PhD in Business Administration

Information and knowledge do not stand still in a global economy, and WPI has long been committed to preparing students to succeed in and contribute to the larger environment. The doctoral program in the WPI School of Business is designed in accordance with the Institute’s mission to create, to discover, and to convey knowledge at the frontiers of academic inquiry for the betterment of society. We seek to achieve this in areas in which we offer particular strengths.

The PhD degree requirements consist of a coursework component and a research component, which together must total at least 60 credit hours beyond the master’s degree requirement. Learn more about the general degree requirements in WPI Graduate Catalog.

Each applicant must submit an application as defined in our Application Instructions.

We consider each applicant’s ability for independent thinking, research, and creativity through his/her past work/research experience. We also consider excellent academic skills along with high scores on standardized tests. It is important to show fit with our faculty research interests in one of the three concentrations of Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, and Operations Management. In the application, each applicant must indicate a concentration and a faculty sponsor who is willing to be the potential dissertation advisor.

The available concentrations are described below:  

Entrepreneurship Concentration

Entrepreneurship encompasses opportunity seeking and identification, financing new enterprises, corporate venturing and other related topics. Research subjects address the conceptualization of new venture business models through to formulating exit strategies. Special areas of emphasis include technology entrepreneurship, intellectual property commercialization, international and cross-cultural studies, social entrepreneurship, and issues associated with trans-generational entrepreneurship in family business.

For more information, please contact Professor Frank Hoy 

Information Technology Concentration

Students will learn to use qualitative and quantitative methods to develop and apply theories regarding design, implementation, and use of advanced information systems and technologies with the goal of developing and publishing new Information Technology knowledge.  Students will study information technology and how it affects individuals, organizations and society. By working closely with WPI’s Information Technology scholars, students will learn to conduct theoretically sound Information Technology research that addresses real business problems, to apply for research grants, and to teach Information Technology courses.  WPI’s Information Technology scholars will involve Ph.D. candidates in their research activities in various organizations in the region, including those in the technology, healthcare, financial, and public sectors.


For more information, please contact Associate Professor Eleanor T. Loiacono    

Operations Management Concentration

Students will pursue research in the areas of management sciences, operations research, business analytics, health care management, supply chain management, and decision analysis. The operations area undertakes research on decision-making through quantitative modeling of operations functions in businesses. Research topics cover all levels of business decision-making, from operation systems design and technology choices to day-to-day scheduling and performance measurement. The program emphasizes research that focuses on real business problems and maintains a balance between theory and practice. This concentration is designed to train Ph.D. students in fundamental and applied business modeling and analytical thinking.


For more information, please contact Professor Joe Zhu

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