The Fuqua Strategy PhD program trains students to do independent research on firm strategy, with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. All students receive rigorous theoretical and empirical training through coursework, including in economics, statistics, public policy, and computer science, at Fuqua as well as at other graduate schools within the University.
A core thesis of our program is that training the next generation of scholars requires hands-on mentorship. You will begin working on collaborative research with faculty in your first year, within the framework of a multi-year apprenticeship model. This apprenticeship culminates in a complete working paper at the end of your second year and a publishable paper by the end of your third year. In recent years, students have gone on to publish these papers in journals including Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, American Economic Review, and Research Policy, among others.
This hands-on training culminates in an independent dissertation and job market paper that is at the cutting-edge of research in strategy, innovation, or entrepreneurship.
Over the five years it typically takes to complete the program, you are expected to fulfill the following requirements:
- Successfully complete coursework that develops your theoretical and empirical skills, including in microeconomics, econometrics as well as various advanced methods.
- Successfully complete coursework in several topical areas including firm strategy, the economics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and organizational theory.
- Attend and participate in the Strategy Area’s seminar series, where leading scholars from around the world present their latest research.
- Complete and successfully defend to the Strategy Area faculty:
- A second year paper co-authored with a faculty member and presented to Strategy Area faculty. This paper will likely still be work-in-progress.
- A third year paper, which is typically a more advanced version of the second-year paper, but is judged to be of publishable quality. A defense of this paper constitutes the comprehensive examination that will determine advancement to candidacy.
- An independent research project that culminates in a dissertation proposal (year 4) which constitutes a contract specifying the required work for the final dissertation.
- A dissertation (year 5) and job market paper, which serves as the final requirement to complete the Strategy PhD program.
Your goal as a PhD student should be to develop the knowledge, judgment, and skills to conduct independent and collaborative research that is at the cutting edge of your chosen area within the broader field of strategy. Successful students will leave the program with:
- A strong foundation in economic and social science theory.
- A modern, rigorous methodological toolkit.
- Skill in posing and answering research questions that are both important and ambitious.
- Core skills include: being able to articulate a research question, its importance, and its relation to prior work; knowing how to attack that question (e.g., identifying data sources or modeling frameworks, collecting and preparing data); recognizing and applying high standards of evidence; and communicating results orally and in writing.
- Skill in writing independent research articles that have the potential to be marquee contributions to our field, and a familiarity with the publication process.