Admissions to Ph.D. Program

All students must apply online to the Management Science PhD program through the university graduate admissions office. You will not need to send any information to our department. The program admits three to four students every year in the fall.

  • Preferred Background: Strong math background, including calculus and statistics
  • GPA: Average undergraduate GPA 3.6
  • GRE/GMAT: Average GRE Score 80 percent or greater
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL/IELTS. The TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years from the date they are taken

Frequently Asked Questions

Apply through the official Graduate School Application.

During the application process, choose “Management Science – PhD” as the program you are applying to; the concentration name is Analytics, but it is the only option, so you don’t need to select the concentration.

We begin accepting applications for fall in September, as soon as the application system opens. Preference will be given to applications received before December 1. The Graduate Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications at that time. The University of Tennessee has rolling admissions, so applications received after December 1 are still reviewed. Keep in mind that for international students, the final deadline to apply is February 1.

We only admit in the fall semester each year. Spring admissions are considered only in extreme circumstances.

At this time, we are unable to cover the costs to the university by waiving application fees.

No, it is not necessary to contact faculty before applying. We ask that you identify in your personal statement faculty members that you might want to work with based on their research. This helps the committee better understand your interests. Please refer to our faculty websites for their research interests/areas before writing your personal statement:

The GRE or GMAT is required, and official scores must be included in your application materials.

If you earned a degree from a U.S. accredited institution, the TOEFL may be waived. If you did not attend an accredited institution in the U.S., satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS scores are required. Applicants with a minimum combined TOEFL score of 70 and a minimum score of 20 for each individual section will be given priority. For IELTS, a 6.5 overall band score is required.

The UT code is 1843.

For application review, a scanned PDF of your transcript is acceptable. If you are accepted into the program, official transcripts from the colleges you attended will be required as a condition of admittance.

It is difficult for the committee to assess your transcripts if they are not translated, so translation will be necessary.

Because a new pool of applicants applies each year, and applicants are being evaluated based on the current pool, it is not possible to answer such questions ahead of the official process.

At this time, all admitted Management Science PhD Students are automatically assigned a GTA/GRA in their offer letters. An application is not required. We only fund around three or four students each admissions cycle. Each of those students receives four years of funding, including a stipend and tuition waiver. The funded student works in the department 20 hours per week. 

Admitted students on GTA/GRA assistantships receive a monthly stipend, a tuition waiver and healthcare coverage. Students are responsible for some university fees.

The Management Science PhD Admissions Committee does not begin reviewing applications until after December 1. After December 1, all applications are reviewed, and then decisions are made based on funding and space availability. Given the number of applications and the amount of material they contain, this can take some time. Decisions on all applications are usually completed by April 15. You will receive a letter when decisions are completed. Please keep in mind that the Admissions Committee cannot evaluate your application if it is incomplete. 

No, the entire program must be completed in person, on campus.

Someone from the committee will first reach out to you for an interview if your file is competitive for admission. At a later date , after the interview has taken place, you will be notified via email if you have been admitted to the program.

It is critical to realize that a business school PhD program’s mission is different than an undergraduate or master’s program’s mission. Our goal is to place our students as faculty members in top 100 business schools around the world. Motivation to do research and a strong desire to pursue an academic career are essential. Some of the unique features and strengths of our PhD program are:

  • We have 19 tenured or tenure-track faculty members with diverse expertise covering all areas of business analytics: operations management, data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, marketing science, supply chain management, and statistics.
  • Our faculty are productive, leading scholars, publishing regularly in top academic journals in their fields. Our research group is ranked #14 in North America for number of articles published in POM and JOM, and #20 in in North America for number of articles published in M&SOM, POM and JOM, from 2020-2023 (according to the UTD Top 100 Business School Research Rankings™).
  • Our faculty members hold prominent leadership positions in their fields and include department and associate editors in leading academic journals, such as Production & Operations Management, Decision Sciences, Naval Research Logistics and the deputy editor for INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics. We have past or current presidents (or vice presidents) of POMS College of Sustainable Operations, College of Supply Chain Management, INFORMS College of AI, and an American Statistical Association Fellow.