Program Goals and Objectives
The UBC PhD program attracts some of the world’s sharpest, most curious minds who, over the course of the program, sharpen their skills and deepen their knowledge. Upon graduating from the UBC PhD program, you will:
- Have in-depth knowledge of the process of scientific discovery and the Philosophy of Science (epistemology), which you will be able to apply to your research discipline.
- Be a skilled communicator with the ability to share your knowledge and expertise effectively with a variety of audiences. You will be able to present your findings at a research seminar or a conference, to teach a complete course effectively, and be able to publish in the academic genre of your discipline.
- Have the appropriate analytical research foundation for your chosen area of specialization, and you will be able to apply your analytical knowledge and skills to research problems in that area.
- Have an in-depth understanding of leading research within your chosen area of specialization, and you will be able to enrich and advance that body of knowledge through deep analysis and synthesis of research problems and findings.
During the first two years of the program, you will take formal course work, which includes thesis preparation and defence. To deepen your mastery of your specialized field, you will study the foundation areas of business and take core courses in relevant management decision areas.
Foundation areas include:
- Computer Science
Choose core courses from:
- Management Information Systems
- Management Science
- Organizational Behaviour
- Strategy and Business Economics
- Urban Land Economics
Note: The specific courses you take will depend on your specialization requirements as well as your particular area of interest.
Some areas of specialization will include a minor field of interest. There is a preliminary examination in each area, which will be waived if you achieve first-class standing in required courses (unless you are in the Management Science PhD program).
All first-year students take a seminar in research methodology, which raises foundational issues in the philosophy of science, surveys research in the basic disciplines and the various areas of management, and nurtures creativity. It also gives you exposure to and experience with research methods and skills.
Study in your chosen field of specialization will be followed by comprehensive examinations. Here, you demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the literature of the field and its basic concepts, as well as their application.
In order to learn techniques of effective teaching, all PhD students are expected to enroll in the faculty's seminar in teaching methods and undertake a teaching practicum of one or two course sections under the supervision of a faculty member. Normally the seminar in teaching methods is taken at the end of the second year of studies.
The final step in the UBC PhD program is writing a scholarly dissertation that makes an original and substantive contribution to knowledge.
Under the supervision of a dissertation committee, you will prepare a formal dissertation proposal, which is presented at an open workshop or seminar. This will demonstrate the significance and feasibility of the study you are proposing. During the seminar, you must also outline the research plan and justify the specific methodology you will be using.
Once the dissertation committee has approved the proposal, you can complete your dissertation. It usually develops, extends, tests empirically, or shows new applications of theories, techniques or models relevant to management. Your dissertation demonstrates your capacity for independent scholarly research, and must meet the standards for publication in leading academic journals in the field of specialization.
When complete, your dissertation will be sent to an expert in the field who will give a critical appraisal, following which you must successfully defend the dissertation in an oral examination, proving your ability to define a significant problem in the field, solve it and communicate your ideas effectively.
To be awarded a UBC PhD in Business Administration, you must:
- Complete courses in the basic disciplines
- Satisfy field requirements in the area of specialization
- Pass preliminary examinations (if necessary) in the basic and field courses
- Pass comprehensive examinations in the field of specialization
- Propose and complete a dissertation acceptable to your dissertation committee
- Defend your dissertation before a university examining committee