Ph.D. in Business Administration with a major in Strategy

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  Deadline to Apply!

Begin your application today by entering the Graduate Admissions Portal.

Submit your application by:
January 15 – Application review begins and will continue until positions are filled.
March 1Application submission deadline. All supporting materials must be received by March 15.

  Contact Us

  • Contact Dr. Gang Wang, program director, for more information on the Strategy major, its content and curriculum.
  • Email Elizabeth Kistner, Ph.D. graduate advising director, for more information about the admissions process.

Graduate Programs Office
  877-587-5540 (toll free)


Strategy is one of seven majors offered through FSU’s College of Business’ Ph.D. in Business Administration. The major admits two or three candidates each cohort, and the program takes four to five years to complete.

  • Offers faculty with research expertise in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, international business, entrepreneurship and innovation, executive compensation and corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, upper echelons theory, institutional theory, and resource-based theory
  • Includes courses that cover a wide range of topics, such as organizational theory, strategic management, entrepreneurship, international business, research methods, and data analysis
  • Includes two years of coursework culminating in a comprehensive exam, followed by two to three years of research and teaching, culminating with a dissertation

For an overview of FSU’s Ph.D. in Business Administration and its seven majors, download the brochure.

  Student Accomplishments


American University; Auburn University; University of Colorado - Colorado Springs; Georgia Southern University; Georgia State University; Mississippi State University; Old Dominion University; University of Richmond; Samford University; West Virginia University


Rich Devine, Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper nomination
Janice Gordon, Southern Management Association Best Doctoral Student Paper in Track Finalist
Andréa Hodge, Strategic Management Society Research Methods Prize nomination
Gonzalo Molina-Sieiro, Best Ph.D. Student Paper in Track, OT/IB track, Southern Management Association Annual Meeting; Best Reviewer (International Management Division, Academy of Management Annual Meeting)
Trey Sutton, Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper nomination

Defended Dissertations

  • “Three essays exploring delay of gratification in the context of organizations” by Ashok Bhandary; Dr. Bruce Lamont and Dr. David Maslach, major professors
  • "Drivers of international investment decisions: The role of safety risk" by Kaitlyn DeGhetto; Dr. Bruce Lamont, major professor
  • “An institutional lens on firm responses to activism” by Richard A. Devine; Dr. Bruce Lamont, major professor
  • “Institutions and imprinting in the formalization of informal firms: A cross-country analysis” by Katia Galdino; Dr. Bruce Lamont, major professor
  • “Community social capital, tie strength, and firm-founding” by Reginald Jamar Harris; Dr. Bruce Lamont and Dr. Michael Holmes, major professors
  • “The influence of TMT cultural distance in the completion of cross-border acquisitions” by Gonzalo Molina-Sieiro; Dr. Michael Holmes, major professor
  • “Three essays on entrepreneurship, income inequality, and social comparison” by Justin Pepe; Dr. Michael Holmes, major professor
  • "Liability of foreignness in legitimacy evaluation: The legitimacy challenge facing foreign firms," by Sangbum Ro; Dr. Bruce Lamont, major professor
  • “Firm-state dependencies, threat activation, and corporate political activity” by Andrew L. Sutton III; Dr. Bruce Lamont, major professor
  • "Competitive action and corporate governance: How do boards and managers influence competitive outcomes?" by Michelle L. Zorn; Dr. Bruce Lamont, major professor

SELECTED Recent Student Publications

Some recent representative publications from current or former students:

  • Holmes, R. M., Klein, P. G., Foss, N. J., Terjesen, S. A., & Pepe, J. A. in press. Government and cronyism: A reply to Chalmers. Academy of Management Perspectives
  • Galdino, K.M., Gordon, J.M., King, D. in press. The impact of distance on acquisition performance. European Management Journal.
  • Holmes, R. M., Waldman, D. A., Siegel, D. S., & Pepe, J. A. 2022. Declining trust in capitalism: Managerial, research, and public policy implications. Academy of Management Perspectives. 36: 984-1006.
  • Klein, P. G., Holmes, R. M., Foss, N. J., Terjesen, S. A., & Pepe, J. A. 2021. Capitalism, cronyism, and management scholarship: A call for clarity. Academy of Management Perspectives, 36: 6-29.
  • Holmes, R. M., Hitt, M. A., Perrewé, P. L., Palmer, J., & Molina-Sieiro, G. 2021. Building cross-disciplinary bridges in leadership: Integrating top executive personality and leadership theory and research. The Leadership Quarterly, 32, 101490.
  • Devine, R. A., Molina-Sieiro, G., Holmes, R. M., & Terjesen, S. A. 2019. Female-led high growth: Examining the role of human and financial resource management. Journal of Small Business Management, 57: 81-109.
  • Gordon, J., Molina-Sieiro, G., Ellis, K., Lamont. 2019. M&A Advisors: Padding Their Pockets or Source of Expertise. in C. Cooper and S. Finkelstein (Eds.). Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions, 18: 27-50.
  • Lamont, B. and Molina-Sieiro, G.  2019.  Are your results really robust?  In Clark, T., Wright, M. and Ketchen, D. (Eds.)  How to Publish in the Best Management Journals, 2nd edition. Edward Elgar Publishing.

  Program Requirements


Strategy doctoral students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Although many students also have a master's degree in business or a related field (e.g., organizational sociology or economics), it is not a requirement.


All strategy doctoral students must complete courses in three areas: Tools for Analytical Research (TAR), Primary Strategy and Support.

I. Tools for Analytical Research (TAR) area

All strategy doctoral students must take eight Tools for Analysis and Research (TAR) courses. Examples of these course are as follows:
MAN 6917 Research Design
MAN 6934 Data Analysis
PSY 5916 Modern Psychometrics
PSY 6919r Research Analysis and Design I
PSY 6919r Research Analysis and Design II
EDF 5464 Qualitative Methods
MAR 6655 Causal Models
EDF 5406 Multivariate Analysis
 1. PSY 5916 Meta-analysis
 2. PSY 5916 Multilevel Modeling
 3. PSY 5916 Structural Equation Modeling

II. Primary Strategy Coursework

The primary area courses and seminars provide opportunities for in-depth study. The following doctoral seminars and courses are required in Strategy:
MAN 6235 Organizational Theory
MAN 6932 Strategic Management: Literature Overview
MAN 6931 Strategy Microfoundations
MAN 6795 Strategy II (focus on entrepreneurship) or MAN 6235 Strategy III (focus on international business)

Additional primary area courses may be selected in consultation with the student's adviser and the Strategy doctoral program coordinator.

In addition to these courses, first-year and second-year students will participate in a professional development series that will be an additional registered course in each semester of the first two years of the program. The development series is designed to introduce doctoral students to the roles and responsibilities of faculty, including research ethics, communication with faculty at other universities, the research review process, balancing research, teaching and service, among other topics.

III. Support Area Coursework

The support area provides students an opportunity to concentrate in a field of study complementary to their primary area and career objectives. Typically, the support area will consist of supervised teaching, plus two courses in one of the following fields: finance, management information systems, marketing, human resources and organizational behavior, public administration, sociology or research methods. The students’ adviser, the doctoral program coordinator, and appropriate faculty from the chosen area must approve support area selections. Examples include: 
MAN 6275 Organizational Behavior
MAN 6306 Human Resource Management
MAN 6933 Special Topics (Diversity and Inclusion)






Year 1

Take 3 courses, plus the College Professional Development Seminar (PDS)

Research assistant duties*
Online mentor duties*

Take 3 courses, plus PDS

Take 2 courses, including a DIS

Propose 2nd-year paper (by mid-July at the latest)

Year 2

Take 3 courses, plus PDS (PDS conducted by Department instructors separately from first-year students)

Take 3 courses, plus PDS (PDS conducted by Department instructors separately from first-year students)

Defend 2nd-year paper (mid-May; submit paper a week in advance)

Take written portion of comprehensive exams (by mid-July at the latest)
Oral exams follow shortly thereafter (if necessary)

Year 3

Begin developing dissertation ideas

Continue developing dissertation ideas and start drafting the proposal

Teach 1 course+

Continue developing dissertation ideas and drafting the proposal

Year 4

Defend dissertation proposal

Begin collecting and analyzing dissertation data

Submit job applications; interview at AOM

Continue collecting and analyzing dissertation data

Year 5

Interview for jobs

Defend dissertation

Leave for new job

The duties in the following footnotes are part of students’ Graduate Assistant responsibilities.

* Students are expected to serve as a research assistant (to their assigned faculty member) and as an online mentor (for their assigned online course) each semester.

+ From this point forward, students likely will teach three to four courses with a maximum of two preps. The specific courses taught, and the semesters in which they are taught, depend on the students’ preferences, course demand, student enrollment, and faculty availability. However, the Department tries to avoid asking students to teach face-to-face courses in the fall of their final year (due to expected travel while students are interviewing for jobs).

  Application Process

Admission decisions are made by the college’s Doctoral Admissions Committee and are based on a combination of factors, including prior academic record from accepted universities; GRE or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores taken within the past five years; letters of recommendation; experience; record of accomplishments. Admission is competitive and focused on students with grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher and GMAT scores of at least 600 or GRE scores of at least 155 on each section of the revised GRE.

Application Checklist

  • Login to (applications will only be accepted through this portal).
  • Begin your application by logging in with your FSUID or clicking the link to register to get one.
  • Complete your online application form and submit.
  • Include the names and contact information for at least 3 (required) references.
    • This will generate automated email sent to your references by our system to request that they submit a recommendation for you and answer a series of standardized questions.
  • Submit your Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages).
  • Submit a current resume or C.V.
  • Pay the nonrefundable $30 application fee.
  • Required transcripts: Unofficial transcripts uploaded to your application, provided they are in English and have grades assigned to coursework, will be sufficient for the first round of review. An official transcript will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that each college or university you have attended submit an official transcript to FSU (see below for email/address).
    • Transcripts are considered official if they are sent directly to FSU (either through the U.S. mail or electronically) by your undergraduate or graduate institution.
  • Required test scores: Unofficial test scores are sufficient for the first round of review. Complete the Self-reported Test Score Form. Official test scores will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that official GMAT or GRE scores (and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/DuoLingo/Cambridge C1 Advanced/Michigan Language, if applicable) be submitted to FSU (see below for email/address)
    • Test scores will only be considered official if sent directly from the testing service. The code for ETS to send (GRE and TOEFL) scores to FSU is 5219. The code to send GMAT scores to FSU is PN8K567.
    • An English proficiency exam score (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE) must be submitted for international applicants whose native language is not English or who have not received a college degree from an institution where the instruction is primarily in English.
  • Have transcripts and test scores sent to or:

    Graduate Admissions Office
    222 S. Copeland St.
    314 Westcott Building
    Florida State University
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410

International Applicants

International applicants should visit for information concerning financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc.

English Language Proficiency Exam
International applicants whose native language is not English or who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in an English-speaking country are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL,) the International English Language Testing System (IELTS,) the Pearson Test of English (PTE,) Duolingo, Cambridge C1 Advanced Level, or Michigan Language Assessment and submit official test results in order to be admitted to Florida State University. The College of Business requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the internet-based test, a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS exam, or a minimum of 66 on the PTE, a minimum score of 120 on Duolingo, a minimum score of 180 on Cambridge C1 Advanced Level, or a minimum score of 55 on the Michigan Language Assessment taken within the past two (2) years.

  Program Costs

Ph.D. students typically take 27-33 credit hours each year. Here are the estimated program costs for the 2023-2024 academic year:

  • Florida residents: $479.32 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $12,941.64 - $15,817.56 per year.
  • Non-Florida residents: $1,110.72 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $29,989.44 - $36,653.76 per year.

Note: These costs do not include required books, supplies for courses, or required health insurance. Costs are subject to change. Fees above do not include some per-term flat fees for FSUCard and facilities use. For a breakdown of on-campus student fees and their explanations, visit the university’s Tuition Rates page.

      Residency Information

    The doctoral program is a full-time program that lasts four to five years. Students should plan to live in the Tallahassee area year-round, including summers. Our program is not set up for individuals who wish to take courses part time or online.

      Financial Assistance

    The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. The goal of the college is to provide assistantships and/or fellowships to all of our admitted doctoral students, subject to overall enrollment and fiscal limitations. Most doctoral students who request funding, who maintain a satisfactory level of academic and work performance, and who are in residence receive financial assistance from the college. Annual stipends and supplementary assistance such as travel expenses for conference attendance will vary among cohorts and programs. Students who are not Florida residents should note that tuition waivers associated with assistantships only cover the out-of-state portion of their tuition for year one of the program. Out-of-state tuition waivers are generally not available for years two through five.
    Doctoral students on assistantship are supported for four full academic years, contingent upon satisfactory performance in the program. Eligibility for fifth-year support is considered for a student having made substantial progress toward placement at a research-oriented university. For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.


    The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. There are various scholarships available for graduate students. Visit our graduate scholarships page to learn more.

    (Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.)

    • For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit
    • For more information on Florida State University's research and research funding, visit
    • For more information on Florida State University's graduate fellowships and awards, visit