Department of Supply Chain Management - PhD Plan of Study

PhD Plan of Study

The PhD program consists of a minimum of 84 semester hours of approved graduate coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. The SCM department requires doctoral students to take 48 credit hours of graduate coursework in residence at ASU during their first two years. The specific classes must be approved by faculty members in the student’s area of excellence. Students also are required to take 12 hours of research and 12 hours of dissertation credit. A maximum of 12 credits can be transferred from previous graduate coursework.

PhD students are required to take:

  • Four SCM 791 content seminars
  • Two research methods classes
  • Additional related doctoral seminars and research methods classes based on student interest
  • Independent study credits that are directed by SCM faculty

Comprehensive Examinations

All students are required to complete and pass a written comprehensive examination at the end of their second year. One re-examination is permitted if approved by the SCM doctoral committee, the associate dean for graduate programs and the dean of the Graduate College.


Work on the doctoral dissertation should begin early in the program. Students select their dissertation research project and develop their dissertation proposal under the direction of a dissertation committee. Once a student has passed the comprehensive examination, he or she must present a formal defense of the dissertation proposal in a seminar open to all faculty and students. The dissertation committee determines the format of the seminar and whether the student has successfully defended the proposal.

Once the dissertation has been completed under the guidance of the dissertation committee, a final oral examination in defense of the dissertation is required and must follow the guidelines established by the Division of Graduate Studies. Each student should complete the final oral examination within five years after passing the comprehensive examination.

Summer Research

Students are expected to write research manuscripts in the summer term. At the end of each summer, all doctoral students are required to submit to the doctoral committee at least one new manuscript ready for submission to a journal for publication. Students are expected to work with the faculty members from their area of excellence when preparing their summer manuscripts.