7: Darden Graduate School of Business Administration

General Information | M. B. A. Program | Joint Degree Programs
Doctoral Program | Student Life | School Regulations | Course Descriptions | Faculty

Objectives | Admission | Administration | Financial Assistance
Degree Requirements | Academic Standards

Degree Requirements

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 studentís 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 period of time actually required to satisfy doctoral program requirements varies depending upon the studentís previous education and experience, the work load and performance, and the nature of the dissertation research.

Breadth Requirements   A student must demonstrate the mastery of the basic functions and disciplines of business administration determined to be most related to the studentís 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 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 his or her 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:

Research Methodology in Marketing
Buyer and Consumer Behavior
Marketing Theory and Models
Survey of Current Literature
Operations Management:
Production Planning and Control Systems
Strategic Management of Operations and Productivity Improvement
Current Research Literature

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 studentís 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 studentís second year of full-time work. Administered by a committee which draws some of its members from outside the Darden School faculty, the examination is primarily concerned with a studentís knowledge of the substantive content of the major field as defined by his or her general program of study. Each student should demonstrate doctoral-level skills and knowledge concerning the fieldís 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 within the major field.

Dissertation Research Proposal   Each student is required to prepare a dissertation research proposal and to pass a proposal examination before conducting the research and writing the dissertation. The purpose of the proposal and the examination is to obtain assurance from the viewpoint of both the faculty and the student that the student has a worthwhile and feasible research project.

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 is expected to contribute both to knowledge in the field and to the resolution of a significant management problem.

Residence Requirements and Program Length   University requirements for the doctoral degree are two continuous academic semesters of full-time graduate study in residence, or the equivalent, 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.

Continue to: Academic Standards
Return to: Chapter 7 Index