Staff of the ISOI

Conduct highly collaborative research with intention while preparing tomorrow’s purposeful business leaders.

Turn your passion for business into a successful academic career with a PhD in Business Administration from Gies College of Business.

Flexible curriculum, ambitious research opportunities, strong faculty mentorship, and an unmatched community of scholarly collaboration will prepare you to be an innovative thought leader and authoritative instructor in your area of specialization.

You will shape the world of business and its next leaders.

You can choose from six specializations to guide your research and teaching focus:

Rigorous research, big results

Earning your PhD means much more than just regurgitating existing knowledge. Gies PhD candidates are equipped to theorize and conduct empirical investigations, ultimately leading to knowledge creation and fresh insights. 

The PhD curriculum in Business Administration provides invigorating coursework for the first two years that leaves you inspired and well-positioned to narrow in on a research topic. You’ll take 12 hours to hone your knowledge of this topic and also complete a minor (minors may be completed in areas outside of the Business Administration options). You’ll leave the program with a deep well of knowledge in your subject matter and outstanding preparation for future professional research.

The results of this program speak for themselves: 97% of our PhD graduates have pursued careers in academia since 2005. Their placements include positions with Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Wisconsin, Rice University, HEC Paris, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and many more.

The community

Together with a doctoral cohort averaging about 40 students, you’ll engage in activities like peer mentoring, professional development series, community events, and brown-bag seminars that foster camaraderie and cooperation among peers. Supportive faculty will champion your work through a formalized mentorship process. You’ll be assigned a faculty adviser from day one to guide you through the program and ensure you’re getting the most out of a Gies education.

Our doctoral students enjoy contemporary workspaces in the newly renovated Irwin Doctoral Study Hall, allocated exclusively for doctoral student use.

Choose Gies and open the door to countless possibilities for your academic future.

Research Resources

Data Science Research Service (DSRS): Gies Business researchers in need of data science, machine learning, computation infrastructure, and data acquisition resources an find it all at the DSRS. This research lab grants access to premier databases, cluster computing and supercomputing, and advanced software packages for research purposes.

Gies Business Research Lab: Need living, breathing human research participants? There’s a lab for that. The Gies Business Research Lab supports all business-related research that must be conducted with the cooperation of human subjects. This includes support for data collection and analysis, and access to a subject pool of student and non-student volunteer participants.

INQUIRE: Initiative for Qualitative Research in Innovation and Entrepreneurship: INQUIRE is dedicated to the type of qualitative research methods that can grant fresh insights—methods like interviews, observations, and studying archival data. Gies Business is one of the few business schools with a thriving community of qualitative researchers, with INQUIRE serving as their hub.

ISOI: Illinois Strategic Organizations Initiative: In a rapidly evolving business landscape, companies rise and fall on the strength of their organizational strategy. ISOI seeks to understand that strategy by supporting interdisciplinary research into organizational management and strategic goals. Our multidisciplinary exploration and thought leadership are creating a framework for innovative organizational strategy research around the globe.

Magelli Office of Experiential Learning: Gies equips every student and PhD candidate with the hands-on experience needed to be a competitive candidate in the job field and within academia. The Magelli Office of Experiential Learning is dedicated to helping you find these opportunities as you study with us. Gain hands-on experience during your program of study.

Gies News and Events

Graebner named Robert C. Evans Endowed Professor of Business

Melissa Graebner is the director of the Initiative for Qualitative Research in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (INQUIRE), which supports qualitative research exploring the complex social processes underlying the creation of novel ideas, development of innovative business models, and growth of new organizations.