How Long Does IT Take to Get a PhD in Business?

The time it takes to earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business usually is the same length as it takes to earn a bachelor's degree. Read ahead to find out what the program consists of and learn about common career paths.

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Length of Time it Takes to Get a Ph.D. in Business

Earning a Ph.D. in Business generally takes about four years. Students can find these programs at 4-year universities. The first two years of study usually include completion of core courses such as organizational theory, microeconomics and qualitative and quantitative research methods.

First Two Years

During the first two years, students also select areas of concentration, such as accounting, finance, economics, marketing, organizational behavior, entrepreneurship and operations, manufacturing, or information technology management. Once the first two years of coursework are completed, students take comprehensive exams that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of their selected area of concentration.

Final Years

The final two years of the business Ph.D. program focus on the completion of a teaching assignment and a dissertation. During the teaching assignment, students assist faculty members with research and in teaching some courses. Students often receive a stipend during their teaching assignment.

Students select a dissertation topic and defend their proposal in front of a dissertation committee. This is typically done during the third year. The fourth year is spent conducting business-relevant research for the dissertation. The completed dissertation is submitted to a supervisory committee and is examined by the examining committee, although the supervisory committee may sometimes serve as the examining committee as well.

Career and Salary Information

A Ph.D. in Business prepares graduates for careers in education, but more specifically, for teaching and academic research positions at the postsecondary level. Graduates often go on to become associate professors of business. According to April 2014 information from PayScale.com, postsecondary associate professors with a Ph.D. in Business Administration earned between $56,000-$112,920 (10th to 90th percentile) annually.

Those working as postsecondary assistant professors were reported as making between $45,302 and $124,162 (same percentile). In the same year, PayScale.com noted that the salary range of postsecondary professors was $73,387-$163,406 (same percentile).

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Business
      • Business Economics
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Human Resource Management
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Hospitality Management
      • Human Resource Management
      • Sales and Merchandising
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Northwestern University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • International Business
      • Specialized Sales
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
      • Hospitality Management
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • International Business
      • Specialized Sales
  • School locations:
    • Connecticut (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Connecticut include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Business
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • Specialized Sales

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