Doctoral Program Application Tips

The statement of objectives is particularly important for Ph.D. applicants to the Department of Management and Organizations at The University of Arizona.

This statement should describe your career goals and explain whether these goals are consistent with our program content as well as the program’s emphasis on training students who desire a career in academia. At the time of your Ph.D. application process, you should have a clear understanding of the fields of Organizational Behavior, Human Resources Management, Strategy, or Organizational Theory, and a conviction that you want to work in one or more of these fields. Your statement of objectives should also discuss your qualifications and experiences. What is it about you that will make you successful in our program? What have you done to prepare yourself for graduate study in this department? For example, have you had applied experience in human resources or the management field? If so, please provide some detail about this experience. Have you had any research experience in management or the social sciences? If so, please provide some detail about this experience. Also, what related coursework have you had that has prepared your for doctoral work in management?

You should also add other relevant information to your statement of objectives as you see fit. For example, potential doctoral students will benefit from examining our web site to learn about our faculty and their research interests. Doctoral students work closely with individual faculty, and it is critical that you understand and are interested in their research. We strongly recommend that you read publications by several faculty members. Although we cannot guarantee that you will be advised by any faculty member that you mention, you should note in your statement if there are particular faculty whose research areas interest you. Most importantly, please note specifically why these faculty members’ research areas are of interest to you.

Your statement of objectives is important for us to determine that you are a good match for our program. However, other critical criteria are taken into account in the admissions decision, including: GMAT scores, grades, TOEFL or English proficiency, writing skill, letters of recommendation, academic background and coursework, and research and applied experiences in the management field.

Here is a suggested outline for a personal statement of objectives:

Paragraph 1: Introductory paragraph that provides a preview and summary of your outstanding qualifications, your fit with our department, and your career plans.

Paragraph 2: Discuss your qualifications for graduate work: Your grades, your test scores, and your research and applied experiences in the fields in which the M&O department trains doctoral students.

Paragraph 3: Discuss the specific reasons for your application to the M&O department at the University of Arizona: The research areas in which you are interested, the specific faculty with whom you would like to work (and why—please be specific about the research areas that provide a match between you and specific faculty in our program), and the strengths of the program that you find attractive.

Paragraph 4: Discuss your career plans and aspirations. In what type of setting do you hope to work, and why?

Paragraph 5: Summary paragraph that reiterates your qualifications and your fit with our department.