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PhD in Operations Management

Operations management programs help students learn how to plan and direct the operations of organizations. Students also learn how to formulate policies and determine the most efficient use of human resources and materials.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a PhD in Operations Management?

Many schools in the US, such as New York University, Georgia Tech and the University of Texas at Dallas, are offering a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Operations Management or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business with a focus on Operations Management. These degrees can be completed within 5 years. These programs equip students with the training and skills that are required to achieve an outstanding academic career.

What Are the Requirements to Complete a PhD in Operations Management?

Students enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business with a concentration in Operations Management have to complete around 60 credits. They get a chance to study a range of subjects such as Pricing in the Sharing Economy, Stochastic Processes, Supply Chain Finance, Choice Models in Operations, Integer and Dynamic Programming, Inventory Theory and Service Operations Management. Ph.D. students have to complete the coursework, qualifying exams, submit a research proposal, carry out independent research and defend their thesis.

How Much Can I Make after Completing a PhD in Operations Management?

After completing a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Operations Management, individuals can advance their teaching professions. As per the salary information reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Post-secondary instructors made an impressive yearly median salary of $78,470 in 2018. Stats also indicate that the future growth potential of this profession is favorable – it is predicted that the job opportunities in the profession will shoot up by 11% between 2018 and 2028.


PhD in Operations Management

A number of degree programs are offered in the field of Operations management. Students can work towards bachelor’s or master’s degree in this area of study. PhD programs are also available in operations management. This is suitable for those who want to pursue a research-oriented position.

Featured Programs

Program Curriculum

The names and types of courses may vary depending on the university that you enroll in. However below is a list of some of the courses that you may need to study:
  • Operations Strategy
  • Operations Research
  • General Management and Operations Consulting
  • Statistics
  • Developing New Products and Services
  • Supply Chain Management
  • System Design and Business Dynamics
  • Applied Stochastic Processes
  • Production Systems
  • Service Operations Design & Analysis
  • Integration of Business Functions
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Dissertation

Students also get a chance to cover a number of different subject-area courses as well as doctoral seminars on several operations management courses.

While you are looking up details of different programs, take into account the type and quality of research that has been conducted in the past. Different universities focus on different research areas. Some examples include:
  • Operations management and strategy
  • Managing innovation and new product development
  • Supply chain management
  • Leveraging operational capabilities to create and sustain competitive advantage
  • Organizational learning and process improvement

Program Structure

The program structure of a doctoral program may differ from one university to another.

The program is usually divided into phases and you can only move on to the next phase if you fulfill the criteria.

Students are usually required to successfully complete a certain number of courses and research and teaching assignments in order to satisfy the credit hour requirement. They’ll have to take a candidacy examination and submit a working paper based on empirical research. As a last step to earning a doctoral, students will need to submit and defend an original dissertation thesis.  Every university may have slightly different guidelines for completing the dissertation project. The work and progress is reviewed by chosen faculty members on a regular basis. You’ll only be able to file your work with the university once the instructors have approved and signed your work.

The program generally takes around four to five years to complete. The duration may also depend on the route that students decide to take.

Admissions Requirements

Candidates who want to enroll in PhD in operations management must hold a bachelor’s degree in business, operations management or a related field. It is also essential to demonstrate exceptional intellectual ability in addition to having an outstanding academic background. Besides, students will have to provide letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose and show previous work experience. They may also have to fulfill other prerequisites that may vary from one school to another.

PhD in Operations Management Online

Some distance-learning schools also offer PhD degree in operations management as well. The ones who already hold a master’s degree but want to gain advanced knowledge to qualify for research positions may enroll in a degree in the online format and acquire relevant skills in this area of study.

As the course material is delivered through websites and textbooks, candidates in the online programs must have access to a computer with an Internet connection. Using the latest communication technologies, candidates can stay in touch with the instructors as well as other classmates and be a part of discussions.

However before you enroll in any online program, look into the accreditation status as well as the credentials of the faculty and the alumni.

Job Opportunities

Students may qualify to become business consultants, executives and postsecondary instructors. Most of the students however pursue careers in academia. To get a better idea of the career options, look through the following details provided by Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Postsecondary Teachers

They provide instruction related to a specific subject area and undertake scholarly research related to their respective field. The purpose is to contribute to the existing field of knowledge. Opportunities are anticipated to be good for part-time or adjunct professors as reported by the BLS.

Median Annual Wage (2012): $68,970.


They are responsible for coordinating all activities related to supply chain.  They make every effort to reduce costs and enhance supply chain efficiency. Logisticians also develop and maintain smooth working relationships with businesses and clients.

Median Annual Wage (2012): ;$72,780

Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents

They are responsible for buying supplies and products for organizations.  They deal with suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review product quality before purchase.

Median Annual Wage (2012): $60,550 per year.

The location, experience and qualification are some of the factors that may determine the wages.

Graduates in operations management may generally seek opportunities in one of the following functional areas:
  • Production Control
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Resource Planning
  • Inventory Management
  • Consulting
  • Purchasing
  • Inventory Planning
  • Quality Management
  • Production Scheduling

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What do I need to get admission into the doctoral in operations management program?

A:In order to get enrolled in a Doctoral In Operations Management program, applicants must have completed prior education which includes bachelors and master's degree in a related field. Applicants also need to have some level of work experience to get enrolled in the doctoral degree with a specialization in operations management.

Q:What can an operations management PhD course prepare me for?

A:Operations management PhD course is an advanced study therefore it would include an in depth understanding of business management concepts. It focuses on leadership skills, research techniques, global market trends, statistical analysis and sharp management skills that enable you to progress in today's competitive world. The program often includes research along with practical experience.

Q:Which positions can you get after acquiring PhD in operations management

A:PhD in operations management is a professional degree that can land you with senior level jobs. After acquiring strong managerial and leadership skills those with the degree eye top level jobs. They opt for senior most positions as that of a chief executive officer, chief information officer or chief operation officer.

Q:Are there many colleges offering a PhD in operations management in USA?

A:Currently there are a small number of colleges, across the US, offering this PhD subject. However, we regularly update our website, and this page, as soon as we practically can as soon as we can recommend a college. You should regularly check this website to ensure that there is a suitable program for you.

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