Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program

The Doctor of Philosopy (Ph.D.) degree program in Management Sciences is for advanced graduate students with a strong research interest in the management sciences

Students in the Ph.D. program are expected to complete several courses (depending on prior coursework), pass a comprehensive exam, and submit a Ph.D. thesis of independent and original work. The program takes most students four to five years of full-time study.

Program details

Course requirements

Students admitted to PhD program prior to fall 2017 Students admitted to PhD program fall 2017 and onwards

Students who choose the PhD program must complete a total of six courses (.50 weight) at the 600, 700, or 800 level.

Of the six courses, three are required:

  • MSCI 603 Principles of Operations Research
  • MSCI 605 Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • MSCI 607 Applied Economics for Management

The remaining three are electives.

Students may apply for an exemption for any of the required courses. A maximum of three of the required courses can be exempted with credit (in the PhD program they do not need to be replaced). When dealing with approved exemptions, a minimum of three courses, completion of the comprehensive exam and PhD thesis are required to meet the degree requirements.

Students who choose the PhD program must complete a total of four courses (.50 weight per course) at the 600 or 700 level.

Of the four courses, at least two of the courses (0.50 weight per course) must be from the following list of core courses:

  • MSCI 605 Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • MSCI 607 Applied Economics for Management
  • MSCI 623 Big Data Analytics
  • MSCI 630 Human Computer Interaction
  • MSCI 631 Probabilistic Models in Operations Research
  • MSCI 634 Deterministic Models in Operations Research
  • MSCI 641 Text Analytics

No more than two elective courses (0.50 weight per course) may be taken outside of the department. Any courses completed outside the department must be approved by the Associate Chair in Management Sciences, before you enrol in the course in Quest, for it to count toward your degree requirements. This includes courses taken through the OVGS agreement. Please submit an Elective Pre-Approal Request Form for approval before enrollment opens in quest.

Students must maintain an overall average of at least 73% at the end of each term, with no more than two failed courses overall.

A grade less than 65% in any course counts as a failure. A failed core course must be repeated (one time only) and a failed elective must be replaced. A failed course will count toward your overall GPA but does not count toward the four course requirement (six in the case of students admitted prior to fall 2017).

The PhD program in Management Sciences has two major milestones: (1) a comprehensive exam and (2) a final thesis defence.

Comprehensive Exam

Students must pass a comprehensive exam, normally taken within 16 months (or four terms) of commencing the program. This exam will focus on:

  • Suitability of the proposed thesis topic.
  • Adequacy of the preparation of the student for completing the proposed research
  • Knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the management sciences.

The Faculty of Engineering PhD Comprehensive Exam page contains detailed instructions for completing your PhD Comprehensive Exam milestone.


Lastly, students must write, submit, and defend a thesis of independent and original research.

PhD thesis defence and submission: The PhD thesis submission and acceptance page has a detailed breakdown of your requirements in the final steps of your PhD program.

Applying to the PhD program

To become a PhD student in Management Sciences visit our 'Applying to graduate studies' page for admission requirements.