PhD in Business Administration

Transportation & logistics specialization

We are not accepting applications for the PhD program in Business Administration with a specialization in Transportation and Logistics for September 2024.


Judging by the standards of research achievement, publications per faculty member and national research grants, the PhD program in transportation and logistics at the University of British Columbia is among the best at North American universities. Entrants into the program can expect to join an active and stimulating research environment.

The objective of the PhD program in Business Administration is to prepare persons of demonstrated intellectual capacity for university teaching and for research positions in business and government. The PhD is a research degree in the sense of requiring not only general proficiency and distinctive attainment in a specific field, but also a recognized ability for independent investigation, as demonstrated by a dissertation based upon original research or creative scholarship, and presented with marked literary skill.

The doctoral program in transportation and logistics (TLOG) focuses on transportation economics and policy analysis. Students take courses in transportation and courses in economics from the Vancouver School of Economics. Depending on the specific program, they may also take courses in Civil Engineering, Geography and/or Planning. The program is designed to meet the needs of individual students, and there is considerable flexibility in choosing courses.

Students applying to the PhD program are expected to have a good Master's level training in quantitative methods. Those who do not have such a training are encouraged to apply to our Masters of Science (MSc) program in Transportation and Logistics before going on to a PhD. Students who qualify for admission into the PhD program, but do not have adequate backgrounds in some areas, may be required to take some prerequisite courses.

Program of Study and Course Listing

Students are required to take a cross-divisional course in research methods, and a course in teaching methods. Other required and elective courses are designed by the TLOG PhD program advisor in consultation with the student and other interested faculty members. A PhD student usually takes three or four graduate level courses per semester for four semesters. The following list of courses that our current and past TLOG PhD students have taken gives you a good idea what types of courses a student will need to take during the first two years of their PhD program. Please note that some of these courses may not be offered every year.

COMM 544 or alternative (transport economics)
COMM 644 (advanced topics in transportation)
COMM 691 (analytical methods of policy analysis)
COMM 693 (research method 1) - required
COMM 548 (directed studies)
COMM 649 (PhD Thesis) - required
COMM 581 (statistical methodology I)
COMM 582 (statistical methodology II)
COMM 583 (forecasting and time series analysis in business environments)
ECON 500 (micro-economics I)
ECON 522 (economic application of game theory)
ECON 526 (mathematics for economics)
ECON 527 (econometric methods of economics research)
ECON 541 (economic development I)
ECON 565 (market structure and business behaviour)
ECON 566 (business performance and public policy)
ECON 581 (cost benefit analysis)

Sample Program Sequence

A typical schedule for a PhD student in TLOG might be

Year 1 Fall COMM 693 (seminar in research methodology 1), and two or three electives
Year 1 Winter COMM 644 (advanced topics in transportation) and two or three electives
Year 1 Summer Summer research paper

Year 2 Fall Teaching Methods and two or three elective courses
Year 2 Winter three or four elective courses
Year 2 Summer Comprehensive exam

Years 3 and 4 Preparation of presentation of thesis proposal and preparation and defense of thesis.

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