At Kelley Doctoral Programs, flexibility is at the heart of our curriculum
We encourage students to be guided by their own needs and interests as they shape their PhD program. We offer 10 areas of study from which to choose a major, each with its own specific rules and protocols.
Minors are available in each of these fields, as well as in international business. Students can also minor in fields outside the Kelley School of Business and experience the outstanding resources available in the larger Indiana University community. Popular outside minors include mathematics, psychology, sociology, political science, or one of the excellent cultural and language programs.
Generally all Kelley doctoral students follow the same basic academic path, which is designed to give them the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
On average, students complete their doctorate in five years. Completion of the PhD degree requires a minimum of 90 credit hours, including:
A major field of study consists of a minimum of 18 hours of advanced graduate work.
Completion of an official minor as required by the minor department (typically 9-12 credit hours). Minors can be chosen from a Kelley School of Business department that is not your major or a department outside of Kelley. All Kelley majors and minors are listed in Appendix A.
12 credits of methods and analysis (“M&A”) courses, as approved by the student’s major department and the Chair of Doctoral Programs.
All students must take the Teaching Development Seminar (X-630) prior to or during the semester in which the student assumes Associate Instructor duties. This course is currently offered only in the fall semester.
Evidence of the student’s competence in all major fields must be demonstrated by examination. This may be a formal exam and/or the completion of research paper(s). Students who minor within the Kelley School of Business are not required to take a qualifying exam in the minor subject provided that they have achieved a minimum of 3.4 GPA in minor coursework with no grade below a B–. For minors outside of the Kelley School, qualifying exams may be waived at the discretion of the DGS in the minor department and documentation must be provided to the Doctoral Programs office.
The qualifying exam may be taken at most twice. A student who fails the exam a second time will be dismissed from the program.
Nomination to candidacy
After completing all required coursework and passing the qualifying examination, a student may be admitted to candidacy. A student must be admitted to candidacy within four years of entering the program.
Upon being admitted to candidacy, the student is eligible for a Master’s in Business degree. The student’s declared major field will determine the major field for the degree.
The written proposal serves as a background for the oral proposal defense. It should clearly state the problem to be addressed in the thesis, why it is a significant issue, indicate some knowledge of past scholarship in the area, and provide clear guidelines of how the research will proceed. The proposal is often written when the topic is well defined but before comprehensive findings or results have been completed, although standards vary by department, so it is important to clarify expectations with your dissertation committee and your department’s DPC representative.
The dissertation proposal must be successfully defended within the first 10 semesters following entry to the doctoral program (that is, by the end of July of the fifth year). Students who do not do so will be required to leave the program. In addition to the dissertation committee, the Chair of the Doctoral Programs will appoint an examination committee to supervise each candidate’s proposal examination. Kelley doctoral students and faculty are invited to attend the formal oral examination of the proposal.
The dissertation represents a major research project, and a year or more of full-time work in close cooperation with the candidate’s committee is normally required. We strongly urge candidates in the business doctoral program to remain in residence until all degree requirements have been met.
Final examination of the dissertation
The final dissertation defense or examination is a formal presentation of the results of the dissertation research. The purpose of the presentation, questioning, and discussion is to enable students to demonstrate that they have successfully completed what they set out to do, as stated at the time of the proposal defense. The dissertation defense gives the research committee a final opportunity to bring the candidate’s research methods, findings, and conclusions under critical review. Candidates are expected to defend all aspects of the inquiry satisfactorily.