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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2017-02-16
Business Administration PhD


Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:


The Marketing track of the Business Administration PhD program requires 84 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree. Students must meet prerequisite requirements of 30 credit hours, and then complete 18 credit hours of marketing core courses, 9 credit hours of a minor/support area, 12 credit hours of research methods/tools courses, and 15 credit hours of dissertation.

Prerequisites—Foundation Body of Knowledge—30 Credit Hours

In the Marketing track of the Business Administration PhD program, this requirement may be satisfied with a master’s degree in marketing, business administration or an equivalent degree from an AACSB-accredited school.   Alternatively, this requirement may be satisfied by courses deemed essential by the department’s PhD coordinator in consultation with the PhD committee.

Required Courses—39 Credit Hours

Marketing Core—18 Credit Hours

  • MAR 7575 Seminar in Consumer Behavior (3 credit hours)
  • MAR 7638 Seminar in Marketing Theory, Scaling, and Measurement (3 credit hours)
  • MAR 7666 Seminar in Marketing Models I (1.5 credit hours)
  • MAR 7667 Seminar in Marketing Models II (1.5 credit hours)
  • MAR 7807 Seminar in Marketing Strategy I (1.5 credit hours)
  • MAR 7808 Seminar in Marketing Strategy II (1.5 credit hours)
  • MAR 7919 Special Topics: Doctoral Research Projects in Summer I and Spring II (6 credit hours)

Minor/Support Area—9 Credit Hours

A minimum of nine hours of course work is required in a minor/support area. The course work should be from a unified area and will be planned with the advice and consent of the department’s PhD coordinator in consultation with the PhD committee.

Research Methods/Tools—12 Credit Hours

The department’s doctoral advisory committee and the PhD Coordinator will determine the additional research tools courses.

  • MAR 7626 Multivariate Analysis for Business Research (3 credit hours)
  • Additional courses approved by the PhD coordinator in consultation with the PhD committee(9 credit hours)

Dissertation—15 Credit Hours

  • MAR 7980 Dissertation (15 credit hours minimum)

Admission to Candidacy

Students must successfully pass a readiness exam in the first summer. In the second summer of the program after course work has been completed students must pass a comprehensive candidacy examination that includes written and oral portions.

Students must defend a written dissertation proposal in an oral examination conducted by the student’s advisory/dissertation committee.

Students officially enter candidacy when the following have been achieved:

  • Successful completion of all course work (excluding dissertation hours).
  • Successful completion of the readiness exam administered in the first summer.
  • Successful completion of the comprehensive candidacy exam administered in the second summer.
  • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.
  • Formation of the dissertation advisory committee, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submission of an approved program of study.

The final defense of the dissertation will require an oral examination.

Teaching Requirement

The requirements for the teaching component of the doctoral degree will be developed by the Department Chair in consultation with the PhD coordinator. Normally, this requirement will be satisfied through teaching a minimum of three credit hours of class instruction under the direct supervision of the Department Chair or his/her designee. As appropriate, students will also be required to attend teaching development seminars and workshops.

Timeline for Completion

Most students will complete their coursework with full-time enrollment (required) in the first two years of the program. Summer courses usually consist of research hours, comprehensive or readiness exams.

Students are admitted to candidacy after satisfying all general degree requirement coursework and passing the comprehensive exam.  After admission to candidacy, the student will be continuously enrolled full-time in dissertation hours (including summer) for the remainder of their program, up to a total of four years with support by the College.

A fifth year of support may be available to those students who have defended their dissertation proposal and are making significant progress toward their final defense. The program must be completed in seven years. 

Examination Requirements

Readiness Exam

Students must successfully complete a readiness exam in the first summer.

Candidacy Exam

After the completion of all required coursework, students must successfully complete a comprehensive candidacy exam that includes both written and oral portions. A student will be allowed to retake the exam one time. When the student passes the candidacy exam, they will be eligible to enroll in dissertation hours (MAR 7980). Students must have the candidacy and dissertation advisory committee documentation received and processed by the College of Graduate Studies prior to the first day of classes for the term in order to enroll in dissertation hours for that term.

Dissertation Proposal Examination

After the student passes the candidacy exam, they are eligible to defend a written dissertation proposal in an oral examination before their dissertation committee.

Dissertation Defense Examination

The final defense of the successful dissertation will require an oral examination that concentrates on, but is not limited to, the student’s dissertation defense.

SPEAK Exam (for international students only)

Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the SPEAK test before they will be permitted to teach as Graduate Teaching Associates (position code 9183) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (position code 9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187). Additional information including how to register for the test can be accessed through the GTA Information section of the College of Graduate Studies website.

Dissertation Requirements

Program Guidelines on Dissertation Research

A dissertation is required of all PhD students. Dissertation students are encouraged to be proactive throughout the research process. Effective planning, awareness and use of resources and communication with dissertation committee and other faculty and staff can greatly enhance the dissertation experience and document.  

Dissertation Defense Exam: An oral presentation and defense of the final dissertation before the student’s advisory committee must be satisfactorily completed before graduation from the PhD program can occur.

University Dissertation Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for thesis formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by thesis students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final thesis document by final submission deadline

Students must format their thesis according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Thesis Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the thesis process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at  


The requirements for the teaching component of the doctoral degree will be developed with the PhD Coordinator and Department Chair based on the student’s experience. Normally, this requirement will be satisfied through teaching a minimum of three credit hours of class instruction under the direct supervision of a faculty member. As appropriate, students will also be required to attend teaching development workshops and seminars. 

Graduate Research

Graduate Research

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: > Compliance.

UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: >Policies>General Graduate Policies.

Financial Support

Financial support comes from both the College of Business Administration and the College of Graduate Studies.

For information regarding financial support specifically for graduate students in the business discipline visit the Scholarship Information webpage on the College of Business website.

Graduate Teaching Assistants

The current financial package for a GTA is a nine-month assistantship agreement from the College of Business for $20,000 and a college-optional assistantship agreement for summer ($3,000-$5,000). In addition, the student receives full tuition remission from the College of Graduate Studies (but is responsible for local fees) and individual health insurance. The student is supported for four years (with a fifth year option for those students who have defended their dissertation proposal and are making significant progress toward their degree). For assuring timely receipt of financial support, be sure to sign assistantship agreements at least one month before Fall (or Summer) courses begin and register early for classes in time to process tuition remission.

International students who are required to take the SPEAK exam must successfully pass the exam before they can have any student contact, and to be able to remain a PhD degree-seeking student.

Other important financial websites: > Financial Information > Employment and Taxation  

For additional details regarding financial support for graduate students in the discipline visit the Scholarships, Fellowships, Assistantships and Financial Aid webpage on the College of Business Administration website.

Graduate Student Associations

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

For a complete listing of business-related organizations visit the Student Organizations webpage on the College of Business Administration website.

Professional Development

A graduate student’s professional development goes beyond completing course work, passing exams, conducting research for dissertation, and meeting degree requirements. Professional development also involves developing the academic and non-academic skills needed to become successful in the field of choice.

Professional development is gained through the close mentorships developed with faculty during the course of the program.  In addition, faculty and administration regularly provide development events such as guest speakers, research talks, and practice interview sessions.  It is essential that all PhD students attend these events.  The faculty contributing to the PhD program both expect and require full participation from all students.

Students are highly encouraged to submit research manuscripts for publication in conference proceedings.  Presenting papers at these conferences is an integral means by which students are acculturated into their discipline.  Funding can be requested through the department or the College of Graduate Studies.

GTA Training and Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program, sponsored by Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning:

Career Services:

Experiential Learning:

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers the following free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit

Graduate Research Forum

The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.

The Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact  

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:  

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant
Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching
Award for the Outstanding Dissertation

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see  


Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Travel Fellowship section at

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: > Awards.

For grant-proposal writing resources:

For information regarding internship opportunities for business graduate students, visit the Career Connections webpage on the College of Business Administration website.

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at

For career management and job placement services specifically for business graduate students, visit the Career Connections webpage on the College of Business Administration website.



Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).


The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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