Ph.D. Program

Operations Management concerns the processes used to produce goods and services. It includes the problems faced in managing a single firm, but also those entailed in coordinating the activities of several organizations. 
Examples of research topics in Operations Management include operations strategy, supply chain design and control, inventory management, production scheduling, service operations, industrial contracting, dynamic pricing, behavioral operations, and supply chain sustainability issues.

Fuqua is one of the top ranked business research institutions in the world, and the main purpose of the doctoral program in Operations Management is to train individuals in the pursuit of original research in the field. Although the program is primarily designed to prepare for academic careers, some of our graduates choose consulting or other industry positions. Our goals are to provide the necessary skills and tools for conducting scholarly research and to instill and cultivate the desire and ability to think conceptually, carefully and creatively about operations issues.

A major portion of the program is the preparation of a doctoral dissertation, which is written under the close supervision of a faculty member. Preparatory course work is used to develop the necessary methodological tools as well as to provide an understanding of problems and issues in the application area. Most candidates can expect to complete the program in four to five years.

Program Overview

Year Fall Spring Summer
1 Coursework Coursework Qualifying Exam
– Literature Review
– Written Exam (May be Exempted)
2 Coursework
Research Exploration
Teaching Assistantship
Coursework
Research Exploration
Teaching Assistantship
Research
– 2nd Year Summer Paper
3 Coursework (Optional)
Research
Teaching Assistantship
Preliminary Exam
– Original Research Paper
– Oral Presentation
Coursework (Optional)
Research
Teaching Assistantship
Research
4 Research
Teaching Assistantship
Research
Teaching Assistantship
Research
5 Research
Teaching Assistantship
Research
Teaching Assistantship
Final Exam
– Dissertation Defense

Key Milestones (Qualifying, Preliminary, and Final Exams) in Bold Font

About the Operations Management Ph.D. Program

How to Apply

The Ph.D. in Business Administration is a degree of the Graduate School of Duke University. Applications are only available online. To apply to our program please go to: www.gradschool.duke.edu/admissions.

For More Information

General information about doctoral studies at Fuqua can be found at the main Fuqua Ph.D. Program Website. If you have further questions about the Operations Management Ph.D. program at Fuqua, please contact the OM doctoral coordinator, Prof. Robert Swinney.