Doctoral Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers below to common questions about the Ph.D. through the Department of Management and Organizations:

Do I need a degree in business to succeed in this program?

Many successful applicants do not have an undergraduate or master's degree in business. Accepted applicants come with a variety of backgrounds: psychology, sociology, engineering, humanities, just to name a few. Many of the required courses do not have business course prerequisites.

Do I need strong quantitative skills for this program?

College calculus and introductory probability and descriptive statistics form the necessary foundation for research in our program. Most students use basic to advanced statistical methods to conduct research for their projects.

What are the minimum qualifications of the typical applicant accepted into this program?

Usually a 3.0 GPA or higher (average about 3.5) and 85% or higher on all subtests of the GRE or GMAT tests.

Do I have to take the GMAT, or can I take the GRE?

While we prefer the GMAT test that is geared to business students, the GRE is also acceptable.

Do I have to take the TOEFL exam if I am from an non-English speaking country?

Yes, unless you have obtained a undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in an English speaking country.

What is the average time to complete a Ph.D.? 

We guarantee funding for five years, but currently half of our students are completing their degree within 4 years. Some students meet requirements within 4 years but elect for a 5th year to strengthen their research record to improve job opportunities.

Program length is an individual decision based on the student's progress and personal considerations.

What jobs/positions have previous grads from the program taken?

The vast majority of our students accept research/teaching positions as university professors. Below are a few of the many institutions our students have been placed at:

  • California State University, Sacramento
  • University of Montana
  • St. Vincent College
  • Columbia University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Maryland
  • U.S. Air Force Academy
  • Singapore Management University

Will credits from master's-level or Ph.D.-level courses transfer?

Transfer credits are approved on a case-by-case basis. Generally courses taken in a professional program (such as an MBA program) will not transfer. Courses at a Ph.D.-level related to required courses may transfer (usually, 1-2 such courses transfer, but the student still takes the full 4-5 years to complete the degree).

Regardless of transfer credits, a minimum of 30 UA units must be completed.

Can I take this program part-time while working in a full-time job or business?

No. Realistically, this is a minimum 40 hour per week job that will take 4-5 years to complete.

As with many Ph.D. programs in Research 1 institutions, our students are expected to be apprentices to learn the "research trade," which requires many activities beyond simply taking required courses and completing a doctoral dissertation.

Students are expected to spend time working on research projects in addition to their dissertation. Those with Management & Organizations-funded assistantships are expected to work 20 hours per week in addition to their coursework and other research responsibilities.

What is the stipend/support package offered?

Please visit our section on funding for information about financial support for admitted students.

What work is required to maintain the student stipend?

Students funded by the Management & Organizations department are required to spend 20 hours per week during the academic year assisting a Management & Organizations faculty member in research projects. Often, students work on projects with the faculty member that they would have completed in the normal course of their Ph.D. program.

Is this financial support enough to live on in Tucson?

The cost of living in Tucson is close to the national average, which is considerably lower than most major U.S. cities. See the following website for additional information for students living off-campus:

In addition, there are many cost of living calculators that will compare your salary at your current location with that required to live in Tucson. For example:

What is it like to live in Tucson?

The University of Arizona is located in Tucson in Southwestern Arizona in the unique environment of the Sonoran Desert. Tucson is surrounded by four mountain ranges and is only an hour drive north of Sonora, Mexico and an hour and a half drive south of Phoenix. Tucson offers a wide range of outdoor activities: golfing, biking, hiking, horseback riding, etc. Since the winters are very mild, Tucson is also a winter resort location.