The PhD Project also reports
that in 1994, there were fewer
than 175 doctoral students who
were Black, Latino and/or American Indian. Now there are 406.
But the myths about getting a
Ph.D. remain a deterrent. To help
dispel those myths, DiversityInc
spoke with Milano and Melvin
Stith, dean of the Whitman School
of Management at Syracuse
University, who is also a founder
of The PhD Project and who currently sits on its advisory board.
universities provide a stipend
for full-time students, the size of
which depends on the institution.
University web sites should
provide information on the
size of the stipend provided. In
addition, students can also receive
a graduate fellowship.
“[At Syracuse University], we
provide health benefits as well,”
Stith says. “What separates a B
school from an A is when a school
provides the stipend [for] as long
as the student maintains a good
academic standing … [and] then
there are summer research grants
YOU NEED AN MBA TO GET A PH.D. IN BUSINESS.
That a person needs an MBA to
enter a Ph.D. program is one of
the great myths, says Stith. “In
fact, you can enter into a Ph.D.
program with only a baccalaureate
degree,” he says. That’s because
the MBA and the Ph.D. are different types of degrees.
“The Ph.D. is about high-arching intellectual pursuit and
curiosity ... the MBA is about
preparing you for the corporate
community and is team-focused
and about project management.
The Ph.D. is about individuality
and developing your own pathway
to the Ph.D., so one is in a small
group of fellow students.”
Stith likens Ph.D. study to a
three-legged stool: There is course
work, comprehensive exams and
thesis writing on your own.
YOU HAVE TO BE YOUNG
TO GET YOUR PH.D.
“You’re never too old,” says Stith.
He adds that choosing to study for
a Ph.D. is a life choice.
“Whether you’re in a Ph.D.
program or not, you’re going to
be older anyway. What do you
want to do with that time? What
is most important is that there is
a critical shortage of university
professors, so no one will tell you
you’re too old, because the opportunities are there,” says Stith.
Milano adds, “Doctoral programs enjoy people who have a
substantial amount of business
experience. When they become
professors, they’re better because
they bring relevance combined
ARE TOO EXPENSIVE.
Stith points out that almost all
Ph.D. programs at accredited
YOU HAVE TO TAKE
A VOW OF POVERTY
DON’T MAKE MONEY.
“Business-school professors are
handsomely compensated,” says
Milano. “If we had one stroke of
luck, it is [that] we started the
program when there was a severe
shortage of professors in business.
Combine that with the intense
desire of deans and provosts to
diversify their faculty and you find
that when our folks [graduate],
they’re very highly sought after.
“A new finance Ph.D. can make
up to $200,000 per year right out
of the program,” he adds. “And
that’s a good number for 60 or
In addition, corporations seek
professors to consult and teach at
their companies, something many
professors do when school is out
“Should Ph.D. students want
to when they finish their doctoral
program, they could supplement
their income by teaching corporate programs,” says Milano.
“They could consult with companies or be hired to teach training
programs. They have the ability
to have an economic accordion
beyond the university level.”
Starting salaries for Ph.D.
professors at Syracuse begin at
more than six figures, and that’s
for only nine months of work,
“Then in the summer, we pay
[professors] an additional two-ninths of their salary so they
have money in the summer just
to do research,” says Stith. “It’s
the secret good life. The teaching
schedule is usually [three days a
week], so you have other times to
research. You’re not punching the
clock at nine and leaving at five.
“There are not too many occupations that can put that together,
and at the end of the day, I can have
a good lifestyle,” he adds.