Ph.D. in Strategic Management

Program information

The doctoral program in strategic management prepares students for success in research universities as faculty members specializing in strategic management. Research in strategic management concerns how firms and organizations gain competitive advantage over rival firms or organizations. The field emphasizes a blend of knowledge about economics, sociology and psychology to understand firm strategy and strategic decision-making.

Important sub-fields within the discipline include research on developing firm resources, competitive interactions, relational governance, strategic decision-making, innovation, entrepreneurship and organizational learning. The field is increasingly focusing on research issues within the context of globalization and international business.  


Application deadlines

  • Priority: January 10, 2023

  • Final: February 1, 2023



  • Research

    Students begin their own research during the first year of the program and often present to faculty and other doctoral students early in their second year. Many of these papers are eventually published in academic journals.


  • Teaching

    Students will teach an undergraduate class usually in their second or third year of the program. Students typically teach three undergraduate classes before graduating.

Program details

Core courses

A graduate course in economics

BE 701: Business Economics OR BE 917: Advanced Managerial Economics OR ECON 700: Survey of Microeconomics

BE 917: Business Economics, is preferred. Students coming into the program directly from an undergraduate degree may consider substituting BE 701: Business Economics, or ECON 700: Survey of Microeconomics. In the event a student has taken a graduate economics course prior to enrolling as a KU doctoral student, she/he may waive the requirement and substitute either an elective doctoral content course or a statistics/research methods course for this requirement.

MGMT 905: Macro Management Research Methods

MGMT 906: Micro Management Research Methods

MGMT 916: Major Management Theories

1 of 2

Management area HRM content courses (MGMT 950 or MGMT 951)

1 of 2

Management area OB content course (MGMT 953 or MGMT 954)

1 of 2

Management area Strategy content courses (MGMT 956 or MGMT 957)

Concentration courses

Second Management area course from student’s area of specialization

Elective content or statistics/methods course

Elective content or statistics/methods course

Supporting courses

One of the two sequences below:

Sequence 1

PSYC 790: Statistical Methods in Psychology I

PSYC 791: Statistical Methods in Psychology II

PSYC 893: Multivariate Analysis

Advanced elective statistics course

Advanced elective statistics course

Sequence 2

BSAN 920: Probability for Business Research

BSAN 921: Statistics for Business Research

Advanced elective statistics course

Advanced elective statistics course

Advanced elective statistics course

Additional information

For the statistics/research methods course requirements, students may substitute an equivalent statistics or methods course as an elective with faculty advisor approval.

More information:

View a detailed list of courses in the Academic Catalog.

Area of concentration

Most students typically will select the specific area to which they are admitted (strategic management) as their concentration. However, an aspirant, with the assistance of his or her faculty advisor and the area faculty, may propose an interdisciplinary area of concentration that is a combination of the traditional business disciplines of accounting, finance, human resource management, marketing, decision sciences, and organizational behavior.

An aspirant may also propose an interdisciplinary area of concentration that includes emphases such as international business, law and economics. The aspirant must take at least five advanced courses in the area of concentration. These courses may include those offered outside the School of Business.

Supporting areas

Coursework in the area of concentration is supplemented and strengthened by study in one or two supporting areas. A supporting area is one that supplements and complements the area of concentration.

The aspirant will satisfy the supporting area requirement by taking at least four advanced courses in the supporting areas (at least two courses in each of two supporting areas, or at least four courses in one supporting area). Courses recommended for preparation for the qualifiers may not be included in satisfying the supporting area requirement.

Research methodology

For successful qualifier assessment, the student’s program of study should include adequate preparation in research methodology.

Sound research is always grounded on sound methodology. A doctoral student in marketing has the opportunity to develop methodological skill in probability and statistics, optimization, uncertain reasoning, game theory, and econometrics. A typical doctoral dissertation often utilizes one or more of the following research methodology: empirical, analytical, behavioral, and computational.

Year 1

  • Coursework
  • Research

Year 2

  • Coursework
  • Research

Year 3

  • Comprehensive exams
  • Research

Year 4

  • Dissertation proposal and job market

Year 5

  • Dissertation defense

Some students can complete the program in four years.

Program faculty

Strategic management doctoral students


Contact Charly Edmonds, doctoral program director.