The Leeds School of Business provides a dynamic professional atmosphere comprised of quality diverse faculty and PhD students, framed by a thriving business community and a beautiful environment. The Leeds PhD program prepares students for research careers at leading universities and equips students with a deep understanding of the most influential research within the disciplines, as well as the tools necessary to contribute state-of-the-art research advancing these disciplines:

  • accounting
  • finance
  • marketing
  • information systems
  • operations
  • organizational behavior
  • strategy and entrepreneurship

In addition to the creation of knowledge, the program also supports the dissemination of that knowledge from classrooms to the profession at large. The program is small enough to ensure that all students can receive the mentoring needed to innovate at the frontier of their disciplines.

Dr. Diego García chairs the PhD Curriculum and Policy Committee which oversees the Leeds PhD program.


PhD students must complete all Graduate School, Leeds School of Business and division requirements to be conferred the PhD in business administration. All PhD students are required to complete at least 30 credit hours of coursework and at least 30 credit hours of dissertation at CU Boulder. Additional coursework may be required as determined by the academic advisor. To comply with this 30-credit-hour requirement, a course must be taught by a member of the university's graduate faculty, must be at the 5000 level or above, and the student must achieve a grade of B- or better. Most students complete 7000- and 8000-level PhD seminars.

PhD students in all program areas except for Accounting are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or better while in residence in the program. Accounting students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

PhD students are required to assume teaching apprentice roles for three sections of any course and then independently teach two courses to achieve teaching proficiency. PhD students are also expected to attend eight (8) workshops and/or trainings while in residence.

Time Limit

PhD students have six years from the commencement of coursework to complete all requirements of the degree, but most PhD students complete their program within five years. 

Comprehensive Examination

Before admission to candidacy, a PhD student must pass a comprehensive examination in the field of concentration. The examination may be oral, written or both, and will test the student's mastery of a broad field of knowledge, not merely the formal coursework completed. Each division will determine the required content, length and standards of evaluation for the exam. Check with the division as to the specific requirements for the comprehensive exam.

Admission to Candidacy

PhD students are admitted to candidacy according to Graduate School procedures and requirements. PhD students shall complete all coursework and any other requirements listed on their degree plans, earn at least four semesters of residence and successfully pass the comprehensive exams before admission to candidacy is approved by the Graduate School. In addition, requirements related to academic quality of work, graduate-level coursework, the minimum number of course credit hours, and graduate faculty membership must be met before admission to candidacy is approved. 

Dissertation Proposal and Final Defense

All PhD students are required to successfully present and defend a dissertation proposal on a subject approved by the candidate's dissertation committee. The dissertation proposal must be passed before attempting to defend a final dissertation.

A final dissertation must be based upon original investigation showing mature scholarship and critical judgment, as well as competence with research tools and methods. To be acceptable, the dissertation must be a significant contribution to knowledge in the candidate's primary field and must comply with the CU Boulder Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Specifications. All PhD students are required to present a final dissertation defense, which is open to the public.