Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The doctoral programs of the Robinson College of Business seek to develop in the student a high level of competence in conducting basic and applied research and in university teaching. To accomplish this objective, the programs provide a rigorous and in-depth course of study emphasizing the latest theoretical knowledge, quantitative techniques, research methodology and empirical evidence in the student’s field of specialization. The doctoral programs require that the student demonstrate mastery of a large and complex body of knowledge and a high degree of proficiency in the techniques of teaching and research. This is evidenced by the successful completion of coursework and examinations, effective performance in classroom instruction, participation with faculty members in research, presentation of papers and reports, and the writing of a dissertation of high quality. Given the substantial commitment of intellectual effort and time required to achieve these competencies, students are expected to enroll on a full-time basis.

The Ph.D. in Real Estate is designed to prepare students for an academic career in real estate, blending a solid understanding of real estate fundamentals and theory with research skills necessary to provide industry leadership that helps advance the discipline in a meaningful way.

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Program Requirements

(48 Semester Hours Total)

A program of study indicating how the student will fulfill each of the degree requirements must be approved by the student’s doctoral coordinator and the director of doctoral programs by the end of the second semester of enrollment. This program of study is filed in the Doctoral Programs Office; it may be revised, as appropriate, but must be kept current, as it will be a key factor in determining satisfactory progress in the program. Forty-eight (48) semester hours of coursework, as a minimum, must be completed successfully for graduation. When feasible, registration for 12-15 hours per semester is encouraged; at a minimum, students must register for nine hours per semester (excluding summer semester unless the student holds a GRA/GTA).

Quantitative and Economic Foundations

Students entering the doctoral program are also presumed to have a background and current knowledge in the following additional areas:

  • multi-variable calculus including multiple integration, partial derivatives and infinite series
  • matrix algebra including linear transformations, vector differentiation and eigenstructures
  • computer skills for empirical research including statistical packages and the use of data tapes and files
  • macroeconomics and microeconomics through the intermediate level

Students can remedy a deficiency in an area by taking credit or noncredit courses, auditing appropriate graduate or undergraduate classes, and/or attending tutorial sessions. Students who feel their background is not adequate may consult with the assistant director for doctoral programs and their doctoral coordinator for recommendations on overcoming deficiencies.

Major Field

Hours of Coursework

The satisfactory completion of no fewer than 27 semester hours constitutes minimum preparation in the major field.

Preliminary Examination

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to determine students’ mastery of the body of knowledge in their area of specialization. The examination will include questions that draw upon the subject matter covered in the quantitative and research methods breadth requirement of the program (see below). Students are encouraged to confer with their doctoral coordinator regarding the areas the examination will encompass. The preliminary examination is a written examination, supplemented in some cases by an oral examination.

Students must have satisfactorily completed all courses on the program of study in the major field and in the quantitative and research methods breadth requirement to be eligible to take the preliminary examination. Requests to take the preliminary examination are made through their doctoral coordinator. The doctoral coordinator will notify the Doctoral Programs Office of the student(s) prepared to take the examination.

Students will not be permitted a second attempt to pass the preliminary examination except upon recommendation, by majority vote, of the group of faculty members who graded the examination. A maximum of two attempts is permitted to pass the preliminary examination.

Breadth Requirements

A minimum of 18 semester hours must be completed in the area of quantitative and research methods, as follows (each category is 3 hours making a total of 18 hours)

  • Intermediate Statistics: MGS 9920 or MGS 9920-9930
  • Research Design: MGS 9940
  • Regression: Econ 8750 or MGS 9950
  • Multivariate Data Analysis: MGS 9960
  • Elective: a quantitative and/or research methods course to complement the major field; it may be from the student’s major field and department.
  • Elective: a basic theory or quantitative and/or research methods course to complement the major; it must be outside the student’s major field and department.

Note: Elective courses above must be at the doctoral level and must support and complement the student research interest. The course in basic theory must emphasize the use of theoretical approaches that are useful in defining or analyzing the relevant issues in the student’s field of study. Students may not enroll for courses that satisfy these requirements until the program of study is approved. All courses that satisfy these requirements must be completed with a grade of “B” or higher.


All students are required to complete Econ 8100, Applied Microeconomic Analysis, with a grade of “B” or higher.