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The Operations Management PhD Comprehensive Exam Requirements

Students entering the PhD Program with the Operations Management specialization are subject to the Operations Management PhD Comprehensive Exam Requirements. Excluded from the below outline are the University and Faculty requirements for completion of the PhD Degree, which remain in effect in addition to the Operations Management PhD Comprehensive Exam Requirement.

The PhD Comprehensive Examination requirements consist of three parts.

  1. Operations Management Requirement: To satisfy the Operations Management requirement, every doctoral student is required to pass Operations Strategy course in his/her first year in the PhD program. If this course is not offered in their first year, then an equivalent course that will substitute Operations Strategy will be announced to the doctoral students in advance.
  2. Methodology Requirement: The evaluation of the doctoral students on this requirement will be conducted in a closed book and in-class exam format. The duration of the exam is 4 hours. The examination consists of two parts each having the same weight.
    (a) Deterministic part:
    Questions in this part examine the doctoral students in the area of deterministic methodologies at the level of the following reference textbook: Introduction to Linear optimization by Bertsimas and Tsitsiklis, ISBN: 978-1-886529-19-9. Following chapters are excluded from the examination: Chapters 8, 9, and 12.
    (b) Stochastic part: Questions in this part examine the doctoral students in the area of stochastic methodologies at the level of the following reference textbook: Introduction to Probability Models by Ross, 7th edition, ISBN: 978-0125984751. Following chapters are excluded from the examination: Chapters 7, 9, and 10.
    The above-mentioned two textbooks are completely sufficient to prepare for the exam. In addition, the doctoral students are strongly encouraged to customize their course selection decisions in their first year to improve their understanding in these fields.
    This exam is administered by the Graduate Student Advisor of Operations Management Area and offered to the doctoral students near the end of their first year of the PhD program (i.e., approximately two weeks before the end of their first summer). In every fall semester, the graduate student advisor of Operations Management Area holds a tutorial session with the first year doctoral students and informs them about the details of the methodology exam.
  3. Specialization Requirement: The evaluation of the doctoral students on this requirement is conducted in a closed-book and in-class exam format. Upon the successful completion of the methodology requirement, every doctoral student is required to form a Phase II Advisory Committee that will administer the exam according to the student’s area of specialization. At the beginning of the second winter term, the Phase II Committee provides the doctoral student with an agreed list of articles and texts to prepare for this exam.
    This exam is offered to the doctoral students near the end of their second winter semester in the PhD program (i.e., approximately two weeks before the winter semester ends).

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