The PhD in business administration with a concentration in agribusiness consists of a minimum of 84 semester hours of graduate-level coursework beyond the bachelor's degree. Approved master’s degree-level coursework up to 30 hours may be included.

Program of study

Doctoral students work with the Morrison School of Agribusiness PhD coordinator to develop a program of study, consisting of three elements:
  • Core economic theory, econometrics, and quantitative methods course work
  • Four-course sequence of doctoral level theory and methods as applied to issues and concepts specific to the food and agribusiness sector, including a seminar course preparing students to write a dissertation
  • Advanced courses in another business field within W. P. Carey (e.g., supply chain management, marketing, management, information systems, economics, accounting, or finance) or an approved program outside the business school

View sample program of study for students entering with a bachelor's and master's degree, respectively.

Comprehensive examination
After the completion of the core agribusiness coursework (AGB 701, AGB 702, and AGB 703), each student must pass a comprehensive written examination that assesses their ability to conduct dissertation research to the standards of the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Manuscript of publishable quality
After the completion of all coursework and the comprehensive exam, each student is expected to complete a manuscript of publishable quality. The manuscript will be read and graded by the Morrison School of Agribusiness Graduate Committee. The student will then revise the manuscript accordingly, and submit it for publication to an appropriate academic journal.

Dissertation proposal
The dissertation represents original research that contributes to the overall body of knowledge in one’s chosen academic field. Each student is expected to complete and defend a dissertation proposal, typically by the end of the third year. The proposal outlines the research problem, objectives, research methods, and potential implications of the dissertation research. Once the proposal is approved by the student’s committee, the student is formally advanced to candidacy.

Final examination
Upon completing the dissertation, PhD candidates take an oral examination in defense of their work. The PhD is granted upon successful completion of the oral defense and any revisions to the dissertation required by committee members.


While there are no formal prerequisites for the PhD in business administration with a concentration in agribusiness, applicants should possess very strong quantitative and writing abilities, and an undergraduate degree in a related field from an accredited university. An MBA or master’s degree in economics, business, or related field is recommended. Up to 30 credit hours from a master’s degree may count towards the minimum total of 84 hours of coursework.