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Disciplinary Depth and Rigorous Methodological Training

Students should be prepared to make a four to five-year commitment to build the credentials needed to earn this Ph.D. degree.  The first-year curriculum includes two disciplinary content seminars (one each in the fall and spring semesters) that build in-depth knowledge of research in the student’s chosen discipline. Two more seminars during the second year (fall and spring) encourage students to dig deeper into the relevant disciplinary and interdisciplinary literature. These four seminars provide the core scholarly knowledge that serves as the platform for the student’s dissertation research.

In parallel, each student takes a sequence of five methodological seminars to build their research methods toolkit during first two years in the program. These seminars are offered in two tracks.  One track supports students who wish to conduct research based on primary data collected using qualitative, survey and/or experimental methods. The other supports students who wish to conduct research based on empirical models developed and tested on archival (secondary) data.

These nine seminars are identical to those taken by students in the traditional full time Ph.D. program in Business at Virginia Tech. Additional disciplinary and research methods courses may be recommended during the second and third year of the program if relevant to the student’s research interests.

In addition, during the first-year students take a microeconomics review over the winter term. They also participate in a module that focuses on issues surrounding scholarly ethics, diversity and inclusion. In the second year, students also participate in a proseminar on business school pedagogy that covers basic instructional approaches and innovations in business school teaching methods.