The Department of Operations and Information Management offers Ph.D. programs in two areas: information systems and operations management. Both programs are designed to prepare individuals for careers in research and teaching at the university level.
The department’s core areas of research include both operations and information systems. Faculty members have expertise in the following areas: health care operations management, supply chain management, behavioral operations management, service operations management, operations strategy, product development, sustainability, online consumer behavior, auction and competitive bidding, e-business strategy, IT-enabled business transformation, lean work organizations, market efficiency, process design, and process improvement. Our faculty members contribute to significant advancements in the field, as evidenced by our recently published journal articles.
Ideal candidates possess a strong academic background, especially in analytical and quantitative fields. While many students have completed master's degrees or an MBA program, these are not critical.
Each Ph.D. student follows customized coursework in order to fulfill the requirement of 32 credits. This coursework includes classes in both research methodology and in the major area.
Research Methods Coursework
Working with an advisor, each student chooses a minimum of four courses (12 credits) in the area of research methodology. While students are required to develop basic research background in multiple research areas, most students ultimately specialize in the research area and methodology that best suits their skills and research interests. These courses can be drawn from inside or outside the Wisconsin School of Business. Coursework in this group may be used to fulfill the requirements for the major and minor program.
Coursework in Major Area
Coursework in the candidate’s major research area of interest is to be chosen together with the advisor. For a student entering the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree in the major area, the required coursework is estimated to take two years. Students without a relevant master's degree may take an additional semester to complete the required coursework.
Before becoming a dissertator, Ph.D students must both complete 32 credits of coursework and pass a preliminary exam. The preliminary exam includes two parts: a written exam and an oral presentation of an original research paper.