The Ph.D. program of Entrepreneurship at UTKIC focuses on training the students to be able to create the social and economic value by developing core capabilities of idea generation, opportunity recognition, resource acquisition, and entrepreneurial management. In UTKIC both predictive and creative approaches to all aspects of launching, growing and expanding businesses and organizations are taught, providing a broad skill-set for business and also providing highly customized paths for a variety of business contexts, including new ventures, franchises, corporate ventures, local and international companies. The program also teaches the students how to decompose complex situations, identify critical choices confronting the enterprise, and make high-risk/high reward decisions with limited data.
Objectives of the Entrepreneurship Ph.D. program
- Facilitating entrepreneurial knowledge through research, teaching, and practice.
- To provide necessary training in writing and presentation skills that enable students to communicate with business partners, consumers, clients, and employers effectively.
- To nurture a sense of ethics and social responsibility that prepares students to be visionary local and global business leaders.
Ph.D. Degree in Entrepreneurship
The Ph.D. program in Entrepreneurship requires completion of 42 credits, a set of core courses ( 12 credits), specialty courses (6 credits) chosen from one of the specialty course tables and a Ph.D. thesis ( 24 credits). The main emphasis of the program is on the successful completion of an original and independent research project written and defended as a dissertation.
Comprehensive Exam should be taken at most at the end of the 4th semester and is required before a student could defend the Ph.D. proposal. Students will have two chances to pass the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam. If students receive an evaluation of “unsatisfactory” on their first Comprehensive Exam attempt, the student may retake the qualifier once more. A second failure will result in termination from the program. The Comprehensive Exam is designed to ensure that the student has the potential to conduct doctoral-level research.
The Ph.D. proposal must contain Specific Aims, Research Design and Methods, and Proposed Work and Timeline. In addition, the proposal must also contain a bibliography and, as attachments, any publications/supplementary materials. The student must defend their thesis proposal to their committee in an oral exam.
A student should choose a thesis advisor (and one or two co-advisors if required) within the first year of being in the Ph.D. program, approved by the Faculty committee. In the second year, a thesis committee suggested by the advisor alongside by the Ph.D. proposal should be handed over for approval. The thesis committee should consist of a minimum of five faculty members. Two members of thesis committee should be from the other Universities at the Associate Professor level. Not later than the end of the 5th semester, a student has to present and defend a written Ph.D. proposal.
A student is expected to meet with his/her thesis committee at least once a year to review the research progress. At the beginning of each university calendar year, each student and the student’s advisor are required to submit an evaluation assessment of the student’s progress, outlining past year accomplishments and plans for the current year. The thesis committee reviews these summaries and sends the student a letter summarizing their status in the program. Students who are failing to make satisfactory progress are expected to correct any deficiencies and move to the next milestone within one year. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.
Within 4 years after entering the Ph.D. program, the student is expected to complete the thesis research; the student must have the results of the research accepted or published in peer-reviewed journals. Upon submitting a written thesis and public defense and approval by the committee, the student is awarded the Ph.D. degree. The defense will consist of (1) a presentation of the dissertation by the graduate student, (2) questioning by the general audience, and (3) closed-door questioning by the dissertation committee. The student will be informed of the exam result at the completion of all three parts of the dissertation defense. All members of the committee must sign the final report of the doctoral committee and the final version of the dissertation.
A minimum GPA of 16 over 20 must be maintained for graduation.
Leveling Courses (not applicable to the degree)
The Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship assumes a Master degree in related fields. However, students holding master degree besides will be required to complete leveling courses that are designed to provide a background for the Ph.D. courses. These leveling courses are decided by the faculty committee and are not counted for graduate credits towards the Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship.