Become a thought leader in business management.

Earn your PhD in Management among highly motivated, intellectually curious students and engaged, expert faculty who share a common goal: To make an impact in the future of business research and education.


What makes Cornell’s PhD in Management program different?

Its very favorable student-faculty ratio, research that combines rigor and relevance, and curriculum that offers foundational courses with flexible, cross-disciplinary electives.

Cornell’s PhD in Management program will prepare you for an exceptional career in research and teaching at top-tier institutions. From your first semester, you’ll work with faculty mentors across the management field in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and the university as you investigate business challenges that interest you. Our students have the entrepreneurial ability—and tenacity—to study complex issues that managers and policymakers face.


Engaged faculty and individualized support

The PhD in Management program comprises about 60 students. The program size allows you to work very closely with faculty, who are accomplished academics and thought leaders. From the start of the program, you can request which faculty members you want to work with each semester to customize your research trajectory. They will help you refine your research questions and introduce you to the research process of scaling up from idea generation to publication, ensuring its impact on business and policy. You’ll also have the opportunity to work on joint research with faculty.

» Faculty in the Management Field


Curriculum flexibility

In your early years in the program, you will complete foundational coursework in management and other fields—many of these courses will focus on the research process and prepare you for your dissertation. You’ll work with classmates to examine existing literature and theories for class deliverables, which will often include doing your own original research.

As you progress in the PhD in Management program, you can take advanced courses that match your research area of interest. Your faculty committee will help make sure you’re on the right track. You can start research with faculty mentors as early as your first year.

Areas of study

PhD in Management students must choose an area of study in their application process. Within each of these areas is room for customization.


Cross-disciplinary collaboration and dialogue

Cornell University values academic freedom and breadth of study. As a PhD in Management student, you have the opportunity to do coursework and research across the six areas of management and in other fields like computer science, economics, operations research, psychology, sociology, and statistics.

Collaboration doesn’t end within the business college—you’ll have the opportunity to interact with cross-disciplinary faculty and peers across Cornell and beyond. You will attend seminars and workshops featuring presentations by the world’s leading professors and researchers to learn about the academic landscape you’ll enter upon graduation, and you can take part in special interest groups on topics including machine learning and behavioral economics.

PhD BusinessFeed

May 24, 2019

PhD student awarded Deloitte Doctoral Fellowship in Accounting

Blake Allen Steenhoven, PhD in Management, has been recognized with the prestigious Deloitte Doctoral Fellowship in Accounting at the recommendation of Bob Libby.

April 4, 2019

Ethics speaker Kristin Behfar: Effective team leadership is ethical leadership

Kristin Behfar, PhD ’03, professor at U.S. Army War College, sees effectively leading a high-performing team as a manager’s ethical responsibility.

June 1, 2018

Congratulations, Johnson Class of 2018 graduates!

Graduates of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management were celebrated at two recognition ceremonies on Saturday, May 26. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!


Recent research and placements

Our PhD graduates are placed in top-tier institutions where they work with some of the smartest minds in the world while training current and future business leaders. They have also published research in leading journals, which is making a difference in the field of management. Program faculty are interested and invested in your intellectual development—current students say that Cornell is a great place to launch your research career.

Recent placements include:

  • Sharmistha Sikdar, PhD ’19, assistant professor of marketing, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
  • Shengli Hu, PhD ’19, data scientist, DataMinr
  • Dinesh Puranam, PhD ’16, assistant professor of marketing, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
  • Joseph Pacelli, PhD ’16, assistant professor of accounting, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
  • Janet Gao, PhD ’15, assistant professor of finance, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Published research includes:

  • “Does the scope of the sell-side analyst industry matter? An examination of bias, accuracy and information content of analyst reports” in the Journal of Finance, 72(3): 1285-1334 [2017] — Joseph Pacelli, PhD ’16, with Kenneth Merkley and Roni Michaely
  • “Customer concentration and loan contract terms” in the Journal of Financial Economics, Volume 123, Issue 1: 108–136 [2017] — Janet Gao, PhD ’15, with Murillo Campello
  • “The Effect of Calorie Posting Regulation on Consumer Opinion: A Flexible Latent Dirichlet Allocation Model with Informative Priors” in Marketing Science, Volume 37, No. 5 [2017] — Dinesh Puranam, PhD ’16, with Vishal Narayan and Vrinda Kadiyali
  • “Firm Performance, Reporting Goals, and Language Choices in Narrative Disclosures” in the Journal of Accounting and Economics, Volume 65(3): 380–398 [2018] — Scott Asay, PhD ’13, with Robert Libby and Kristina Rennekamp
PhD student and four Johnson faculty sit around table while they listen to Nicholas H. Noyes Professor of Management, Vrinda Kadiyali, present

Applying to the PhD in Management program

The ideal candidate for this highly selective program will exhibit a record of academic excellence, evidence of an understanding of the research process, an entrepreneurial approach to problem solving, strong letters of recommendation, and the ability to identify and articulate relevant research problems in management. An MBA or master’s degree is not a requirement for admission.

Applications should be submitted by December 15 for fall start.

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