This fall, Darden welcomes a new cohort of 12 doctoral students, eight full-time and four part- time, who are enrolling in the School’s PHD program. Andy Wicks, the incoming director of the doctoral program says the students are a highly accomplished group with interests spanning LO, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship, and they represent the largest group ever admitted.
“One of my primary goals as director,” says Wicks, “is to leverage the doctoral program to improve the research culture and increase the research productivity of the school.” He says a key part of making that happen is to find creative ways to get more faculty involved in the program such as lunches with students, research seminars, or participating in a reading course with a student who serves on a dissertation committee.
A distinguishing feature of the program is cross-disciplinary training – getting students to focus on asking interesting questions and drawing from a variety of disciplines to conduct their research rather than focusing only on LO, Ethics and Entrepreneurship. As a means to achieve this goal, Darden will engage Strategy faculty to teach a doctoral seminar and will look for ways to engage the entire faculty.
Wicks says the curriculum was revised to put a greater emphasis on research and methods training. In previous years, students were required to take one methods course; now they must take at least three. There are also new seminars that will push students to learn a variety of theories within the management literature, ultimately enabling them to be high-level contributors to the literature.
“The doctoral program is a critical part of Darden’s efforts to enhance its research culture and productivity,” says Wicks. “Having doctoral students pushes the faculty to be on the forefront of knowledge and provides them with additional resources to enhance research output. It signals to constituents both inside and outside the school that Darden is committed to research as an essential element of our culture and our brand.”
Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is a professional school that works to improve society by developing principled leaders in the world of practical affairs.
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