PhD in Business Analytics and Operations

The PhD Program in Business Analytics and Operations focuses on research in areas such as supply chain management, business analytics, operations, and project management. Research foci include methodology development, empirical analysis, and analytical modeling. Tools from a broad base such as operations research, probabilistic modeling, statistics, econometrics, and data mining are utilized to address real-life operational issues. Students are expected to develop a strong foundation and publish in top journals. The program mentors students with an apprenticeship model, providing an early start in independent research as well as joint work with faculty.


We are a small, highly selective program, and work closely with our students to make sure that those who join our program complete it successfully and are placed appropriately.

Katz offers a breadth of research topics–many students can find a home here. Recent PhD dissertation topics have included:

  • Revenue Maximization Using Product Bundling
  • Business Analytics for Non-profit Marketing and Online Advertising
  • The Analytic Network Process Applied in Supply Chain Decisions, in Ethics, and in World Peace
  • Modeling Patient Flow in a Network of Intensive Care Units (ICUs)
  • Managing Outsourcing Decisions: Government Policy, Firm Options, and the Economic Impact
  • Applications of Revenue Management in Healthcare

Our collaboration frequently results in articles that are published in top journals.

External Funding

Since 2010, our program has had very close ties with the Veterans Health Administration, and has engaged in a wide variety of healthcare analytics projects with them. FY 2018 funding on VHA projects exceeds $995,000.


We are a leading program with respect to placement. Over the last decade, all students who actively sought university positions obtained them, and our recent alumni were placed as faculty members at major universities in the U.S. and Canada, and in research positions in the industry. 


Year 1 Curriculum: Fall Term

An exploration of critical thinking.

BQOM 3016 Current Topics in Operations
IE 2081 Nonlinear Optimization
IE 2100 Supply Chain Analysis
INFSCI 2725 Data Analytics

Year 1 Curriculum: Spring and Summer Terms

A thorough examination of research methods.

BFAE 3001 Microeconomics
BUSADM 3003 Multivariate Statistical Analysis
IE 2007 Statistics and Data Analysis
BMKT 3099 Readings in Business Analytics and Operations
INFSCI 2500 Data Structures
BQOM 2512 Advanced Decision Technologies

Year 2 Curriculum: Fall Term

A continued study in critical thinking and research methods.

BQOM 3020 Simulation
PSYED 3417 Structural Equation Modeling
STAT 2321 Applied Advanced Time Series

Year 2 Curriculum: Spring Term

A further dive into major concentrations, critical thinking, and research methods.

IE 3094 Markov Decision Processes
PSYED 3408 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
BQOM 3099 Readings in Business Analytics and Operations
IE 2108 Health Systems Engineering

Year 2 Curriculum: Summer Term

A comprehensive independent study.

BQOM 3010 Comprehensive Exams

Year 3 Curriculum: Fall, Spring, and Summer Terms

Fully concentrated work on dissertation and service as teaching assistant.

BUSADM 3199 (9 Dissertation Credits)
FTDF 0000 Full-Time Dissertation Study

Curriculum: Years 4 and 5

Teach and enter the job market to defend your dissertation.

FTDF 0000 Full Time Dissertation Study


The Katz Ph.D. program gives the opportunity to grow into a well-rounded academic. The relationships with faculty allowed me to learn while honing and cultivating interesting and insightful research.

Mikhail Gordon

PhD, Business Analytics and Operations

I came to Pitt because of its inclusive environment, renowned professors, productive peers, and a great opportunity to advance my scholarly interest in innovation and strategy. 

Jingning Ao

PhD, Strategy and Entrepreneurship