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    Mar 08, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Business Administration, Ph.D.

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Priority Admission Application Deadlines:


  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Information Systems
  • Marketing

This major shares core requirements with the D.B.A. in Business Administration.

Contact Information

College: Muma College of Business

Contact Information:

The Ph.D. degree program offered by the Muma College of Business provides its graduates with preparation for careers as college and university professors and as research and staff personnel in industry and government. The doctoral degree program provides for intellectual growth as students work closely with faculty in seminars, research projects, and other assignments, which develop their teaching and research skills. The curriculum offers breadth of understanding of the integral components of business administration as well as depth of field specialization sufficient to permit the student to make a meaningful contribution to their discipline. The program is sufficiently flexible to allow each student to build upon his or her strengths and to accommodate students with various levels of preparation in a wide variety of fields, and in areas outside the college. However, the degree conferred is Ph.D. in Business with a concentration in one of the departmental areas.

Accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements, as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • Competitive based on GPA, GMAT or GRE
  • Personal statement
  • Recommendations
  • Interview

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 90

  • Foundation- 0-18* credit hours
  • Shared Core Requirements – 5 credit hours
  • Research Methods - 12 credit hours
  • Concentration –minimum 15 credit hours
  • Support Field Hours - 9 credit hours
  • Dissertation- 21 credit hours
  • Additional Hours- 10** credit hours

*Students who are eligible to waive foundation courses will need to replace those credit hours either with additional coursework determined in conjuction with the area coordinator or if the student has a completed master’s degree, relevant courses can be considered for transfer.

** These hours will be determined by consultation with the concentration area coordinator. For students who have a completed master’s degree, relevant coursework can be considered for transfer credit.

A minimum of 90 semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. This includes 21 hours of dissertation. A minimum of 45 hours of coursework must be completed at the University of South Florida.

Foundation Courses (0-18 Credit Hours)

These courses are designed to develop an appreciation of the institution of business and to help students see how their areas of specialization fit into this general picture. With the approval of the student’s major committee, a student may satisfy these requirements in any of the following ways:

  1. By completing one approved undergraduate or graduate course from an AACSB (or equivalent) accredited institution  with a grade of “B” or better in each of the functional areas no more than 5 years prior to admission to the Ph.D. program: Accounting, Finance, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and Economics.
  2. By successfully petitioning the doctoral Committee to accept previous coursework  from an institution without AACSB or equivalent accreditation in fulfillment of all or part of this requirement. Such a petition must be initiated during the first semester of the major.
  3. Students who do not meet A or B above must take a course at the 6000 level or above in each of the functional areas in which they were not waived.

Shared Core Requirements (5 Credit Hours)

The core courses are designed to develop the student’s research skills. These courses are required of all students in the major. The College will waive a course only if the student has passed the same or equivalent course with a grade of “B” or better within the preceding five years.

Research Methods (12 credit hours)

The research methods courses are meant to provide a strong background in quantitative and statistical research skills. Three courses from the list below are required and will be chosen in consultation with the student’s program committee.

Concentration Requirements (15 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students select from the following concentrations: Accounting, Finance, Information Systems, or Marketing

All students will take at least five (5) courses at the 6000 or 7000 graduate level in an area designated as the student’s Concentration. Students are encouraged to identify courses in the concentration field that will provide experience in applying current research techniques to problems in that field. To accomplish this, the student may propose a combination of formal classroom courses and independent directed-research courses. This combination may include a year-long research seminar in which the groundwork is laid for the student’s dissertation. The specific agenda of courses will be determined by the student’s program committee.

The following fields are offered: Accounting, Finance, Information Systems, and Marketing. Courses taken as part of the Foundation or Core sections may not be counted as part of the hours required for a concentration field.

Accounting Concentration (15 Credit Hours)

The Accounting concentration emphasizes:

  • The mastery of one or more specialized areas of accounting, such as accounting information systems, auditing, or financial accounting
  • The development of requisite skills to engage in respected applied, practical and scholarly research
  • The development of effective teaching skills

Finance Concentration (18 Credit Hours)

Information Systems Concentration (18 Credit Hours)

Marketing Concentration Requirements (18 Credit Hours)

Students will be required to successfully complete a minimum of 6 doctoral-level Marketing seminars. 

The six required courses may be selected from the following list:

Support Field (9 Credit Hours)

The support area will consist of a minimum of three graduate level courses (9 hours) from one or more of the fields listed under the concentration field, or elsewhere in the university.  The support field and the concentration field cannot be taken in the same department.  Courses within the support field can be selected to complement the concentration field and in special cases may include courses outside the Muma College of Business.    The nature and number of the support area courses will be determined by the Student’s Program Committee in consultation with the Ph.D. coordinator of the support field department. Courses taken as part of the Foundation or Core courses may not be counted as part of the 9 hours required for support fields.

Grade Requirement:
Should a student earn a grade of “C” or lower in a course, the case will be brought before the Doctoral Committee for review.  After reviewing the case, the Committee will take one of the following steps:

a)    Require the student to pass an examination that covers the material relevant to the subject.  A student who fails the exam on the first attempt may retake it within one year.  A student who fails the exam on the second attempt will be subject to dismissal.

b)    Require the student to retake the course.  If the student retakes the course and fails to receive a grade of “B” or better, the student is subject to dismissal.

Comprehensive Qualifying Examinations:

Upon completion of all coursework, students must pass the equivalent of a comprehensive examination in the concentration area. The student’s performance on these “exams” should reflect familiarity with the literature, as well as with current issues and problems related to these fields. A student who fails either of the examss may retake it within one year. A second failure disqualifies the student from continuing the Ph.D. degree program. If the degree is not conferred within 5 calendar years of the comprehensive qualifying examination, a second and different examination must be taken. Students passing the qualifying examination are eligible for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree program.

The decision to administer a separate comprehensive exam for a support area will be made by the department in which the support area is taken. In the event that an interdisciplinary support area is selected, any department represented by six (6) or more semester hours may require a qualifying examination. In the event that no single department represents six semester hours or more, the student’s graduate committee will solicit input from the faculty teaching the courses in the support area. If a majority of those polled take the position that a separate comprehensive examination in the support area is not appropriate, the exam will not be administered. If a separate comprehensive examination is not administered in a support area, material from the support area will be integrated into the comprehensive exam in the concentration area.

Dissertation (21 Credit Hours Minimum)

Residency Requirement:

Ph.D. students in the College are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours per calendar year. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the student being placed on conditional status.

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