Develop expertise and conduct impactful research that will shape businesses and organizations with a PhD in business from George Mason University.
Mason’s PhD in business ensures a thorough understanding of how to conduct research to create new knowledge in the field of business, how to apply that knowledge in service to businesses and organizations, and how to teach others to apply that knowledge themselves.
Under the guidance of our esteemed faculty, you’ll be exposed to a broad, multi-disciplinary approach to research, writing, and teaching across the sub-disciplines of business. Our goal is to foster graduates who understand that academia can improve and positively impact the business world. At every step of the program, we work with you to bring out your passions and interests while providing you with world-class training.
This is an immersive PhD program with a limited number of spots for fully-funded students. Accepted students are eligible to receive fully-funded tuition and stipend support at competitive rates.
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Mason’s PhD in business degree program is a 72-credit hour degree program consisting of five main areas:
The focus of this coursework is to build skills in the core areas of faculty work—research, writing, and teaching. Core courses emphasize the applicability of research by training you to write for academic and non-academic audiences. Coursework stresses the connection with business, as you will be required to engage with real-world business to conduct research projects. Core courses ensure teaching effectiveness by allocating time for learning effective techniques for teaching within business schools.
Accepted students must choose from amongst four concentrations.
Coursework for the Organizational Behavior concentration emphasizes theory related to motivation, decision-making, employee loyalty, leadership, negotiation, and organizational culture. The coursework will allow you to solve people-based problems in organizations, including how to form high-performing teams, motivate people, and manage conflict.
Coursework for the Strategic Management concentration focuses on knowledge related to industrial organization and industry dynamics, behavioral strategy, competitive dynamics, corporate governance, and corporate strategy. You’ll learn to solve organizational problems related to corporate social responsibility, innovation and technological change, strategic formulation, and implementation and planning.
Coursework for the Information Systems concentration emphasizes organizational problems related to designing, building, maintaining, and securing information systems. You’ll learn to solve organizational problems related to interactions among technologies.
Coursework for the Operations and Supply Chain Management concentration focuses on developing analytical and empirical models to address operational issues of profit, non-profit, and public sector organizations. You’ll learn to address managerial challenges including revenue management, quality management, new product development, technology and innovation management, and environmental performance.
Accepted students must choose a minor area closely related to their concentration which consists of 15 credits of approved coursework.
Examples of acceptable minor areas include psychology (for students in the Organizational Behavior concentration), industrial engineering, and statistics (for students in the Operations and Supply Chain Management concentration), sociology (for students in the Strategic Management concentration), and economics and computer science (for students in the Information Systems concentration).
Research methods courses are designed to prepare students to evaluate and investigate a range of research approaches including data collection and analysis; data mining and econometrics, and empirical and analytical modeling. All courses must be approved by a faculty advisor.
Students who have advanced to doctoral candidacy begin working on the dissertational proposal the semester after passing their comprehensive exams. At the conclusion of the oral defense, the dissertation committee either approves the dissertation or provides written recommendations for improving the proposed research with clearly stated expectations for resubmission.
Explore Degree Requirements
See courses and electives for the PhD in business program in Mason's University Catalog.
The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years.
Meet Your Instructors
George Mason University has been recognized as one of the nation’s top research universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, earning the “very high research” (or R1) designation. Our highly acclaimed and well-experienced faculty live, work, and consult in the Washington, D.C., area and draw on their real-world experiences to enrich their mentoring and classroom instruction.
PhD students should expect to work closely with faculty as they learn the craft of being a highly successful academic. Learn more about our research faculty in each of the four concentrations below. If you have specific questions on research projects and/or faculty availability, please reach out to the faculty member directly.
Cronin, Matthew A.
Klimoski, Richard J.
Associate Dean for Research
O'Neill, Olivia (Mandy)
PhD Program Director
Hur, Yun Young
Jung, Eun Ju
Karmegam, Sabari Rajan
Assistant Area Chair
The program is designed to be completed in five years by full-time students. However, each student is unique and some might take a shorter or longer period of time. For those students on stipend, funding is only guaranteed for five years.
Highly competitive students interested in academic, research-intensive, careers are welcome and will be eligible for competitive stipends and tuition waivers. We also are interested in applications from qualified students with their own sources of funding.
Our stipend amount for Fall 2022 is 30K/year split between the academic year and the summer. Students on stipend also receive a full tuition waiver.
This is not required, but students who indicate their research interests and fit with current faculty are easier to evaluate.
Three courses in five years.
Cohorts are expected to be between two to six depending on the available slots that year.
Diversity is one of Mason's core values; everyone is welcome here. Mason was recently named the most diverse university in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report. To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Mason, visit the university's DEI website. Visit this page to learn more about DEI at the School of Business.
At the end of our program, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to teach college-level courses.
- Master the analytical and methodological skills to evaluate and conduct research.
- Design and conduct original research.
- Communicate the results of their research to academic and practitioner audiences.
- Demonstrate an understanding ethical standards in business research, teaching, and service.
Organizational Behavior Concentration:
- Synthesize knowledge of theory associated with psychology and organizational behavior.
- Employ survey, experiment, and field methodologies including both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
- Design and conduct organizational behavior research.
- Teach courses such as organizational behavior, principles of management, leadership, diversity, cross-cultural management, teams, or negotiation.
Strategic Management Concentration:
- Synthesize knowledge of theory associated with strategic management and related disciplines such as sociology and economics.
- Employ archival and/or field methodologies.
- Design and conduct of strategy research.
- Teach courses such as strategic management, organizational theory, international strategy, corporate social responsibility, and entrepreneurship.
Information Systems Concentration:
- Synthesize knowledge of theory associated with management of information systems and related disciplines such as economics and sociology.
- Use modeling and/or secondary data analysis and data collection methodologies.
- Design and conduct information systems research.
- Teach courses such as management of information technology, systems analysis, and design, database management, security, analytics, or programming.
Operations Management Concentration:
- Synthesize knowledge of theory associated with operations management and related disciplines such as economics and industrial engineering.
- Employ analytical modeling and/or secondary data analysis and data collection methodologies.
- Design and conduct operations management research.
- Teach courses such as operations management, supply chain management, logistics, or new product/service development.