The PhD Program is accepting applications for Fall 2017 admissions in the Finance, Accounting, Marketing and Strategic Management areas. Students applying to begin studies in Fall 2017 must submit their online application and send all of their supporting materials (three letters of recommendation, grade transcripts, personal statement essay, GMAT or GRE scores, a CV or résumé, and a non-refundable application fee of $40) to the JGS Doctoral Program Office by the application deadline date of January 13, 2017. International applicants whose native language is not English need to submit a TOEFL score. If you applied to the Jones School previously, we ask that you submit the complete application package again regardless of the previous decision. You will be required to use a new e-mail address to start a new application. 

An applicant must declare his or her intended area of study – (1) Accounting, (2) Finance, (3) Marketing, (4) Strategic Management – while applying to the Ph.D. program. Selected candidates will be notified of admission decisions via e-mail no later than April 15. Candidates who submitted an application to the JGS doctoral program and were not offered admission may re-apply for a later year.

  • For more detailed information, please contact the appropriate area advisor. 
  • Unlike MBA program applicants, Ph.D. program applicants are not required to have work experience. While experience is certainly helpful, evidence of strong intellectual ability is the most important factor.


A student is expected to be in residence throughout the calendar year (exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the student's dissertation chairperson, area advsior, and the director of the JGS PhD program).
Year One

  • Complete course work during Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Begin working on research with area faculty.

Year Two

  • Complete course work during Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Continue working on research with area faculty through the year.
  • Take comprehensive exam (if needed by area).

Year Three

  • Take specialized courses as needed during Fall and/or Spring semesters.
  • Produce working paper(s) on research with area faculty.
  • Work on dissertation research.
  • Defend dissertation research proposal by summer.

Year Four and Beyond

  • Finish work on dissertation research.
  • Defend dissertation.

The student’s coursework over the first two years, which should cover a minimum of 9 courses, will be determined by the student in consultation with the area faculty advisor.

The student must defend dissertation research proposal within a maximum of 5 years from the time of matriculation and defend dissertation within a maximum of 7 years from the time of matriculation.

These times represent generous upper limits. Students will be expected to complete their doctoral studies well within these stipulated deadlines.

All PhD students in the Jones Graduate School of Business doctoral program must maintain at least a 3.0 (B) grade point average. 

If the student’s area faculty so desire, the student must also successfully complete the comprehensive exam requirement in an area – economics, psychology, statistics – that supports the student’s area as part of the Ph.D. degree requirements.
A student may pass the comprehensive exam in his/her area either unconditionally or conditionally (as determined by area faculty). In the latter case, the area faculty advisor will stipulate the conditions that must be satisfied by the student in order to achieve an unconditional pass. If the student fails the comprehensive exam for the first time, the student may take the exam again during the following year at the discretion of area faculty. If the student fails the exam again, the student will be required to leave the Ph.D. program.
Students will be expected to attend periodic research seminars in their area, where faculty and Ph.D. students, as well as invited faculty members from other business schools, present their research. The research seminar participation requirements will vary by area. The student’s summer paper presentation, if the area requires it (as explained in the next paragraph), will also take place at these research seminars. These seminars provide a transition in emphasis for the student from courses to research and also afford a testing ground for dissertation proposals. They also provide an opportunity for the student to gain experience in critiquing and presenting material before a critical group.
Some areas may require doctoral students to write a summer research paper during the first (and possibly even the second) summer of study. There are multiple, sometimes competing, motivations for such a summer paper: (1) It develops a student’s research skills, (2) It enables a student to develop joint research with faculty for publication purposes, (3) It serves as a mechanism for faculty to evaluate a student’s ability to conduct independent research. The student’s summer paper, for an area requiring it, must be approved by the faculty member with whom he or she works during the summer before the student can present it at the research seminar.

Annually, the academic progress of Ph.D. students in the doctoral program is evaluated. The Director of the Ph.D. program requires Ph.D. students to complete and submit an annual report every year. This report should summarize the student’s activities over the past year – coursework taken, status on research projects, research presentations, professional development and any other area-specific requirements that he or she has met. The Director, in consultation with area faculty, reviews each student’s annual report, as well as the student’s annual report for the preceding year (if applicable), and assesses the student as:

  • making satisfactory progress
  • not making satisfactory progress and put on probation
  • not making satisfactory progress and terminated from the program

If the Director of the Ph.D. program, in consultation with area faculty, determines that a student is not making satisfactory academic progress in the Ph.D. program, one or more of the following consequences will result:

  • The student’s stipend support is reduced and/or withdrawn.
  • The student’s tuition support is withdrawn.
  • The student is placed on probation, with a letter specifying the conditions to be satisfied within a specific time frame in order for the student to return to good standing in the program. Failure to satisfy these conditions will lead to the student being withdrawn from the program.
  • The student is withdrawn from the program.

For example, a student with less than B average for courses taken over the previous academic year, or who has not made adequate progress on research, or who has failed to formulate independent research ideas, would be considered to be making unsatisfactory progress in the Ph.D. program.

When the student successfully defends his dissertation proposal, the Director of the Ph.D. program approves the student for candidacy for a Ph.D. at Rice University.