College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Business Administration College of Business University of Illinois

Doctoral Program

BA Links

Contact Us

Department of Business Administration
350 Wohlers Hall
1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-4240

General Inquiries
Undergrad Courses and Registration
Doctoral Program

College » BA » Programs » PhD » Courses

Course Work

Coursework is categorized into Business Administration core, area of concentration, minor, research methodology (e.g., research design and data analysis including statistics), and area pro-seminar. During the first two years of the program, students will take 4 hours of coursework to satisfy the Business Administration core requirement, 44 - 48 hours of coursework to satisfy the area of concentration, the minor, and the research methodology requirements, and 0 - 4 hours of coursework to satisfy the area proseminar requirement.

For the area of concentration, the minor, and the research methodology requirements, students are required to take a minimum of 12 hours of coursework in each of the three categories. Specific requirements within each of these three categories, including the classification of courses into these categories, will be made by faculty in each area of concentration. Toward the end of the PhD manual, a list of courses that may be used towards these categories is provided within each area of concentration. However, this list is not intended to be exhaustive.

A doctoral degree requires the successful completion of a minimum of 96 semester hours of credit. If a student enters the program with an accredited master's degree, this credit requirement can be reduced by 32 semester hours. Every student is expected to earn a minimum of 64 semester hours in residence. The 64 hour requirement can be a combination of major and minor coursework as well as dissertation hours. While most students will have no difficulty fulfilling the minimum course requirements for the Ph.D. established by the Graduate College during their program of study, it is advisable for students to consult the Graduate Student Handbook regarding specific registration details, course loads and hour requirements.

Business Administration Core

The Business Administration Core focuses on fundamental question of central importance to students in all areas of Business Administration: "What does it mean to be a business scholar?"

The two required courses in the Business Administration Core:

Accordingly, the courses will draw on substantive, theoretical, methodological, and philosophical perspectives from diverse areas in Business Administration in order to expose students to the conduct of science and how it applies to business research in general. In meeting these needs, the core courses will also address issues such as professionalism, good research writing and critical thinking.

Fall 7-week course - Scholarship in Business Administration I - Substantive and Theoretical Perspectives (2 credit hours)

The main objectives of the course are to:

  1. Develop fundamental skills for scholarship in Business Administration including conceptual thinking, conducting literature reviews, and identifying research issues for further study,
  2. Identify the important criteria by which scholarly work is gauged as being an important contribution, and
  3. Establish a basic appreciation for different perspectives in Business Administration and the traditional boundaries that define disciplinary research.

Spring 7 week course - Scholarship in Business Administration II - Methodological and Philosophical Perspectives (2 credit hours)

The second course builds on the first course by examining methodological and philosophical perspectives in Business Administration.

The primary objectives of this course are to examine:

  1. Methodological perspectives for developing sound research in Business Administration, and
  2. Philosophy of science issues relevant to business disciplines.

Area of Concentration


Students must take a minimum of 12 hours of coursework in their area of concentration.  Areas of concentration are:

Minor Area


Students must choose a minor area. To receive a minor in an area a student must take a minimum of 12 hours of course-work in the area. A student may minor in another area of Business Administration, or may develop a minor with the approval of the academic advisor. Not more than one Independent Study course with a faculty member in an area may be used towards satisfying minor requirements. (Apply for a minor)

Research Methodology


Students are required to take a minimum of three courses on research methodology. Such courses include both research design and analysis and can be from areas, such as statistics and mathematical modeling. Courses that can be taken to meet the research methodology requirement are offered by several departments, including economics, psychology, sociology, educational psychology, and mechanical and industrial engineering.

As shown in the Appendix to Part 7 and in the coursework for each area, there are various courses available from which our students may choose with the approval of their advisor.

Area Pro-Seminar


Students are required to attend pro-seminars in their respective areas for which they may earn 0-4 hours of course credit.


UIUC College of Business