2 - 10 years
Full time/part time
Doctorate / PhD
On campus
August 2023

About this program

Executive PhD

Use Your Experience to Create Next-Level Impact

Elevate your impact by combining your extensive professional experience with WPI’s Executive Ph.D. program. In our flexible, course-based program, you’ll work closely with a cohort of fellow students whose interests and initiative match your own.

Additionally, you choose from one of three concentrations in the Executive Ph.D. program: Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, and Operations Management. Faculty will support and guide you as you produce publishable research that employs varied qualitative and quantitative research methods with your work in the applied research context. You’ll master well-defined, research-based approaches that are grounded in academic methods to increase your influence in your industry or professional path.

Research methods for a business Ph.D. require a different but equally rigorous set of skills than other doctoral programs. As an Executive Ph.D. candidate, you will learn and apply rigorous research methods, gain experience in analyzing data and understanding human factors, and apply qualitative and quantitative skills for the most effective outcomes.

Admission requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. program is highly competitive. The following criteria must be met prior to consideration:

  • Graduate of an accredited U.S. college or university or an approved foreign equivalent institution.
  • Earned grade point averages of 3.5 or better in all prior undergraduate and graduate studies.
  • Satisfactory GMAT or GRE, taken within the last five years. The Business School Ph.D. program requires a minimum GMAT score of 600 or its equivalent on the GRE. The WPI alum GMAT/GRE waiver policy does not apply to the Ph.D. program, and a WPI alum must submit their GMAT/GRE scores.
  • International applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit a TOEFL score report with a minimum score of 100 (internet-based) or an IELTS band score of 7.5.

In addition, a student with a master’s degree will be expected to have successfully demonstrated graduate-level knowledge in a traditional business discipline such as Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, or Operations Management; or in a discipline that is relevant to the student’s proposed concentration.  Furthermore, the applicant will demonstrate undergraduate competency in Calculus, Statistics, and/or Micro/Macro Economics. Admissions decisions will be based on a review of the applicant’s combined portfolios. 

Admissions required test information for international applicants

The minimum TOEFL score for science and engineering applicants whose native language is not English is 84, ideally with no subscore below 20.  The minimum total IELTS score is 7.0, with no band score below 6.5. The minimum Duolingo score is 115. 

English Language Requ

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Required Executive Ph.D. Courses

  • BUS 631 Research Methods and the Research Process 
  • BUS 632 Qualitative Research Methods
  • BUS 633 Quantitative Research Methods
  • BUS 651 Seminar on Designing and Conducting Research Studies 

Available Executive Ph.D. Concentrations


Entrepreneurship encompasses opportunity seeking and identification, financing new enterprises, corporate venturing, and other related topics. Research subjects address the conceptualization of new venture business models through formulating exit strategies. Special areas of emphasis include technology entrepreneurship, intellectual property commercialization, international and cross-cultural studies, social entrepreneurship, and issues associated with trans-generational entrepreneurship in the family business.

Information Technology

Students will learn to use qualitative and quantitative methods to develop and apply theories regarding the design, implementation, and use of advanced information systems and technologies with the goal of developing and publishing new information technology knowledge.  Students will study information technology and how it affects individuals, organizations, and society. By working closely with WPI’s Information Technology scholars, students will learn to conduct theoretically sound information technology research that addresses real business problems, apply for research grants, and teach information technology courses. WPI’s Information Technology scholars will involve Ph.D. candidates in their research activities in various organizations in the region, including those in the technology, healthcare, financial, and public sectors.

Operations Management

Students will pursue research in the areas of management sciences, operations research, business analytics, health care management, supply chain management, and decision analysis. The operations area undertakes research on decision-making through quantitative modeling of operations functions in businesses. Research topics cover all levels of business decision-making, from operation systems design and technology choices to day-to-day scheduling and performance measurement. The program emphasizes research that focuses on real business problems and maintains a balance between theory and practice. This concentration is designed to train Ph.D. students in fundamental and applied business modeling and analytical thinking.

Scholarships & funding

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance from WPI to support graduate students is available in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, other graduate assistantships, fellowships, internships, and loans. When graduate students are awarded teaching or research assistantships or fellowships that are processed through WPI, the student will receive official notification pertaining to the type and level of financial assistance from the Graduate Studies Office.

Please contact the university for more information.


$ 1,610 / credit


The Executive PhD is designed for seasoned business professionals who are ready to apply their expertise in new and fulfilling ways. Whether you’re looking to elevate what you can do in your current role or you want to branch out into consulting, teaching, or conducting research, the Executive PhD program will give you added credibility to become a more impactful thought leader. 

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About this institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute - The Business School

The WPI Business School is a STEM-focused school that bridges the worlds of business and technology to develop adaptive leaders who impact the world. We are the business school for engineers, scientists, and changemakers. WPI was founded in 1865 to...

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Contact info

Worcester Polytechnic Institute - The Business School

100 Institute Road
01609 Worcester Massa

Phone no: +1 508-831-5218
Mobile +1 508-831-5720

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