Areas of Concentration

Carlson School PhD students choose from seven areas in business administration to focus their studies. Each area provides students with a common orientation to an academic discipline, as well as the opportunity to specialize and develop skills in theory building and empirical research. Students tailor their program of study, as well as research and teaching experience, in close consultation with a faculty member. A complete program of study (major plus minor or supporting program) typically totals a minimum of 40 semester credits plus 24 thesis credits.

To complement courses in business, students select an integrated sequence of methodology courses in areas such as statistics, research design, cognitive modeling, econometrics, survey methodology, or database design.

Area Overview
Accounting Empirical research is a fast and strong growing area of expertise in the Accounting department. The primary methods used are mathematical modeling for theoretical research and statistical and econometric analysis for empirical research. Major areas of faculty expertise include theory of contracting, cost allocation, disclosure, valuation, market efficiency, and accounting regulation.
Finance The Finance department is viewed as a field of applied economics at the Carlson School. Business finance students must have a strong background in economic theory and mathematics. This area is most suitable to individuals interested in economics, mathematics, and quantitative methods.
Information and Decision Sciences The Information Decision Sciences department focuses on teaching intellectual frameworks and methodologies for analyzing the management of information in support of decision making, and the management of information and information technology for organizations. Psychological science, organizational theory, economic theory, and systems development theory are all studied as foundational, theoretical bases for the analysis of information and decision systems.
Marketing The Marketing department is concerned with the economic and social processes that lead to exchanges between buyers and sellers, as well as with the complex issues of the transportation system, logistics trade-offs within a firm, and inter-firm channels of distribution. Students develop conceptual, analytical, and research skills and knowledge in a wide range of marketing and logistics areas. Faculty expertise includes consumer information processing, new product development, channel management, the role of marketing within the firm, pricing strategy, and sales force management, along with logistics channel relationships, supply chain management, and e-business.
Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship The Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship department addresses the external relations between the organization and its environment as well as the internal processes of organizational adaptation and change. Students will be prepared to conduct high level research in strategic management, entrepreneurship, and related areas in management. Students will also be encouraged to develop deep expertise in a foundational field such as economics, sociology, social psychology, or other related fields that complement their core areas of study. Students develop an individualized program of study and work closely with faculty on developing research and teaching skills.
Supply Chain and Operations The Supply Chain and Operations department deals with the study of organizations that produce goods and services and the related methods of management science used to improve operations and organizations. Faculty research interests include strategic management of operations, quality management, technology management, service operations, supply chain management, simulation, and statistical quality control.
Work and Organizations Work and Organizations (WOrg) at the Carlson School includes all aspects of work, the employment relationship, managing and leading people and organizations, the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations, and work-related institutions and public policies. The PhD in WOrg program develops scholars to assume research and teaching responsibilities in business schools and other departments in leading universities throughout the world. The program is academically rigorous with a focus on developing research excellence. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a multidisciplinary understanding of research questions, theory, methods and analytic approaches, while allowing for in-depth and focused research on certain topics based on faculty expertise and student interest. This includes required coursework in organizational behavior, economic analysis, human resource management, research methods, econometrics, and psychometrics. The curriculum is complemented by opportunities for research collaboration with individual faculty members as well as opportunities for developing a teaching portfolio.