SCO Program Requirements

This program is structured to give students a strong methodological and theoretical foundation and an appreciation for the important research questions in SCO. Students graduating from this program will have a broad understanding of the field of operations management, and a deep understanding in their specific area of interest.

Students must take all eight SCO courses (22 credits including SCO 8811, 8821, 8822, 8831, 8832, 8841, 8842, and 8843). and in addition these required methods courses: STAT 5101, APEC 8211, and APEC 8212, They will also complete at least 16 credits in minor/supporting field(s) coursework (frequently some Stats courses). The department also recommends that students take the MGMT 8101 Theory Building, and/or MGMT 8102 Research Methods I - Applied Empirical Methods, and MGMT 8302 Org Theory course. Some students choose to obtain an MS in Statistics while working on their PhD coursework in SCO. Talk with the PhD Coordinator about this possibility.

Course descriptions:

SCO 8811: Operations Strategy - 4 cr.

The course goal is to expose students to the operations strategy area holistically, starting with its origins and historical evolution over time. Students will understand the breadth, develop a sense of the pertinent research questions that have been examined and those that remain unanswered, and begin to develop an informed sense of the emerging/existing research paradigms.

SCO 8821: Management of Technological Operations - 4 cr.

The learning objectives of the seminar are to develop an understanding of the problems in managing technological operations (i) within firms (intra-firm), and (ii) across firms (inter-firm) i.e., designing and sustaining reliable, responsive, resilient and responsible supply chains.

SCO 8822: Innovative Operations - 2 cr.

The course will focus on emerging research topics in supply chain and operations with a particular focus on topics that relate to: (i) technology and supply chains in the context of developing economies and the public sector, and (ii) the increased digitization of supply chains through the use of sharing economy platforms.

SCO 8831: Supply Chain Management - 2 cr.

This course is designed to provide students with some foundational tools and techniques to model and analyze business problems in the context of supply chain management. Basic theoretical models as well as related quantitative methods and techniques will be discussed.

SCO 8832: Analytical Models in Operations - 2 cr.

This is a foundational course that introduces PhD students to analytical models widely used in operations management including optimization, game theory, and queueing theory.

SCO 8841: Behavioral Research in Operations Management - 4 cr.

This course aims to prepare students to conduct rigorous research in the field of behavioral operations.

SCO 8842: Retail Operations - 2 cr.

This course is designed to provide an overview of research in the field of retail operations and to help students develop necessary skills to conduct research in retail operations.

SCO 8843: Sustainable and Socially Responsible Operations - 2 cr.

SCO Ph.D. students, at the end of the summer following their first year, will deliver, in writing and by oral presentation, a student-led paper on a topic relevant to the interests reflected in the diverse faculty of the SCO Department. This student-led paper may take the form of either a critical literature review; a theory-building paper of a social sciences orientation; an analytical paper of as statistical, operations research, applied economics, or mathematical orientation; or an empirical paper using primary and/or secondary data sources.

SCO Ph.D. students are expected to submit their papers to the SCO Ph.D. Coordinator by a specific date, generally in the third or fourth week in August, and to conduct their “45 plus/minus 15” minutes presentation soon after submitting their papers. Exact dates are determined annually and will be communicated to SCO Ph.D. students in advance.

Each SCO Ph.D. student-led paper and presentation will be evaluated by a team of three SCO Department members, with one member preferably identified by the student in consultation with the specific faculty member and the SCO Ph.D. Coordinator.

Students are required to complete a first year paper during the summer after their first year, as well as produce a publishable-quality paper, under faculty supervision prior to moving to the oral prelim exam in their third year in the program.

In the summer after the second academic year, typically when all coursework has been completed, SCO Ph.D. students sit for the Written Preliminary Examination. For procedures and relevant forms, please consult the section titled “Steps to Degree” in the CSOM Ph.D. in Business Administration Student Handbook.

The Written Preliminary Examination is one of two formal assessments to determine whether or not an individual can proceed to the Ph.D. thesis research stage. The SCO Ph.D. Program Written Preliminary Examination is a comprehensive competency examination designed to assess competencies in each of the seven seminars in the SCO Ph.D. curriculum, as well as competencies in synthesizing across the seven seminars and in the conduct of scholarly research. As part of the SCO Ph.D. Program Written Preliminary Examination, SCO Ph.D. students write answers, in class, to open-ended exam questions over multiple days in a two-week period in mid-to-late July.

In addition, SCO Ph.D. students complete a Take-Home portion that requires the submission, one week after the Take-Home is handed out, of a research proposal. This Take-Home portion of the SCO Ph.D. Program Written Preliminary Examination is generally customized to reflect the scholarly, and potentially Ph.D. thesis-related, interest of the examinee. The Take-Home has a page limit of 20-25 pages.

Students typically will complete their oral prelim by the end of fall semester of their third year in the program. Format of this exam will vary depending on the committee chair and adviser.

Students are expected to defend their dissertation proposal no later than the end of their fourth year in the program.