University of Southern California

Requirements

Year 1

Sample Course Schedule

Fall:
  • Organizational Behavior (MOR 601)
  • Research Design (MOR 604)
  • Methods I
  • Elective
Spring:
  • Organizational Theory (MOR 602)
  • Strategic Management (MOR 603)
  • Methods II
  • Elective

Research Development
Beginning in the first semester, students will apprentice with a faculty mentor to learn research fundamentals. Typically students are assigned to a new mentor each semester in the first year.

Screening Examination
In the summer of the first year, students complete a screening examination which may take the form of a written or oral exam, written assignments, and/or summer research project. The results of the examination help the faculty determine students’ developmental needs and fitness to continue in the program.

Year 2

Sample Course Schedule

Fall:
  • Methods III
  • Electives (3)
Spring:
  • Methods IV
  • Electives (2)
  • GSBA 790 (Special Topic)

Research Development
Students continue their apprenticeship with a faculty mentor to learn research fundamentals and participate in research projects. Typically students are assigned to a new mentor each semester in the first and second years.

Qualifying Examination
With the recommendation of their faculty mentor, students take a comprehensive examination on the core knowledge of their discipline. The examination includes both written and oral components. Upon passing the examination, an individual becomes a Ph.D. candidate and begins work on the Ph.D. dissertation.

Year 3

Sample Course Schedule

  • Independent Dissertation Preparation (2)
  • Electives (Optional)

Research Development
Ph.D. candidates continue to apprentice with faculty, and are given increasing responsibility. They also will begin to work on their dissertations.

Teaching Development
Ph.D. candidates begin developing teaching skills by serving as a teaching assistant for one or two classes and engaging in teaching skills workshops.

Year 4

Sample Course Schedule

  • Independent Dissertation Preparation (2)
  • Electives (Optional)

Research Development
Research is the primary activity in the fourth year and beyond. In addition to continuing independent and joint research projects, Ph.D. candidates participate actively in and present their research at departmental seminars.

Teaching Development
Ph.D. candidates co-teach one course with a faculty member.

Dissertation Defense & Submission
The dissertation is the culminating work of a student’s independent research. In the fourth or fifth year of the program, students complete, defend and submit the dissertation. This is the last step to earn the Ph.D.