Progress & Performance
Students’ progress is reviewed annually by their supervisor in the early stage and the dissertation committee members in the more advanced stage. Typically, evaluations occur at the end of the Spring Semester, and email notifications are sent over the summer. The progress of the students will also be reviewed annually by GWSB’s doctoral committee.
In their first year, students are expected to take six courses, including four of the core Decision Sciences courses and seminars. During the first year of the doctoral program, it is strongly recommended that students seek advice and counsel from the DS Doctoral Program Coordinator, and become well acquainted with research-active faculty members.
During the first Summer semester, students start working on their research. A preliminary version of the summer research paper is expected to be presented to the Decision Sciences faculty during the first part of the Spring semester of the second year.
In their second year, students are expected to take six courses and take the comprehensive exam and to have taken the five core Decision Sciences courses and seminars and the three general methodology courses. In the Spring (or Summer) semester of the second year, students will take the comprehensive exam on the core Decision Sciences courses and seminars.
During the Summer of the second year, the students are expected to finalize their research paper. The paper is expected to be submitted to a respected journal by the end of the Summer and will be reviewed and must be approved by GWSB’s doctoral committee. Students are expected to identify a dissertation topic and select an advisor among the research-active faculty members that qualify and are allowed to supervise doctoral thesis.
During their third year, students are expected to complete their coursework, make considerable progress in their dissertation, form their dissertation committee, and give their doctoral dissertation defense.
Students should complete their dissertation in their fourth or fifth year of the program. It is expected that students will regularly report to their dissertation committee members on the progress of their dissertation.
At the beginning of each academic year, students must submit a written study plan describing the classes they intend taking and the dissertation/research they plan to accomplish over the next academic year. The study plan should be completed by the student and approved by the Decision Sciences Ph.D. program coordinator. The study plan must be designed to develop competence in research, scholarship, teaching and professional performance in general, and a knowledge of the specialty in relation to allied branches of learning.
During the second year, students must demonstrate proficiency in the five core Decision Sciences doctoral courses and seminars. The purpose is to assess students’ mastery of fundamental topics relevant to Decision Sciences and to evaluate their potential to complete a high-quality dissertation in a timely manner.
Students’ proficiency is evaluated through a comprehensive exam that covers the five core Decision Sciences doctoral courses and seminars. The comprehensive exam may consist of written and/or oral components. The exam is organized shortly at the beginning or end of the second year’s spring (or summer) semester. A student who does not earn a sufficiently high score must retake the exam.
Passing the comprehensive exam is a requirement for continuing in the program. In the event that a student fails one or more examinations, the following rules apply:
- If the comprehensive examination is failed, the student may repeat that examination once, at the beginning (September) of the Fall semester of the third year.
- If any comprehensive examination is failed twice, the student will be dismissed from the Ph.D. program.
In some cases, a student may be given a Conditional Pass, which requires the student to take an additional course in a specified topic to develop greater proficiency. A required grade in the course is usually specified in such cases.
The Decision Sciences Ph.D. program requires that each Ph.D. student successfully defends the dissertation proposal. The defense is conducted by the dissertation committee and is open to faculty, graduate students, and other interested individuals. To retain one’s candidacy and remain in good standing in the Ph.D. program, students must successfully defend a dissertation proposal within two years of their successful completion of the comprehensive examination.
Qualifications & Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy
Qualification for Ph.D. candidacy is based on:
- The student’s completion of all planned coursework while maintaining a cumulative average of 3.50 or higher on a 4.00 grading scale. A student will be dismissed from the program if she/he receives two F (Failing) grades.
- The comprehensive exam. A student will be automatically dismissed from the Decision Sciences Ph.D. program if she/he fails twice the comprehensive exam.
- The summer research paper and its oral presentation in the seminar series of the DS Department in the Spring Semester of the second year.
- The student’s advisor and the department’s doctoral faculty deem the student’s rate of progress in her/his research acceptable.
The doctoral degree is granted for no less than the equivalent of three years of full-time graduate study. The period of time from first enrollment into the doctoral program to candidacy will not typically exceed two years. All requirements for the doctoral degree, including the dissertation, must be completed within six years from initial enrollment in the program. At the end of the six- year period, if the student has not completed her/his degree program, she/he may be terminated from the Ph.D. program based on the departmental Ph.D. faculty recommendation. Questions concerning progress in the Ph.D. program should be discussed with the Decision Sciences Ph.D. program coordinator as early as possible.
Considering this evidence, the Decision Sciences department will vote on advancing the student to candidacy in the department at large.
After being admitted to candidacy, the student chooses the remaining coursework and a research topic suitable for a Ph.D. dissertation in consultation with a full-time, research-active faculty advisor.
The Ph.D. dissertation is the culmination of the student’s research training. It represents a unique contribution to the field, and meets the general standards of the discipline. Students will have regular exchanges with their advisor about their progress in the Ph.D. program. In addition to this informal exchange, students will receive a formal annual written evaluation of their work. Decisions pertaining to student’s funding and their status in the program are made at that time and individual feedback is provided.
Students will have regular exchanges with their advisor and the Decision Sciences Program Coordinator about their progress in the PhD program. In addition to this informal exchange, students will receive a formal annual written evaluation of their work. Decisions pertaining to students’ funding and their status in the program are made at that time and individual feedback is provided.
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 is expected to develop some teaching experience during the program.
- Undergraduate Programs
- Specialized Master's
- Executive Education
- Doctoral Programs
- Certificate Programs
- Online Programs
- Global & Experiential Education
- GWSB Course Syllabi
2201 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20052