Decision Sciences

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. program in Decision Sciences at Fuqua prepares students to pursue cutting-edge research under mentorship of our faculty. The training and research themes in our Ph.D. Program is comparable to that of top Ph.D. programs in operations research and management science with a strong methodological and rigorous component. The Decision Sciences Ph.D. program is primarily intended to prepare graduates for academic research careers, though positions in industry are also a possibility. Prospective Ph.D. students with strong mathematics background and a desire for theoretical research in areas of decision sciences and operations research are encouraged to apply.

The interdisciplinary nature of our program leads students  to take courses and interact with students and faculty from many other areas around Fuqua and Duke University. Our Ph.D. students take graduate-level courses in applied probability, computer science, decision sciences, economics, mathematics, operations research, and statistics as the foundation upon which to build a program of original research culminating in a dissertation. No previous course work in business administration is necessary or expected. In addition to Ph.D. courses offered by Decision Sciences faculty, our students are expected to take graduate courses at Fuqua School of Business, and at Duke computer science, economics, mathematics, and statistics departments. Programs of study and research are individually designed to fit each student’s interests and abilities.


Applications can only be submitted through Duke Graduate School. Full details about application procedures, academic regulations, deadlines, and the like can be found at the Duke Graduate School website. When completing the application, please select Department/degree: “Business Administration-Ph.D.” and Specialization “Decision Sciences.” (Late applications may be considered in exceptional circumstances; please contact Professor Alessandro Arlotto, the Ph.D. program coordinator for Decision Sciences).

Successful applicants will demonstrate a strong mathematical background and desire to pursue research compatible with our program. (Applicants primarily interested in descriptive, empirical or experimental research should consider applying to a different Ph.D. Program at Fuqua.)  All aspects of the application package are important: statement of purpose, transcripts and grades, standardized test scores (GRE is preferred to GMAT), recommendations from faculty, etc. Decision Sciences faculty make admission decisions, typically by mid-March. All admitted students are given a full tuition grant and a generous living stipend for five years, provided their progress is satisfactory.

Additional Information:

Some Recent Graduates and Current Affiliation:

PhD Students