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What is a PhD in Management?

A PhD in Management, also known as a PhD or doctorate in business, is the highest degree awarded for those studying business. This is a degree that is often sought by those seeking careers in academic research such as faculty or professors at business schools. This degree is offered at schools throughout the U.S.A. and varies in specific admission and graduation requirements, but most degrees require 4 to 5 years to complete. Students applying for this degree are generally interested in teaching or researching business at the collegiate level. Students who are more interested in a career in the business industry might be more inclined to seek a DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration) as the PhD in Management is more focused on research than the industry.

Top Schools: As of 2014, the rankings of business schools offering a PhD in Management were topped off by Harvard University in Boston. Other well-regarded schools filled out the top ten.
  1. Harvard University, Boston MA
  2. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  3. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Philadelphia, PA
  4. Northwestern University (Kellogg), Evanston, IL
  5. University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (Ross), Ann Arbor, MI
  6. University of Virginia (Darden), Charlottesville, VA
  7. Dartmouth College (Tuck), Hanover, NH
  8. Duke University (Fuqua), Durham, NC
  9. University of California--Berkeley (Haas), Berkeley, CA
  10. Columbia University, New York, NY

Admission Procedures:

Similar to any undergraduate or graduate program, admissions procedures are strict and specific in one the school is looking for. Most schools require transcripts from previous schools, letters of recommendation from former professors and personal references, and a Statement of Purpose. Additionally, all of the top schools require scores on either the GRE or GMAT to be submitted, but both tests are not always required and not all of the schools require a minimum score for acceptance. However, the test scores are still taken into consideration as an important factor regarding a candidate's readiness to participate in a particular program. From the top ranking schools the scores ranged from the low to mid 700s, with only one school have an average score from students admitted below 700, Duke, with an average of 689 for 2012. Harvard and Stanford considered the best two schools in the country had average GMAT scores of 730 and 724 respectively.

Admissions into each of these schools are considered highly competitive. From the top schools the average acceptance rate ranged between, 7% at Stanford to 32% at the University of Michigan.

International Students: Most schools require the same skills and documentation from international students, with the addition of adequate TOEFL scores.


While the prospect of gaining admittance into one of these top schools might be daunting, the rewards of completing a degree at one of these schools will be well worth the challenge. Employment rate for students graduating from any of the top schools is incredibly high. Students that receive full-time employment immediately after graduation ranges from 71%-83% spread equally among the schools, and all salaries begin well in the three-figure range. Students graduating with a PhD in Management from Stanford or Harvard might expect an average beginning salary of $139,000 a year, where students in lower-ranked programs can still be happy to receive $127,000 per year or more on average. Even if you aren't fortunate enough to attend one of the top ranked schools in the country, students of other well-respected schools rounding out positions 11 through 20 in the nation still report similar hire rates with between 60-80% receiving immediate full-time employment, and average starting salaries at or near $100,000 per year. If reaching the top 20 is not within your goals, there are more than 50 schools in the United States alone offering this degree with slightly less challenging admission standards to choose from.

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