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Management Ph.D.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information:

What is the mission or purpose of the Ph.D. program in Business Administration –Concentration in Management?
The mission of the program is to prepare students to excel in knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination.  The goal is to strive for continuous improvement in training world-class researchers and college professors who are able to conduct independent, original academic research and teach university-level courses in their major areas of study. Throughout the Ph.D. program, students are expected to work with faculty on impactful research.

The Ph.D. program in Management is designed to provide students with enough flexibility to discover an intellectual niche while ensuring that all students acquire:

  • General research knowledge in the broader field of management
  • In-depth expertise in a selected area of specialization (i.e., strategic management or organizational behavior)
  • Competence in quantitative research methods.

How to get help:

Who can I go to see if I feel lost in the program?
You should feel free to approach and talk with any member of the faculty. It is an especially good idea to get to know each of the professors who teach your classes and those with whom you share research interests. You should also stay in frequent touch with the Ph.D. Program Coordinator and with your research mentor(s). The department chair and Ph.D. student colleagues also are great resources.

Graduate Assistant Information:

How are graduate assistantships awarded?
Graduate Assistantships are awarded to all incoming Management Ph.D. students. Continuation of a Graduate Assistantship is based on a student’s good standing in the Ph.D. program and performance of assistantship duties. Funding is provided for four years, with an option for fifth year funding for qualified students.

How are graduate assistantship assignments allocated to particular graduate students?
The Ph.D. Coordinator assesses the available research opportunities with particular faculty members and matches students with faculty members. Faculty and student preferences are considered, to the extent possible. Course teaching assignments are made by the department chair.

How can I obtain a classroom teaching assignment?
Students acquire teaching experience through teaching undergraduate management courses on several occasions during their time in the Ph.D. program. Teaching assignments are made by the department chair, with consideration of a student’s progress in the program and teaching readiness. Prior to teaching, at minimum, students should discuss teaching philosophy and methods (e.g., evidence-based instructional strategies, course organization, choice of course content, testing) with faculty members, observe how classes are conducted, and seek opportunities to give guest lectures.

If English is not your native language, it is important to develop a clear accent, so undergraduate students will not have difficulty understanding you. English as a Second Language classes and other forms of practice can be very helpful in this regard. The University requires international students to take and pass the Speak Test prior to assuming teaching duties.

How can I get a research assistantship?
Research Assistantships are awarded to all incoming Management Ph.D. students. The Ph.D. Coordinator assesses the available research opportunities with particular faculty members and matches students with faculty members. Faculty and student preferences are considered, to the extent possible.

How else can I get involved in research projects with a professor?
Students are encouraged to approach professors with similar research interests to pursue opportunities to get involved in research projects outside of their research assistantships.

Dissertation Information:

How can I find a dissertation topic and chair?
You should start exploring dissertation topics early in the program, while you are taking coursework. You need to read everything on course reading lists; but don't stop there! If an article interests you, and you think there's more to be done in that area, look through the article's reference list to find some other relevant articles to read on that topic, and perform a systematic literature search using WVU’s extensive library databases. Always ask yourself: Is there something I would have done differently, a different direction I would have taken with the ideas, a significant gap in current knowledge? Discuss your ideas with your professors. Interact with other Ph.D. students, even those not in your area of concentration, to learn how they developed their dissertation topics.

By the start of year three, you should have substantially narrowed down your area of interest for your dissertation. Use your course projects, qualifying paper, or other work in progress to turn your ideas into a concrete dissertation topic. Your searches for a dissertation topic and a dissertation chair are really a joint search: A particular professor would be the natural choice to supervise a particular dissertation project.

What funding is available for my dissertation work?
The WVU Library subscribes to a number of databases that can be used for dissertation and other research. Some faculty members may have funds available from grants to support dissertation work.

Employment Information:

How does job placement work? 
Key indicators of readiness to go on the job market are the successful completion of the dissertation proposal and having articles accepted in high quality journals. When you and your advisor agree you are ready to go on the market, the two of you will make arrangements concerning the logistics. Universities post job openings through the Academy of Management Job Placement Services, which provide information about application procedures.

How can I succeed on the job market?
Do well in your classes, impress your professors, produce a high quality dissertation, do a good job in your teaching and research assistantships, network with faculty and doctoral students from other universities, present your research at conferences, and publish in high quality journals. Strong support from faculty members, including, but not limited to your dissertation committee, is vital for success on the job market.

Do not get into the market prematurely. Successful completion of the dissertation proposal is imperative before going on the market. If potential employers are concerned about your ability to complete your Ph.D. before starting a job, your efforts are less likely to be successful.