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 students 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, 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 applicants ability and capacity to undertake
and satisfactorily complete the requirements of the program. Ordinarily
this appraisal will include an assessment of the applicants 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 applicants ability to effectively manage the difficult challenges
posed by independent study;
- The applicants ability to work cooperatively with others;
- And, ordinarily, the applicants having attained a masters
degree in business administration or its equivalent. Students without the
Requisite M.B.A. should apply to Dardens 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 Dardens M.B.A.
program in order to be considered for the Doctoral Program.
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 admission.
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 students 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
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 students
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 students 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 students previous education
and experience, the work load and performance, and the nature of the dissertation
Breadth Requirements A student must demonstrate mastery
of the basic functions and disciplines of business administration determined
to be most related to the students 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 field.
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
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 field.
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
- Strategy Theory
- 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 students 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 students 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 students 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 fields 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 students enrollment in the program.
Course Requirements No course at the Darden School in
which the students 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
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 students
enrollment in the program.
Failure of a student to meet the academic standards of the
doctoral program will result in the termination of the students 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 students
tuition is calculated according to the number of semester course credits for
which the candidate is registered.