A Gies PhD begins your path to an academic future in business

Admission to the PhD program in the Department of Business Administration is based on a variety of academic accomplishments, including:

  • Educational goals
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Demonstrated success in research

Begin your path to a future in business academia by learning more about our admissions process.

PhD prerequisites

Prerequisites for the PhD program include:

  • The Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has established a minimum grade point average of 3.00/4.00 for admission.
  • An acceptable score on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is required. In some cases, scores from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) may be substituted.
  • Most students will enter with either an MBA or a related Masters Degree. A student entering without a Masters degree may be required to take additional courses.
  • All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit acceptable scores from the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). These scores are valid only for two years before the proposed term of entry. Graduate applicants are exempt only if they have completed at least two years of full-time study within five years of the proposed date of enrollment at the University of Illinois.
    • Please note that for international students, financial support is contingent upon the student being certified to teach by receiving a passing score on the speaking portion of either the TOEFL-iBT or the IELTS or the English Proficient Interview (EPI), administered on campus. These scores must be less than two years old from the date of entry. More information here.
  • Entering students must demonstrate a basic level of proficiency in Statistics.
  • In order to gain a PhD in Business Administration, each student must demonstrate some breadth in business-related disciplines: i.e., Microeconomics, Behavioral Sciences, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and Strategy.
    • The proficiency requirements can be demonstrated in a number of ways such as documentation of coursework in prior degree programs, relevant work experience, additional courses during the PhD program, and so on.
    • Students with no prior exposure to one or more of these areas may be advised to take senior undergraduate or MBA courses, as appropriate, in the summer prior to beginning to the PhD program, or during their time of study at Illinois.

Admissions deadlines and checklist

Students ordinarily are admitted to the doctoral program through the Illinois Graduate College for the fall semester.

Deadline: Applications are considered for Fall semester admission only. The application deadline for potential entry the subsequent Fall semester is December 15. For full consideration, all materials must be received by the specified deadline. No transfer credits are accepted.

Checklist: To apply, the department must receive all of the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Three letters of reference
  • Transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work
  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores (institution code 1836)
  • Scores of Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for all applicants whose native language is not English