and Operations, or Work and Organizations.

For more information about the doctoral minor contact