PhD in International Business

The International Business program prepares a small number of students for careers as researchers and teachers in academia.

The faculty in International Business at Rutgers University form the core faculty for the program. Students also work with other members of the doctoral faculty of the Department of Management and Global Business.

The globalization and growing interdependence of national economies is an established fact. Students in the international business major study the interface between the competitive advantages of countries, the role of national governments and supranational organizations, and the strategies of international firms.

The program is interdisciplinary. It draws upon the writings of scholars in economics, management, organization theory, science and technology studies, and political science. Students have opportunities to choose elective courses from disciplines such as finance, marketing and management science.

Students have access to faculty on both the Newark and New Brunswick campuses of Rutgers University. In particular, they have opportunities to participate in the work of the Division of Global Affairs on the Newark campus. Fellowships and teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis.



Course work, the qualifying examination, and the dissertation

A total of 72 credits is required for the doctoral degree. These must include:

  • at least 18 credits in dissertation research.
  • at least 36 credits in degree courses. (This can be reduced only if some course requirements are transferred.)
  • 6 credits in the early research requirements.


Additional enrollments may also be required:

  • Students are sometimes required to enroll in non-degree courses to improve their English or their writing. They may also need to enroll in the non-degree course Teacher Training Seminar as part of their preparation for teaching. These enrollments require payment of tuition, but they do not count towards the 72 credits required for the degree.
  • Students must enroll in 26:553:689 every semester until they have defended a dissertation proposal. This registration requires their attendance in the Management & Global Business department's weekly seminar. A grade is given, but the enrollment is for zero credits and no tuition is charged.


Full-time students are expected to take three courses for degree credit each semester during the first two years. They must then take the qualifying examination at the end of their second academic year. During the last two years, they work mainly on their dissertation, but they often take an additional methodology course during their third and fourth years and may be asked to do so by their adviser and doctoral coordinator.

Within a year after passing the qualifying examination, the student should defend a dissertation proposal.


Foundation/methodology requirement (4 courses)

Students should take these two courses in the first year:

  • 26:620:557 Social Science Research Methods
  • 26:960:577 Statistical Linear Models


In addition, they should take at least two other doctoral level methodology or statistics courses. Students may consider the following:

  • 26:620:660 Qualitative Research Methods
  • 26:830:545 Research Design
  • 26:620:685 Survey Research
  • 26:223:544 Econometrics - Cross Sectional
  • 26:198:622 Machine Learning
  • 26:198:644 Data Mining


Excellent statistics and methodology courses are also available to our students in Statistics, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, SMLR, and SCILS at Rutgers-New Brunswick, in Psychology at Rutgers-Newark, and in Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science at NJIT.


Core (5 courses)

Students should take at least five of the following seven courses:

  • 26:553:501 Cross-border Mgmt: Institutions, Firms, and Industry Value Chains
  • 26:553:601 Theory of International Business
  • 26:553:602 History of International Business
  • 26:553:604 Corporate Innovation and International Business
  • 26:553:605 National Innovation Policies and International Business
  • 26:553:607 Global Political Economy
  • 26:620:677 Culture and Organizations


Electives (3 courses): Three courses approved by the adviser, the doctoral coordinator, and the doctoral director.


Teaching Requirement: Each student must teach at least one course at RBS. Before doing so, the student is expected to enroll in 26:620:701 Teacher Training Seminar  (taught in the spring semester each year) unless this requirement is waived by the program director and the department chair. Students who enter with financial support may need to take this course during the Spring in order to be sure of having an employment opportunity from RBS during the Summer.


First early research requirement (equivalent to one course): Students should prepare for the early research requirement by taking Statistical Linear Models and Research Methods in the first year. Then they write a paper (usually a literature review) with a faculty member, to be presented to the department during the fall semester.


Second early research requirement (equivalent to one course): Write a paper (ideally a dissertation proposal) with a faculty member.


Qualifying examination: The qualifying examination, in conformity with University regulations, will be taken at the end of the second year of coursework. It will consist of 4 sets of in-class questions, administered over a two day period. The student will be examined on the material covered in the five major courses studied during the two years of course work.


Other rules and requirements: For details of rules and requirements that apply to all doctoral students in RBS, see Policies and Procedures.