Courses & Seminars

In addition to individual requirements from the areas of study, known as major field requirements, all Ph.D. students are required to take 13 quarter courses from outside the major field of study.
The Strategic Management Ph.D. program seeks to train students to engage in research that addresses fundamental problems relating to business strategy formulation and implementation by firms.
The Strategy group at the UCLA Anderson School of Management administers the Strategic Management Ph.D. program. A strong analytical orientation underlies the program.

The program trains students to analyze a firm's response to its environment and its competitors. It combines strong theory development with rigorous empirical methods to develop cutting-edge research on important questions in business strategy. Ph.D. candidates complete a series of core classes that introduce students to the core fields in strategic management and frontier research in a number of different fields, including competitive strategy, innovation, intellectual property, non-market strategy, global strategy, organization theory, entrepreneurship and market institutions. Students work with our faculty from the beginning of the program to learn how to conduct strong and impactful research. Students often choose to integrate strategic management with other disciplines, such as finance, entrepreneurship, technology management, political science, psychology and sociology.

Our program is differentiated from other top Ph.D. programs in a number of ways. The faculty expertise spans a broad theoretical base - encompassing economics, psychology, sociology, political science and statistics - with an inclination toward strong training in methods. We believe that this combination is required to produce well-trained students who will be able to grow intellectually over the course of their careers and, more immediately, obtain an academic appointment at a top business school. This allows students to select a level of analysis for their dissertation that conforms to their interests and strengths while also allowing them to conduct research on the cutting edge of interesting questions in strategy.

Examples of areas students can specialize are the following:

  • Competitive strategy
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Behavioral and human resources strategy
  • Non-market strategy and corporate social responsibility

Faculty mentors will be assigned when students enter the program, and students will work closely with faculty members in your specialization from the early stage of their program.

Core Classes

In their first two years, all students in the Strategic Management Ph.D. program are required to enroll in the following classes:

Third Year


The third year of the program involves independent study and research supervised by a faculty adviser and culminating in a research paper. The final stages of the Ph.D. program are focused on crafting and defending an independent research proposal before a faculty committee nominated by the student. This proposal forms the basis for the student's dissertation. We expect students to complete the program within five years.


Three different seminar series provide a collegial forum for accessing the intellectual capital you need to succeed. These seminars further prepare our Ph.D. students for research, presentation and job market success.