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University of Nebraska–Lincoln



Ph.D. students attend seminar

At Nebraska, prepare for a successful academic career where you'll experience a stimulating and supportive faculty-student environment. With emphasis placed on independent inquiry and competence in research methodology, you’ll learn how to advance knowledge impactful for both research and practice. If accepted, you’ll receive a competitive stipend, tuition remission and access to basic coverage under the university’s student health insurance plan.

August Start
Application is Open September 1 - February 1
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Review Admission Requirements
Review Admission Process

To learn more about the admission process please contact Dr. Varkey Titus Jr. by emailing

Admission Requirements


All application materials must be received by January 15. We typically admit a cohort of two to three students.

School Admission Requirements

• Academic transcripts that showcase excellent grades. Transcript instructions for both domestic and international students can be found in the “Review Admission Process” tab above.
• Professional résumé.
• Three letters of recommendation.
• GMAT or GRE score.
• TOEFL score (only for international students; minimum of 550 paper, 213 computer-based or 80 iBT).
• Personal statement.

Your letters of recommendation should address your motivation, commitment, work experience, skills and potential for success in graduate study. One letter from your current employer is preferred (if you are currently working), along with two letters from former professors who can speak to your academic ability and suitability for the doctoral program.

Your personal statement is an opportunity to highlight your unique qualities and experiences. It should describe why you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D., what you hope to accomplish with the degree and why you are interested in earning a Ph.D. in management at Nebraska. It should also include your reasons for interest in our program specifically, your research interests (if you have any at this stage), work experience, honors, awards and any other information you consider pertinent.

GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test

• You must register to take the GMAT or GRE and have the results forwarded to Nebraska (use institution code S40-HW-48). You must also submit your scores through the graduate application.
• We will accept GRE scores, but GMAT scores are preferred.

TOEFL - Test of Spoken English

• International students must include a TOEFL score (use institution code 6877).
• You will need a minimum score of 550 paper, 213 computer-based or 80 iBT.

Finance Resource Certification Form

Any applicant who is recommended for admission and expects to hold an F1 (student) or J1 (exchange visitor) visa should submit the Financial Resource Certification (FRC) form.

Note to International Students

We recommend starting your application process at least one year prior to the date you would like to be admitted. You must also be aware of the additional requirements that you need to meet in order to be admitted to the College of Business. The International Student and Scholar Office provides orientation, counseling and advising, and serves as the official liaison between your sponsoring agency and the United States government. Staff members are also available to help you make contacts on campus and in the Lincoln community.

Guidelines for International Students

Admissions Process


Apply online and submit the $50 application fee.

Apply Online Now

Upload Supporting Documents

All Supporting Documents including unofficial transcripts and test scores are uploaded directly via the graduate application.

You are required to submit an unofficial transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended during the application review process.

Submit Official Transcripts

If you are admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript sent directly from each institution you have attended to The Office of Graduate Studies. We recommend that you complete this task before your admitted term begins. A hold will be placed on your account if they do not receive your official transcripts by October 1 for the fall term, February 1 for the spring term and July 1 for the summer term. Students will have until that day to submit official transcripts or your admission will be rescinded.

Transcripts can be sent electronically to or by mail to

University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Graduate Admissions
1100 Seaton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0619

International Student Transcript Submission

If you are an international student, please refer to the Nebraska Office of Graduate Studies for transcript and document information.

International Transcript Information

Additional information on Application Requirements can be found at Graduate Studies website.

Chart Your Own Course

At Nebraska, you’ll spend the first two years gaining foundational knowledge in the field of management. Beyond the core classes, you can customize your coursework and training to align your personal interests with faculty expertise. Because our program is small, you’ll be able to form close relationships with students and faculty alike.

Current Students Faculty

Student Placements
Student Placement Year
Ted Patterson University of Idaho 2014
Ivana Milosevic University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh 2014
Erin Bass University of Nebraska-Omaha 2014
Lei Huang Auburn University 2014
Steven Schlachter University of Central Arkansas 2018
Skylar Rolf Pepperdine University 2018
Andrew Hanna University of Nebraska–Lincoln 2021
Cameron Borgholthau Southern Illinois University 2021
Reha Karadag University of Minnesota, Duluth 2021
Haolin Fu Anyang Institute of Technology, China 2021

Program Requirements

Though there are no specific course prerequisites, you must have strong writing and quantitative skills. At Nebraska, you’ll develop independent research, collaborate on joint projects and gain valuable experience. During the first two years of the program, you will complete the required coursework. After that, you will focus on your dissertation and other research projects.

First-Year Paper

The first-year paper enables you to gain experience in empirical research. A faculty sponsor will provide you with access to existing datasets and then, under faculty guidance, you’ll clean, analyze and interpret the data. From there, you’ll write a paper and present it at a brown bag session in the fall semester of your second year. You’ll be expected to submit your paper for presentation at an approved conference.

Comprehensive Exam

After completing your coursework (typically after year 2 in the program), you will take a comprehensive exam covering foundational and support area knowledge, as well as your competence in research tools. The three-part, closed book exam is administered in June of your second year. You’ll be tested on two core research areas of your choice and a research methods component.


After passing the comprehensive exam, you’ll form a dissertation committee and complete your dissertation. Supervised by a committee of at least four members, the dissertation reflects your competence as a researcher.

View Faculty

Annual Evaluation of Student Progress

All students are reviewed on an annual basis at the end of April. The purpose of the review is to assess your progress and provide developmental feedback.

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A minimum of 90 hours of coursework is required to earn a Ph.D. at the Nebraska College of Business. You can receive up to 36 hours of credit towards your Ph.D. if you enter the program with a master’s degree.

To complete the Ph.D. in Management, you must take a minimum of 54 hours of coursework at Nebraska. These hours are met through required courses, electives designed to comprise a support area and dissertation hours. Your program of study must be approved by our department’s Ph.D. director.

Foundational Courses

You’ll take 12 credit hours of foundational courses, including:

- Organizational Behavior
- Human Resource Management
- Strategic Management
- Organization Theory

Specialty Management Topics

A minimum of 3 credit hours of speciality management topics is required. The specialty topics align with faculty areas of expertise and student areas of specialization in management. We require you to take 3 credit hours in your first two years of study and strongly encourage additional credit hours in your third and fourth years to enhance your program of study.


You’ll complete 12 credit hours of methods courses involving general research methods, as well as specialized statistics courses to sharpen your research skills.

Support Area Electives

Elective credit hours are met through Ph.D. level courses reflecting your chosen specialization and interests. They must be determined in consultation with your faculty advisor and approved by the Ph.D. director. Courses may be taken in any department or college within the university and can relate to content areas or research methods.

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All students accepted into our program receive a graduate assistantship covering four years (contingent upon continued progress). The assistantship includes a stipend of $25,000, full tuition remission for all courses taken during the year (including the summer), health benefits, travel support and teaching and research opportunities. In addition, we encourage you to apply for one of the fellowships offered in partnership with the university.

The assistantship is one of the primary ways to develop your research and teaching skills and is, thus, a major part of our doctoral program. It involves a total of 20 hours per week of work for the full four years of study (contingent upon your progress). Support will be considered for a fifth year, provided you continue to meet program requirements and successfully complete teaching and research assignments.


Research Assistantships

Research assistants are assigned on a rotating basis. RA assignments typically involve assisting faculty with their scholarship, including data collection, study design, statistical analysis and writing work. This provides you with experience in the research process and facilitates collaborations resulting in high-quality publications.

Teaching Assistantships

The teaching assistantship enables you to develop the skills necessary to create and deliver high-quality classroom experiences. As a TA, you’ll start by assisting faculty with grading, supporting course activities and shadowing faculty in the classroom. Then, you will teach your own class (usually by the third year). You’ll develop a portfolio of teaching experience, helping you to secure academic jobs.

Travel Support

Participation in professional conferences is an important part of your research and professional development. When you participate in conference activities, such as presenting a paper at an approved academic conference, we’ll provide you with travel support. The college funds up to $500 per year, with an additional $1,000 available for select conferences. We’ll also help pay for your travel once you are on the job market. You may apply for additional travel support from Nebraska Graduate Studies.

Nebraska Graduate Studies Travel Support

Health Insurance

All graduate assistants with appointments qualifying for full tuition remission receive an additional benefit of basic coverage under the university’s student health insurance plan. Dependent plans are available on an optional basis.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a residency requirement? Can I study part-time?
The Ph.D. program is a full-time, residential program.


How many students are admitted to the program each year?
We typically admit a cohort of two to three students.

Can I apply for spring or summer admission?
Admission is for fall semester only.

How long does it take to complete the doctoral program?
The program provides a broad base in contemporary issues in management and normally takes four years to complete. This includes two years of coursework with the remainder devoted to dissertation research, teaching and research projects focused on developing a programmatic research agenda.

What is the deadline for applications?
The deadline is January 15 to guarantee full consideration. We typically review applications in January-February but may review applications again in March or April if openings are still available.

What supporting documents are required with an application?
You are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university attended, three letters of reference, a résumé, a personal statement, verification of English proficiency (if your native language is not English) and GMAT or GRE test score. International students must include a TOEFL score.

How are applications evaluated?
Our Ph.D. Committee reviews applications using a portfolio approach considering GMAT/GRE scores, academic performance as evidenced by transcripts, letters of recommendation, the personal statement and résumé. We are looking to see if there is a good fit between your abilities and desired outcomes and the goals of our doctoral program.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
No, we do not have a GPA requirement, although we expect you to have performed well in relevant coursework.

Can I substitute a GRE score for a GMAT score?
Our strong preference is that you take the GMAT, but we will consider GRE scores.

Can I waive the GMAT/GRE requirement?
No, all applicants must submit a GMAT/GRE score.

What code do I use for the GMAT?
Use institution code S40-HW-48.

Are there specific course prerequisites required for entry to the Ph.D. program?
There are no specific course prerequisites, but you must demonstrate strong writing skills and quantitative ability.

How do I handle letters of reference?
When you log in to Nebraska's graduate application, you will be able to provide contact information for those writing your reference letters. After you have provided a valid email, you will be able to click a button for each reference to have an email request sent to them. This email will contain a secure link with which they can upload a letter. Please do not have them send hard copies. Be aware that, for security reasons, once you send a request, you will be locked out of making changes to the reference's contact information.

Do you require work experience for admission to the Ph.D. program?
It is not required. Relevant work experience is one aspect of this portfolio, but strong academic performance and intellectual ability are also critically important.

Do I need to have a master's degree?
While a master's degree is not an absolute requirement for admission to the Ph.D. program, having a master's degree will make you more competitive in the admissions process.

Do I have to provide evidence of English proficiency to be considered?
If English is not your native language, you will be required to demonstrate your ability to undertake advanced academic work in an English-speaking institution. More information can be found at the Graduate Studies website.

Is there a minimum TOEFL requirement?
The minimum TOEFL score required is 550 paper, 213 computer-based or 80 iBT. The institution code for the TOEFL is 6877. School Type is #2 - Graduate Management.

I will soon receive my master's degree from a university in another country and its official language of instruction is English. I wonder if it qualifies for a TOEFL waiver?
To see if your university is accepted, please check the Office of Graduate Studies English Proficiency webpage.

Where can I find more information for international students?
Guidelines for international students.

Do you provide health insurance coverage?
Yes. All graduate assistants with appointments that qualify for tuition remission receive basic coverage under the university's student health insurance plan. Dependent plans are also available.

Is graduate student housing available through Nebraska?
Students are housed on and off campus. Nebraska offers apartment-style halls. The Courtyards and The Village are designed for single, upperclass, graduate students or non-traditional freshman (resident 20 years of age or older with a freshman classification) ready for a more independent living environment. More information on housing.

Why Nebraska?

Home to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the city of Lincoln consistently ranks among the highest U.S. cities for livability thanks to a low cost of living, great schools and friendly, community-minded residents. Set amidst a big sky and open landscape, the city is simple to navigate with a nationally noted low crime rate, a wide range of housing choices and a reliable public transit system. As one of the fastest growing metro areas in the Midwest, Lincoln boasts a growing technology sector, more parkland per capita than all but a few U.S. cities, an extensive bike trail network and numerous options for recreational and personal interest activities. It’s easy to feel at home here.

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Management Ph.D. Giving Fund

Support the academic, professional and administrative activities of the Management Ph.D program.

Support the Management Ph.D. Fund


Pieper, Jenna R
Associate Professor of Management
Bartels, Amy
Assistant Professor of Management