PhD Program


100 Years of Pioneering Research

The nation’s first doctoral business program was born at the University of Chicago in 1920. Since then, the faculty, alumni, and students of this preeminent PhD program have been driving the evolution of modern research in a wide range of disciplines, from accounting to behavioral science to finance. This research continues to make a lasting, real-world impact on the way scholars, government leaders, and industry professionals think about and conduct business.

Alumni: Join Us for a Centennial Celebration

Our 100th anniversary celebration, originally scheduled for May 15–16, 2020, in Chicago, has been postponed. We hope you'll be able to join us once it is rescheduled. The centennial celebration will include an academic conference with plenary speakers and breakout sessions by discipline, as well as social events. It will be a wonderful opportunity to catch up with your former classmates and Chicago Booth colleagues. The new dates will be posted to this site as soon as they are determined.

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Our History by the Numbers

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PhDs awarded since 1920


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PhD alumni living across the globe

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PhDs working in higher education

PhD through the Years

  1. 1920 - Program Launches

    The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, known then as the College of Commerce and Administration, offers the nation’s first doctoral program in business.

    The program is established by the school’s fourth dean, Leon Carroll Marshall, to support his vision of a community of scholars dedicated to the scientific study of business.

  2. 1922 - First PhD Graduates

    The doctoral program graduates its first PhD students: Albert Claire Hodge and Waldo Mitchell.

    Mitchell, the son of a Civil War veteran, was an Indiana native who grew up on his family’s farm. He taught classes in industrial society and business administration at Booth while pursuing his doctorate.

    During the program, Hodge wrote Principles of Accounting (1920), coauthored with James O. McKinsey, MA ’19, the future founder of consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Then-dean Leon C. Marshall provided the editor’s preface, describing his vision for the text to become part of a unified and coherent business curriculum, which was lacking at the collegiate level at the time.

  3. 1929 - First Woman PhD

    The College of Commerce and Administration is the first American business school to grant a PhD in business to a woman, Ursula Batchelder Stone.

    Stone devoted her life to teaching future generations of business leaders at George Williams College and improving her community. She served as president of the Hyde Park League of Women Voters and as executive director of the South East Chicago Commission, which sought to preserve Hyde Park.

  4. 1951 - PhD Alumnus Becomes Dean

    John Jeuck, AB ’37, MBA ’38, PhD ’49, becomes dean of the business school. He streamlined the school’s curriculum, focused on faculty recruitment, opened a new downtown Chicago campus, and founded the Distinguished Fellows scholarship program for students.

    Photo: University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf1-05432], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

  5. Alumnus Establishes CRSP

    Professor James H. Lorie, PhD ’47, leads the establishment of Chicago Booth’s Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP), a complete and accurate stock database to support financial and economic research. Lorie helped collect and research the accuracy on each piece of stock data, including prices, dividends, and rates of return on all stocks listed and trading on the New York Stock Exchange since 1929. The project allowed the average rate of return to be measured for the first time. Today, nearly 500 academic institutions in 35 countries rely on CRSP data to support academic research and classroom instruction.

  6. 1962 - Accounting Research Center Established

    The PhD Program establishes the Institute of Professional Accounting, today called the Accounting Research Center, to advance accounting research and teaching among PhD students and faculty, who have played a central role in the evolution of modern accounting research. The Journal of Accounting Research was established the following year, and remains a leading academic business journal today.

  7. 1965 - Birth of Efficient Markets Theory

    PhD alumnus and professor Eugene Fama, MBA ’63, PhD ’64, publishes the now-renowned efficient markets theory in an article, “The Behavior of Stock-Market Prices,” in the Journal of Business.

    Fama defined a market to be efficient if prices incorporate all available information about future values. His theory led to efficient markets becoming the organizing principle for decades of empirical work in financial economics.

  8. 1966 - Building Community

    Eight candidates in the incoming class of 24 are international students, an all-time high. To build community, the program increases the variety of student activities available, with plans to add a weekly coffee chat with faculty, seminars on teaching and communication, and a spring dinner honoring fellowship winners.

  9. 1971 - Homegrown Academics

    By 1971, 11 of the school’s PhD alumni are senior faculty at the school.

  10. 1973 - Black-Scholes Model

    A month after the Chicago Board Options Exchange introduced trade in options, finance professors Fischer Black and Myron Scholes, MBA ’64, PhD ’70, publish the Black-Scholes model, the first sound mathematical formula for valuing stock options, in the Journal of Political Economy. Traders on the exchange floor adopt the model almost immediately.

  11. 1977 - Yntema Wins Alumni Award

    Theodore O. Yntema, AM ’25, PhD ’29, wins the Distinguished Alumni Award.

    From the 1920s through the 1940s, Yntema was a pioneer contributor to the school of business and the field of quantitative analysis and finance. His career furnished a strong bond between the theoretical and analytical facets of finance and its application to modern corporate management.

    Photo: University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf1-05432], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

  12. 1983 - Second PhD Alumnus Named Dean

    John P. “Jack” Gould, MBA ’63, PhD ’66, becomes dean of Chicago Booth. He launched Booth’s first capital campaign, led the school’s international expansion to Europe, and paved the way for Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago.

    Photo: University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf1-07749], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

  13. 1986 - Sprinkel Wins Alumni Award

    Beryl W. Sprinkel, MBA ’48, PhD ’52, wins the Distinguished Alumni Award.

    Sprinkel served as executive vice president and economist for the Harris Trust and Savings Bank in Chicago for 28 years. He later brought his expertise in business and academia to government as undersecretary of the Treasury for monetary affairs and chairman of the US Council of Economic Advisers.

  14. 1994 - Pichler Wins Alumni Award

    Alumnus Joseph A. Pichler, MBA ’63, PhD ’66, wins the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

    While president of the Kroger Company, Pichler was instrumental in saving Kroger from a hostile buyout in 1989. Because of his efforts, the company was able to retain its shareholders and keep all of its employees in place. Pichler was later named chairman and CEO of the company. Prior to joining Kroger, Pichler served as a faculty member and then dean of the University of Kansas School of Business.

  15. 1997 - Scholes Wins Nobel

    Alumnus and professor Myron Scholes, MBA ’64, PhD ’70, wins the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for helping develop the formula used to value stock options, the Black-Scholes model.

  16. 2004 - Harper Center Opens

    The Charles M. Harper Center opens. The new building houses Booth’s programs on the Hyde Park campus and provides dedicated space for PhD students.

  17. 2006 - Joint Program in Financial Economics Established

    The program is run jointly by the finance dissertation area of the Chicago Booth PhD Program and the Department of Economics in UChicago’s Division of the Social Sciences. Students benefit from broad sets of instructors and classmates in both areas, and graduate with a doctor of philosophy degree in economics and finance.

  18. 2007 - Alumnus Wins Young Alumni Award

    Clifford Asness, MBA ’91, PhD ’94, wins the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

    At Goldman Sachs, Asness helped develop a computer model to identify the cheapest value stocks that started on an upward swing. The model also worked with currencies, commodities, and entire economies. Asness went on to form the prestigious investment management firm Applied Quantitative Research Capital Management LLC with former PhD classmates John Liew, AB ’89, PhD ’94, and Robert Krail.

  19. 2007 - Pichler Donation Furthers Professional Development

    Joseph Pichler, MBA ’63, PhD ’66, and Susan Pichler make a generous gift to create the Pichler Initiative on Professional Development for PhD students. Led by Harry Davis, the Pichler Initiative supports ongoing activities that promote professional development and success for students in the PhD Program, focusing on writing, presentation, and job market skills. In recent years, the initiative has also developed cohort-based and cross-cohort programs to build community and foster peer support at all levels, and across all levels, of the PhD Program.

  20. 2007 - Katherine Dusak Miller, AB ’65, MBA ’68, PhD ’71, Leaves a Generous Gift from her Estate to the Booth School of Business

    Katherine Dusak Miller, AB ’65, MBA ’68, PhD ’71, leaves a significant gift to the Booth School of Business through her estate. The majority of this gift is directed to the PhD Program and creates the Katherine Dusak Miller PhD Fellowship. Since its creation, this fellowship has provided many PhD students with invaluable stipend support.

  21. 2009 - Joint Program in Psychology and Business Established

    Run jointly by the PhD Program’s behavioral science dissertation area and the Department of Psychology in the Division of Social Sciences, this program connects the large number of social, cognitive, and organizational psychologists at Chicago Booth and UChicago.

  22. 2013 - Fama and Hansen Win Nobel

    Eugene Fama, MBA ’63, PhD ’64, and Lars Peter Hansen, David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, Statistics, the College and the Booth School of Business, are awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their groundbreaking research on efficient markets and their model for calculating stock returns.

  23. 2018 - McGiffert House PhD Floor Opens

    With more than 100 carrels, several study rooms, a seminar room, and a kitchen and lounge, the third floor space at McGiffert allows the PhD Program to provide space to all PhD students. Advanced students retain space in Harper Center.

  24. 2019 - Ray Ball Wins Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize

    Ray Ball, MBA ’68, PhD ’72, Sidney Davidson Distinguished Service Professor of Accounting, was awarded the 2019 Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation by the University of Pennsylvania’s Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center. Recognized for his article “An Empirical Evaluation of Accounting Income Numbers,” published in the Journal of Accounting Research in 1968, he conducts research that has revolutionized the understanding of the impact of corporate disclosure on share prices, and of earnings releases in particular; it laid the foundation for much of the modern accounting literature.

  25. 2019 - Homegrown Scholarship Continues

    Today, five PhD graduates serve as tenured or tenure-track faculty members at Chicago Booth: Ray Ball, Sidney Davidson Distinguished Service Professor of Accounting; Philip G. Berger, Wallman Family Professor of Accounting; Eugene Fama, Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance; João Granja, assistant professor of accounting; and Ann McGill, Sears Roebuck Professor of General Management, Marketing and Behavioral Science. Three additional PhD graduates also teach at Booth: Kevin Rock, clinical professor of finance; James Schrager, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and strategic management; and Ira Weiss, clinical professor of accounting and entrepreneurship.

  26. 2020 - Looking to the Future

    Chicago Booth remains a proven training ground for scholars. Booth PhD graduates have secured professorships, fellowships, and professional jobs with some of the most elite institutions around the world. Their capacity for free thinking and their ability to conduct original, innovative research continue to advance the theory and practice of business.

Ursula Batchelder Stone PHD

An Early Trailblazer

Learn about the many accomplishments of Ursula Batchelder Stone, PhD ’29, the first woman to earn a PhD in business from an American university.