Our programs are full-time degree programs which officially begin in September. Students are expected to complete their program in five years. Students typically spend their first two years on course work, at the end of which they take a field exam, and then another two years on dissertation research and writing.


Each of the five DBA programs require a minimum of 13 semester long doctoral courses. Students in the Technology & Operations Management program complete courses in the areas of business management theory, economic theory, quantitative research methods, academic field seminars, and the Business Education for Scholars in Teaching (BEST) Series. In addition to HBS courses, students may take courses at other Harvard Schools and MIT.


Students are required to complete a teaching assignment for one full academic term.

TOM Field Exam

After their second year, students are required to pass this exam which encompasses the student’s primary field of study (Operations Management or Innovation Management) and more narrowly focused concentration area.

Research & Dissertation

Students in TOM often begin research in the summer preceding their first year by working with a TOM faculty member. During their third year, students begin working on their dissertation research, typically developing three publishable papers.

See Program Requirements for detailed curriculum information.