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

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  Apply Today

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. Michael Holmes, program director, for more information on the Strategy major, its content and curriculum.
  • Contact Gail Palo, Ph.D. academic program specialist, 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 fall, and the program takes four to five years to complete.

  • Offers faculty with research expertise in areas such as entrepreneurship, franchising, executive compensation and corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, institutional theory, international business, human and social capital theory and resource-based theory
  • Includes courses that cover a wide range of topics, such as organizational theory, strategic management (several courses), 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; Georgia Southern University; Georgia State University; Samford University; University of Colorado – Colorado Springs; University of North Texas; University of Richmond; Valdosta State University; West Virginia University


  • Kaitlyn DeGhetto, 2013-14 Outstanding Teaching Assistant
  • Rich Devine, Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper nomination
  • Gonzalo Molina Sieiro, received the Best Reviewer, International Management Division, (2018) Academy of Management Annual Meeting; Chicago
  • Trey Sutton, nominated for a Best Paper prize at the 2013 Strategic Management Society Annual International Conference


  • Gonzalo Molina Sieiro, presented at the Strategic Management Society Annual Meeting in Paris; the Academy of Management Specialized Conference: From Start-up to Scale-up Strategies in Tel Aviv, Israel; and at the Southern Management Association Annual Meeting in Lexington, Kentucky.

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 (2018)
  • "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 (2018)
  • “Institutions and Imprinting in the Formalization of Informal Firms: A Cross-Country Analysis” by Katia Galdino; Dr. Bruce Lamont, major professor (2018)
  • “Community Social Capital, Tie Strength, and Firm-Founding” by Reginald Jamar Harris; Dr. Bruce Lamont and Dr. Michael Holmes, major professors (2018)
  • "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

Recent Student Publications

Some recent representative publications from current or former students:

  • 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.
  • Molina-Sieiro, G., Holmes, R. M., Terjesen, S. (2019) Female-Led High Growth: Examining the Role of Human and Financial Resource Management. Journal of Small Business Management, 57: 81-109.

  Program Requirements


Strategy doctoral students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Although we prefer students to also have a master's degree in business or a related field, it is not a requirement. If students have strong credentials and demonstrate maturity, we sometimes allow them to begin the program without a master's degree.


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 the following eight Tools for Analysis and Research (TAR) courses:

  • MAN 6917 Research Design
  • MAN 6934 Data Analysis
  • MAR 6665 Causal Models
  • PSY 6919r Research Analysis & Design I: General Linear Model
  • PPSY 6919r Research Analysis & Design II: Analysis of Variance
  • EDF 5464 Qualitative Methods
  • Two (2) Research methods elective courses

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 6931 Strategy Microfoundations
  • MAN 6795r Strategy II
  • MAN 6932 Strategic Management: Literature Overview

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- 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.






Year 1

  • MAN 6235 Organizational Theory
  • MAN 6933 Social Influence
  • PSY 6919r General Linear Modeling
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • MAN 6932 Strategy Overview
  • MAN 6917 Research Design
  • PSY 6919r ANOVA
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • TAR Elective
  • TAR or Support area
  • MAN 6911 Supervised Research

Year 2

  • MAN 6934 Data Analysis
  • MAN 6795 Microfoundations
  • MAN 6275 Organizational Behavior
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • MAN 6795 Strategy II
  • MAN 6665 Causal Models
  • TAR or Support Area
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • Readings for exams
  • Comprehensive exams
  • Present second-year paper

Year 3

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation

Year 4

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation

Year 5

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation and Defense

  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, 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:

    Office of Admissions
    Florida State University
    282 Champions Way
    PO Box 3062400
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400

International Applicants

International applicants whose native language is not English and 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,) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE,) 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 taken within the past two (2) years.

A minimum score of 25 for each section of the TOEFL is strongly recommended. In addition, international graduate applicants seeking teaching assistantships are required to pass a test of spoken English.

For more international applicant information, visit for information concerning financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc.

  Program Costs

Ph.D. students typically take 27-33 credit hours each year. Here are the estimated program costs for the 2019-2020 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 will be demonstrated by a student having made substantial progress toward placement at a R1 research 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

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