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Business PhD Program Rankings

Role of Business PhD Rankings in Choosing a Doctoral Program

Publications that provide rankings of business schools should be viewed with skepticism when evaluating doctoral programs. These studies are highly subjective and depend on unscientific survey data, word-of-mouth, and a variety of other unreliable sources. Moreover, rankings by national or global business magazines often focus exclusively on MBA programs and there may be little correlation between the ranking of an MBA program and the quality of the school's doctoral programs. Be sure that the rankings you find do not substitute your own investigation of the school's characteristics.

Be Sure to Highly Consider Faculty Qualifications and Research

An important way to access the quality of a school's doctoral program is to review the qualifications of the faculty and the level of research they have produced—especially in the field/department that you will be researching in.

1. Search for the vitae of the program's faculty online or request their background information directly from the school. Find out which faculty member you will be reporting to.

2. Review quality research journals in your discipline of interest and note the universities and institutions that are frequently publishing articles. To view several discipline-specific journals, visit the programs page and select your desired discipline.

3. Speak with your previous professors and ask them what they know about the programs you are interested in.

Speak With Alumni

Find out who graduated from the school and where they are. Send one or two of them an email and ask how they liked the program. If they are current faculty members at an institution, they will likely be more than happy to speak with you about their experience.