Simon Business School

Operations Management professor Greg Dobson teaching a class - 730 x 400

Operations Management

The operations of a firm involve the acquisition of productive resources by it, their configuration into a productive system, and their utilization in producing goods and services. These activities require decision making at strategic, planning, and scheduling levels. Operations Management is concerned with formulating and solving such decision problems. On the one hand, this demands the realistic modeling of these decision problems; on the other, the solution to the problem requires a knowledge of the relevant methodology and, very often, the development of new theory and techniques. Our program stresses a balanced approach to the subject. Students are expected to understand the real context within which operational decisions are made, and to develop skills in modeling these problems. The emphasis is on the study of complex, large-scale systems needing integrated solutions.

First Year Outline

The first year is designed to provide students solid training in mathematical programming and probalistic modeling, and to develop analytic and research skills while introducing them to the basic issues faced by operations mangers. Students are expected to achieve an A- or better in five required courses, and achieve a B+ in all other courses.  Students will begin pursuing research during the summer of their first year.  By the end of the spring term of their first year, students should pick two research questions.  By the end of the summer term of their first year, students should deliver initial drafts of the papers addressing these questions.  The initial drafts will be evaluated.  Successful completion of the initial drafts requirement constitutes passing the Preliminary Exam.

Second Year Outline

The second year is novel for doctoral programs in operations management. Students work on two individual research topics in conjunction with the faculty. These papers provide the bridge from class work to research. These papers are due by June 30 of the second year, successful completion of this paper constitutes passing the Qualifying Exam in Operations Management. In addition, students will gain depth in the Operations Management courses and seminars. Students are also required to write a second year paper, due by November 30 of the third year. This paper is usually a more in-depth version of one of the papers used for the qualifying exam.

Students are required to pass a Qualifying Exam in thier minor field of study by the fall of their third year.

Third Year and Beyond

Students continue to take PhD seminars in OMG and should complete all the minor requirements. The students must work with faculty advisors to determine additional courses that might be beneficial to their training.

Advancement to Candidacy

This is achieved at the end of the fourth year after completing 90 credit hours, and passing the Preliminary and Qualifying Exams.  These credit hours include research credits for GBA595 and GBA999.  Students become PhD candidates by receiving a recommendation from the Operations Management area coordinator.

Thesis Proposal and Defense

Students are expected to submit their research papers, with a faculty advisor and committee approval, for a Thesis Proposal by the fall of their fourth year. Students are expected to defend their thesis by the end of their fifth year.




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