Schulich’s new PhD in Sustainability is research-oriented and at the cutting edge of topics relating to responsible and sustainable business. Students will develop the theoretical and methodological skills to conduct leading edge research at the intersection of sustainable business and society and have the opportunity to pursue research on such topics as corporate social responsibility, environmental accounting/standards, social change/innovation, stakeholder ethics, and sustainable real estate. Working alongside Schulich’s globally renowned faculty, graduates will learn to generate innovative insights as a member of the global community of scholars.
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The doctorate is an individualized program of study that is composed of the four tightly linked phases of study. Students first take a series of core courses and electives to acquire in-depth knowledge of theories and methods used in conducting research related to Sustainability. These courses also help students develop the skills necessary to conduct research and to teach Sustainability. Second, candidates complete a comprehensive examination to test mastery of theoretical methodological foundations of the field. The third phase of the PhD program consists of the preparation of the formal research proposal, which must be defended. Then students conduct the research that is reported in their dissertation, the culmination of the PhD degree.
Students are required to take 12 courses during the first two years of the program. The foundation courses are designed to provide the prerequisite disciplinary knowledge relevant to sustainability and methodological expertise required to conduct research in sustainability. The elective courses enable students to gain depth in sustainability related topics and/or broaden your topical knowledge.
Required SUST Courses
SUST 7010 3.0 ADVANCED TOPICS IN RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS (New)
- ORGS 7020 3.00 ADVANCED TOPICS IN ORGANIZATION THEORY
- SGMT 7050 3.00 BUSINESS, SOCIETY AND GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
Required DCAD Courses
- DCAD 7100 3.00 LOGICS OF SOCIAL RESEARCH
- DCAD 7060 3.00 INTRODUCTION TO APPLIED STATISTICS
- DCAD 7250 3.00 RESEARCH DESIGN
- DCAD 7400 3.00 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
- DCAD 7600 1.50 GRADUATE COLLOQUIUM IN MANAGEMENT
- DCAD 7610 1.50 GRADUATE COLLOQUIUM IN MANAGEMENT
* This colloquium is a mandatory course held once a month over both the fall and winter semesters in years 1 (DCAD 7600) and 2 (DCAD 7610).
** It is highly recommended that these two courses be taken concurrently.
Four elective courses (12 credits), chosen from SUST courses and other Schulich and York courses.
Students are expected to write their comprehensive exam at some point between the fifth term of the program. This examination is designed for students to demonstrate their knowledge of the sustainability field, bodies of theory that are relevant to your specific research interests, and research methodologies. Students must have successfully completed all coursework to write their comprehensive exam. Students should schedule their exam with the Sustainability PhD Coordinator at least six weeks in advance, and should also specify their research area of interest at that time. Students are expected to coordinate their schedule with other students at the same stage in the program.
The comprehensive exam is a written exam consisting of two parts. Part I tests students’ knowledge of theory, ability to conceptualize and ability to extend or offer novel insights into current theory. Part II is a research methods exam. A second and final attempt at this examination will be allowed if you are unsuccessful in your first attempt.
After completion of their comprehensive exams, students are expected to focus on developing their dissertation proposal. Students are required to appoint a Supervisory Committee consisting of three faculty members, of whom one is identified as the supervisor, and who is a member of the Sustainability area within the School. Before initiating dissertation research, students are required to submit a formal written proposal that outlines their topic and research plan. Each proposal will then be defended in the form of a formal presentation before the Supervisory Committee. Students are expected to defend their dissertation proposal within one year after the completion of their comprehensive exams.
The dissertation is the written document that embodies the results of your original research. The dissertation is the core of the PhD program, and will be judged by its originality and contribution to the field of sustainability. The dissertation will be guided and examined by your dissertation committee in accordance with the rules of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. These evaluation procedures ensure that graduates have achieved the kind and level of preparation appropriate to the objectives and requirements of the PhD Program in Sustainability.
We recommend further consultation with your area Ph.D. rep concerning any impending changes to the program requirements and guidance on selecting appropriate optional courses.
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Selected faculty members
Professor of Organization Studies and SustainabilityView profile
Charles H. Cho
Professor of Sustainability Accounting; Erivan K. Haub Chair in Business & SustainabilityView profile
Associate Professor, Real Estate Finance and Sustainability; Brookfield Centre in Real Estate & InfrastructureView profile
Professor of Public Policy and SustainabilityView profile
Geoffrey M Kistruck
Professor; RBC Chair in Social Innovation & Impact; Area Coordinator, SustainabilityView profile
Professor of Sustainability; Hewlett-Packard Chair in Corporate Social ResponsibilityView profile
Professor of Sustainability; George R. Gardiner Professor in Business Ethics; Director, Centre of Excellence in Responsible BusinessView profile
Associate Professor of Business and Sustainability; Director, BBA/iBBA ProgramsView profile
Career OpportunitiesView details Hide details
Sustainability is an increasingly salient concern to managers and policymakers. The goal of the PhD program in Sustainability is to equip students with the skills to provide management education and policy advice focused on sustainability or pursue careers in scholarly research.