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How to Choose a Business PhD Program

Business PhD Program Considerations

Preparing to attend a doctorate program is a complicated process. You have many things to consider, such as your long-term career plans, the type and structure of the program you need in order to achieve your goals, the locations of the schools that offer your desired discipline, the stringent admissions requirements, and how you will financially support yourself while you attend.

1. Narrow Down Your List of Schools

Be sure your list contains more than one school. You want to apply to more than one school to compare offers. Also, due to the strict entry requirements and limited number of applicants that can be admitted each year, you should be prepared to be not be accepted the first time you apply. Check if your final choices are AACSB-accredited. In many cases, AACSB-accredited schools do not hire graduates from non-accredited institutions.

2. Prepare Yourself for the Admissions Process

Visit each school's website and note their program requirements. You have to prepare your admissions package much earlier than you normally would for an undergraduate or master's degree program. Remember this is the highest academic degree a person can obtain, therefore, your package has to prove you will survive several years of rigorous coursework, research, and writing.

3. Explore Your Employment and Financial Options

You will not be able to work full-time during your program. Your courses and research will be a full-time job in itself. Therefore, you should financially plan on being a full-time student for 3–5 years. Many doctorate programs offer incoming students with an assistantship. That is, an on-campus position that provides tuition benefits and a stipend. These positions are similar to a scholarship and usually are limited and awarded to top applicants. It is common that you will have to apply for an assistantship during the application process or immediately after your acceptance to the institution. The stipend that most schools allocate is usually barely enough to put food on the table. You must significantly reduce your expenses and find creative ways to earn sufficient income while you attend the program.