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 research-focussed program. You will spend the first two years on formal coursework and research projects, and the last two years writing and defending your dissertation.



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 12 formal courses in research methods and foundations courses.

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

  • BUS 601 - Research Foundations
  • BUS 603 - Strategy
  • BUS 604 - Business and Sustainability
  • BUS 605 - Comparative Human Resource Management
  • BUS 606 - Micro Organizational Behaviour
  • BUS 607 - Macro Organizational Theory
  • BUS 608 - Cross-Cultural Management
  • BUS 655 - Global Management and Society I
  • BUS 656 - Global Management and Society II

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

  • BUS 640 - Quantitative Research Methods
  • BUS 641 - Qualitative Research Methods
  • BUS 642 - Advanced Research Design

Each term throughout their program, students will be enrolled in BUS 670 Academic Career Development, a course designed to support them in their journey towards a career in academia. All students will be active contributors as part of the overall research program at the Gustavson School of Business, and are also engaged in the academic community.

Course descriptions can be found in the UVic Academic Calendar.


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

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 your teacher training, you will teach a full, for-credit course in our undergrad programs.