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Duke's Operations Management group seeks, creates, and conveys knowledge about the production and distribution of goods and services around the globe.

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Operations Management Ph.D. Program


Operations Management concerns the processes used to produce goods and services. It includes the problems faced in managing a single plant, but also those entailed in coordinating the activities of several organizations.
Examples of research topics in Operations Management include operations strategy, supply chain design and control, inventory management, production scheduling, service operations, industrial contracting, dynamic pricing, behavioral operations, and supply-chain sustainability issues.
The main purpose of the doctoral program in Operations Management is to train individuals in the pursuit of original research in the field. Although the program is primarily designed to prepare for academic careers, some of our graduates choose consulting or other industry positions. Our goals are to provide the necessary skills and tools for conducting scholarly research and to instill and cultivate the desire and ability to think conceptually, carefully and creatively about operations issues.
A major portion of the program is the preparation of a doctoral dissertation, which is written under the close supervision of a faculty member. Preparatory course work is used to develop the necessary methodological tools as well as to provide an understanding of problems and issues in the application area.
Candidates with a relevant master’s degree can expect to complete the program in three to four years. Those with a bachelor’s degree normally take four to five years.

Program Overview

Year 1
            Phase I exam: Deterministic and stochastic exams
Year 2
            Continued coursework
            Phase II exam: Second-year paper
Year 3
            Possible coursework in the first term
            Engagement in research activities
            Advancement to candidacy
Year 4
            Continued research
            Oral examination

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