Doctoral

Frequently Asked Questions

Joining the program

  1. Is there an orientation for doctoral students?

    Yes, there is a one-day orientation for new doctoral students, which provides lots of useful information about critical contact people in the college, registration, and how to set up accounts, among various other topics. Attendance to the orientation is mandatory. As part of the management department’s brown bag series there will also be a “Welcome new doctoral students” lunch, which is a great opportunity for new doctoral students to meet the faculty and the current doctoral students.

  2. Who can answer additional academic or administrative questions after the orientation?

    Your first contact person for academic or administrative questions is your department’s doctoral coordinator. The doctoral coordinator may refer students to Calyon Lewis, our Department Business Administrator, for any specific administrative procedures.

  3. Do management students attend the “quant boot camp” prior to starting the program?

    The management department does not require new doctoral students to attend this workshop because its content is geared toward finance, accounting, and modeling.

Finances

  1. What kind of stipends do doctoral students receive?

    Accepted doctoral students are hired as Instructional Assistants (also called RAs - Research Assistants) for 20 hours a week for four years and receive competitive year-round stipends of $33,000, approximately. This includes a $2,100 per month stipend (on a 12-month basis), a university fellowship during the first two years ($3600), and teaching compensation thereafter ($3,000 per course). All these amounts are on a pre-tax basis. Students receive a tuition waiver for four years (less student-paid fees).

  2. Do students get health insurance?

    Doctoral students have two options for health insurance: they may purchase their own insurance, or they may choose the university’s insurance (HealthSelect Blue Cross Blue Shield). In the first case, students receive a $150 stipend per month and are free to make their own decisions about what insurance to buy. In the second case, the cost of the university’s insurance is $185 (for member only), but students receive the $150 stipend so that they only pay the difference. In terms of the insurance for the summer, students receive the $150 summer stipends in advance in April and May ($450/2=$225).

    The following table lists the options available under the university’s plan:

  3. Member only $180.26
    Member & Children $387.18
    Member & Spouse $489.30
    Member & Family $696.23
  4. Do doctoral students need to make tuition payments every semester?

    Every semester doctoral students need to pay tuition and fees before they are due. Tuition will be reimbursed within one to two months. It is recommended to have a “fund” of $5,000 designated for paying the tuition every semester. Students could pay tuition from this fund, get it reimbursed, and then use this fund again for the next semester’s tuition and so on. The student’s out-of-pocket costs every semester, including the summer semester will be about $1,000 in non-reimbursable student fees. “Emergency loans” (also known as “bridge loans”) are an option available online to students every semester when they log in to make the tuition payments. These loans are due in 90 days (3 months).

  5. What does GATF stand for?

    The Graduate Assistant Tuition Fellowship (GATF) is the tuition reimbursement award that doctoral students receive for four years, up to about $12, 233, depending on tuition actually charged. Tuition reimbursement beyond the fourth year is unlikely to occur.

  6. Where could students get additional information about student loans?

    Student loans are available at the Welcome Center – Financial Office.

  7. Can students have another full-time or part-time job while in the doctoral program?

    RAs may not have another full-time or part-time position. Students may leave their RA position and accept another job after they are at the dissertation proposal stage of the program. In such cases, students will lose their RA income and their GATF fellowship (tuition waiver) and they will be responsible for paying all courses and fees. Historically, we have found that students who leave early have great difficulty finishing, so we strongly discourage all students from working any additional jobs until they have graduated with their Ph.D.’s.

Computers, supplies, and parking

  1. Do doctoral students get computer equipment and supplies from the college?

    The Department of Management provides laptop computers for all new students. Also, each student office is equipped with a laser printer for students to share. Students typically receive their laptops by Sept. 1. Students are also given an allocation of toners per office. When the limit is reached, students need to purchase their own toners. Paper is available in the work room. The expectation is that students will be frugal and judicious in their use of paper. In addition, students can print up to 500 pages per semester for free at the UH library. Students can also get an additional 500 pages at the computer labs at the East side of the library exterior (the Learning Commons - facing the student center). Finally, 500 pages can also be printed at the Bauer computer labs; students need to open a Bauer Labs account to use these computers.

  2. What is the policy for the use of the photocopy machines in the department?

    Doctoral students receive an account number with a predetermined limit of photocopies. Once students reach the limit, they can pay $25 to Calyon to increase this amount.

  3. How do students get an internet account?

    Calyon Lewis, our Department Business Administrator, will be the contact person for students to get their Bauer email account.

  4. How do students get a parking permit?

    Student permits are available at uh.edu/parking. The cost of the permit is added to tuition, so students need a PeopleSoft number to apply for a permit.

  5. Do most doctoral students buy textbooks online, at the bookstore, or get used ones from other students?

    Textbooks are usually available at the UH bookstore, but it may be more affordable to get them online. There’s a search engine (www.addall.com) that allows students to compare book prices across several online vendors with just one search. Usually, only the statistics and research methods classes require textbooks and for the rest of the classes students receive a reading list of journal articles. Students tend to keep their books for future use in research projects.

Academics

  1. How do students decide in which courses to register?

    Students need to contact their Advisory Committee Chair to make these decisions. During the first year in the doctoral program, the departmental doctoral coordinator serves the role of the advisory committee. By the end of the first year, students should form an advisory committee following the specifications described in the departmental policies.

  2. What types of jobs do RAs do?

    RA work incorporates the entire spectrum of research activities. On one side, students may help professors with photocopies or trips to the library. On the other side, students may become coauthors of their professors in research projects and contribute to the theory and/or methods part of a journal submission. Other typical activities of RAs are data collection, data entry, and literature searches. The research assignment typically does not include teaching assistance for their assigned professor, with the exception of helping to proctor mass undergraduate sections for the department.

  3. What is the selection process for an advisor? How much flexibility does a student have in choosing topics?

    We encourage students to seek out faculty and ask about areas of expertise and interest and to use the entire department as a resource as they pursue their PhD. Students invite faculty to be their advisor of the research practicum, chair of their advisory committee, or chair of their dissertation committee. The management faculty tends to honor those requests when possible. The student’s topic is not tied to the advisor’s area of research, but the more aligned the interests the better the synergy in the collaboration. RA assignments are made by the doctoral coordinator with consultation by the department chair. When making assignments an attempt is always made to match the interests of the doctoral student with the interest of the faculty member, however this is not always possible.

  4. How can students find more information about the preliminary exam and the comprehensive exam?

    The departmental doctoral policy and the college doctoral policy are a rich source of information about the exams. Senior doctoral students and advisory committee chairs can also provide additional information.

  5. When do students start taking dissertation hours?

    When doctoral students finish all their coursework, they need to take nine hours of dissertation credits while they study for comprehensive exams. These hours do not need to be with their eventual dissertation chair. In the semester after students pass their comps, they register for nine dissertation hours with their actual dissertation chair. Students need to take two years of dissertation hours (nine in the fall + nine in the spring + six in the summer, per year). Also, being an RA requires students to be full-time students and take nine dissertation hours in the fall/spring or six dissertation hours in the summer semesters. When students have enough dissertation hours and are not RAs anymore, they only need to take three dissertation hours per semester to meet the college’s continuous enrollment policy. As a general rule, students will be responsible for nine dissertation hours (six in the summer) until they are in the 5th year and then they can take three dissertation hours.

  6. When do doctoral students start looking for an academic job?

    Typically, students are in the job market after they have defended their dissertation proposal. In most cases this happens during the summer after the third year in the program. Many students use the placement services of the Academy of Management (http://www.aomonline.org/aom.asp?ID=5). A student’s dissertation chair and senior doctoral students are a great source of advice when preparing for the job market.

  7. How many papers do doctoral students typically publish before graduation?

    Graduating students tend to have one to two papers published, as well as several conference presentations in national conferences. With an invigorated push for research and more involvement of doctoral students in research, the expectation is that all students should be able to be successful researchers upon graduation. Please see Expectations page about specific research expectations for doctoral students.

  8. Do doctoral students receive funding for attending or presenting in conferences?

    Students need to check current departmental and college policies for conference funding. Students may get reimbursed for conference expenses when they present papers at national conferences or are on the job market.

  9. When should doctoral students start attending and submitting papers to national conferences?

    We encourage students to attend the Academy of Management meeting as many times as they can because this conference will be helpful to them to meet scholars and other doctoral students, learn about the academic profession, and prepare for future job searches, among many other learning opportunities. Doctoral students are strongly encouraged to submit their papers to national conferences such as the Academy of Management (deadline is in January) as early in the program as possible. For example, in the past, management students have collaborated with faculty members to submit first semester papers to conferences and have been successful in this pursuit. In these cases, students tended to choose topics that were aligned with a faculty member’s interest.

  10. Do doctoral students need to attend departmental colloquia, job talks, and student defenses?

    Yes, attendance to the colloquium series, job talks and student defenses is required since these activities are both learning and networking opportunities for doctoral students.

  11. Do doctoral students get feedback about their performance in the program?

    Yes, in addition to their grades and informal conversations with faculty members teaching their courses, doctoral students are evaluated every year by the doctoral coordinator, their advisory committee chair, or their dissertation committee chair depending on their year in the program. As specified by college policies, students receive an annual review letter by June 30th of each year. See Expectations page for information about specific research, teaching, and socialization expectations for doctoral students. To receive a positive annual review, students will need to meet these expectations.

Teaching

  1. What are the teaching responsibilities?

    All management doctoral students will teach at least one course typically after completing their coursework and comprehensive exam. Rather than being a TA or teacher’s assistant, the doctoral student is in charge of everything: syllabus, course preparation, exams, etc. Typically, the first class taught is “Introduction to Management.” Subsequent doctoral student teaching is at the discretion of the department chair and may fluctuate based on departmental needs. Thus, when subsequent teaching is needed, students may be asked to continue teaching the Introduction to Management, may be allowed to teach a different course, or may be allowed to create a new elective.

  2. Do students take classes that prepare them for their teaching assignment?

    The department will organize teaching workshops every year. In addition, one semester before teaching a class, students are required to audit the classes of the faculty member teaching that course.

Living in Houston

  1. Where do doctoral students live?

    A new building with loft-style apartments and mixed retail shops for students is now available next to the school of business: Calhoun Lofts. Affordable housing can also be found in many off-campus neighborhoods.

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