Oklahoma State University, Spears

PhD in Business for Executives


Knowledge is most certainly power when it comes to business, which is why many executives are turning to professional education which offers industry-driven courses that bridge the gap between academia and real-world experience to further their careers.

Oklahoma State University offers a three year Executive PhD in Business degree designed to advance knowledge, enrich its students’ lives and ultimately stimulate economic development. The AACSB accredited program offers the same rigor and training as a traditional PhD program, but with the flexibility of an executive format. The program equips executives to take advantage of emerging opportunities by teaching them how to apply both quantitative and qualitative analysis to make data-driven decisions. Aside from the added value to their organizations, the graduates also become attractive to research institutions looking for faculty who can combine research skills with decades of real world experience.

"This was the only program that offered me a path to an AACSB accredited PhD while being able to continue to run my company. The professors were great teachers as well as nationally renowned researchers. The knowledge I gained helped me achieve my dream of teaching at the University of Texas"

Harlan Beverly, PhD
CEO of Key Ingredient and Assistant Director of Texas Venture Labs and Lecturer at the University of Texas

Our program attracts the best and brightest faculty from the Spears School of Business. Our faculty enjoy conducting research with our seasoned executives and access to some of the greatest companies in the world. We also regularly host global scholars and industry executives who are renowned experts in their fields to speak our students.

Our students come from many different states in the United States as well as Canada, Europe and Mexico and they come from many well-known organizations such as Fidelity Investments, Walmart, Deloitte and Touche, Wells Fargo, L-3 Communications, Frontier Airlines, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and also from entrepreneurial start-ups such as gg Simplexity Inc., Red Zone Marketing and ARDX.

An interesting phenomenon has occurred over the past couple of years. We have now graduated our first two Cohorts (2014 and 2015) and graduates have become very attractive to research universities who want faculty with the unique combination of an AACSB accredited PhD degree combined with years of real world experience. Many are being recruited by universities for jobs in academia and even tenure track positions. We have students and graduates working at the University of Texas, Texas Christian University, St. Edwards University, Tulane University, Point Park University, Ouachita Baptist University, The Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology, Harvard University as well as Oklahoma State University.

Monthly Residencies

Our program is offered in an executive format. Monthly mandatory residencies in Tulsa and Stillwater, Oklahoma during three years are required to complete the PH.D. in BUSINESS for EXECUTIVES program:

  1. Ten monthly residencies during the First year on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
    • Travel days are Wednesday and Sunday
  2. Nine monthly residencies during the Second year on Friday and Saturday
    • Travel days are Thursday and Sunday
  3. During the Third year, students will travel to Oklahoma to meet with their advisor to work on dissertation. Times will vary depending on your dissertation committee, but we estimate about four to six trips to Oklahoma

In between the residencies, our executive students engage in live, synchronous, online classes. This combines the benefits of face to face interaction with some of the best researchers in the world and their colleagues in the program, with the convenience of weekly online classes. This has proven to be the perfect combination for busy executives who want an AACSB accredited PhD in business.

  • Have a look here to see some VIDEOS about the Spears PhD for Executives
Teaching ModePart-Time
Tuition Fees

The total cost of the program if completed in three years is $120,000. Current tuition and fees for this program are $2,000 per credit hour (subject to change).

Please note that selected materials, books, meals and breaks are included in the cost of the program. Students are responsible for travel, lodging and miscellaneous.

Length3 Years
Application Deadline

Application Dates for Cohort 2017 (August 2017 – July 2020)
Regular Decision Application process completed by March 1, 2017

March 1: Complete the Graduate College and PH.D. in BUSINESS for EXECUTIVES Application https://www.applyweb.com/apply/oksugrad
March 15: Initial Screening, Invitation to Research Workshop
March 25: Register for Research Workshop
April 21: Research Workshop
May 22: Submit Research Proposal
June 5: Final Decision on Admission
June 19: Deadline to Accept Offer
August 2017: Welcome & Orientation – Cohort VI

Application Procedure

Admission Requirements

Requirements for potential PH.D. in BUSINESS for EXECUTIVES program candidates:

  • Master’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  • Extensive management experience
  • You are on an executive career path
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Comprehensive understanding of the strategic challenges faced by organizational leaders

*GMAT or GRE are not required to be admitted to the program

Application Process

To be reviewed for admission consideration, applicants must submit a complete application to the Graduate College consisting of the following:

  • An application for admission consideration: https://www.applyweb.com/apply/oksugrad
  • A non-refundable application fee.
  • One original transcript from each college or university attended
  • Cover letter, Current Resume, A Statement of Interest, Contact Information and 2 Letters of Recommendation