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Online Applied Management and Decision Sciences Doctorate Degree

A Ph.D. program in applied management and decision sciences can prepare you for management, research and consulting careers in business, government and academia. Find out about degree programs, program structure, coursework and prerequisites.

What Will I Learn in an Online Doctoral Program in Applied Management and Decision Sciences?

It is difficult to find online doctoral programs in this field that are offered by public and not-for-profit schools; however, on-campus Ph.D. programs in this area of study are available. These types of programs serve to enhance your knowledge of management principles, decision-making strategies and problem analysis. You may have the option to focus on different aspects of the field, such as operations management, applied probability and statistics, managerial economics and/or operations research. You might also have opportunities to work with faculty members on research in areas such as financial modeling, production planning, logistics, supply chain decision models or quality control.

Online Availability Online programs are rare; programs are typically offered by for-profit schools
Program Length Four years; some programs allow up to seven years for graduation
Common Courses Game theory, experimental design, operations research methods, mathematical programming, decision models
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree; GRE or GMAT scores, letter(s) of recommendation and statement of purpose, resume, previous coursework in the field may be required
Median Salary (2018)$83,390 (Operations Research Analysts)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)27% growth (Operations Research Analysts)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

How Is the Program Structured?

Ph.D. programs in applied management and decision sciences typically take four years to complete, and you're often allowed up to seven years to earn your degree. Your first year of courses will usually be more generalized, while your second year may consist of courses based on your specific interests. You'll need to pass a comprehensive exam after your first year to ensure satisfactory progress in your program, and you may need to take additional written and oral exams after the completion of all your coursework to be admitted to candidacy. Your third and fourth years will typically be more research-oriented and require the completion of a research project and a dissertation. To earn your Ph.D., you'll need to successfully defend your dissertation through an oral exam.

What Classes Will I Take?

Programs often place emphasis on the use of mathematical models and analysis to solve management problems. Your program will generally include a research project and dissertation. You may study the following subjects:

  • Microeconomics
  • Game theory
  • Operations research methods
  • Experimental design
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Operations management
  • Mathematical programming
  • Decision models

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Courses such as differential equations, statistics, differential and integral calculus, computer programming and microeconomic theory may be required before beginning the program. You'll also need to have earned at least a bachelor's degree, and GRE or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, a resume and a statement of purpose may be required for evaluation.