Ph.D. Curriculum

Coursework Phases

First Phase

Formal coursework includes core courses, breadth courses, and domain/methodology courses. The time devoted to formal coursework depends in large measure on a student’s prior preparation but generally requires two years.

Second Phase

In the second phase, which is devoted to directed study, students work in close consultation with faculty members to prepare for research in their selected fields and taking additional courses needed to prepare for a research career in their specialties.

Final Phase

Individual research required for the student’s dissertation. This includes identification of topic, theory development and supporting data collection, as well as completion of analysis, interpretation and written dissertation.

Core Courses

The core curriculum consists of a mathematics review course and two-course sequences designed to ensure that students are educated in the fundamentals of economic and social sciences. Typically, core courses will be taken in the first and second years.

In addition to the standard curriculum, individual students may be required to take additional courses depending upon their educational background. The time devoted to these studies depends on a student's prior preparation, but generally, requires two years.

The core course sequence includes microeconomics, econometrics, and introduction to management research.

Domain/Methodology Courses

The domain/methodology course requirement helps the student acquire the deep domain knowledge and methodological skills required to conduct research in their areas of interest.

Students will take a minimum of six courses in conjunction with a faculty adviser, to develop these research skills. Most of these courses are taken in the first and second years. Additional courses required for the transition from coursework to thesis include literature review, critique and presentation courses.

Courses in the second and third years focus on problem identification, development, and presentation.


The curriculum requirements for the degree are published in the Course Catalog (found here, scroll to bottom for Rady PhD curriculum).

If you have any questions, please contact the Rady Ph.D. Graduate Coordinator at