PhD in BPS Curriculum
The Business Administration Ph.D. concentration in Business Policy and Strategy (BPS) at the Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, has four goals:
Summary of Program
The Advisory Committee
Sometime during the first two quarters of the program, BPS doctoral students should choose an advisor whose research interests are close to their own from among the active Business Policy and Strategy faculty. The Advisor will act as a mentor for the student and in many cases includes the student in ongoing research projects.
The Advisory Committee consists of two faculty members, in addition to the Advisor. The Advisory Committee provides students with broad guidance as they formulate a research direction. In addition, the Advisory Committee has a formal role to play in the First Year Review, evaluating the Research Paper, and writing and evaluating the Candidacy Exam. The Advisory Committee also has a formal role to play in evaluating and approving the Dissertation Proposal and evaluating the final Dissertation.
Upon being admitted to the program, students are evaluated by the office of the Director of Ph.D. programs with regard to meeting Ph.D. program prerequisites. These prerequisites are designed to assure that Ph.D. students graduating from the Fisher College of Business have a broad functional background in business. Students may be required to enroll in a variety of prerequisite classes as they begin their Ph.D. education.
In addition to these prerequisite classes, Ph.D. students in Business Policy and Strategy must take courses in three areas: Research Methods and Statistics, the Business Policy and Strategy Core, and a Minor Area. Students are required to take a minimum of two (2) courses in research methods and a minimum of six (6) courses in statistics. The Business Policy and Strategy Core is made up of at least six (6) Ph.D. seminars in Business Policy and related areas.
Students must have a program of study that lists all the courses they will take while in residence at Ohio State approved by their Advisor and the Graduate Programs Office no later than the end of their second quarter in residence.
First Year Review
At the end of the first year in residence, BPS doctoral students undergo a formal First Year Review. This review has two purposes: to give the student feedback about her/his progress in the program and to provide the student an opportunity to share feedback about the program with the faculty. The student will schedule a time to meet with the review committee to discuss their status in the program, their research agenda and so forth. After this discussion, the faculty committee will make a formal recommendation to the Department Head about the status of a student.
Research Paper Requirement
The Research Paper is designed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to conceive of and execute a research project. The topic may or may not be consistent with a student's dissertation research. To be acceptable, the Research Paper's quality must be judged, by the student's Advisory Committee, to be sufficiently high so that it would receive a request for a revise and resubmit should the paper be submitted to the appropriate research journal. However, the paper does not actually have to have received such an evaluation from a journal. Papers should be journal article in length (35 to 40 pages) and should represent original work by the student. Research Papers cannot be co-authored, although they can be the result of ongoing research efforts of a student working with other students or faculty.
As students complete the formal course requirements, they should also begin to prepare for the Qualifying Exam. The exam is designed to test a student's knowledge of the Business Policy and Strategy literature. BPS students will not be able to defend their Dissertation Proposal until after they have passed the Qualifying Exam and had their Research Paper approved. The written part of the exam is taken over two consecutive days in four four-hour blocks. The exam is written by the student's Advisor, in cooperation with other members of the Student's Advisory Committee. This part of the exam is open note and open book, and is designed to test the ability of the student to integrate and make creative contributions to the literature, not just memorize it.
Dissertation Proposal Defense: The Candidacy Exam
In the Dissertation Proposal Defense, the Ph.D. student gives and oral presentation describing the content of the Dissertation Proposal, and responds to questions from the Advisory Committee and the audience. The committee will accept the proposal or ask the student to make some modifications before accepting it.
The Dissertation Defense
In the Dissertation Defense, a student summarizes the research questions and objectives of the dissertation research and shares important findings generated by the research. The student also responds to questions from the Advisory Committee and from members of the audience. Upon final approval of the dissertation, a student's Advisor and Advisory Committee recommend that a student receive the Ph.D. degree.