As a PhD student at the Lubar College of Business, you will complete 34 credits as part of the doctoral program of study. Additional credits may be necessary if you do not have appropriate prior coursework.

Background Preparation

Students are expected to have achieved a basic level of proficiency at the undergraduate or graduate level (equivalent to one semester each of coursework) in calculus, statistics, and linear algebra. You may also demonstrate competence in these background fields by passing an appropriate written equivalency examination. Applicants who do not demonstrate this proficiency may be admitted on the condition that they complete equivalent courses at UWM. Credits earned in these courses do not count toward the degree.

Common Core Preparation

As an incoming student, you are required to demonstrate a common core of prior knowledge in each of the functional business areas: accounting, finance, information systems, marketing and management. This knowledge may be demonstrated through (a) prior coursework, (b) equivalency exam, (c) supervised readings. Students entering the program with no prior business degree (BBA or MBA) will be required to complete at least three of the five common core courses in the Lubar MBA program. All students are also required to complete a “Doctoral Orientation to Teaching and Research” course.

Research Methods Component

In the Research Methods component, you will be exposed to the process of scientific inquiry and methodological tools for conducting research. All students are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits of research methods courses from those listed below.

Module I – (choose at least two)
  • Bus Adm 914 Advanced Multivariate Techniques in Management Research
  • BUS ADM 916 Advanced Operations Research Methods
  • Bus Adm 918 Doctoral Seminar in Behavioral Research Methods
  • Bus Adm 995 Doctoral Seminar in Decision Sciences
  • Econ 806 Mathematical Economics
  • Econ 835 Econometric Methods II
  • Econ 915 Seminar in Econometric Methods (topic)
  • Ed Psych 824 Advanced Experimental Design & Analysis
  • Ed Psych 826 Analysis of Cross-Classified Categorical Data
  • Ed Psych 829 Instrument Development
  • Ed Psych 832 Theory of Hierarchical Linear Modeling
  • Ind Eng 890 Advanced Topics in Industrial & Systems Engineering
Module II
  • Bus Adm 713 Business Forecasting Methods
  • Bus Adm 714 Multivariate Techniques in Management Research
  • Bus Adm 754 Statistical Analysis
  • Bus Adm 762 Marketing Research
  • Econ 735 Econometric Methods
  • Ed Psych 821 Psychometric Theory & Practice
  • Ed Psych 823 Structural Equation Modeling
  • Ed Psych 825 Multivariate Methods
  • Ind Eng 765 Operations Research Methods
  • Ind Eng 890 Advanced Topics in Industrial & Systems Engineering

* Other Specialized Methods Courses from schools/departments outside of the Sheldon B. Lubar College of Business (with PhD Program Committee approval). Some of these courses have prerequisites. Prerequisite courses will not be counted towards completion of the Research Methodology requirement.  Business Administration and Business Management course descriptions can be found on the Graduate School website.

Doctoral Fields of Study

Major field (12 credits minimum)
Minor field (9 credits minimum)
Your faculty advisors in your major and minor fields of study will work with you on developing a detailed program of study. A minimum of 12 graduate credits is required in the major field and a minimum of 9 graduate credits is required in the minor field. Additional credits may be necessary if you do not have appropriate prior coursework.

First Year Research Project
As a first step in developing a research focus, PhD students are required to submit a paper by the end of their third semester. This paper must also be presented at a research seminar, conference, or an on-campus seminar, in collaboration with at least two faculty members from your department.

Comprehensive Examination
After completing your coursework, you must pass a written comprehensive examination in your major field. In the minor field of study, you must complete the approved coursework with a specified grade point average or pass a written comprehensive examination, as specified by the appropriate department. After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, you will be admitted as a PhD degree candidate.

Dissertation and Defense
Each student must write a dissertation in the major field of study. A formal defense of the written dissertation by the student and certification by the dissertation committee are necessary steps to complete the degree requirements.

The student’s research will be conducted under the guidance of a committee comprised of at least three graduate faculty members chosen by the student and approved by the Sheldon B. Lubar College of Business Ph.D. Program Committee and the Graduate School. At the conclusion of the research project, the student is required to pass an oral examination in defense of the dissertation.

Time Limit and Residency Requirements
All degree requirements must be completed within 10 years from the date of initial enrollment in the doctoral program. For information on the doctoral program’s residency requirements, please visit the Graduate School website.


Dr. Amit Bhatnagar
Director, PhD Program
Professor, Marketing
Lubar Hall N387