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

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.

Course Work: Requirements and Structure
Total Course Work Credits: 30. 5 Credits
PhD 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 Core Courses are limited to 6 credits

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.

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.