Curriculum Choose the right area of study for your interests

The Paul Merage School of Business doctoral program coursework in Phase I will consist of both Area- and School-wide courses. The area faculty determine the area's course requirements.

Students have the opportunity to choose from an array of available courses offered through the Merage School, UC Irvine department schools or at other UC campuses as part of the Intercampus Exchange program.

Doctoral Courses

Each area within The Paul Merage School of Business offers 4-8 units of PhD-level courses annually which are deemed separate from the School-wide courses directly offered by the PhD program as a whole. Students are required to take at least 8 units in their area of specialization. Students from other areas with related interests are welcomed and encouraged to take these seminars. See the appendix for the course descriptions of these classes, which will generally be offered every other year.

  • 291-AC1:  Capital Markets Research in Accounting (4 units)
  • 291-AC2:  Theoretical & Empirical Research in Managerial Accounting (2 units)
  • 291-AC3:  Research Methods in Accounting (4 units) 
  • 291-AC4:  Contemporary Accounting Topics including Managerial Theory (2 units)         
  • 291-AC5:  Behavioral Accounting Research in Capital Markets (4 units)
  • 291-AC6:  Tax Research in Accounting (4 units)
  • 291-AC7:  Special Topics in Accounting (2 units)
  • 291-AC8:  Contemporary Accounting Topics (2 units)

  • 291-FN1:  Advanced Topics in Corporate Finance (2 units)            
  • 291-FN2:  Advanced Topics in Investments (4 units)
  • 291-FN3:  Behavioral Finance (4 units)
  • 291-FN4:  Finance Research Methodology (4 units)
  • 291-FN5:  Current Topics in Finance (2 units)

  • 291-IS1:  Governance, Management & Impact (2 units)
  • 291-IS2:  Seminar on Digital Business (2 units)
  • 291-IS3:  Economic Theory in IS (2 units)
  • 291-IS4:  Pricing Strategies for Information Goods (2 units)

  • 291-MK1: PhD Seminar in Marketing Models (2 units)
  • 291-MK2: PhD Seminar in Marketing Management and Strategy (3 units)
  • 291-MK3: PhD Seminar in Consumer Behavior (2 units)
  • 291-MK4: PhD Seminar in Marketing Models of Perception, Preference and Choice (2 units)
  • 291-MK5: PhD Seminar in Marketing and Culture (2 units)
  • 291-MK6: PhD Seminar in Perception, Judgment and Choice (2 units)
  • 291-MK7: PhD Seminar in Marketing Theory and Foundations (2 units)
  • 291-MK8: PhD Seminar in Models of Consumer and Managerial Decisions (2 units)
  • 291-MK9: PhD Seminar in Affect and Cognition (2 units) 

  • 291-OD1:  Stochastic Models in Operations & Decisions (2 units)
  • 291-OD2:  Research Seminars in Supply Chain Management (2 units)
  • 291-OD3:  Optimization Modeling & Methodology, Part 1: Nonlinear Programming (2 units)
  • 291-OD4:  Optimization Modeling & Method., Part 2: Integer & Network Program (2 units)
  • 291-OD5:  Game Theory and Its Applications in Supply Chain Management (4 units)
  • 291-OD6:  Large Scale Optimization (2 units)
  • 291-OD7:  Network Models and Application (4 units)
  • 291-OD8:  Stochastic Programming (2 units)
  • 291-OD9:  Convex Math Programming: Optimization & Decomposition (4 units)
  • 291-OD10:  Nonlinear Optimization (2 units)

  • 291-OB1: Foundations of Organizational Behavior, Part 1 (2 units) 
  • 291-OB2: Foundations of Organizational Behavior, Part 2 (2 units)
  • 291-OT1: Foundations of Organizational Theory (4 units)
  • 291-OB3: Current Debates in Organizational Behavior (2 units)

  • 291-ST1:  PhD Seminar in Strategy Content- Part 1 (2 units)
  • 291-ST2:  PhD Seminar in Strategy Content- Part 2 (2 units)
  • 291-ST3:  PhD Seminar in Strategy Process (2 units) 
  • 291-ST4:  PhD Seminar in Topics in Strategy (2 units)
  • 291-ST5:  PhD Seminar in Topics in Strategic Mgmt- Part 2 (2 units)

School-Wide Courses

297A DOCTORAL PROSEMINAR for first year PhD students (2 units)
The purpose of this course is to prepare incoming PhD students for various aspects of academic life as they pertain to a university-based research/teaching career in areas relating to the broad fields of management and business. The course will provide opportunities for students to learn about trends in management education and scholarship and to examine the key components that can contribute to academic achievement and career success.

297B-SW UNIVERSITY TEACHING (Teaching Development) (0 units)

  • to ensure that our PhD students are adequately prepared to assume academic teaching responsibilities upon completion of their programs;  
  • to ensure that Merage School students who teach courses here at UC Irvine are adequately prepared to do so effectively.

The primary component of the course is a series of seminars designed to foster a well-rounded set of teaching skills and competencies. The seminar series is offered on a two-year schedule, with 8-12 seminars over each two-year cycle (4-6 each year). Students are required to attend 6 different seminars to complete part of the program. Enrollment should be in the second year in the quarter in which the course is offered, although attendance at seminars in the prior year will be required.

The second component is recommended to ensure that every student, prior to completing the doctoral degree, has spent some time teaching in the classroom. Some students have gained this teaching experience prior to entry to the program by having taught courses at the college/university level. You may gain this valuable experience while in the doctoral program by teaching a lower division Merage School class in the undergraduate program during the academic year or undergraduate classes at all levels (Freshman-Senior) during summer school or guest lecturing in a MBA classes on a few occasions under the supervision of a faculty member from the student’s area (normally the student’s advisor). The mentoring faculty member would assume the responsibility for planning the class guest lectures with the student, attending the classes, and providing constructive feedback to the student afterwards.


These courses are offered on a menu system (Research Methods Menu and Theoretical Breadth Menu).

All doctoral students are required to take four breadth courses (for at least 16 units total). Breadth courses are defined as the following:  

  • Courses on the School-wide menus (Research Methods Menu and Theoretical Breadth Menu)
  • PhD-level courses offered by areas other than the student’s area of specialization
  • PhD-level courses outside the Merage School as approved by the area faculty/advisor

Of the four breadth courses, one must be from the Theoretical Breadth Menu, and a second one must be from the Research Methods Menu. The two other courses can be a combination from the Theoretical Breadth Menu and/or the Research Methods Menu and/or PhD-level courses offered by areas other than the student’s area of specialization within the Merage School and/or PhD-level courses outside the School. 

School-Wide Research Methods (SWM) Menu – All students are required to take at least one 4-unit course from the schedule of courses being offered. Courses on this menu could include the following, which are generally 4 units and offered every other year:

  • 297M: SAS Boot Camp (2 units)
    This course is designed to teach you the basics of SAS programming for empirical research. We will start from the most basic SAS data steps and procedures. Therefore, no prior knowledge of SAS, or other computer programming language, is required. However, the course will be fast paced. Make sure you keep up with the course materials, which will require you to spend a lot of time on SAS programming between two class meetings. We will cover a wide range of topics. By the end of the course, you will have the knowledge and tools to replicate an empirical study and easily learn on your own how to perform very advanced data procedures.
  • 297F-SWM: Doctoral Research Methods (4 units)
    An introduction to the fundamentals of social science research: theory development, research design, methods, data management, and writing for scholarly publications; for doctoral students intending scholarly research careers. Involves hands-on practice in formulating hypotheses, designing research, and conducting journal reviews.
  • 297G-SWM: Qualitative Research(4 units)
    Course focuses on qualitative research techniques for management. A hands-on course that includes in-depth/long interviews, visual research methods, participant/non-participant observation, verbal protocols, constructing field notes, multi-media approaches for data gathering and analyses.
  • 297H-SWM: Experimental Design(4 units)
    Advanced course provides experience in planning and implementing an experiment or quasi-experiment, including choice of topic, study design, data analysis, and manuscript preparation. Data analysis topics include ANOVA, ANCOVA, repeated measures, logistic regression, chi-square, and tests of mediation.
  • 297I-SWM: Applied Multivariate Statistics (4 units)
    Provides an overview of the most common techniques for multivariate analysis: principal component analysis, factor analysis, cluster analysis, MANOVA, regression with continuous variables, and regression with discrete variables.
  • 297J-SWM: Applied Econometrics & Research Methods (4 units)
    Helps students to be more knowledgeable consumers and producers of empirical research. Reviews econometric techniques and research designs used by applied microeconomists. Attention to practical issues that arise when analyzing data.
  • 297K-SWM: Advanced Qualitative Methods (4 units, cross listed with School of Social Ecology PP&D 213)
    Planning Policy and Design PP&D 213 Advanced Qualitative Methods: Analyzing Qualitative Data. Introduces students to the theory and practice of analyzing qualitative data. Students must have already learned about data collection and research design for qualitative research and they must have qualitative data they can analyze in the course. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor. Same as Political Science 273A and Sociology 223.
  • 297L-SWM: Writing for Scholarly Publication (4 units)
    This course introduces methods for planning and carrying out scholarly writing. What you publish will largely determine the course of your career. This course will help you (i) understand the publication process in your area, (ii) overcome standard problems in scholarly writing, and (iii) edit to make a more compelling and readable paper. The course will involve exercises, many of which will include rewriting your current work to make it clearer and more exciting. The course is suitable for students of any writing ability – we can all improve our writing.
  • 291-SWM: Structural Equation Modeling (4 units)
    This course introduces to students the basic concepts, methods and computing tools of structural equation modeling. Emphasis will be placed on developing a working familiarity with some of the common statistical procedures, coupled with their application through the use of statistical software including LISREL and R. Reading materials: Rex B. Kline 2005 Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling, Guilford Press, E. Kevin Kelloway 1998 Using LISREL for Structural Equation Modeling, Sage Publications, Ken Bollen 1989 Structural Equations with Latent Variables, Wiley, Alex Liu 2009 Building Structural Equation Models in Social Science, RM
  • 291-SWM: Collaborative Governance and Public Management (4 units, same as PP&D 283)
    Planning Policy and Design PP&D 283 Collaborative Governance and Public Management. Introduction to inclusive management. To make effective use of public resources, public managers are inventing ways of managing that alter relationships within organizations, between organizations, between sectors, and with the public. Requires rethinking fundamentals such as leadership and motivation.

School-wide Theoretical (SWT) Breadth Menu – All students are required to take at least one 4-unit course from the schedule of courses being offered. School-wide courses are Listed under Miscellaneous in the Catalyst schedule, rather than under the area of the faculty member teaching the course; and are scheduled and approved by the Doctoral Program Director in consultation with the PhD Program Committee, then the Senior Associate Dean. These courses could include the following, which are generally 4 units and are offered every other year: 

  • 291-SWT: Social Media (4 units)
    This is a review course of Social Media with the following emphasis: What are Social Media and what are the Social media practices and applications relevant for research?

    Some Expected Outcomes: Familiarity with the major social media theories how they can relate to modern digital practices, Learn methods to investigate this new digital media and how those methods can apply to understanding business/social practices, Deepen our understanding of the role of social participation and inclusion in the social worlds, Learn about socio/business cultural structures of society, What technical tools are necessary to engage in social media? What are the challenges facing the social media world?
  • 297Q-SWT: Game-theoretic Models for Management Research (4 units) 
    This course introduces some classic game-theoretic models used in research on management/business problems. In particular, it focuses on how to analytically model interactions between business competitors and/or partners to gain an understanding of their competitive and/or cooperative business strategies on, e.g., pricing, alliances, e-commerce, negotiations, and contracts, etc. Given the nature of these interactions between different business entities, both non-cooperative and cooperative game theoretic models will be discussed in this course. A combination of lectures on fundamental models and methodologies by the instructor and in-class presentations and discussions of carefully selected articles by students will be conducted throughout the course. The target audience would be those doctoral students who are interested in applications of game theory in various research areas, e.g., marketing, operations management, and information systems, etc.  
  • 297R-SWT: Theories of Power and Empowerment (4 units, cross listed with Social EcologyPlanning Policy and Design PP&D 279 Theories of Power and Empowerment).
    Studies different ways of thinking about power and its uses. Explores theories of power that inform various notions of empowerment, including resistance, participatory democracy, and workplace empowerment. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor. Same as Political Science 223A and Sociology 271. 
  • 297S-SWT: Information Economics 
    Designed to provide doctoral students in the Merage School with an overview of the basics of information economics, so the students can readily access the literature in their areas based on this key reference discipline. 
  • 297T-SWT: Decision Theory (4 units)
    Decision theories and preference models: How models are elicited or theories are experimentally tested, relevance to different management research areas, alternative theories, applications in management practice, and interpretations for the general public.
  • 297U-SWT:  Foundational Theories of Organizations (4 units)
    Covers major economic and sociological perspectives guiding the study of organizations (ie. transaction cost economics, agengy theory, institutional theories, organizational ecology, network and diffusion theories, behavioral theories, resource dependence), and examines how different theoretical perspectives are tested. 
  • 297V-SWT:  Information, Psychology and Social Processes (2 units)
    In the marketplace for ideas, which succeed and which fail? How do ideas and information spread between individuals, and how do populations of ideas evolve? This course reviews recent research on these issues and applications to business.
  • 297D-SWT: Philosophy of Science (4 units)
    The course is designed to give PhD students a first exposure to some fundamental issues regarding how knowledge is created, defended and replaced both in the natural and social sciences.  You will also be exposed to some current debates on (a) whether the term, "scientific" means the attainment of some transcendental truth or it is merely one of the many ways of looking at the world, and (b) how valid is the so-called scientific method for studying social/behavioral disciplines. Much of our management theory and practice is rooted in philosophical foundations of one sort or another, and it may be necessary for us to review those underlying assumptions as a way to organize our own thinking.