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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Ph.D. Programs

Nebraska Business Ph.D. Programs

Ph.D. students attend seminar

A Personalized Doctoral Program

Start your academic career in one of our full-time residential Ph.D. programs in Economics or Business (with specializations in Accountancy, Finance, Management, Marketing or Supply Chain Management and Analytics). Our research and teaching assistantships provide you with valuable hands-on experience where you collaborate closely with faculty who are committed to your success. Our large number of graduate faculty relative to a small number of students means that you can receive personalized support from faculty mentors who work with you on research, with the goal of publishing journal articles that will enhance your post-graduate career opportunities as university faculty or researchers.

Applications are Open September 1 - February 1
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Overview STEM Designation Apply Meet Our Students Contact Ph.D. Coordinators Donate to Student Fellowships

Our Programs at a Glance

4-5 Years of Training

full-time residential programs with RA/TA stipends and fellowships, free tuition, health insurance and other benefits

80+ Tenured and Tenured Track Faculty

View our record of research excellence

STEM Designation

Our Ph.D. Program in Business and our Ph.D. Program in Economics are both approved as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Designated Degree Programs. Under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, international students who graduate from the program may stay in the United States and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months. They can also remain for an additional 24 months on an OPT STEM extension.

Application Requirements:

GMAT or GRE Score

GMAT or GRE Score

TOEFL Score for International Students

TOEFL Score for International Students

Transcripts for Previous Degrees

Transcripts for Previous Degrees

Select One Area of Specialization

Select Area of Specialization

Online Application Form: due February 1

Online Application Form

Select One Specialization

Admission requirements are noted on the individual Ph.D. program pages.


Are you interested in learning about a diverse set of accounting areas, including audit, tax and financial accounting, using both experimental and archival-based research methods? Our small program gives you a personalized experience while collaborating closely with distinguished faculty and prepares you to conduct high-quality research with the goal of attaining a position at a research-oriented institution.

It normally takes four years to complete the program. If like many of our students, you come into the program with a master’s degree, those hours may be used to partially fulfill the requirements. Prior to entering the program, we expect you to complete the equivalent of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Calculus I-III.

All students take the same classes for the first semester, nine hours in each of the second, third and fourth semesters and three hours in the fifth. Your program of study will include at least four tool courses consistent with your chosen accounting concentration area (such as mathematics, econometrics or statistics). The program requires you to write a second-year research paper, complete a comprehensive examination, normally at the end of the fifth semester, and write an original dissertation, normally during the third and fourth years. In addition to the skills cultivated from coursework and collaborating closely with faculty, you will gain valuable insights through weekly workshops meant to familiarize you with accounting research topics and the scientific process.

Dr. Tom Kubick

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Are you thinking of pursuing an academic career in finance? An intensive course of study in both the theory and empirical application of finance, this lock-step program includes a combination of classroom instruction, seminars and work with distinguished finance faculty. You must pass written comprehensive examinations, write a dissertation and pass a final oral examination.

The program takes at least four years to complete with two years focused on the dissertation. Before starting the program, you should complete a minimum of one year of calculus and one semester of probability and statistics, but we strongly recommend three semesters of calculus, one semester of linear algebra and a probability and statistics course.

The curriculum requires a minimum of 42 hours of coursework in the Department of Finance, divided into 15 hours of finance seminars, nine hours of econometrics, nine hours of probability and statistics, six hours of economic theory and three hours of research and teaching methods classes. Forty-eight additional hours focus on the dissertation.

Dr. Julian Atanassov

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Are you interested in gaining expertise in and contributing new knowledge to the field of management? Pursing a doctorate in management is a versatile and lucrative degree for those interested in becoming professors and academic researchers. You can work in areas of organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, human resource management, strategic management and organization theory.

- Collegial faculty and student environment
- Complete your degree in 4-5 years
- Work with innovative and forward-thinking faculty
- Coursework entailing 4 foundational seminars supplemented with research methods, statistics and elective courses
- Departmental support for conference travel and research
- Emphasis on training students to craft original research publishable in reputable scholarly journals


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Are you considering an academic career in marketing? Our program offers a stimulating and supportive environment that will challenge you to grow as a serious scholar who will contribute to knowledge in the field of marketing and develop as a researcher and teacher.

The program is tailored to meet your needs, objectives and prior coursework. It normally requires four years to complete: two to two-and-a-half years of coursework and the remaining time spent in dissertation research and writing. For consideration, you must have a master’s degree in business or related field from an accredited university.

Individual programs vary, but the curriculum typically consists of six marketing courses, several research methods courses, and four courses in an outside area relevant to your interests (such as communication, psychology, economics or sociology). Working closely with faculty, you will develop two papers and complete your dissertation. Over the duration of the program, you will teach for four academic semesters.

Additionally, you may attend brown bag seminars, faculty research seminars, visiting scholar presentations and the Mittelstaedt & Gentry Doctoral Symposium, which attracts doctoral candidates and faculty from the Big Ten and research universities west of the Mississippi River.

Dr. S. Sajeesh

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Supply Chain Management and Analytics

Are you interested in pursuing an academic career in supply chain management and analytics? Our doctoral program is designed for those interested in becoming professors and academic researchers with specializations in:

• Supply Chain Management
• Operations Management
• Analytics

Our program enables you to work closely alongside faculty to develop the research skills necessary to find solutions for important and challenging problems in diverse application areas including supply chains, health care, agriculture, transportation systems and many others.

The program consists of rigorous coursework and takes at least four years to complete, with the final two years focused on the dissertation. Before starting the program, you should have completed required calculus courses, one semester of linear algebra and statistics. We also strongly recommend one semester of intermediate microeconomics.

The curriculum requires 59-65 hours of coursework. This coursework will help you develop knowledge of a variety of research methods and will provide exposure to the main functional areas of operations management, supply chain management and analytics. You will also have the opportunity to choose electives based on your research interests. The required coursework includes 16 credit hours of supply chain management and analytics seminars, 10 credit hours of economics and 3 credit hours of statistics. The program of study also includes 25-31 credit hours that focus on the dissertation, which you will complete in close collaboration with our world-class faculty. You will also have the opportunity to teach at the undergraduate level under the mentorship of our faculty. Additionally, you can attend research seminars, industry presentations and professional conferences.

Dr. Özgür M. Araz

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Are you interested in furthering your career as an economist? Our program enables you to work closely alongside faculty to develop the research skills necessary to answer the economic questions of today and pursue a career in academics, business or government.

The degree requires successful completion of coursework, comprehensive exams in two fields of concentration and doctoral dissertation. The core coursework consists of mathematical statistics, two courses in microeconomic theory, two in macroeconomic theory and two in econometrics. In addition, you will take at least two seminar courses in two major fields of concentration:

- Econometrics
- Economic education
- Feminist economics
- International trade and development
- Labor economics
- Public and urban economics

As a graduate student, you may work on research projects at one of our five centers: the Bureau of Business Research, Central Plains Research Data Center, National Center for Research in Economic Education, Nebraska Council on Economic Education and Lincoln Center for Economic Education.

Before entering the program, you must have intermediate level training in both macroeconomics and microeconomics, as well as a strong mathematical background including at least two semesters of calculus, a course in linear (matrix) algebra and a course in mathematical statistics. We also recommend experience with differential equations and math analysis.

Dr. Ed Balistreri

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Doctoral Minor in Business

As a doctoral student at UNL, you may declare a doctoral minor in business from the College of Business in your Program of Studies. Per graduate school requirements, the minor’s credit hours are included in the total for the doctoral program and must include at least 15 hours, with 6 hours in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level, or 800 level, without 400 level or lower counterparts). The doctoral minor in business is flexible and gives you the freedom to choose classes that will advance your unique career objectives. The specific courses may come from one or more of the following departments:

- Accountancy
- Finance
- Management
- Marketing
- Supply Chain Management and Analytics

If you choose to minor in business, you may want to take courses from more than one department and pursue a breadth of knowledge in business or take courses from within a specific department. For example, if your program emphasizes administration (e.g., health, public, or education administration), you might choose to take courses from the Department of Management. If you study math or statistics, you may prefer doctoral minor courses in the Department of Finance or the Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics. If you pursue psychology, you might want to focus your courses in the Department of Marketing. If you study in the Fine Arts, you might be interested in our courses in Entrepreneurship, housed in the Department of Management.

The minor is designed to allow UNL Ph.D. students from outside the College of Business to select courses that best supplement their doctoral program at Nebraska. Students in the Ph.D. Program in Business may not enroll in this minor, although students in the Ph.D. Program in Economics may do so.

Dr. Janet P. Near

Meet Our Ph.D. Students

Student Directory
Ph.D. students attend seminar
Abby Nappier Cherup

One-on-One Mentoring

Abby Nappier Cherup, now assistant professor of marketing at California State University San Marcos, had a vision to design and conduct marketing research with real implications for bringing inclusivity to the marketplace. This vision drove her to find a Ph.D. program that would allow her to flourish and create change in public policy. Although Nebraska did not initially appear on her radar when considering programs, things began to change when she talked with Dr. Robert Harrison, ’09, professor of marketing at Western Michigan University.

“Rob was a Ph.D. graduate of the Nebraska program who was working with me on my master’s thesis,” Nappier Cherup said. “We were talking about schools and he said, ‘What do you think about Nebraska?’ I told him, ‘I’ve never thought about Nebraska.’”

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Harrison pointed to Nebraska when guiding Nappier Cherup because he knew the quality of mentoring Ph.D. students receive. He talked about what set Nebraska apart for him.

“I started talking about the ‘Nebraska way,’” Harrison said. “Nebraska tries to develop students into someone they want to work with. That’s the way a good doctoral program should work. So when I gave Abby advice, I told her Nebraska is the place she should go. We started preparing her for the journey and decided to take her master’s thesis and improve it to a level of a publishable manuscript.”

Working with Harrison led to Nappier Cherup presenting at an American Academy of Advertising (AAA) conference. In attendance was Dr. Les Carlson, professor and Nathan J. Gold Distinguished Professorship from Nebraska Business.

“He’s a fellow at the AAA, so he’s kind of a big deal. When Les walks in the room everybody notices. I didn’t know at the time but he came to my presentation and thought I would be a good fit here,” she said.

After making a few Nebraska connections and applying to the program, Nappier Cherup’s GMAT score did not quite reach where it needed to be. Finding out Carlson wanted her in the program helped inspire her to work diligently on raising her test score while simultaneously working full-time. She knew Nebraska had the support to let her accomplish the research she wanted to tackle.

“I observe and interview people from a stigmatized group of consumers. I’m looking at people who identify as bisexual or bi-plus, because they’re part of the LGBT community but they often face discrimination in that community, as well as in mainstream society. This was a topic I’d been interested in for a long time,” she said.

Meeting with marketing faculty, she felt welcomed and encouraged to follow her interests. After qualifying for the program she moved to Lincoln to begin her next chapter.

“I talked about my interests in my interview because not a lot of programs will let you study the topics I wanted to pursue. I thought, if they’re okay with it this might be a good place for me, and Les has always been supportive.”

One of Nappier Cherup’s qualities that caught Carlson’s eye was her focus on policy issues. Taking the research and applying it directly to the public interest fit what Carlson always tried to do himself.

“I like to see marketing as more than selling things, but also having public policy implications,” said Carlson. “Abby has those same interests and brought that perspective into my Marketing Public Policy Ph.D. seminar. She’s assumed a leadership role among Ph.D. students by putting issues she works on in a broader perspective of the public policy arena.”

At the 2019 Mittelstaedt Doctoral Symposium, facilitated by the Department of Marketing which welcomed Ph.D. students and faculty from more than 25 schools across the U.S. and Canada, Carlson and his colleagues selected Nappier Cherup to kickoff the symposium. He saw her research presentation as a blueprint for other students to follow.

“We knew she’d be an excellent representative of what we’re trying to foster at the symposium. Abby’s further along than other presenters, so we wanted to show not only what’s going on at Nebraska in research, but also demonstrate how you can progress through a program and deliver a final presentation someone else in the audience might develop toward.”

Nappier Cherup received positive feedback on her research from both students and faculty at the symposium. Attendees pointed out the ability to grow her research in a variety of directions.

“The Mittelstaedt Symposium is an awesome thing we do,” said Nappier Cherup, who intends to graduate from the program in May 2020. “I’ve been to other conferences and symposia, and there’s a feeling of warmth here you don’t get a lot of places. It’s a way for students to come together, share research and get feedback from peers who will eventually become your peer faculty. Nebraska, in particular has a way of producing people who are very active in research and the symposium gives me a chance to meet them again when they come back to Lincoln.”

Nappier Cherup wants to continue setting high standards in her research in order to influence public policy. Her belief is that Nebraska provided a solid foundation to jumpstart her professorial career and in turn make the world a more inclusive place.

“My background is in the nonprofit sector, and I feel very committed to social justice and serving my community to make lasting change. My hope is by studying this specific group of bisexual consumers it gives examples of what this discrimination looks like, and can help develop implications of what marketers can do to be more inclusive, raise awareness and better serve consumers,” she said.

Rob Harrison

"I started talking about the 'Nebraska way.' Nebraska tries to develop students into someone they want to work with. That’s the way a good doctoral program should work. So when I gave Abby advice, I told her Nebraska is the place she should go. We started preparing her for the journey and decided to take her master’s thesis and improve it to a level of a publishable manuscript."

Dr. Robert Harrison, ’09

Nebraska Ph.D. in Business with a Specialization in Marketing Graduate

Professor of Marketing at Western Michigan University

Ph.D. Program Prepares Mbaraonye to Lead as Faculty

Ph.D. Student Gets Hands-on Experience With Support of Faculty Mentors

Izu Mbaraonye, a 2023 graduate of the Ph.D. Program in management, hoped to satisfy his own curiosities about management practices within companies when he pursued his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business. Now an assistant professor at the University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC), Mbaraonye feels more prepared than ever to serve in a faculty role thanks to the mentorship and research opportunities he received at Nebraska.

“I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in management because I wanted an area that allowed for a more holistic understanding of companies. Management is uniquely positioned in that management research seeks to understand companies at all levels of analysis,” he said.

From day one, the Department of Management supported Mbaraonye, connecting him with Varkey Titus Jr., associate professor of management, who helped hone his research efforts and served as a teaching mentor. Even as a new member in the department, the first-year graduate student felt like a peer among the faculty.

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Izu Mbaraonye with two faculty members

Ashley Erceg is a 2023 Ph.D. Graduate and Economist at the US Census Bureau

Izu Mbaradonye is a 2023 Ph.D. Graduate and Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri Kansas City

Get in Touch With the Ph.D. Program Coordinator in Your Area of Interest

Kubick, Tom
Balistreri, Edward
Pieper, Jenna R
Bartels, Amy
Sajeesh, S.
Araz, Özgür M
Supply Chain Management and Analytics