Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Business, Executive Business Research
Pamplin College of Business
Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region (NCR) is dedicated to furthering the university's three missions - education, research, and outreach. With facilities, faculty, graduate degrees, and research in the region since 1969, Virginia Tech has a long tradition of creating new knowledge and applying it to the critical problems facing the Washington DC area, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world.
Northern Virginia Center 7054 Haycock Road Falls Church Virginia 22043
Northern Virginia Center
Degree(s) Offered:
• PhD
PhD Degree in Business, Executive Business Research
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
National Capital Region
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Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Mar 01
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Department Head : Kevin Carlson
Graduate Program Director(s) : Dipankar Chakravarti (Program Director), Annabelle Ombac (Associate Director)
Professors: Alan Abrahams; Idris Adjerid; Kiran Awate; Rajesh Bagchi; Reza Barkhi; Daniel Beal; William Becker (National Capital Region); Sudip Bhattacharjee (National Capital Region); David Brinberg; Kevin Carlson; Kimberly Carlson; Dipankar Chakravarti (National Capital Region); Eloise Coupey; Robert Davidson; Jason Deane; John Easterwood; Roger Edelen; Devi Gnyawali; Shreyans Goenka; Donald Hatfield (National Capital Region); Paul Herr; Sean Hillison; Jingjing Huang; Richard Hunt; Mohammad Jahan-Parvar (National Capital Region); Tabitha James; Juncai Jiang; Gregory Kadlec; Eojina Kim; Raman Kumar; Pankaj Kumar; Ling Lisic; Wei Liu (National Capital Region); Paul Lowry; Shilpa Madan; Roop Mahajan (National Capital Region); John Maher; Frank May; Nancy McGehee; Juan Nicolau Gonzalbez; Mario Pandelaere; Bradley Paye; Richard Perdue; Cliff Ragsdale; Roberta Russell; Michelle Seref; Onur Seref; Joseph Simpson; Vijay Singal; Manisha Singal; Sarah Stein; Phillip Thompson; David Townsend; Broderick Turner; Marshall Vance; Viswanath Venkatesh (National Capital Region); Alan Wang; Anna Ward Bartlett; Richard Wokutch; Zheng Xiang; Jin Xu; Pengfei Ye; Adam Yonce (National Capital Region); Ryan Zimmerman; Christopher Zobel

Ph.D. in Business: Concentration in Executive Business Research

Launched in 2016, the Ph.D. concentration in Executive Business Research serves experienced executives who seek the advanced knowledge and skills needed to conduct high quality research on critical issues facing the business community. This part-time program challenges students to dive deeply into the scholarly literature and master advanced research methods in their chosen business discipline. Students blend this scholarly knowledge with their business experience to create high quality, original research embodied in a dissertation that addresses a complex business problem. Importantly, students develop the skills needed to publish their research in leading-edge research journals.

Prospective students should plan a four to five-year commitment to build the credentials needed to earn this unique and rigorous Ph.D. degree. The academic demands in this unique part-time program are on par with that of Pamplin’s full-time Ph.D. program in Business.

Offered In (National Capital Region)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:

Credit Requirements:

The Virginia Tech Ph.D. in Business requires a minimum of 90 credit hours. The pro­gram for the Executive Business Research concentration assumes prior graduate study in business or a related field from which a maximum of 30 relevant credits can be transferred to meet core credit require­ments. Candidates without this preparation must complete an additional 30 credits of prepara­tory work.

The remainder (a minimum of 60 credits) will include at least 30 credits of graded coursework (disciplinary/interdisciplinary and methodology seminars) and a minimum of thirty research/dissertation credits.

Graded Coursework:

The graded coursework is tailored to the student’s primary disciplinary interest (corresponding to the six traditional concentrations offered at the Pamplin School: Accounting and Information Systems, Business Information Technology, Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Management and Market­ing). The first two disciplinary content seminars parallel those taken by traditional full-time Ph.D. students. The remaining (two or more) content seminars provide additional disciplinary depth or interdisciplinary content tuned to the student’s research interests.

These disciplinary seminars meet on weekday evenings or Friday afternoons. The meth­odology seminars meet on weekday evenings or Saturday morn­ings or afternoons. These meeting times (outside of normal work hours) allow executive Ph.D. students to participate synchronously with traditional doctoral students in live discussion (either face-to-face or via Zoom technology). Students will have access to faculty/tutors in all methodology courses to support their academic work.

The microeconomics review and the business pedagogy course meet during the winter terms of the first and second year, respectively. The module on scholarly ethics, diversity and inclusion is completed during the Spring term of the first year.

The fall and spring terms during years 1 and 2 use a hybrid delivery format. Classes meet each week, with every other week being a residential session usually held at Virginia Tech’s extended campus in Northern Virginia. Typically, three of these residential sessions meet in Blacksburg.  These mandatory residential sessions help the Executive Ph.D. student assimilate into the Pamplin community and facilitate face-to-face interactions with faculty, potential research mentors, peer doctoral students, and academic tutors who support coursework.

During Year 1, students should plan on attending approximately 23 residential sessions (Fall: 8; Winter: 2, Spring: 8, Summer: 5). In Year 2, there are 18 residencies (no summer residencies). In Year 3, when students are working on their dissertation proposals there are only four residencies (Fall: 2 and Spring: 2).  No formal residencies are planned thereafter. During this period, students are strongly encouraged to communicate regularly and substantively with their Ph.D. Dissertation Committees.

The Study Plan for the program lays out the registration schedule for the research and dissertation (R&D) credits. In Year 1, students register for 3 R&D credits (the summer proposal).  In Year 2, students register for 7 R&D credits to initiate work on research papers as well as their dissertation proposal.  Students in Year 3 register for 20 R&D credits during which they work on their dissertation proposal (and defense).  Thereafter, as they work on their dissertations, students register for only 3 R&D credits in each of the Fall and Spring semesters. A minimum of 30 R&D credits must be accumulated during the program.       

Note that in Year 3, each student has an opportunity to obtain teaching experience.  This may involve teaching an online or face-to-face graduate or undergraduate class in Pamplin. This experience is essential for gaining the pedagogical skills integral to a Ph.D. degree.


The emphasis on the creation and publication of high-quality scholarly research in the Virginia Tech Ph.D. concentration in Executive Business Research mirrors the heavy emphasis on research in our fulltime Ph.D. programs. The program also stresses participation in research conferences as part of the student mentoring and career development process.  Even as the disciplinary and methods seminars focus on the research literature, the following activities create an early and sustained emphasis on first-hand student involvement in the scholarly research process:

Each student must write a research proposal/ paper by the end of the first summer. Along with the disciplinary content seminar assignments, this paper aims to stimulate and test students’ ability to blend their formal academic training and business experience to develop a research proposal that addresses an important business problem. This proposal serves as the student’s qualifying examination and is evaluated by a three-member reading committee who provide feedback similar to a journal review.

In addition to the stipulated coursework, students work with their faculty advisory committee to develop the above proposal (or one or more other promising ideas) into a paper(s) for presentation at a research conference and/or submission for publication review to a quality journal.  Often, this proposal is developed further as a basis for the student’s dissertation research. By the end of the summer term of their second year, students are expected to progress to the point where they can identify likely future mentors and form a Ph.D. Advisory Committee.

Students work closely with their Ph.D. Advisory Committee to develop the dissertation proposal. Students are expected to defend their respective dissertation proposals by the end of the summer of their third year in the program. The proposal defense meets the Graduate School’s requirement for student’s preliminary examination. Students who successfully defend their dissertation proposal move to complete their dissertation research under the guidance of their Ph.D. Dissertation Committee.

Students work closely with their Ph.D. Dissertation Committee to complete the dissertation research.  The dissertation is defended orally in a final examination and the written dissertation document is filed with the Graduate School once the student has met the expectations of the Ph.D. Dissertation Committee. Regular and substantive communications with the committee (particularly the chair/co-chairs) is critical to timely completion of the dissertation. The dissertation defense meets the student’s final examination requirement for the VT Graduate School. 

Northern Virginia Center

The Ph.D. in Business: Concentration in Executive Business Research is offered at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center. The center, which opened in 1997, is the university’s primary teaching location for graduate programs in the National Capital Region. The 232,000-square-foot facility is located in the heart of Northern Virginia - just off Route 7 and I-66, adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro and next to George Mason High School.

Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Road
Falls Church, VA 22043

Northern Virginia Center

The Ph.D. in Business: Concentration in Executive Business Research is offered at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center. The center, which opened in 1997, is the university’s primary teaching location for graduate programs in the National Capital Region. The 232,000-square-foot facility is located in the heart of Northern Virginia - just off Route 7 and I-66, adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro and next to George Mason High School.

Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Road
Falls Church, VA 22043

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