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PhD in Strategy & Innovation

A doctoral degree from Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business prepares you to pursue a faculty career at a research-oriented academic institution. Faculty enjoy high salaries, autonomy, an intellectually stimulating job, and the opportunity to teach and work with bright students. Individuals interested in taking leadership positions in business or government should consider some of Georgia Tech’s other programs such as the MBA or specialized master’s degree programs.

The field of strategy is concerned with explaining and predicting firm-level differences in performance. The intersection between strategy and innovation is particularly fertile because of the growing role of innovation-based products and processes, and the critical role technological capabilities play as a source of competitive advantage. The intersection between strategy and innovation is also particularly relevant for technology-based new ventures. The areas of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship offer excellent job prospects for PhD graduates.

We are one of the leading academic groups with a research focus specifically on the intersection of strategy and innovation. Our PhD program emphasizes the early involvement of students in research projects with internationally recognized faculty. Students can customize their curriculum by selecting from courses offered at Georgia Tech and top tier partner institutions and they have access to outstanding research infrastructure such as a Census Research Data Center. Given the small size of the program, we place a strong emphasis on mentorship, allowing students to learn from a diverse set of faculty.

Our research is interdisciplinary, often applying economic thinking and integrating insights from other areas such as sociology, psychology, and management. Faculty members publish in high impact management journals such as Management Science, Organization Science, Research Policy, and Strategic Management Journal as well as in top journals in related fields such as Science, Nature, RAND Journal of Economics, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. Our faculty hold positions as journal editors and members of editorial boards, leadership positions in professional associations, and research appointments at highly selected bodies such as the National Bureau of Economic Research. Faculty members regularly share their knowledge with managers and entrepreneurs and have been invited to join as policy advisers to the Council of Economic Advisors and Committees of the National Academies. We encourage potential applicants to explore faculty profiles and ongoing research projects.

We host, co-sponsor, and participate in leading research conferences on Strategy & Innovation such as the Roundtable for Engineering Entrepreneurship Research (REER) and the Consortium for Competitiveness and Cooperation (CCC). Our weekly research seminar attracts presenters from institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the Max-Planck-Institute. PhD students actively participate in these events, providing them with opportunities to learn from internationally leading scholars and to grow into the professional community.

We fully fund all admitted students for at least 5 years, including a tuition waiver and a stipend to cover living expenses. Successful program completion will require a significant investment of time and effort, which is most likely to pay off for students with a clear interest in a research-oriented faculty career.

We currently accept applications for the academic year starting in August 2020.
The application deadline is January 6.
Please contact the Strategy & Innovation PhD coordinator, Associate Professor Alex Oettl for any remaining questions.

Review the application package and further information

The Scheller College of Business is housed in a $57 million facility at the heart of Technology Square in midtown Atlanta. The Technology Square innovation ecosystem is also home to the Advanced Technology and Development Center (ADTC), one of the leading startup incubators in the United States, as well as innovation centers of several leading corporations such as AT&T, Coca-Cola, Panasonic, and NCR. Tech Square is expanding rapidly, with a 750,000 square foot High Performance Computing Center currently under development

Learn more about Tech Sqaure

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation’s top research universities, distinguished by its commitment to improving the human condition through advanced science and technology.  Georgia Tech’s campus occupies 400 acres in the heart of the city of Atlanta, where more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive a focused, technologically based education. Georgia Tech consistently ranks among U.S. News & World Report’s top ten public universities in the United States. In a world that increasingly turns to technology for solutions, Georgia Tech is using innovative teaching and advanced research to define the technological university now and in the future.

The Atlanta metropolitan area is home to over 5 million people and one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. It serves as cultural and economic hub of the southeastern U.S., with a thriving arts scene, outstanding restaurants, and five professional sports teams. Compared to other large cities, Atlanta offers a lower cost of living and excellent weather. Home to more than 2,100 international businesses, Atlanta boasts the fourth highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation, including giants like Home Depot, Coca-Cola, CNN, Newell Rubbermaid, UPS, Georgia-Pacific, AT&T Mobility, Equifax, and Delta Air Lines. Atlanta is one of the top 10 places for business and careers (as rated by Forbes) and one of the top 25 U.S. cities for entrepreneurs (Entrepreneur magazine and Dun & Bradstreet). Atlanta’s international airport, the world’s busiest, makes Georgia Tech readily accessible to any part of the world. Atlanta is also one of the top 5 U.S. cities for singles (Forbes), one of the top 40 cities for families (, and the #1 city for African-Americans (Black Enterprise magazine). For more information, see