Curriculum Overview

Course Timeline

From the first term onwards, students take advanced Ph.D. level courses in the Area of high levels of specialization along with some recommended Post Graduate Programme (PGP) courses which provides a general management overview and develop basic skills for analyzing managerial problems.

After completing the course work, students have to pass an Area Comprehensive Examination to demonstrate that they have reached a level of proficiency in the Area of high levels of specialization.

As they enter their third year, students begin work on their Ph.D. dissertations. These dissertations are expected to make original contributions to an Area of management or to one of management’s source disciplines.

The student moves into the final stage of presenting and defending the dissertation only when the Dissertation Advisor is satisfied that the student and the research. Students hope to get this green light in the fourth or fifth year.

Curriculum Overview

Course Work

The coursework is spread across a minimum of six terms and an Induction term at the beginning of the programme. Each academic year begins in May/June and ends in March/April and has three terms. All Ph.D. students, irrespective of their areas of specialization, take a set of compulsory courses in their field of specialization and other interest areas. All students are also required to take program-wide compulsory courses specially designed to provide breadth of knowledge in the field of management and also teaching and research skills.
The course work requirements have to be completed in two years, including an Induction term. The Induction term (which is common to all students), starting last week of May/first week of June with duration of about 3 weeks, has a flexibility to take exams during the fourth week. Ph.D. Core courses Mathematics (Math - 0.75 credits) and Socio-Political Contexts for Research in Management-I (SocPol I - 0.75 credits) will be taught to all Ph.D. students during this term.
During summer, at the end of the first year of coursework, students are required to do a research project either with a faculty member at the Institute or in any other organization. First year course work end with successful completion of all the courses with a minimum prescribed proficiency. While students need to meet certain academic requirements across all courses, a higher performance is required in certain Area Specified Courses.


Total Course Work Credits: 30. 5 Credits
Ph.D. Core Courses 08.5 Credits
Area Courses* 16.0 Credits (Minimum) / 20.0 Credits (Maximum)
PGP Courses 06.0 Credits (Maximum)/ 02.0 Credits (Minimum)


Area Comprehensive Examination 

Upon completion of the coursework, the students take the area comprehensive examination. The area comprehensive examination tests whether the student has obtained a satisfactory level of knowledge in his/her field of specialization and whether he/she has satisfactorily integrated the various courses taken in the area.

If and only if a student passes the comprehensive examination, he/she enters the Thesis stage. The thesis stage consists of first developing a thesis proposal, for which the student identifies a thesis topic, forms a Thesis Advisory Committee [TAC], presents a seminar on the thesis proposal to the IIMA academic community, and gets the thesis proposal approved by the TAC. Then the student works closely with the TAC on his/her thesis. On completion of the thesis research, the student submits the thesis, gives a seminar, and defends the same.


Academic Assistance 

All Ph.D. students past the successful completion of their comprehensive exam must independently assist in two unique courses (postgraduate courses offered in the institute/Ph.D. compulsory courses).

Doctoral Dissertation

The dissertation or thesis provides the student with an opportunity to undertake original research in the area of interest. The dissertation should be a scholarly contribution to the knowledge pertinent to the understanding and resolution of management problems. Research is an essential part of the doctoral student’s training at IIMA. Throughout the programme, starting as early as Phase I, students are encouraged to be actively involved in research activities at the Institute and with faculty members.

Phase III begins with the formation of the Thesis Advisory Committee in the initial part of the third year. Students are encouraged to meet faculty members with whom they share research interests and seek their assistance in identifying a dissertation topic as early as possible. In addition to the close working relationship during the course work, this interaction helps the student find a thesis advisor and form the thesis advisory committee. The thesis advisor advises the student on his/her dissertation and chairs the thesis advisory committee comprising at least two other members.

The student develops a written proposal and with the agreement of the thesis advisor gives a seminar on the thesis proposal. The proposal has to be approved by the thesis advisory committee. From then onwards, the student works closely with his/her thesis advisory committee on the dissertation. When the candidate’s advisor judges that the dissertation is complete, the student gives a seminar on the dissertation work and subsequently defends orally the dissertation before a thesis examination committee. The Ph.D. Prog. Chairperson appoints the thesis examination committee comprising of two members from the thesis advisory committee and two other members. While the course work formally gets over with the completion of Phase II, doctoral students are encouraged to continue taking advanced courses of interest even during this last stage of study.

Course Work

Phase I

(First Year Course Work)

  • First Year Ph.D. Compulsory Courses
  • First Year Area Ph.D.Courses
  • Courses from other Areas and other Post Graduate Programmes (PGP,PGP- FABM,PGPX) and Ph.D. Elective Courses

Phase II

(Second Year Course Work)

  • Second Year Ph.D. Compulsory Courses
  • Second Year Area Ph.D. Courses
  • Courses from other Areas and other Post Graduate Programmes (PGP,PGP- FABM,PGPX)
  • Preparation and Completion of Area Comprehensive Examination

Phase III

(Doctoral Dissertation)

  • Formation of Thesis Advisory Committee
  • Approval of Thesis Proposal
  • Research and Writing of Dissertation
  • Thesis Seminar
  • Thesis Defence


Vikram Sarabhai Library

The Vikram Sarabhai Library, considered as one of the best management libraries in the country, is committed to providing access to its resources for students, researchers as well as faculty members. Over the years, it has built a robust collection of over 2 lakh books in addition to Journals and Newspapers, Databases, Working Papers, Thesis, Project Reports, CDs and Videos.

The strength of the library is its digital collection, which can be accessed campus-wide through its website. The website provides its in-house catalogue in addition to the 165+ databases which contain scholarly, company and industry information. The library has also launched an android app for accessing its resources.


The library has been publishing two quarterly information bulletins since 1998.

Current Contents in Management: Marketing
Current Index of Management: Marketing

It has started NICMAN (National Information Centre for Management) Membership in order to help/facilitate business/management related researchers in their research

Computing Facilities

IIMA has a very extensive campus-wide network comprising high end servers, computers in faculty offices, classrooms, library, and standalone computer labs. All rooms in student dormitories are networked with the Institute's servers. IIMA requires every student to have a personal computer with a prespecified configuration. Campus-wide computer facilities also include Apple iMac computers, scanners, and printers. The network supports advanced research and teaching software as well.

Conferences and Field Research Support

The Institute provides competitive opportunities to present research papers at national and international conferences and spend a term or more for field work at collaborating universities within India as well as other countries. Research grants are also provided on a competitive basis for summer projects. Doctoral students receive an annual contingency grant to fund research related expenses.

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