Entrepreneurship (PhD)

Admission Requirements

Admission to the program is highly competitive. This is a full-time program, requiring year-round study and a 20 hour/week paid research assistantship. Typically, students can finish their coursework in two years and the program in four-to-five years, subject to progress on a dissertation. Students generally take about 15 courses consisting of seminars and directed readings and/or research. A student's curriculum choices are supervised and approved by an advisory committee. 

The following application materials are required:

  • Complete a graduate application for admission through the Graduate School.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. An undergraduate degree is required. No specific graduate or undergraduate major is required. However, an MBA is preferred. A student who does not have a master's degree in business may be required to complete a set of courses covered in an MBA program.
  • Official GMAT score. A GMAT score is required that is no more than two years old from date of application. A GRE score may be substituted for a GMAT score where GMAT testing is not available.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Resume or CV.
  • Personal statement about the applicant's interest in entrepreneurship research.
  • Applicants with credentials from foreign universities must submit them for evaluation to one of the following services, which will issue a report that will become part of the applicant's application:
  • Applicants with a degree from a non-English speaking university or those for whom English is not their native language must submit a TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo score.

All required courses are offered on a biennial basis in the fall, spring and summer semesters.

Degree Requirements

The goal of the curriculum is to produce academic scholars who will present papers at professional conferences, publish papers in academic journals, and teach at the university level. We anticipate that students will be successful academics at leading universities. Because of this, students serve as research assistants during two years of the program. Students gain teaching experience during the last two years in the program.

After passing qualifying exams, required courses, and writing required papers, students proceed into candidacy and write their doctoral dissertations in their remaining years of the program.

The following are the current curriculum requirements for the Entrepreneurship PhD, which includes 39 hours of approved course work. Because the state of the knowledge in the field changes, both the content and sequencing of these course requirements changes to address topics of current interest in the field. Faculty may change as well.

The curricular requirements include:

  • At least 52 hours at the 700-level that includes pre-dissertation/dissertation research coursework.
  • Included with the 52 hours, students will complete a minimum of 39 hours of earned credit in courses dedicated to the primary area of study. This includes:
  • Entrepreneurship core which consists of a minimum of 15 credit hours required of all PhD students that includes: ENTR 723, ENTR 724, ENTR 745, ENTR 746, and ENTR 747
  • Research design and methods which consists of a minimum of 12 credit hours required of all PhD students that includes: ENTR 702, ENTR 741, ENTR 710, and ENTR 711
  • Supporting field seminars which consist of a minimum of 12 hours in supporting course work that is approved by the PhD advisory committee.

Applicants should contact the Program Director, Dr. Daniel Bennett, at daniel.bennett.2@louisville.edu if they have questions about the curriculum requirements.

Primary Area Courses
Entrepreneurship Core15
Entrepreneurship Theory I
Entrepreneurship Theory II
Seminar in Entrepreneurship from a Strategic Perspecitve
Seminar in Organizational Behavior/Human Resources in Entrepreneurship
Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Research Design & Methods12
Seminar in Research Design I
Seminar in Research Design II
Statistics I
Statistics II
Supporting Field Seminars (offerings will vary)12
Independent Research13
Minimum Total Hours52