The Department of Operations and Decision Technologies offers doctoral programs in three areas:

The primary focus of these programs is to train outstanding researchers and teachers who develop knowledge to advance our understanding of critical managerial issues and provide recommendations to solve them for all stakeholders.

Operations Management

In the operations management PhD program, students focus on developing ways to address the strategic and tactical problems faced by practicing managers who oversee the systems—such as labor, capital, energy, and materials—that transform resources into goods and services over the whole supply chain, from an originating location to a destination in the marketplace. Operations management designs and implements effective operating systems to improve the use of resources and aid the design, planning, and control of productive activities for goods and services.

While the doctorate in operations management exposes students to a wide range of material from the field, the plan of study is tailored to the students’ interests and abilities. As with other doctoral business majors, students supplement the program with courses in chosen minor areas as well as methodology and analysis courses.

Students studying operations management conduct research in a broad range of areas, such as:

  • Supply chain management
  • Healthcare operations
  • Sustainable operations
  • Humanitarian operations
  • Behavioral operations
  • Energy operations
  • Service and retail operations

Decision Sciences

Decision sciences is devoted to the study of quantitative methods used to aid decision making in business environments. The program is characterized by rigorous analytical approaches and emphasizes the use of mathematical models and analytical reasoning to solve problems with optimization methods, computer simulation, and data-driven analytics.

Students studying decision sciences conduct research in a broad range of areas, such as:

  • Supply chain analytics
  • Healthcare analytics
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Workforce analytics
  • Recommendation systems
  • Wisdom of the crowd
  • Judgment and decision-making

Decision sciences students learn how to solve problems in these areas by using a number of mathematical methods, such as optimization, simulation, decision analysis, statistics, applied probability, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Information Systems

The PhD program in information systems is an “apprenticeship” that enables students to join the community of scholars who create and disseminate fundamental knowledge about information systems. The program uses formal coursework, informal interaction with faculty and other students, and hands-on experiences in teaching and research. Most students entering the program will have a background in information systems and have an understanding of the fundamental concepts in system development, databases, and networking. The program is open to students who lack prior information systems education or experience, but additional courses at the master’s level will be required to ensure that the students have a solid knowledge of information systems.

Students studying information systems conduct research in a broad range of areas, such as:

  • Artificial intelligence, chatbots, and virtual agents
  • IT implementation and adoption
  • IT-enabled decision-making
  • Design of IT systems
  • Information goods
  • IT and social media platforms
  • Cybersecurity
  • Computer-mediated collaborative work

Faculty Advisors

Our doctoral program fosters outstanding researchers and educators who develop knowledge to advance our understanding of critical managerial issues.

Kurt M. Bretthauer, Professor of Operations & Decision Technologies, John & Esther Reese Professor