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Darla Moore School of Business

Ph.D. in Business Administration

The Ph.D. in Business Administration degree is designed to provide a thorough knowledge and deep insight into the main disciplines underlying the student's field of specialization. It aims to promote individual programs of study that encourage students to develop the appropriate skills and motivation for their eventual roles in university research, teaching, business or government. The student, in consultation with a Ph.D. Advisory Committee, develops a program of study to maintain consistency and continuity of course work, giving consideration to academic background and professional objectives.

Major Emphasis and Cognate Course Work


The School of Accounting in the Darla Moore School of Business has established a national reputation for academic research. Although historically known for excellence in behavioral research, our faculty conducts research in all areas of accounting using many different research approaches.

This has resulted in publications in the top academic accounting journals and also in many top academic journals in related fields such as finance, economics, psychology, organizational behavior and information systems. Of particular note, the Moore School has developed significant research capabilities in experimental laboratory markets research using innovative software and equipment obtained through sizeable National Science Foundation grants. Doctoral students are able to investigate financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, auditing and information systems topics using this new and promising research approach.

Incoming students should anticipate the Ph.D. program taking five years to complete. Funding is available to support students attending conferences and doing research for their dissertations. For non-native English speakers, preference is given to individuals with school or work experience in an English-speaking country.

The School of Accounting will next admit students for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Contact Scott Jackson at 803-777-3100 for more information about the Ph.D. concentration in accounting.

Accounting Program of Study

The Ph.D. concentration in accounting provides students with the skills necessary to become productive scholars and teachers at major universities. Initially, all doctoral students complete a core curriculum that provides skills in research design and statistical analysis.

Students must also complete four doctoral seminars:

  • ACCT 832 Doctoral Seminar in Accounting Research — Seminar for beginning doctoral students that provides an overview of research topic areas, methods and designs currently used in accounting

  • ACCT 833 Doctoral Seminar in Financial Accounting — Research methods and issues related to financial accounting topics

  • ACCT 834 Doctoral Seminar in Managerial Accounting — Research methods and issues related to managerial accounting topics

  • ACCT 835 Doctoral Seminar in Auditing and Accounting Information Systems — Research methods and issues related to auditing and accounting information systems topic

In addition, all doctoral students complete a supervised research project at the end of their second year of study.

Typically, doctoral students take cognate courses in psychology, management information systems, finance or organizational behavior, although it is possible to study in other areas. Unlike many heavily structured doctoral programs, each doctoral student has considerable latitude in determining a program of study that fits the individual's unique academic interests.

Download more information [pdf].


The Department of Finance at the Darla Moore School of Business is composed of outstanding teachers and researchers whose interests include such areas as bank management, corporate restructuring, investment management, risk management, employee benefits and real estate finance. The finance department supports the mission of the university and the Moore School through its commitment to teaching, research and outreach.

Excellence in teaching is one of the most important pursuits of the faculty, as demonstrated by numerous awards recognizing our faculty for superior teaching performance. The awards include the AMOCO Outstanding Teaching Award, the Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award and the Michael J. Mungo Teaching Award. These awards are campuswide and represent the most prestigious forms of teaching recognition at the University of South Carolina. Our department has been honored twice with the Mungo Award, while six of our faculty have been recognized as top teachers by the Alfred G. Smith, Jr. Excellence in Teaching Award.

Finance Program of Study

The finance emphasis provides an advanced, integrated education in business administration with intensive training in research methods and theory applicable to finance problems. Students with a primary interest in finance will take the following finance seminars:

  • FINA 865 Theory of Finance

  • FINA 866 Current Issues in Finance

  • FINA 867 Advanced Topics in Finance

  • FINA 868 Empirical Methods in Financial Research

  • FINA 869 Seminar in Financial Research

In addition, students are required to take the core curriculum that includes courses in mathematical statistics, econometrics and stochastic processes, as well as several elective courses.

The Department of Finance will be admitting students for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Please contact Allen Berger at 803-576-8440 for more information about the finance Ph.D. program.

Download more information [pdf].

International Business

The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina offers a world-renowned graduate program in international business.

Doctoral students in international business have a close working relationship with the faculty, often participating in joint research projects. Students also have the opportunity to become involved in research at or through USC's Center for International Business Education and Research.

The objective of the doctoral program with emphasis in international business is to prepare students for academic careers. In addition to extensive course work in international business, students are required to develop a cognate or area of functional specialization. Students often select cognate course work in areas such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, international studies and management. Students are encouraged to use the cognate to develop a program of study that establishes a strong multidisciplinary foundation supporting their functional specialization and individual research interests. Quantitative methods courses complement the international business and cognate courses to develop a strong foundation for academic research.

The Department of International Business will be admitting students for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Please contact Gerry McDermott at 803-777-1035 for more information about the international business Ph.D. program.

International Business Program of Study

The international business concentration consists of at least 48 hours of course work. The courses offered in the international business area are:

  • IBUS 801 Ph.D. Seminar in International Business I

  • IBUS 802 Ph.D. Seminar in International Business II

  • IBUS 811 Ph.D. Seminar in International Finance I

  • IBUS 820 Ph.D. Seminar in International Marketing

  • IBUS 830 Ph.D. Seminar in International Management

  • IBUS 850 Ph.D. Seminar on Cultural Frameworks and Research

Download more information [pdf].

International Finance

Building on the strengths of the international business and finance faculties, we offer an international finance emphasis in the Ph.D. in Business Administration program.

The international finance program is housed within the Department of International Business. We are interested in equipping students who have strong interest in international finance to become leading scholars in this field. We encourage students to pursue research topics applying core finance concepts to the international arena. We also encourage interdisciplinary research with a focus on global finance.

Since 1989, The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina has been ranked No. 1 or 2 in the nation in the field of international business/global management, based on surveys published by U.S. News & World Report in its annual "America's Best Graduate Schools" issue. Since 1996, the Moore School's undergraduate international business program has received the distinction of being ranked No. 1 by the magazine. For more information about how the school is ranked, view us in U.S. News & World Report's latest rankings.

The International Finance area will be admitting students for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Please contact Omrane Guedhami at 803-777-2175 for more information about the international finance Ph.D. program.

International Finance Program of Study

Building on the strengths of the international business and the finance faculties, the international finance concentration incorporates doctoral courses in international business and finance areas as follows:

Doctoral seminars in international business:

  • Sociological and Political Perspectives of International Business

  • Economic Perspectives and International Business Theories

  • Psychological and Cultural Perspectives/Strategy

  • Financial Markets and Governance/MNC Financial Management

  • Advanced Topics in International Finance

  • MNC Management and MNC Subsidiary

  • Emerging Market/Sustainability

  • Doctoral Seminars in Finance

  • Principles of Finance

  • Corporate Finance

  • Asset Pricing

  • Empirical Methods in Financial Research

To equip students to research and publish in top finance and international business journals, the doctoral core also includes a substantial background in econometrics, mathematical statistics and stochastic processes, along with other statistical techniques applicable to extending the theoretical and empirical understanding of international finance. 

Research and Teaching Support

Doctoral students in international finance have a close working relationship with the faculty, often participating in joint research projects. Students also have the opportunity to become involved in research at or through USC's Center for International Business Education and Research. When doctoral students present papers in major academic conferences, financial aid might be given to cover some of the costs.

Within the international business department, there is a computer room and an international business library for students’ use. The Moore School has a business library with an extensive collection of books, magazines and academic journals. The school subscribes to many useful electronic databases such as Datastream, Worldscope, Bloomberg, CRSP, COMPUSTAT, LexisNexis Academic, Wall Street Journal (Pro Quest Direct), EBSCO Business Source Premier, JSTOR and more. Students can download data and articles easily.

Doctoral students are required to teach one or two undergraduate business courses within their program of study. The intention is to let them gain some teaching experience before they enter the academic job market. The students will not be asked to teach many courses since their primary focus is academic research.


Besides examinations in the regular courses, students are expected to take a comprehensive examination at the end of the second academic year. In the fall semester of the third year, students are required to make a presentation of an academic paper they have written in front of the faculty and fellow doctoral students. The purpose is to encourage students to work on high-quality research papers early in the program. In the third academic year, students are expected to defend their dissertation proposal. A formal defense of the finished dissertation is made before students graduate from the program.

Download more information [pdf].

Organizational Behavior and Human Resources

The Ph.D. program in organizational behavior and human resources at the Darla Moore School of Business is designed to produce scholars who wish to conduct high-level theoretical and empirical research and teach at major research institutions. The program stresses close contact between a small group of doctoral students and a distinguished faculty. The program of study consists of small seminar classes, individual faculty attention and research mentoring relationships wherein doctoral students work closely with faculty members engaged in leading-edge research.

The program is full time and takes approximately five years to complete. Ph.D. students receive a nationally competitive stipend and teaching opportunities, a 100 percent tuition supplement and a 100 percent medical insurance subsidy.

The OB/HR area will be admitting students for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Please contact Lynn McFarland at 803-777-7688 for more information about the management Ph.D. program.

Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Program of Study

Program Prerequisites: A student should possess an undergraduate or graduate degree and have completed undergraduate or graduate course work in each of the following areas with a minimum grade of “B.” These prerequisites can be satisfied during a student's tenure in the doctoral program by completing the courses below. 

  • Financial Accounting or Managerial Accounting (ACCT 225 or 226)

  • Two of the following:  Finance (FINA 363 or 760), Marketing (MKTG 350 or 701) or Management (MGMT 371 or 770)

  • Introductory Economics (ECON 224)

  • Statistics (MGSC 291 or 692)

Course Requirements

The student, in consultation with a Ph.D. advisory committee, develops a program of study giving consideration to his or her academic background and professional objectives. The program of study must meet the general requirements of the Moore School as outlined below.

Major Area: Each student must complete at least 15 semester hours of course work in organizational behavior/human resource management and related disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology) approved by the Ph.D. advisory committee.

The following is a partial list of courses that students may take to fulfill this requirement:

  • BADM 880 Readings and Research — Independent Study

  • MGMT 821 Doctoral Seminar in the Behavioral Sciences I — Study of major theoretical and methodological issues in organizational behavior with emphasis on developing conceptual models and implementing research designs

  • MGMT 822 Doctoral Seminar in the Behavioral Sciences II — Exploration of current specialized topics in organizational behavior with emphasis on synthesizing research, developing conceptual models and implementing research designs

  • MGMT 823 Current Issues in Organizational Behavior — (Prerequisite: MGMT 821 or 822) An advanced seminar focusing on reading, synthesis and critical evaluation of current research in organizational behavior

  • MGMT 824 Doctoral Seminar in Human Resource Management — Theories and research in human resource management

  • MGMT 871 Organization Theory — An evaluation of theories of organization, with particular emphasis on business applications. Approaches to a conceptual framework include decision theory, sociological and behavioral theories. Various models are evaluated in an attempt to build a framework for analysis of organizations.

  • PSYC 770 Survey of Social Psychology — Issues, research and theories in social psychology

  • PSYC 706 Seminar in Judgment and Decision-Making — Research and theories of processes in judgment, choice and decision-making

Cognate Area: Students must take nine semester hours of cognate course work. The cognate area may include courses from academic areas within or outside of the Moore School. All courses must be approved by the student's advisory committee and the associate dean for academic affairs. The most popular cognate areas for students in management have been:

  • International Business

  • Human Resources Management

  • Social Psychology

Research Tools: The Moore School requires that all doctoral students complete at least 18 hours of research tools course work as specified by the major area of concentration. The specific course work required will include no more than six hours of research tools course work from the major area of concentration and must be approved by the student's Ph.D. advisory committee, program director and associate dean for academic affairs. The following is a partial list of courses that students take to fulfill this requirement:

  • EDRM 718 Research and the Statistical Packages — (one to three credits) Advanced use of available statistical packages in educational research. Content varies; topics and credit announced in advance.

  • MGMT 872 Seminar in Management Research Methodology — (three credits) (Prerequisite: MGSC 792) Research methods and techniques for translation of management theory and practical problems into testable propositions.

  • MGSC 792 Advanced Statistics for Business and Economics — (three credits) The development and application of advanced statistical methods to problems in business and economics. Topics include application of estimation and hypothesis testing in both univariate and multivariate cases.

  • MGSC 892 Experimental Research Methods — (three credits) The structure and analysis of experimental and research designs with applications to business and economic problems.

  • MKTG 850 Research Methods and Philosophies in Marketing — (three credits) Doctoral seminar covering research methods and philosophies that underpin knowledge generation in marketing.

  • MKTG 854 Latent Variable Estimation Techniques — (three credits) Doctoral seminar examining covariance structure methods for developing measures of unobservable constructs and testing structural models.

  • PSYC 821 Theory of Psychological Measurement — (three credits) (Prerequisite: PSYC 225 or the equivalent) A survey of psychological scaling and factor theory, together with special techniques for achieving reliability and validity, including item analysis.

  • SOCY 751 Topics in the Analysis of Social Networks — (three credits) Selected topics in the theory, measurement and analysis of social networks.

Dissertation Preparation (12 hours):  A minimum of 12 hours of dissertation preparation is required.

Additional Graduate Course Work: The Graduate School requires that a student have a minimum of 60 hours of graduate course work beyond an undergraduate degree before he or she can be awarded a Ph.D. Therefore, students without a master’s degree may be required to take six additional semester hours of graduate course work beyond that specified above.

Further Requirements

Research and Teaching: Prior to receiving the Ph.D. degree, each student must teach and participate in research under the direction of a faculty member of the Moore School.

Language Requirement: The candidate must demonstrate competency in a computer programming language or statistics as demonstrated by appropriate course work or examination by the student's Ph.D. advisory committee.

Dissertation: Each candidate must present a dissertation that gives evidence of original and significant research. The dissertation must be completed no later than five years after successful completion of the comprehensive examination. The candidate must defend the dissertation before a committee consisting of no fewer than four members, as prescribed by the Graduate School.

Download more information [pdf]. 

Production/Operations Management

The production/operations management doctoral concentration, housed in the Department of Management Science, prepares students for careers in university teaching and research.

Production/operations management includes the design, planning, organization and control of activities involved in the transformation of resources into goods and services. At a more strategic level, the focus is on matching supply with demand. Our program specializes in research that builds on academic theory and is relevant to practice. The relevance factor of our work is facilitated through the industry connections from our Center for Global Supply Chain and Process Management.   

The Production/Operations Management area will be admitting students for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Please contact Yan Dong at 803-777-4351 for more information about the productions/operations management Ph.D. concentration.

Hear more about research projects from some of the management science faculty

Download more information [pdf].


The marketing program's primary objective is to provide doctoral students with the best training possible to maximize career opportunities in university teaching and research.

This concentration offers intensive training in research methodology and theory applicable to scholarly marketing and buyer behavior issues.

The marketing concentration places heavy emphasis on research methodology and critical thinking skills. The primary goal of this program is to prepare students for active academic research careers.

The Department of Marketing will be admitting students for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Please contact Priyali Rajagopal at 803-777-4924 for more information about the marketing Ph.D. program.

Download more information [pdf].

Download a list of recent articles published by marketing Ph.D. students [pdf].