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The Doctoral Program is a selective course of study for students who plan to pursue scholarly careers in management. It matches future scholars with some of the most renowned faculty in their fields. Since only a handful of students are admitted each year, the program's small size allows for close interaction between PhD candidates and faculty. Students and faculty members frequently collaborate on research projects and scholarly papers.

The program takes anywhere from three to five years for a candidate to complete, although three years is rare. Study first focuses on the core underlying disciplines, followed by a course developed in consultation with senior faculty and the Director of Graduate Studies that includes coursework both at Yale SOM and around Yale, research, and preparation for the qualifying exam in the chosen specialization.  Yale SOM is tightly integrated with Yale University, allowing students to study across the university, providing key skills and a different perspective on the complex problems at the heart of management and organizational phenomena.