The first two years primarily consist of coursework in four weekly residential modules, and virtual learning classrooms. During coursework, participants will be exposed to the most recent developments in the fields of research methodologies, quantitative and statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, strategic management, organization theory, marketing, technology management, economics, public policy and finance. In addition, during the first two years participants will conduct, under the close supervision of their academic advisor, preparatory work for the doctoral dissertation.
From a practical standpoint, preparatory work for the doctoral dissertation consists of two main documents: literature review on the area of research interest for the candidate (to be submitted by the end of the first academic year) and a thesis preproposal (to be submitted by the end of the second academic year). The objective of the literature review is to identify the “state-of-the-art” in a specific area of research in terms of what is already known. Building on the literature review, the objective of the thesis pre-proposal is to identify one or more gaps in the literature that are worth examining in order to advance knowledge and understanding of a specific research area.
The third year will be mainly devoted to individual research and study, conducted under the close supervision of an academic advisor, geared toward drafting a doctoral dissertation that will be presented and defended by the candidate at the end of third academic year in form of a monograph. The thesis work will start from the approved thesis proposal and will end with the thesis defense. In addition to the thesis work, during the third year of the program, interested candidates will have the option to take one additional class related to their specific thesis topic chosen from classes offered in the Bocconi PhD program, Global Executive MBA, or SDA Bocconi Open Enrollment Programs.