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Business Administration PhD

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree or equivalent with high academic standing.
  • Applicants must submit proof of satisfactory performance on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) within the previous five years.
  • Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
  • Concordia Comprehensive ESL Placement Test (ConCEPT). Applicants who have been admitted by a program and whose test results fall within the range requiring a language placement test must write the Concordia Comprehensive ESL Placement Test (ConCEPT).
  • Language Requirement. The language of instruction at Concordia University is English. However, students who also have capacity in French will be able to best profit from the joint nature of the program. In particular, the ability to read technical material and to follow lectures and discussions in both languages is an asset. Students may write reports, examinations and the thesis in English or in French as they choose.

Students are accepted only for full-time study.
Meritorious students enrolled in the Master of Science program at the John Molson School of Business who have completed all program requirements except for the thesis may apply for permission to proceed directly to doctoral studies in the same discipline without submitting a master's thesis. These students are expected to meet the same PhD program requirements as all other students. Applicants must select their area of specialization from the departments of Accountancy, Supply Chain and Business Technology Management, Finance, Management or Marketing, at the time of application. Enrolment in the program is strictly limited and applicants are selected on the basis of past academic record, letters of recommendation and the relevance of their proposed research to the areas of specialization of the department concerned.
Requests to transfer to another specialization are treated within the normal application process in the new area of specialization.

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.

6 credits – Phase I (Qualifying)

MSCA 602 - Applied Linear Statistical Models (3 credits) *
MSCA 683 - Applied Multivariate Data Analysis (3 credits) *

* May not be required depending on previous studies.

12 credits – Phase II (Required Courses)

ADMI 870 - Research Methodology in Management or approved equivalent (3 credits)
ADMI 880 - Pedagogical Methods or approved equivalent (3 credits)
ADMI 889 - Comprehensive Examinations (6 credits)

18 credits – Phase II (Elective Courses)

Minimum of 4 courses (12 credits) in the area of specialization plus a minimum of 1 additional course (3 credits)

Elective courses offered in the following disciplines vary in content from term to term and from year to year. All seminars are 3 credits.

ADMI 800-809 Business Economics
ADMI 810-819 Organizational Behaviour
ADMI 820-829 Decision Sciences and Management Information Systems
ADMI 830-839 Marketing
ADMI 840-849 Finance
ADMI 850-859 Business Policy and Strategy
ADMI 860-869 Accountancy and Control

60 credits – Phase III (Thesis)

ADMI 890 - Thesis (60 credits)

Credits. A fully-qualified candidate entering the program with a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Science degree is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits. Candidates admitted with a Master’s degree in other disciplines will, in general, be required to complete more than the minimum number of credits. The program consists of three consecutive phases: qualification, specialization, and thesis.

  1. Phase I — Qualifying. (The minimum number of credits to be determined upon acceptance to the program). Students without a formal academic background in business administration will be required to take up to five (5) 3-credit courses, usually at the MBA, or MSc level, from among the following disciplines: business economics, organizational behaviour, decision sciences and management information systems, marketing, finance, business policy and strategy, accountancy and control. Up to two (2) of these courses may be in the student’s intended area of PhD specialization. Students may also be required to take Applied Linear Statistical Models and Multivariate Data Analysis depending on previous studies. Additional fees per credit will apply.
  2. Phase II — Specialization. (Minimum 30 credits). In this phase, the program of study is determined by the student’s Phase II supervisory committee. The minimum requirement of this phase is 30 credits. All students take one 3-credit compulsory course in pedagogy (ADMI 880) or approved equivalent, and one 3-credit compulsory course in Research Methodology (ADMI 870) or approved equivalent. All other seminars in the Phase II program will depend on each student’s field of interest, but will generally be organized around one area of specialization. The area of specialization can be: organizational behaviour, decision sciences, management information systems, marketing, finance, business policy and strategy, and accountancy and control; a related interdisciplinary field (such as international business); or a significant subfield (such as consumer behaviour). Students must take a minimum of four seminars (12 credits) in their area of specialization (Phase II, elective courses), and a minimum of one additional course (3 credits) which may be in their area of specialization or in another area as determined by their supervisor, followed by a set of comprehensive examinations (ADMI 889, 6 credits). Directed Reading Courses may not be taken for credit.
  3. Phase III — Thesis. As each student enters Phase III of the program, the School’s PhD committee approves a Phase III committee. The Phase III committee supervises all stages of the thesis (60 credits) from the initial proposal through to the final defence. For details of doctoral thesis examinations, see the Thesis Regulations section.


Academic Regulations

  1. Credit Load. The normal course load for PhD students during Phase I and Phase II of the program is 9 credits in each of the fall and winter terms. In exceptional circumstances, a student in good standing may be granted permission to reduce their credit load.
  2. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements. Students will have a maximum of three years (nine semesters) in which to complete Phase I and Phase II requirements from the date of original registration in the program. Students with significant pre-requisite requirements may be granted a one-term extension. The Written and Oral Comprehensive Examinations must be completed within one term (four months) following completion of course work.
  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.
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