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Mary Clark
Assistant Dean
UIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business
Phone:  312-413-3245

Doctorate in Business Administration

The UIC Liautaud PhD program in Business Administration trains future scholars in business statistics, organizational behavior/human resource management, and marketing. While students are accepted into an area of specialization, they are given the flexibility to design an individual program of study and are encouraged to take a more interdisciplinary approach within the area of specialization.

The PhD in Business Administration prepares students for careers as professors in public and private universities or industry. The program helps students develop:

  • A thorough grounding in research skills and the fundamental concepts of business and related social science disciplines
  • Original knowledge in the specific area of research 
  • A spirit of inquiry and lifelong learning

Ideal candidates are bright and highly motivated individuals with outstanding verbal and quantitative aptitude seeking an academic research and teaching career within business administration.

Areas of Inquiry

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Business StatisticsUIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business PHD BA booklet
The Business Statistics Area-of-Inquiry  combines an advanced program in statistics with training in a second field, chosen from such fields as accounting, economics, finance, marketing, MIS, or operations management.  Students are trained in the use of state-of-the art computer  software and, depending on individual interest,  a combination of applied statistics,  data analysis, econometrics, finance and predictive analytics/data mining.

Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Our program is highly focused on research. Students are required to take seminars on OB, HR, research methods, statistics, and electives from our department as well as other departments on campus, such as psychology, sociology, and educational psychology. In terms of major requirements, students are required to write a qualifying paper (a research paper of publishable quality), take a comprehensive exam, and write a dissertation.

Students are required to take seminars on core topics in marketing and entrepreneurship, in addition to courses on research methods, statistics, and electives from other departments on campus, such as psychology, sociology, and educational psychology.

PhD Requirements

Minimum Credits Required

96 for student entering the program directly from the baccalaureate.
64 entering the program from an MBA or a business-related master's degree.
A minimum of 32 hours of dissertation research is required. The typical time for a student with an MBA to complete the program is four or five years of full-time study. The maximum time allowed by the Graduate College for students with the MBA is six years.


The first year of study includes two course requirements in mathematics, statistics, or computing, a four course breadth requirement (students without a prior MBA must take four MBA core courses*, no two of which are from the same functional area and none of which is from the Area of Inquiry), and a six-course depth requirement (advanced courses, at least two in the area of the qualifying exam). Students are also encouraged to take graduate coursework in related non-CBA departments such as psychology, sociology, and educational psychology (methods). The Chicago Metropolitan Exchange Program (CMEP) also allows UIC doctoral students to take selected courses at Northwestern University and University of Chicago. Following the qualifying exam, additional course requirements are determined by the student's faculty adviser. 


Students entering the program are advised by the PhD coordinator in their area of interest. Courses are approved in this way until the student passes the qualifying exam. At that stage, an adviser is selected to supervise research for the dissertation.

Required Exams

  • Qualifying Exam: This exam is based primarily on the core and depth requirements. Students must take this exam within two years from time of admission. This exam may be taken a second time if the first attempt results in failure.
  • Preliminary Exam: Within three months of completing the qualifying exam the student will begin coursework in their area of interest under the supervision of the faculty advisor. At least 32 hours of course work will take place at this stage (not counting dissertation research). The preliminary exam will be written or oral, at the discretion of the exam committee. A major purpose of the preliminary exam is ensure that the candidate possesses sufficient general and specialized knowledge to undertake dissertation research.
  • Dissertation: The final stage of doctoral studies the dissertation defense. The dissertation must make an original contribution to knowledge in the chosen field. A dissertation may address theoretical or applied problems and is expected to take at least one year of full-time study. The Graduate College requires one year between the preliminary exam and the dissertation defense.

Program Contacts

To learn more, please contact the following faculty advisers for the doctoral programs:

Dr. Stanley L. Sclove, Business Statistics

Dr. Robert C. Liden, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Dr. Alan J. Malter, Marketing