Annual Conference

The PhD Project Annual Conference

March 20-21, 2025


The PhD Project’s Annual Conference is our flagship event, that takes place in Chicago, IL.

During the conference, we give prospective doctoral students a realistic look at every phase of the PhD journey as well as an opportunity to network with current doctoral students, business school representatives, professors and partner organizations — all in one place.

Apply Now

Conference Application

The deadline to submit your completed application is November 30, 2024, by 12 midnight ET.
Prospective doctoral students are invited to apply to The PhD Project’s exclusive annual conference, designed for historically underrepresented individuals considering business doctoral studies.
If selected to attend, The PhD Project will cover your travel and hotel expenses.

Who can apply?
To be eligible for the annual conference, you must:
-Identify as Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic American, or Native American/Canadian Indigenous.
-Be a United States citizen, permanent resident (possessing a Green Card), DACA recipient, or Jay Treaty-eligible.
-Be in your senior year of college at the time of the conference or already hold at least an undergraduate degree.

For past attendees:
If it has been 5 years or more since your last attendance at a PhD Project Conference and you wish to attend again, you may submit an application for review. However, if selected, you will be responsible for covering your hotel and travel costs.

Once you click the “Apply Now” button, you’ll have the option to Submit or Save your application. Choosing Submit finalizes your submission for review, while selecting Save allows you to complete the application later. For any questions about the application process, please email us at

*The PhD Project places the highest priority on the health and safety of our members, partners and affiliates. All our events follow health and safety guidance from relevant government and public health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and International SOS (ISOS).


Considering a PhD in business, have questions about how to get started, is the GMAT required, or how do I get support along the doctoral program? Check out these frequently asked questions for answers.

If you are someone who loves learning, generating new ideas, and setting your own agenda you may want to seriously consider pursuing a doctoral degree in business. While all academicians can make their mark in a field, those in business have the opportunity to influence both the educational and the corporate sectors. Click here to find out how Academia can help your Work/Life Balance.

Not at all! Many of the Ph.D.’s who have come through The PhD Project, have done so after spending a significant period of time in another career. Doctoral students come in all ages – from recent college graduates to mid-career professionals. Click here to listen about making the switch to academia after an extensive corporate career.

No. The PhD Project is a network of Black/African Americans, Hispanic/Latinx and Native Americans/Canadian Indigenous (U.S. citizens, permanent U.S. residents, or DACA recipients) who are interested in getting more information about business doctoral programs. The network is comprised of current doctoral students, faculty and doctoral program directors who help provide access to information and resources about doctoral studies in the business area.

The PhD Project hosts an annual conference each March (see Why Should I Attend The PhD Project Annual Conference?) for those considering business doctoral studies, as well as 5 discipline-specific conferences each summer for PhD Project Doctoral Student and Faculty Alumni Associations.

Take advantage of the information contained in this website – be inspired by the Member Stories, read about The PhD Project In the News, and apply to attend the annual PhD Project Conference.

Click here to view our webinar: A Path to a Business PhD. This will answer many of your questions regarding this process and whether or not you should apply to our annual conference.

The PhD Project Conference is a 2-Day event and held each March in Chicago. The conference provides a rare networking and information gathering opportunity for Black/African Americans, Latinx/Hispanic Americans and Native Americans/Canadian Indigenous (U.S. Citizens, Permanent U.S. Residents, or DACA recipients) interested in pursuing a business Ph.D. to become a business school professor.

The conference is invitation only. There is an application, which must be completed and submitted for consideration. All applications are reviewed by heads of doctoral programs. If you are invited, The PhD Project will pay for your round-trip airfare (domestic travel only), and your hotel stay for 1 night during the conference.

Deadline to apply is November 30, 2024 at midnight EST. 

No. An MBA degree is not required for admission to doctoral programs. Only a Bachelor’s degree is required. See Alternative Paths below to a Doctorate to learn about the various approaches to getting your Doctorate.

Yes, the GMAT is required for admission to doctoral programs. For more information visit their website at

While the GMAT is still the predominant test used for business program applications, the GRE is becoming increasingly accepted – both in the number of schools that accept it (more than 1100 as of June 2014) and the number of applicants who submit GRE scores for consideration (almost 10% of all applicants for MBA programs in 2013; no data was available for PhD programs).

GMAT vs. GRE  Comparison Tool



BYU, NYU and Wharton offer programs to help prepare for business doctoral studies. For more information on these programs, visit Doctoral Resources

Applications for most doctoral programs are due in January, and offers of admission are usually announced in March.

If you are seriously considering teaching at the university level as a tenure-track professor, you should attend a full-time doctoral program at an AACSB accredited business school (see Participating Universities.) Although, part-time and on-line programs are available, students of these programs are not eligible for membership in The PhD Project Doctoral Students Association.

Visit for information and advice on developing a winning SoP.

Unlike undergraduate and graduate schools, most business doctoral programs waive tuition and fees. In addition, almost all doctoral granting institutions offer compensated research and or teaching assistantships. Although The PhD Project does not offer any funding to doctoral students, additional sources of funding can be obtained from private foundations and government agencies.

First-year compensation varies widely by discipline and hiring institution and can range from just below $150,000 to well over $200,000 for a 9-month salary, with the opportunity for substantial additional compensation for summer research and teaching assignments.

Once accepted into a full-time, accredited business doctoral program, students who meet the eligibility requirements are invited to join The PhD Project Doctoral Students Associations (DSAs). These associations were created in 1994 by The PhD Project to sustain a high level of commitment and a sense of connection among minority business doctoral students. There are now five minority doctoral students associations covering all the major areas of business education: AccountingFinance & Economics, Information Systems & SciencesManagement and Marketing.

On average, doctoral programs in business take four to six years to complete.

Most schools do not required educational training or work experience in business prior to applying to a business doctoral program.  The educational backgrounds of business doctoral students vary and include:

  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Operations
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Business doctoral programs prepare individuals for careers as professors. Usually, an MBA is sufficient preparation for individuals planning to pursue a career in industry.

Read about the different doctor of business administration degrees and learn which one is right for you.

Doctor of Philosophy in Business (PhD)

PhD programs in business focus intensively on preparing candidates to conduct highly specialized scholarly research. They focus on the development of new theory in management, economics, and related fields. Most PhD graduates lead careers as university researchers and professors or as senior researchers in business or government.

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs focus on the application of theory rather than on the development of new theory. While also intended to prepare graduates for academic careers, the Doctor of Business Administration, by virtue of its focus on application of theory, has more practical application in managerial settings than the PhD.



The DBA and PhD degrees are very similar in other respects. The DBA and PhD are “academically equivalent.” Both entail rigorous courses of study with a heavy emphasis on research. Students must write and defend a doctoral dissertation, in addition to taking a comprehensive exam.

The DBA and PhD are generally designed to prepare students for academic careers, either in teaching or research or both. There is no hard and fast rule about which degree you need in order to be hired by a university, but there are some basic trends:

  • In some parts of the country, schools are now requiring that faculty members entering tenure track positions hold a terminal degree (i.e.: a doctorate) in business. A DBA or PhD satisfies this requirement, while a doctorate in education (EdD) does not.
  • Accreditation matters. AACSB-accredited schools generally – though not universally– hire individuals with doctorates from other AACSB-accredited schools. In those cases where an AACSB-accredited school hires someone with a Doctor of Business Administration from a regionally-accredited institution, the quality of the research the individual has published is often the deciding factor.