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Students should plan to complete the dissertation within six terms (two years) of passing the oral examination.
When a dissertation is completed to the satisfaction of the sponsor, it is recommended for the defense. Through the Doctoral Office, the student files an Application for the Final Examination for the PhD (Dissertation Defense) with the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 107 Low Library.
The dissertation is defended before a University-wide committee of five, including the sponsor (the major adviser), the chairperson (a tenured member of the Faculty of Business), a third inside reader (who must be a member of the Faculty of Business), and two outside examiners (each must hold a PhD). The student’s sponsor works with the student to help select the committee, which is then subject to the approval of the assistant dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The Doctoral Office assists in selecting the committee members, getting committee approval and scheduling the defense.
When the defense committee has met and examined the candidate on the dissertation, it evaluates and judges the dissertation defense to fall within one of three categories: pass, incomplete, or fail. The following are definitions of each category:
The dissertation is deemed acceptable subject to minor revisions. Upon completion of the required revisions, the candidate is recommended for the degree. All revisions must be completed and the dissertation deposited no later than six months from the date of the dissertation defense.
The dissertation is deemed acceptable subject to major revisions. Upon completion of the required revisions, the candidate is recommended for the degree. The defense committee shall delegate the responsibility for the outcome of the revisions to a subcommittee made up of one to three members of the original committee. All revisions must be completed and the dissertation deposited no sooner than three months and no later than one year from the date of the dissertation defense.
The dissertation is deemed unacceptable, and the candidate is not recommended for the degree. Subject to the rules of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, however, the candidate, within 10 years of the award of the MPhil degree, may submit to the dean a body of published, independent, and original scholarly material. If that material is deemed acceptable, the candidate is permitted to sit for another examination.
In the case of a pass or incomplete dissertation, when the required revisions have been made and duly certified by the sponsor or the revisions subcommittee, the candidate is ready to make the final deposit of the dissertation with the dissertation secretary in 107 Low Library. The pamphlet The PhD Dissertation: Research Proposal, Sponsorship, and Defense, available from the Doctoral Office and from the dissertation secretary, outlines requirements, and gives full instructions for the deposit under each option.
With the deposit of the dissertation, all requirements for the PhD degree are satisfied, assuming that all bursar’s accounts are clear. The degree is awarded on the University degree-conferral date immediately following the deposit of the dissertation. Information about the annual commencement exercises (held each May) is mailed by the secretary of the University in March.
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Top Ten Doctoral Program Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the Doctoral Program.
The Program takes a minimum of four years to complete. Most students complete the process in five years.
We do not require a business undergraduate degree or masters to apply or be accepted to our Doctoral Program. We have had several students from degree programs including: Economics, Statistics, Psychology, Sociology, Mathematics, and Engineering, among others.
Unlike an undergraduate or master level program, where individual courses are incorporated with a highly structured learning experience, the doctoral education places an emphasis on self-directed learning and close relationships with a select few faculty in a particular area of specialization. Programs typically involve intense reading of academic journals and writing original research. Doctoral students usually grow close relationships with their faculty mentors. These advisors work closely with the students to define a course of research and help provide guidance in the dissertation process.
You can study in one of our five divisions: Accounting, Decision, Risk and Operations, Finance and Economics, Management, or Marketing. A more nuanced understanding of these fields can be seen in the areas of expertise of the Business School’s faculty research.
Unfortunately our Doctorate is available only as a full time, in residence program.
Apply using our online application. We ask that you do not send any documents directly to the School, all materials can be submitted online. Please comply with the posted application deadlines, being sure to include all required components of the application.
The aim of our Program is to accept 23 students per year (Accounting: 4, DRO: 4, Finance: 6, Management: 5, Marketing: 4).
While we have no prerequisites for application, students with limited quantitative backgrounds may benefit from taking accounting, mathematics, econometrics and statistics before enrolling. We encourage you to explore each Division’s requirements before applying the Analytical thinking and quantitative tools have a significant influence on success in the program.
No, the goal of the Doctoral Program is to place graduates in academic institutions as top researchers and instructors. If you have a different goal in mind we encourage you to investigate our MS Programs which combine the Doctoral level coursework in a masters package.
A full financial aid package is offered to most admitted students, this includes tuition, fees, and stipends. Our living stipend is provided in the form of a fellowship. Students are not required to secure jobs as teaching or research assistants. However, most students do during their careers as a way to supplement their funding package.
Profiles: PhD Students
When asked about why he chose Columbia Business School Matt says: “It’s easier to stand on the shoulders of giants if you’re passing them in the halls.”
When asked about the Program's sense of community Shiri says: “There is a tight-knit community amongst the marketing students, and the relationships I have formed have been both professionally and personally rewarding.
"I chose Columbia because I wanted to receive a state-of-the-art education from a renowned university."
DId you Know?
countries are represented in the doctoral application pool
students are admitted in any given year
MS Financial Economics
Doctoral Program News
Rivas Wins Fellowship
The PhD program is proud to congratulate Miguel Duro Rivas, who was awarded the Nasdaq Eudcational Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.Read More about Miguel Here
2013 Job Market Candidates Announced
We would like to introduce our PhD job market candidates for 2013 with a range of specialties including asset management, corporate liability, capital markets and performance optimization.See the full list of candidates
2014 PhD Application Now Available
The application for the PhD Program is now available online. Click on the link below to begin your application.Apply Now
The PhD Program Congratulates John YaoLearn More About John
Honigsberg Named Postdoctoral Fellow
The PhD program is proud to congratulate Colleen Honigsberg, who was named the Postdoctoral Fellow in Corporate Governance at the Millstein Center at Columbia Law School in October 2013Read More about Colleen Here