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Operations Management PhD Specialization

General Information

The Department of Information Systems & Operations Management (ISOM) supports two areas for doctoral study: Information Systems (IS) and Operations Management (OM). Both areas are designed for persons seeking academic and research careers.

The Operations Management area deals with the functional parts of an organization that produce goods and services. The curriculum in Operations Management focuses on the many changes that have occurred in recent years in the way that managers think, plan, and operate supply chains involving manufacturing and service activities. These changes have been driven by dramatic improvements in information technology, the growth and increasing accessibility of global markets, and the necessity to adapt to more sophisticated and quality conscious consumers.

Department Web Site
Operations Management Faculty

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree at an accredited university and should have a reasonable training in mathematics and economics. An admission committee of faculty members in the Information Systems and Operations Management Department reviews all completed applications. While the committee considers all relevant factors in its recommendations, important factors include past academic performance, GMAT scores (which are usually above 650 for successful applicants), and previous work experience. The GRE exam can be substituted for the GMAT but the GMAT is strongly preferred. In some cases we may request a personal interview.

Recommended Preparation Prior to Entry

It is assumed that students entering the operations management area are knowledgeable in advanced calculus, linear algebra, basic statistics, and a high level programming language. Any student who is deficient in these areas should consider taking appropriate courses prior to entering the program.

Operations Management Area Faculty Coordinator

Prof. Apurva Jain, Operations Management Area Faculty Coordinator, would be glad to answer your questions. Contact him by phone at 206-685-4970 or by email at apurva@uw.edu.

Student Advising

The Department’s Doctoral Review Committee will guide new students until they establish a supervisory committee. Students are required to establish a supervisory committee by the end of their first year. The supervisory committee assists the student in choosing appropriate courses, approves course of studies, and monitors the student’s progress.

The following courses are required of all OM majors. The number of credits for each course is indicated in parentheses after the course number.

Course Number Catalog Title
OPMGT 502 (4) Introduction to Operations Management
OPMGT 587 (4) Topics in Inventory Management
QMETH 580 (4) Mathematical Programming
QMETH 592 (4) Stochastic Models: Queuing and Simulation
OPMGT 590 (4) Stochastic Models for Research in Business and Management
OPMGT 599 (1,1,1) Doctoral Seminar
IS 580 (4) Advanced Research Topics in Information Systems I

All OM students must enroll in the doctoral seminar (OPMGT 599) until all coursework is completed and the OM area examination is successfully completed; after completing this milestone, we strongly encourage all students to continue participating in the doctoral seminar.

Before the area exam, all students are also required to take at least two of the courses in the OM research course sequence, listed below. After the area exam, we strongly encourage all students to continue taking the rest of the courses in the sequence.

OPMGT 581 (4) Advanced Research Topics in Operations Management I
OPMGT 582 (4) Advanced Research Topics in Operations Management II
OPMGT 583 (4) Advanced Research Topics in Operations Management III
OPMGT 584 (4) Foundations of Operations Management Research

Research Methods Minor Area Requirements

All students majoring in Operations Management must select Research Methods as one of their minor areas. The Research Methods area is designed to insure that all students are knowledgeable with research tools needed to conduct high-level research in Operations Management. All students must obtain a minimum of 12 credits in a specialization field to satisfy for the minor requirement.

The requirements listed below are viewed as minimal preparation for conducting doctoral level research; we strongly recommend that students expand their research methods area beyond the courses listed below. Certain substitutions of courses, upon approval from the chair of the supervisory committee may be allowed.

Microeconomics

BA 580 (4) Problems in Microeconomics
ECON 500 (4) Microeconomic Analysis I
ECON 501 (4) Microeconomic Analysis II
ECON 508 (4) Microeconomic Analysis III

Optimization / Mathematical Programming

MATH 514 (3) Networks and Combinatorial Optimization
IND E 411 (4) Stochastic Models and Decision Analysis
IND E 412 (4) Integer and Dynamic Programming

Probability Theory / Stochastic Processes / Queuing / Simulation

STAT 394 (3) Probability Theory I
STAT 395 (3) Probability Theory II
STAT 491 (3) Introduction to Stochastic Processes
IND E 508 (3) Stochastic Processes in Engineering

Statistical Analysis / Inference

STAT 481 (5) Mathematical Statistics
STAT 512 (4) Statistical Inference

Other Suggested Courses

STAT 503 (4) Practical Methods for Data Analysis
STAT 513 (4) Statistical Inference
STAT 542 (3) Multivariate Analysis

Other Minor Area Requirements

In addition to Research Methods, OM students must select one additional minor area depending on his or her interest. Possible minor areas include:

Administrative Behavior and Organizational Theory
Business Policy
Economics
Health Services
Industrial Engineering
Information Systems
Statistics

First Year

Autumn Winter Spring Summer
OPMGT 590 Stochastic Models for Research in Business and Management QMETH 592
Queuing and Simulation
OPMGT 502 Operations Management BA 580
Problems in Microeconomics
Teaching Effectiveness Seminar OPMGT 581/582/583/584

Research course (rotating)

 ECON 508
Microeconomics III
Internship / Independent Research
ECON 500
Microeconomics I
ECON 501
Microeconomics II
Elective Summer paper (due by 9/30)
QMETH 580
Math Programming
     
OPMGT 599
Doctoral Seminar
     

Second Year

Autumn Winter Spring Summer
OPMGT 587
Inventory Management 
OPMGT 581/582/583/584

Research course (rotating)

Elective Area Exam
Elective IS 580

Advanced Research Topics in Information Systems I

Elective
Elective Elective Elective  
OPMGT 599 Doctoral Seminar OPMGT 599
Doctoral Seminar
OPMGT 599
Doctoral Seminar

Doctoral students who select Operations Management as a minor area are required to take a minimum of three courses from the following list.

OPMGT 502 (4) Introduction to Operations Management
OPMGT 587 (4) Topics in Inventory Management
OPMGT 581 (4) Advanced Research Topics in Operations Management I
OPMGT 582 (4) Advanced Research Topics in Operations Management II
OPMGT 583 (4) Advanced Research Topics in Operations Management III
OPMGT 584 (4) Foundations of Operations Management Research

Written Area Examination
In the summer of the second year, after completing all coursework in his or her major area, each student will take a written area examination consisting of questions contributed by a number of appropriate area faculty and administered by the chair of the student’s Supervisory Committee. The grade for the exam will be one of the following: pass for doctoral degree, fail for doctoral degree but pass for master’s degree, fail. If appropriate, the departmental faculty members in the Supervisory Committee may require additional work and/or classes as a condition of passing the examination. If the student fails the examination, he or she can take the examination one additional time after satisfying deficiencies.

Summer Research Paper
In order to demonstrate competency and ability to conduct research in OM, each student is required to write a research paper in the summer of the first year or the second year. The work is to be supervised and graded by the chair of the student’s Supervisory Committee (if one has not been formed, then an appropriate departmental faculty member) in the student’s Supervisory Committee on a pass or fail basis. The departmental faculty members in the Supervisory Committee may require additional work as a condition for passing the paper.

General Examination
After successfully completing the written area exam, each student takes a general (oral) examination. Members of the Supervisory Committee administer this examination. Typically, this examination involves a defense of the student’s dissertation proposal; however, the chair of the Supervisory Committee determines the precise format of the general examination.

Dissertation
After successfully completing the general examination, the student is admitted to candidacy and continues work on his/her dissertation research. A Reading Committee guides the student in working with the dissertation. It is also expected that the student will present their research to the Information Systems and Operations Management Department at the doctoral seminar.

Final Examination
When the dissertation is completed, the Supervisory Committee administers a final defense or final examination.