Ph.D. Program Details


The program requirements cover coursework, research, teaching and academic service.

Program Track

You will be required to complete 72 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, including 42 credits of coursework, six credits of summer research and 24 credits of dissertation work, with additional coursework as appropriate. You are also required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination before starting your third year of study.


To acquire deep knowledge in the desired field, you are required to take courses in the:

  • Major Field: Four doctoral seminars, independent studies and other Ph.D.-level courses (minimum of 12 credits)
  • Supporting Field: Three advanced Ph.D.-level courses in a related field (minimum of 9 credits)
  • Research Methods: Four advanced graduate-level courses (minimum of 12 credits)
  • Business Courses: Three MBA-level courses (minimum of 9 credits); students holding an MBA (or a master’s degree in a relevant area) may transfer up to 9 credits


Comprehensive Examinations

Students must successfully complete a comprehensive qualifying exam before starting their third year in the program. The exam requires demonstrating mastery of coursework materials and competent research capabilities. It determines whether a student should be permitted to "advance to candidacy" by identifying those students who are best suited for dissertation work and those who are not.


You will engage in research and publication activities with faculty throughout the program duration. A solid publications record is a strong predictor of the number and quality of academic job opportunities available to you upon graduation.

The specific research requirements include:

  • Summer Research Project and Second-Year Paper: a 6-credit mentor-directed project starting the first summer and continuing throughout the second year
  • Brown Bag Research Presentations: presentations to department faculty every semester starting in the second year to demonstrate progress on an ongoing or a new research idea
  • Research Seminars: attending, participating in and presenting at research seminars your department organizes
  • Publications: ideally, completing three journal research papers by the time you are ready for the job market with at least one in which you are the lead author
  • Dissertation Thesis: a dissertation and 24 credits of dissertation work guided by a committee of five faculty members


To develop as an academic, you are required to teach two courses at the Whitman School, starting from the third year in the program. You will develop the skills needed to succeed in the classroom by:

  • Completing Syracuse University’s Teaching Assistant (TA) Training Program
  • Shadowing the course(s) you are assigned to teach at least one semester before teaching
  • Completing training sessions on the use of technology inside and outside the classroom


Academic Service

You will be expected to provide academic service to the School only to the extent that it furthers your academic progress and does not interfere with meeting program requirements. If you are fully funded by Whitman, you will provide 20 hours a week of a research assistantship (RA) whereby you will help faculty conducting research and teaching. Additional service duties may include reviewing research papers, assisting with School/department-hosted professional meetings, helping to host guest research scholars, etc.