The Doctoral Program
The Darden School offers an intellectually demanding doctoral program for a small, select group of high-potential applicants:
men and women who already have a breadth of knowledge in the functional areas of business and who have a strong interest in
teaching and research.
The program aims to be distinctive, not only by providing sound training in the theory and methodology of the student's chosen
field, but also by training students to perform applied research. Graduates of the program are expected to be able to conduct rigorous
research that contributes to the solution of management problems in a creative and original fashion. The program provides exposure to a
variety of pedagogies, particularly interactive approaches that allow students to take an active role in the learning process.
A doctoral student must specialize in a major field of study. The school has major fields in finance, management science,
marketing, operations management, and management. The management major field is composed of four subfields: strategic management,
business ethics, general management, and entrepreneurship. Only a subset of these major fields admit students in any given year.
Acceptance of an applicant as a student in the doctoral program is based on the following criteria:
- an appraisal of the applicant's ability and capacity to undertake and satisfactorily complete the requirements of the
program. Ordinarily this appraisal will include an assessment of the applicant's willingness to commit energy to the expeditious
completion of a vigorous program of study in a manner consistent with the high intellectual standards and personal integrity expected
of a candidate for a professional degree;
- the applicant's ability to effectively manage the difficult challenges posed by independent study;
- the applicant's ability to work cooperatively with others;
- and, ordinarily, the applicant's having attained a master's degree in business administration or its equivalent. Students without
the Requisite M.B.A. should apply to Darden's M.B.A./Ph.D. Program administered through the M.B.A. admissions office. A student without
the requisite M.B.A. must successfully complete at least the First Year of Darden's M.B.A. program in order to be considered for the
Application forms may be requested from:
Director of the Doctoral Program
Darden Graduate School
of Business Administration
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
Applicants are required to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test given by the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, NJ.
Those who have already taken this test should request the Educational Testing Service to forward their test results or should submit a
true copy of the scores to the director of the doctoral program.
Foreign applicants must also take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination in order to be considered for
Applicants seeking further information regarding the program and admission may write to the director of the doctoral program.
The administration of the doctoral program has been assigned by The Darden School faculty to the Doctoral Operating
Committee, a standing committee of the faculty. Each major field of doctoral study established by the faculty has a major
field advisor who is a member of the doctoral committee. The general administration of the doctoral program is the
responsibility of the director of the doctoral program.
A student's entire financial requirements will not ordinarily be underwritten by the school. Nevertheless, the faculty hopes
that no qualified applicant will be unable to enter the doctoral program because of lack of financial resources.
A student with outstanding potential and/or who demonstrates that outside sources are not available may apply for a fellowship for
tuition, fees, and living costs. Generous fellowship awards may be received for the two years of full-time course work and for the one
year of full-time dissertation research. Recipients must be in good academic standing to qualify for fellowship stipends. The director
of the doctoral program will review the academic performance and the financial support needs of each student every 12 months. If a
student's financial support needs have changed, revisions in the fellowship stipend will be made. In addition, loans are available.
Tuition waivers and part-time teaching and research assistantships are often available to those students needing and desiring them.
During the summer, research assistantships are available.
The degree requirements outlined below apply to all doctoral students. The particular program of study designed to enable a
student to fulfill these degree requirements depends on the student's previous experience and education. An individual program
of study is structured in close consultation with the student to permit completion of the degree requirements in the most
efficient manner. In general, the development of competence within a major field involves doctoral seminars and course work
in second-year M.B.A. elective courses and individual reading under the supervision of a member of the major field faculty.
Courses in research methods and supportive discipline-based work are usually taken in either the Graduate School of Arts and
Sciences or in the School of Graduate Engineering and Applied Science.
The overall time period actually required to satisfy doctoral program requirements varies depending upon the student's previous
education and experience, the work load and performance, and the nature of the dissertation research.
Breadth Requirements A student must demonstrate mastery of the basic functions and disciplines of business administration
determined to be most related to the student's major field.
Required Course Work in Quantitative Methods, Economics, and Other Relevant Disciplines Each field requires advanced-level
training in relevant quantitative techniques, economics, and behavioral sciences. This requirement is typically met by satisfactorily
completing graduate courses in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The specific types and amounts of courses depend on the major
Required Courses for All Doctoral Students All doctoral students must complete doctoral-level courses in research methodology
and pedagogy. Part of these requirements may be satisfied by research and teaching internship assignments.
Major Field Professional Requirements Each field requires the doctoral student to complete two to four advanced professional
courses. This requirement is designed to involve each student in current issues and problems at an advanced level in her or his chosen
Major Field Theory and Literature Students in each major field must complete a group of doctoral seminars in order to broaden
and deepen their understanding of the significant literature and theory of their chosen field. For example:
Advanced Price Theory
Theory of Financial Markets
Theory of Corporate Finance
Time Series Analysis
Research Methodology in Marketing
Buyer and Consumer Behavior
Marketing Theory and Models
Survey of Current Literature
Production Planning and Control Systems
Strategic Management of Operations and Productivity Improvement
Current Research Literature
Foundations of Management
Foundations of Entrepreneurship
Ethics and Economics
Major Field Research Paper Under the guidance of a faculty member, each student develops an intensive field- or library-based
study of a significant problem in the student's major field. Each student is expected to demonstrate independent research abilities,
including selection of a research question, selection of research methodology, analyses of appropriate literature and data, and
presentation of a written report on the research findings.
Major Field Examination This examination is normally taken by the end of the student's Second Year of full-time work.
Administered by a committee that draws some of its members from outside The Darden School faculty, the examination is primarily
concerned with a student's knowledge of the substantive content of the major field, as defined by her or his general program of study.
Each student should demonstrate doctoral-level skills and knowledge concerning the field's fundamental problems, theories, and
conceptual frameworks, and should show a well-developed capacity to reason logically, orally, and in writing. Each student should also
demonstrate in-depth competence within an area of specialization in the major field.
Dissertation Research Proposal Each student is required to prepare a dissertation research proposal and to pass a proposal
examination before conducting research and writing the dissertation. The purpose of the proposal and examination is to obtain assurance,
from the viewpoint of both the faculty and the student, that the research project is worthwhile and feasible.
Dissertation Each student is required to present an acceptable dissertation based on an approved proposal. A reading
committee, of which the dissertation supervisor is normally chair, will determine whether a dissertation is acceptable. The
dissertation must contribute to knowledge in the field and the resolution of a significant management problem. Each student is expected
to present a public oral defense of the dissertation as part of the requirements for the doctoral degree.
Residence Requirements and Program Length University requirements for the doctoral degree are two continuous academic
semesters of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent) in residence toward the doctoral degree, not including previous semesters in
residence at the University of Virginia for the purpose of obtaining another degree. Experience suggests, however, that a minimum two
years of full-time work in residence is usually needed to complete the formal requirements of the degree.
Breadth Requirements The failure of a student to meet the breadth requirements within three years shall be considered
unsatisfactory academic progress and shall terminate the student's enrollment in the program.
Course Requirements No course at The Darden School in which the student's grade is not at least B shall be counted toward the
completion of the major field course requirements. Courses taken in other schools to fulfill degree requirements shall be counted for
this purpose only if the student receives at least the minimum grade acceptable for credit toward a graduate degree in the schools
within which the courses are taken. A student whose work in a major field course fails to meet these standards, and whose work is
otherwise satisfactory, may arrange for remedial work with the course instructor or may take another course; any student whose work in
more than two major field courses has not been acceptable shall have failed to meet the academic standards of the doctoral program.
Major Field Examination A student who fails the major field examination shall have failed to meet the academic standards of
the doctoral program.
Dissertation Proposal Examination A student is ordinarily expected to pass the initial dissertation research proposal
examination within six months following the major field examination. A student whose initial examination is not scheduled within 12
months, or who fails the examination twice, shall have failed to meet the academic standards of the doctoral program.
Time to Complete Program The maximum time a student is allowed to complete the program is 60 months, beginning with initial
registration. Not completing the program within the 60 months will likely terminate the student's enrollment in the program.
Failure of a student to meet the academic standards of the doctoral program will result in the termination of the student's enrollment
in the program. The doctoral program committee is authorized to act on behalf of the faculty in receiving and acting on petitions for
readmission. In acting on these requests, the committee may establish such requirements and conditions for readmission as it considers
appropriate. Students may appeal decisions to The Darden School faculty.
After the residence year has been completed, a student's tuition is calculated according to the number of semester course credits for
which the candidate is registered.