PhD in Business Administration

Doctor of Philosophy
Man reading paper

The PhD in Business Administration in the WPI Business School is designed in accordance with the university’s mission to create, discover, and convey knowledge, and to prepare students for research work that improves society through the collaborative work of people and organizations.

Value Proposition Description

Limited funding may be available for select PhD students.

Prior to applying, please contact the appropriate PhD faculty advisor with resume, proposed area of research, transcript and relevant test scores.

Admission to the PhD program is highly competitive. The following criteria must be met prior to consideration:

  • Graduate of an accredited U.S. college or university or an approved foreign equivalent institution.
  • Earned grade point averages of 3.5 or better in all prior undergraduate and graduate studies.
  • Satisfactory GMAT or GRE taken within the last five years. The Business School PhD program requires a minimum GMAT score of 600 or its equivalent on the GRE. The WPI alum GMAT/GRE waiver policy does not apply to the PhD program, and a WPI alum must submit their GMAT/GRE scores.
  • International applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit a TOEFL score report with a minimum score of 100 (internet based) or an IELTS band score of 7.5.
  • Additional application requirements can be found here

In addition, a student with a master’s degree will be expected to have successfully demonstrated graduate-level knowledge in a traditional business discipline such as Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, or Operations Management; or in a discipline that is relevant to the student’s proposed concentration.  Furthermore, the applicant will demonstrate undergraduate competency in Calculus, Statistics and/or Micro/Macro Economics. Admissions decisions will be based on a review of the applicant’s combined portfolios. 

The PhD degree requirements consist of coursework and research, which together must total at least 60 credit hours beyond the master’s degree requirement. We consider abilities for independent thinking, research, and creativity through past work and research experiences. It is important to show fit with our faculty research interests in one of the three concentrations: Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, and Operations Management. In the application, indicate a concentration and a faculty sponsor who is willing to be the potential dissertation advisor. 



A GMAT/GRE waiver may be granted if the applicant has significant amount of research experience AND has an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher AND has at least two quantitative courses (undergraduate or graduate) with a grade of 3.5 or higher.


To request this test waiver, please reach out to your admission counselor detailing your credentials for the waiver as well as your application ID number so that your waiver request along with your applications materials including resume and transcript(s) can be reviewed by the PhD Program Director.

TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Policy for PhD Program:

Any international applicant seeking to attend WPI on an F-1 student Visa must submit official TOEFL scores or IELTS scores. However, if applicants have two years of continuous full-time college study completed within the last five years, in a country whose official language is English, he or she can apply for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver.


To request this test waiver, please reach out to your admission counselor detailing your credentials for the waiver as well as your application ID number so that your waiver request along with your applications materials including resume and transcript(s) can be reviewed by the PhD Program Director. 

Available Concentrations


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 Beswick Endowed Chair of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Professor Rosanna Garcia.

Information Technology

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, apply for research grants, and teach information technology courses. WPI’s Information Technology scholars will involve PhD 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 Soussan Djamasbi.


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 PhD students in fundamental and applied business modeling and analytical thinking. For more information, please contact Professor Joe Zhu.

Improving Technology by Studying the User Experience

Faculty Profiles

Rosanna Garcia
Rosanna Garcia
Beswick Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, The Business School

I love teaching entrepreneurship because of the amazing innovations that students ideate and then create businesses around. I like the quote attributed to both Homer (the philosopher, not the father of Bart) and Steve Jobs, "The journey is the reward." I'm honored to be able to guide the WPI students through their journeys of not only learning about business ownership, but also actually building something - whether it’s a prototype, a minimally viable product (MVP) or a company. Being in a university setting provides students with a safety net to fail fast and pivot thei

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Joe Zhu
Joe Zhu

Joe Zhu is Professor of Operations Analytics in the Business School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is an internationally recognized expert in methods of performance evaluation and benchmarking using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), and his research interests are in the areas of operations and business analytics, productivity modeling, and performance evaluation and benchmarking. He has published and co-edited several books focusing on performance evaluation and benchmarking using DEA and developed the DEAFrontier software.

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Soussan Djamasbi
Soussan Djamasbi

I specialize in user experience and decision-making research, focusing on uncovering the intricacies of human cognition to understand the factors that enhance or impede the effective use of information technologies.

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