Is the Lubar College’s PhD Program right for me?

Our PhD program is research intensive. You will have a good fit with our program if many or all of the following statements are true for you:

  1. You are comfortable with abstract concepts and theories. Most doctoral level classes revolve around learning and mastering the theory underlying various business disciplines. Because classes focus on mastering theories as opposed to real-world applications, you must be comfortable dealing with abstract concepts.
  2. You are willing to make a significant commitment to the PhD Program. Successfully completing the PhD Program requires a significant time commitment from students, typically four to five years.
  3. You work well in unstructured situations. Because a large amount of what you learn in the PhD Program occurs outside the classroom as you work on your own research or research with faculty members, you need to be self-directed and able to work and learn well without the structure of weekly assignments, homework and tests.
  4. You have some math training and aptitude. As part of our PhD Program, you will be expected to learn the methodologies underlying business research. Without an adequate grasp of math, accomplishing this task becomes more difficult. Incoming students should have at least some understanding of statistics, linear algebra and calculus. Admitted students without this proficiency in math will be required to take refresher courses upon entry to the program.
  5. You have research interests similar to the faculty in your area of study. To complete the program you will need to develop scholarly expertise on a relevant research topic within your chosen discipline. Your mastery of this topic will culminate in your doctoral dissertation. In order to get the appropriate advice and faculty support needed to complete a solid dissertation, you will need to select a research topic that matches or closely aligns to the research interests of faculty in your area of study. To find out more about faculty research interests, please review the Lubar faculty profiles.
  6. You can relocate outside of Milwaukee after completing the program. It is the nature of the academic job market that most of our graduates leave Milwaukee after completing the program. Like all other universities, with few exceptions, we will not hire our own students upon graduation.
What is considered in the admission process?

The Lubar College’s admission standards are high, seeking to identify candidates who can successfully complete the program. Faculty will evaluate your application based on your level of success in previous academic work, your standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE), and your statement of purpose for entering the program.

In appraising your previous academic work, faculty will also consider where you received your previous degrees and your GPA (among other things). It is helpful if you received your previous degrees from accredited institutions that emphasize research and where you would have been taught by full-time faculty and exposed to theoretical material.

Both the GPA and GMAT (or GRE) scores are viewed as indicators of success, but are examined holistically with other application data and information.

How long does it take to finish the PhD Program?

The amount of time to completion depends on how fast you advance through required coursework, pass qualifying exams and how your personal research program is developing. We expect PhD students to finish in four to five years, which also represents how long you will receive financial support if you are a teaching or project assistant. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee requires that all full-time students in doctoral programs pass their qualifying examinations within three years of first enrolling and graduate within ten years of first enrolling.

Can I earn the PhD Degree on a part-time basis?

No, the Lubar College does not admit part-time students to its doctoral program. If you are working at a full time job, you will not be considered for admission.

Can I earn my Lubar College PhD in Management Science online?

No, there is no formal online component in the program.

Do I need a PhD to teach business at a college or university in the United States?

To teach full-time at an AACSB accredited business school, you will need a PhD. Many business schools also hire non-PhD adjunct faculty on a part-time basis to teach one or two classes a semester.


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