The PhD in Business Administration in the WPI Foisie Business School is designed in accordance with the Institute’s mission to create, discover, and convey knowledge, preparing students to conduct and apply research that improves society. You will choose one of three concentrations: Entrepreneurship*, Information Technology, or Operations Management.

*The Foisie Business School is not currently enrolling entrepreneurship PhD students.

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Curriculum

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. 

Available Concentrations

Entrepreneurship: 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: 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 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 Soussan Djamasbi.

Operations Management: 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.

Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profiles

Frank Hoy
Beswick Professor
Foisie Business School

For many reasons, I am surprised to find myself at WPI. Previously, I lived in my hometown and was employed at my alma mater, never intending to leave. But WPI presented an opportunity that was too exciting to miss. This is an institution that stresses innovation and entrepreneurship, and those have been the focus of my career. The environment here is vigorous and challenging. Students expect to work hard and to be exposed to new ideas. The emphasis on project-based learning is a marvelous fit with the entrepreneurial mindset.

Joe Zhu
Professor
Foisie Business School

Joe Zhu is Professor of Operations Analytics in the Foisie 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.

Soussan Djamsbi
Associate Professor
Foisie Business School

As an associate professor of management information systems, I teach both graduate and undergraduate courses, as well as advise IQPs and MQPs. I enjoy teaching because it's a dynamic and innovative process that challenges me to continually evaluate and adjust my teaching strategies to prepare my students for today’s global and competitive business environment. Teaching is also one the most rewarding experiences in my career because it allows me to witness my students' growth and accomplishments.

Resources for International Students

The International House provides ongoing programs and essential services to assist, guide, and support international students and scholars in their transition to U.S. society and academic culture.