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Background Image Alternative Text: Students walking by McCool Hall

PhD in Management

The PhD Program in Management provides students the sort of collegial environment needed to develop strong research and teaching skills.

The PhD Program in Management at Mississippi State University is unique in the sense that we blend a solid foundation in the core disciplines of strategic management, organization behavior, and human resource management with specialized training in the emerging fields of family business management and entrepreneurship. Indeed, Mississippi State University is a world leader in the study of family business and that theme provides a linkage for the research conducted by our faculty and doctoral students. It allows us to compete with much larger universities yet maintain the close interactions between students and faculty that are characteristic of a relatively small program (i.e., 5-10 students).

Because our program is small there are substantial opportunities for students to work directly with faculty, and other doctoral students, on research projects. In fact, PhD students graduating from our program will have typically presented a number of joint-authored research papers at professional meetings and have at least one solid journal publication prior to writing their dissertations. This provides them with an advantage in the job market and indeed our students have been able to find positions at good universities that pay very competitive salaries.

The PhD Program in Management provides students the sort of collegial environment needed to develop strong research and teaching skills. The program is small and tightly knit, run by faculty recognized as world leaders in family business. That focus, combined with training in the general management disciplines provides students with a unique opportunity to build the foundation necessary for a successful academic career.

Admission Information

  • Application Deadline: January 15
  • Completed online application form with application fee (for more information, visit
  • Current resumé or curriculum vita
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts (for more information about transcripts, visit
  • International applicants not holding degrees from U.S. institutions are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. The College of Business requires a minimum TOEFL score of 575 PBT, 233 CBT, or 84IBT, or an IELTS score of 7.0.
  • Competitive GMAT or GRE (Both quantitative and verbal) scores from tests taken within the past five (5) years. Scores should be submitted directly to MSU.
  • For additional application information, visit MSU's Office of the Graduate School

Admission Process

Prospective students must apply through MSU's Office of the Graduate School. Students should apply by January 15 for consideration to be admitted to the program the following fall semester. Our acceptance rate varies as we are selective about students who will be admitted.

Admission Considerations

With regard to admission criteria, we are looking for high GPAs and high GMAT scores, usually in excess of 600 (or GRE equivalent), but keep in mind that we consider the entire set of characteristics and experience of the applicant. We highly recommend exposure to statistics in preparation for the PhD since we are research-focused, and the first year of the program will include statistics courses. We consider a variety of criteria in the evaluation of PhD applicants, including, but not limited to:

  • GMAT or GRE scores, both quantitative and verbal scores
  • Undergraduate and graduate areas of study
  • GPA on undergraduate work or completed graduate work
  • Work experience
  • Research experience
  • Recommendations
  • Statement of purpose
  • Interviews (in-person or via Skype)


For specific information about the Management PhD program at Mississippi State University, please contact the advisor, Dr. Parker Ellen.

Visit MSU's Office of the Graduate School website for information on admission requirements for US students and International students

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