Business Doctorates: “There Seems to Be a Market”


Several business schools are creating new PhD programs designed for working executives who already have advanced degrees. According to an article by Alison Damast in Business Week:

A growing number [of business schools are] offering niche doctoral programs aimed at senior-level managers either looking to shift to academia or to bring high-level research skills into the workplace.

Less than a dozen accredited business schools offer these types of business professional doctorates in the U.S…. In the past few years, interest in programs like these has grown as high-level managers seek a more rigorous academic experience than the typical executive education classes or executive roundtables offered at business schools, says Andy Policano, chairman of AACSB’s board and dean of the University of California-Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business.

These programs are typically intended to last only three years (opposed to a typical seven years for most doctorate programs) and don’t require residency.

One wonders what the point is. Corporations don’t generally require—or even particularly value—executives with doctorates. But, as Policano explains:

The main reason these programs are springing up in the U.S. is there seems to be a market. There are more and more executives willing to pay a fairly high tuition to take this kind of program on, so now it becomes a legitimate business model for schools to offer.

So it’s really just rent seeking? [Image via]

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer