Business Administration, Ph.D.

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Minimum Total Hours: 90

Program Code: D140

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Michael F. Price College of Business offers a program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The applicant need not hold a degree in business administration, and applications from students in disciplines other than business are encouraged. The degree requires 90 hours beyond the undergraduate degree and dissertation hours cannot exceed 30 of the 90 hours.


The student has four years from the point of admission to candidacy and six years from the point of entering the doctoral program to prepare and successfully defend the dissertation. If the student fails to do so, they will be required to retake the general examination. These time limits preclude the admission of part-time students to the doctoral program.


The major must be selected in Accounting, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Finance, Management and International Business, Management Information Systems, or Marketing/Supply Chain Management. The course content of a major and the administration of the general examination are determined by the division in which the major is taken.


Required background in Business Fields: ACCT 5202FIN 5302MKT 5402; and MGT 5702B AD 5902 or B AD 5102. A student may receive credit for equivalent core courses taken at other institutions at the discretion of the Doctoral Advisory Committee.


Nine hours in statistics/quantitative methods are chosen to support the student’s plan of study. They may be selected from among the many approved courses offered throughout the University, especially those in the Divisions of Economics and Marketing and the Departments of Mathematics and Psychology.


Six hours in research methods are selected to support the student’s plan of study, and may be taken from any department within the University.


A specialization area is a set of courses taken to gain a mastery of a sub-discipline within or external to business administration. These courses may be wholly within a division of the college, across divisions, or divisions of the college and a University department outside the college. A specialization area must involve at least 21 hours.


The student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee determines the free graduate electives the student will take to fulfill the remainder of the 90 required hours.


The Doctoral Advisory Committee will consist of at least five members, with the majority of the members coming from within the student's major division and no less than one member from outside of the major division. An accepted plan of study will be viewed as a contract between the student and the University. The Doctoral Advisory Committee is automatically disbanded upon successful completion of the written and oral segments of the student’s general examination.

The Doctoral Dissertation Committee will oversee the writing of the student’s dissertation proposal, the writing of the dissertation, and the oral defense of the dissertation. The Doctoral Dissertation Committee is constituted upon a student’s admission to Ph.D. candidacy, i.e., upon successful completion of the general examination, and will consist of at least five members, with at least two members from the major area and at least one member from each of the two fields. Furthermore, the committee must include at least one member whose appointment is in a department outside of the College of Business. The committee may also include members within or without the student’s field who possess professional expertise germane to the student’s research.


In lieu of qualifying examinations (i.e., examinations over the required coursework only) the graduate programs director will convene for each student each year those faculty who are instructing the student, and said faculty will assess the performance of that student. A report will be forwarded to the student’s advisory committee and entered into the student’s permanent file. Students will not be allowed to continue in the program if they earn more than two grades of C or lower in courses taken as part of the program.


As the student nears completion of prescribed coursework, the student should prepare for the general examination. Such examinations are not scheduled either during final examination periods or indeed at any time when a suitable committee cannot be assembled. The general examination will be taken only when the student has completed all curriculum coursework.

The student must apply for the examination at least two weeks before it is to be held. The application is completed by the student on a form provided by the Office of Graduate Programs, and is signed by the student and the members of the Doctoral Advisory Committee. The application is then examined by the graduate programs director and the dean of the Graduate College and if it is in order, is approved. Subsequently, the dean of the Graduate College will authorize the examination. The examination will not be authorized unless the student has completed all prescribed courses, and maintained an overall grade point average of B or higher.

The general examination is intended to test the student’s mastery of a number of related fields, as well as capacity for synthesis, sound generalization, and reasoning ability. It will consist in part of written examinations covering the three fields, and will be prepared by the committee. This will be followed by an oral examination in the presence of the whole committee. A student’s performance on the general examination will be rated Pass with Distinction, Pass, or Failure. If the student fails the examination, they may repeat the examination either the following semester or later at the discretion of the committee; it may not be given a third time. After each attempt at the general examination, the chairperson will submit a report to the graduate dean that indicates whether the student has passed or failed and what further work must be done. If the individual has passed, the graduate dean will admit the student to candidacy for the doctoral degree.


After the general examination, the candidate will devote most of their time to research and composition, and may also enroll in enough hours of 6980 to meet the minimum requirements of the major division.

After admission to candidacy students must maintain continuous enrollment in 6980 until the requirements for the degree are completed or degree candidacy is discontinued.


The candidate may apply for this examination upon presentation of a corrected draft of the dissertation and receipts showing that all fees have been paid. At least four members, including the outside member, of the doctoral committee must be present to conduct the examination. The examination is open to the public.

After the examination, the committee will report its decision to the graduate dean.


For further information on the graduate programs in business administration, contact: Brandy Gunter-Cox (, Advisor for MS-MIT and PhD programs, Price Hall, Price College of Business, 1003 Asp Ave. Room 1010, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019-4302, (405) 325-5612.

Program Requirements

Required Background in Business Fields

All students are required to demonstrate knowledge in four of the five following business fields: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Management, and/or Economics. Sufficient background knowledge will be determined by the graduate liaison and advisor, and noted on the Advisory Conference Report. Verification of completion of the requirement will be endorsed by the graduate liaison and submitted to the Graduate College with the Request for Authority for Dissertation Defense.

Coursework Requirements

Statistics/Quantitative Methods
Choose 3 courses (9 hours) from the following:9
Applied Univariate Statistics
Psychological Statistics I
Introduction to Stochastic Processes
Advanced Econometrics
Econometrics II
Other courses approved by the Graduate Liaison
Research Methods
Choose two courses (6 hours) from the following:6
Experimental Design for Psychology
Statistical Models of Tests Scores
Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Models
Seminar (Research Methods)
Other courses approved by the Graduate Liaison
Coursework in a specialization from a list approved by the Graduate Liaison and the Advisor12-15
Dissertation Research2-30
Research for Doctoral Dissertation
Research for Doctoral Dissertation
Research for Doctoral Dissertation
Research for Doctoral Dissertation
Research for Doctoral Dissertation
Research for Doctoral Dissertation
Additional Coursework30-61
The student's advisory committee sets the remainder of the elective requirements to meet the 90 hours required for the degree.
Total Credit Hours90

Additional Requirements

  • Doctoral students in Business Administration shall not be allowed to continue in the program if they earn more than 2 grades of C or below in courses taken as part of the doctoral program.
  • Students must have admission to candidacy within four years of admission and complete all degree requirements within four years of admission to candidacy.
  • All required courses must be completed prior to taking the general examination.

General Requirements for Doctoral Degrees

A student should expect to spend at least the equivalent of three full academic years beyond the bachelor’s degree to obtain the doctoral degree. During this period the student will take appropriate graduate coursework, successfully complete the general examination, and successfully defend and submit the final dissertation.

All coursework applied to the doctoral degree must carry graduate credit.

The doctoral degree requires at least 90 post-baccalaureate hours, including both formal coursework and hours of research.

The minimum hour requirement for a specific doctoral degree program cannot be waived.

No more than one-half of the credit hours, both OU and overall, excluding Research for Doctoral Dissertation (6980), may be S/U-graded coursework.

The student must be in residence at OU for at least two consecutive 16-week semesters during the pursuit of the doctoral degree while enrolled and engaged in coursework or research activities as prescribed by the major academic unit.

For more detailed regulations and requirements for Doctoral degrees, please consult the Graduate College Bulletin: