General Requirements

Each student will develop a detailed program plan with the consultation of their department advisor to outline their next two years of course work , take the written comprehensive exam, fulfill their teaching requirement, and complete their dissertation. Besides these general requirements, students work with faculty on various research assignments that ultimately may be published in a top ranked journal in their field.

A typical plan of a Smith doctoral student is as follows:

  • Two years of course work.
  • End of year two, students must take the written comprehensive exam.
  • End of year three, students must advance to candidacy.
  • End of year four, students must propose their dissertation.
  • End of year four, students must fulfill their teaching requirement.
  • Year five allows the student to enter the job market and complete their dissertation.

Course Work

Students are required to not only take course work in their concentration (program).Students will fulfill a second minor in Research Tools as it is not only required but necessary for each student to be successful in the program. Students are required to take 10 credits in their first and second year of the program to ensure that the proper courses are taken prior to the comprehensive exam.

Course work is outlined as follows:

  • Major Course requirements (6 courses)
  • Research Tools requirement (4 courses)
  • Dissertation Credits requirement (a minimum of 12 credits)

Additional course requirements vary between the areas of concentration and the student’s previous academic history.

Comprehensive Exams

Students in all areas must pass a written comprehensive exam upon completion of their major course work requirements. The comprehensive exam is specific to the area of concentration and administered at the end of the second year. Students in the Operations Management/Management area of concentration take the written comprehensive exam upon completion of their first academic year and take the oral comprehensive exam upon completion of their second academic year. Students in the Finance area of concentration must take a written qualifying exam upon completion of their first academic year and the written comprehensive exam upon completion of their second academic year. Students must obtain a “pass” or a “high pass” to successfully progress in the program.

Working Papers

Students are required to submit at least 1 working paper before they can advance to candidacy. The paper needs to be completed and presented to the department. Advisor(s) will sign off on the paper requirement. Some concentrations require the submission of 2 working papers before advancing to candidacy. See the areas of concentration for specific information about this.

Advancement to Candidacy

Upon completion of all required course work, passing of the comprehensive exam and successful completion of any working papers, students may advance to candidacy. Advancement to candidacy is the transition of moving from student to scholar or doctoral candidate. This should be done no later than the end of the third academic year. When students advance, they are automatically registered for their dissertation credits each academic semester until successful completion of the program.

Dissertation Proposal

All doctoral candidates must propose their dissertation no later than the end of their fourth academic year to ensure satisfactory progress in the program and thus fifth year funding. The dissertation proposal requires the doctoral candidate not only to assemble a dissertation committee, but also to propose their dissertation research and prepare for successful completion of the dissertation defense.

Dissertation Defense

In order to complete the program and obtain the degree, the doctoral candidate must successfully defend the dissertation to the dissertation committee (approved by the University of Maryland Graduate School) and submit the dissertation to the Graduate School for further review and archiving