Ph.D. in Business

The Gabelli School of Business Ph.D. program offers highly qualified students a unique opportunity to study alongside leading scholars in the heart of Manhattan. This full-time, research-intensive program provides the requisite empirical and theoretical skills necessary for students to become academic scholars. A specialized curriculum and faculty mentorship position students to contribute to business scholarship at the highest level.

The Gabelli School Ph.D. is intended for individuals who envision themselves as researchers or faculty members at universities and other institutions around the world. Ph.D. students complete coursework, pass a series of exams and, of course, propose, write, and defend a dissertation. Students will specialize in one of the Gabelli School’s traditional academic areas, such as finance or management. Upon admission, students select one of two interdisciplinary curriculum tracks:

  • Capital Markets
  • Strategy and Decision-Making

The Capital Markets track combines the traditional aspects of economic theory with the quantitative rigor of finance and accounting. The Strategy and Decision-Making track encompasses all aspects of the contemporary study of decision-making with theories of management, marketing, information systems, business ethics, business media, and operations.

Students in each track complete specialized coursework and receive relevant professional skills training. Program graduates can expect to research and teach in multiple fields in the discipline.

To learn more about the Ph.D. in Business program, please visit the Fordham website.

The Gabelli School Ph.D. program consists of 90 credits, which students complete with guidance from their advisers. Most students complete the program in five years, though advanced students transferring in from another doctoral program may receive consideration for credits already earned. Upon successful completion of the program, students receive a Doctor of Philosophy in Business degree (Ph.D.). Students also earn a Master of Philosophy in Business degree (M.Phil) and a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in recognition of earlier milestones in the program.


The major focus of Years 1 and 2 is the completion of 54 credits of coursework. All students complete 24 credits in common core courses. Students in each focus complete 15 credits in specialized seminars and 15 credits in specialized electives. Upon completion of 30 credits of coursework, students are eligible to be awarded a Master of Science degree.

Comprehensive Exams

Students sit for two comprehensive exams: the first at the conclusion of Year 1 and the second at the conclusion of Year 2.

The Year 1 comprehensive exam is a written exam designed to measure a student’s fundamental understanding of business, with an emphasis on economics, management, and quantitative and empirical methods.

The Year 2 comprehensive exam is a written field exam. Students work with advisors to determine two appropriate reading lists at the end of Year 1 and read for the exam during Year 2. The field exam measures knowledge of the field(s) and determines readiness to move on to the dissertation phase. Both exams are graded Pass/Fail.

Year 2 Paper

At the conclusion of Year 2, students present a paper to the faculty during a doctoral program workshop, which will be graded by a Pass/Fail faculty vote. The paper may be an extension of a course paper or a research paper pursued independently. This paper provides an opportunity for students to build presentation and workshop skills, and should ideally serve as an eventual component of the dissertation.

Independent Study

The focus of Year 3 is ensuring that students hone their research and writing skills before moving onto the dissertation phase. Students complete 12 credits of independent study in close collaboration with their advisors, which includes the development, research, and writing of a dissertation proposal. Students defend their dissertation proposal to their prospective dissertation committee at the conclusion of Year 3. Upon completion of Year 3, students are awarded a Master of Philosophy in Business (M.Phil).


Years 4 and 5 are devoted to the research and writing of a dissertation. This consists of 24 credits of dissertation work. The dissertation is a large-scale, closely supervised research project typically consisting of three to four article-length papers, preferably along a similar topic, with extensive research, writing, and revision expected. Students offer regular progress updates to their dissertation committee members, who in turn meet with the doctoral program director to ensure sufficient progress. Upon successful completion and defense of the dissertation, students are awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Business (PhD).


Teaching is a key component of the Ph.D. program.

In preparation for the rigors and standards of life as an academic, all students attend a seminar on pedagogy in Year 2. This seminar briefs students on specific techniques in teaching business at the highest level, as well as on the academic and cultural standards of education at universities in the United States.

Following this pedagogical training, Ph.D. students have access to a variety of supervised and independent teaching opportunities. These include teaching courses, working as teaching assistants for faculty, and guiding students in independent research. Teaching commitments are determined based on a student’s previous teaching experience, area of focus, and academic standing.