PhD Plan of Study

The Ph.D. program consists of a minimum of 84 semester hours of approved graduate course work beyond the bachelor’s degree, comprised of 60 hours of formal graduate course work in residence at ASU, 12 hours of research, and 12 hours of dissertation.

The SCM Department requires doctoral students to follow a sequence of 10 required courses (30 credit hours) with remaining course work selected in consultation with the student’s advisor. Students who have completed a related masters-level graduate degree can potentially transfer up to 12 hours of credit to help satisfy the requirement of 60 hours of formal graduate course work in residence at ASU.

PhD students are required to take:

  • Math boot camp course immediately before first semester
  • Four SCM 791 topic area seminars
  • Two SCM 791 methods seminars
  • Two empirical/statistical methods courses
  • Two analytical methods courses
  • Additional related doctoral seminars and research methods classes based on student interest
  • Summer internship or independent study credits that are directed by SCM faculty

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.

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.

Performance Evaluation

All doctoral students are required to complete a performance evaluation at the end of each academic year. Students are evaluated on their academic performance, quality of teaching or research assistantship, and research productivity. A student’s advisor, supervising instructor or faculty will provide input on the student’s performance.

The Supply Chain Management Doctoral Student Handbook provides additional details about the program.