Program Overview

PhD in Business Administration

Each area of concentration (Finance, Management, or Marketing) will have their own specific requirements, however, this is a general overview of typical requirements for a Trulaske PhD broken down by the standard 4 year plan of study. You need a minimum of 72 hours past your BA, including at least 12 hours of 9090, to graduate with your PhD.

General Overview by Year:

First Year

Your first year’s primary focus is coursework. You will take a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester (typically 3 courses), plus attend weekly seminars. You will also create your doctoral advisory committee, and select your faculty advisor from your major area of study by the end of your first year. Most first year students are supported by an RA position, which takes approximately 20 hours per week of your time. You will also work toward completing your qualifying exam requirements. Every student must pass a qualifying exam to be officially admitted into the PhD program. The qualifying exam varies by area, but usually serves as a means to evaluate a student's knowledge and/or skills that are critical for successful completion of the program.

Second Year

During your second year of study you will again have a full coursework load (i.e., 3 courses per semester), and you will also be preparing for the comprehensive exam. You will either be supported by an RA or TA assignment.

Third Year

The third year will round out any coursework you need and you will begin to develop your dissertation proposal. The comprehensive exam is usually completed early in the third year. Comprehensive exam requirements differ by department, but consist of a written and oral sections. Successful completion of the comprehensive exam is required to move on to the dissertation stage, and to become a “doctoral candidate.” You will again either be supported by an RA or TA assignment.

Fourth Year

The fourth year's primary focus is your dissertation. Typically, you work with your chair and committee members to develop your formal proposal, defend your proposal, then work to complete the research project. You will be supported in either an RA or TA position.

Some students require a fifth year to finish. Although we cannot guarantee funding in the fifth year, we have been able to support fifth-year students in recent years and hope to continue to be able to support fifth year students who are making good progress and are in good standing.

If you are ready to apply, click this link

Comprehensive Examinations and Dissertation

Oral and written comprehensive examinations covering the major area and the supporting area(s) are administered after the candidate has completed the relevant course work in the official study program. A doctoral dissertation, for which a student earns a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 24 hours credit, is required of each candidate. A final oral examination (“dissertation defense”) is held at the completion of the dissertation, and focuses on the student’s dissertation research.

Language Proficiency Requirement for International Students

All non-native English-speaking applicants are required to provide proof of English language ability.  As proof, the University of Missouri Graduate School accepts scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The Graduate School requires electronic reporting of IELTS examination scores.

Non-native English speakers must score at least a 550 on the paper-based TOEFL80 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 6.5 on the Academic IELTS.  In addition, it is expected that applicants will achieve subsection minimums of no less than 17 on IBT52 on PBT or 6.0 on IELTS (subsections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing).  TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for two years beyond the test date. 

Some non-native English-speaking applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement.  To be exempt from this requirement, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

1) Completed at least one-year of full-time college-level study at a school in a country where English is the native language within the last two years.

2) Successfully completed the year of study (passed all the classes).

3) Enrolled full-time for a minimum of one year, defined as 24 credit hours over 2 semesters at the undergraduate level, or 18 credit hours over 2 semesters at the graduate level. Note: English as a second language, intensive English, and/or remedial English courses cannot be included in the credit hour count.

All of our students are required to teach as part of our program, and per Missouri state law and MU guidelines, language proficiency requirements are held at the highest standard.  The application review committee may request a TOEFL or IELTS test from you at their discretion.  If you do not meet the TOEFL waiver requirements above, we do not offer TOEFL/IELTS waivers for any other reason.

In addition, whether or not the TOEFL/IELTS score is waived, according to University policy, all teaching assistants who received their elementary and secondary education in a country where English was not the primary or official language must participate in language proficiency testing upon admission to the program.

The above statements are announcements of present policies and programs only and are subject to change at any time without prior notice. They are not to be regarded as offers to contract. The University of Missouri reserves the right to modify by increase or decrease the fees charged for attendance and other services at the university, including but not limited to educational fees, at any time when in the discretion of the governing board the same is in the best interest of the university, provided that no increases can or will be effective unless approved by the governing board not less than thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of the academic term (semester, etc,) to which the fees are applicable, with all modification of fees to be effective irrespective as to whether fees have or have not been paid by or on behalf of a student prior to the effective date of the modification.