Curriculum



Curriculum Overview

The Decision Sciences Ph.D. program requires the completion of three general methodology courses, three core Decision Sciences doctoral level courses, two core Decision Sciences seminars, six doctoral level elective courses, and a summer directed research course taken over the first two summers in the program, for a total of 45 credit hours. All classes, except for the summer directed research course, are required to be taken for letter grades. Six credits may be independent studies. At least one doctoral level seminar or course must be taken from outside the student’s field of study. All courses taken must be 8000 level doctoral courses. If a student needs to take lower level courses to remedy background preparation or wishes to take non-doctoral graduate courses, the advisor’s approval and course syllabus should be submitted to the Associate Dean.

Up to three courses (nine credits), depending on students’ background and previous course work, can be waived upon the approval of the Decision Sciences Ph.D. program coordinator. The Decision Sciences core doctoral courses and seminars cannot be waived. The program courses are provided below.


Courses & Seminars

General Methodology Courses

Three courses must be selected. A non-exhaustive list of potential general methodology courses follow:

  • ECON 8301 | Microeconomic Theory I
  • ECON 8375 |Econometrics I
  • ECON 8376 |Econometrics II
  • DNSC 6275 |Advanced Statistical Modeling and Analysis
  • DNSC 6276 | Exploratory and Multivariate Data Analysis

Other general methodology courses can be selected upon the approval of the Decision Sciences Ph.D. program coordinator.

Core Courses

  • DNSC 8397-1 | Linear Optimization
  • DNSC 8397-2 | Applied Stochastic Models for Business
  • DNSC 8397-3 | Stochastic Optimization

Seminars

  • DNSC 8397-4 | Decision Analysis
  • DNSC 8397-5 | Operations Management

Directed Research Course

This course (DNSC 8398) will be taken over the summers of the first and second year of the program for the purpose of fulfilling the Summer Paper requirement.

Elective Courses

Five elective doctoral level courses are required. The following courses are potential elective courses that have been offered and taken by Decision Sciences Ph.D. students over the last five years:

  • DNSC 8328 | Bayesian Statistics
  • DNSC 8397-6 | Advanced Topics in Forecasting and Time Series Analysis
  • DNSC 8397-7 | Computational Optimization Methods

In addition to the above electives, students can, with the approval of the Decision Sciences Ph.D. program coordinator, register for other relevant doctoral level courses offered by other GWSB Departments, other GW Schools, or by other universities which are part of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.


Program Structure

Click to Expand:


Year 1 Overview

Year 1 Overview


Fall Semester

  • General Methodology 1
  • DNSC 8397-1
  • DNSC 8397-2

Spring Semester

  • General Methodology 2
  • DNSC 8397-3
  • DNSC 8397-4

Research Activities

  • Seeking Research Topics & Research-Active Advisor
  • Regularly Attending Departmental & School Seminars
  • Starting Summer Paper Research

Milestones

  • Summer Paper


Year 2 Overview

Year 2 Overview


Fall Semester

  • DNSC 8397-5
  • General Methodology 3
  • Elective 1

Spring Semester

  • Elective 2
  • Elective 3
  • Elective 4

Research Activities

  • Identification of Main Research Topics
  • Continuation of Work with Advisor
  • Completion of Second-Year Paper
  • Presentation at Conferences
  • Start of Dissertation Proposal

Milestones

  • Comprehensive exam (Spring)
  • Second-year summer paper (Summer)


Year 3 Overview

Year 3 Overview


Fall Semester

  • Elective 5
  • Dissertation

Spring Semester

  • Elective 6
  • Dissertation

Research Activities

  • Conference Presentations
  • High-Quality Journal Submissions
  • Finalization & Presentation of Dissertation Proposal

Milestones

  • Dissertation Proposal Defense (Spring)


Year 4 Overview

Year 4 Overview


Fall Semester

  • Dissertation

Spring Semester

  • Dissertation

Research Activities

  • Conference Presentations
  • High-quality Journal Submissions & Publications
  • Job Market Paper Ready
  • Dissertation Defense
  • Job Application

Milestones

  • Dissertation Defense (Spring)


Year 5 Overview (Optional)

Year 5 Overview (Optional)


Fall Semester

  • Dissertation

Spring Semester

  • Dissertation

Research Activities

  • Conference Presentations
  • High-quality Journal Submissions & Publications
  • Job Market Paper Ready
  • Dissertation Defense
  • Job Application

Milestones

  • Dissertation Defense (Spring).



Teaching

The Decision Sciences Ph.D. program integrates teaching experience with course work and research to effectively prepare the student for leadership in the discipline. Each PhD student must teach a course in her/his fourth or fifth year in the program.


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