Program structure

Our goal is to develop candidates with an integrated perspective on management to address complex global issues. Our emphasis is on International Business, one of our school’s core areas of specialization.

Our PhD program focuses in the areas of strategy, organizational behavior, organizational theory, human resources and cross cultural management, and business and sustainability, from an international perspective. You can also take content specific coursework to attain expertise in the traditional domains of business.

The doctoral program is a four-year, full-time program. You will spend the first two years on formal coursework and research projects, and the last two years writing and defending your thesis.

Program Structure


During the first two years of the PhD program, you will take a variety of courses in research methods and foundation courses in international management.  At the end of your second year, you will take a comprehensive doctoral candidacy exam to ensure you have reached a depth and quality in your understanding of the field.

All PhD students are required to take 10 formal courses in research methods and foundations courses, and you will have some flexibility to select within the course offerings depending on your chosen stream of study.

Each stream will involve the study of theoretical and empirical foundation topics from the list of core courses:

  • Bus 601 – Foundations of Research in International Management & Organization
  • Bus 602 – Seminar in International Management
  • Bus 603 – Seminar in Strategy & Organization
  • Bus 604 – Seminar in Global Issues of Business Sustainability
  • Bus 605 – Seminar in Cross-cultural Management
  • Bus 606 – Seminar in Organizational Analysis

Students in all streams will benefit from a solid foundation in advanced theory and methods during the first two years of the program (3 courses).

You will be able to customize your program of study by taking two PhD-level elective courses (2 courses) through Directed Study or by selecting from the courses above, or through another faculty at the University of Victoria.

Program Streams

As a PhD student, you will be able to tailor your coursework to fit your research interests and goals.  Each stream is designed to give you the foundational theoretical, empirical and research methods background to advance your research scholarship as well as provide you with a solid skillset in teaching:

Strategy and International Management

Master the major theoretical approaches and empirical treatments in the fields of strategy and international management, building your foundation of scholarship and academic debate

Organizational Analysis and Cross-Cultural Management

Examine the behaviours of individuals and groups within organizations, study human resource management in a global context and learn how culture influences management practice

Sustainability and International Management

Embrace the role of the "triple bottom line" in international management scholarship and study the interrelations among the social, ecological and economic dimensions of sustainability


Year three begins at the successful passing of the doctoral candidacy exam. You will work closely with a supervisor to develop a thesis topic and, within six months of passing the doctoral candidacy exam, you will formally defend a thesis proposal. During your third and fourth years, you will work closely with their supervisor to develop your thesis.

International exchange/industy practicum opportunities

To round out your research experiences, you can participate in an international research exchange or an industry practicum in your third or fourth year of the program. The international research exchange opportunities are located at select research-focused universities abroad with whom our professors have strong ties. The industry practicum allows you to develop a stronger connection between theory and practice and to improve their appreciation for the context of the phenomenon under study, by engaging in ethnographic or participant observation research with an organization (government, private business, not-for profit entity)

Teacher training

Teacher training is an essential component of the PhD program. You will be mentored and have rich opportunities to learn how to teach effectively. You can participate as teaching/marking assistants for our various programs. During your later years in the PhD program as part of the teacher training, when you are ready, there may be opportunities to teach full courses in our undergrad programs. Other opportunities for engagement include attending research seminars and conferences.