Learning, Research, and Working at Wharton

Wharton provides a stimulating and friendly environment for doctoral studies. Students are located in the same suite as faculty enabling daily interactions, as opposed to many other schools where students occupy a different building or a different floor. While at Wharton, students have an opportunity to receive training in a wide spectrum of research methodologies, including observational field studies, experimental work in a laboratory, empirical data analysis, data-mining , economic modeling, and applied modeling for decision support systems. In addition, students obtain rigorous training in foundational areas such as economics, psychology, operations research, statistics, and stochastic processes. Most other programs specialize in just one or two methodologies. PhD programs in business, in general, graduate fewer students each year than industrial engineering, psychology, operations research or economics departments. Consequently, students have better access to faculty and more personalized treatment.

Our faculty focus on applied research and, as a result, teach using more applied, business-relevant examples that are directly connected to the business world.  We encourage students to engage in research projects with high-level managers while conducting their research, a benefit that is enabled by our high visibility in the corporate world.  A recent emphasis on business-relevant research encouraged by school deans (see “Business Education Under the Microscope,” Businessweek, Dec. 26, 2007) implies that our graduates are in even higher demand.

The Department offers students considerable flexibility with the topic they may research and the faculty they may collaborate with.  Students have the freedom to select their research topics and advisors. Of course, as this is no simple task, our faculty works closely with students to guide them towards interesting research problems.

Our approach to research and teaching makes for highly successful graduates.  Our PhD’s consistently place at top US and international business schools, and their post-Wharton research productivity is consistently strong.