UMKC Catalog


Discipline Coordinator
Michael Song, (816) 235-5841,

Click here to see Entrepreneurship and Innovation faculty who are members of the doctoral faculty.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program administered by the School of Graduate Studies.

Note: The discipline-specific requirements listed here are in addition to the requirements listed in Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application Procedure and Minimum Criteria for Admission and Minimum Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements.

Program Intent

The Ph.D. program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is designed to train and develop research and teaching scholars in entrepreneurship and innovation. The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IEI) has established a research agenda that focuses on the ways in which entrepreneurs develop, lead and transform today’s dynamic global businesses. Specifically, the Institute is assessing the values and risks of emerging technologies and investigating effective techniques for market opportunity analysis and the identification of new ventures in high-tech industries. In addition, the Institute is examining the success and failure factors of high-tech start-up firms, as well as the links between entrepreneurship, government policy, innovation, economic development and global competitiveness.


Discipline-Specific Admission Requirements

We expect prospective students to hold an undergraduate or master’s degree in business administration, entrepreneurship, marketing, mathematics, economics, statistics, engineering or science. Students are expected to have completed a master’s level intermediate statistical analysis course prior to enrolling in the program. All students must submit an application to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program and to the IEI. The student must complete the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. application and prepare a formal written statement outlining his or her interests in and preparation for the program. To enter the entrepreneurship program, the applicant is expected to have an overall GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale on all quantitative course work. Applicants should pay particular attention to the narrative statement that accompanies their application. The IEI doctoral faculty gives substantial weight to this statement. It should provide a clear description of the applicant’s intellectual interests, how those interests evolved and should describe the research direction(s) that the applicant intends to pursue. 


Suggested Compatible Co-disciplines

Economics, Mathematics, Social Science, engineering, computer science, physics, and public administration.


Program Requirements

Students who select entrepreneurship and innovation as their primary discipline must complete 12 credit hours of coursework in entrepreneurship theory and 12 credit hours in research methods. In addition, students must select 16 credit hours in electives from classes offered by their co-discipline or other departments. Students in the entrepreneurship program will take nine hours of coursework a semester for the first two years and three to six hours of coursework a semester for the third year while working as research assistants for designated faculty. The fourth and fifth years will be devoted to graduate research assistance and the dissertation. Upon completion of the coursework, students are expected to successfully complete a written examination in entrepreneurship. During the doctoral program, students are also required to participate in the Teaching Effectiveness Training program and teach two courses. In addition, each student must complete at least one academic paper per year that will be submitted to a national research conference (by the end of the first year) or to top refereed academic journals. 


Core Program Requirements


  • ENT 5691 Doctoral Seminar in Theoretical Foundations of Entrepreneurship I or an approved elective
  • ENT 5692 Doctoral Seminar in Theoretical Foundations of Entrepreneurship II
  • ENT 5693 Doctoral Seminar in Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
  • ENT 5694 Doctoral Seminar in Theories of the Firm and Strategy

Research Methods 

  • BDS 5548 Multivariate Statistical Analysis I
  • ENT 5681 Multivariate Statistical Analysis II
  • ENT 5682 Structural Equation Modeling
  • ENT 5683 Mathematical Models for Entrepreneurship


Requirements for Entrepreneurship as a Co-discipline

Students who select entrepreneurship as a co-discipline must complete four doctoral seminars (12 credits) in Entrepreneurship Theory. Specific classes must be approved by the program director.


Other Discipline-Specific Special Requirements

A faculty supervisory committee is appointed by the program director at the end of the second year to assist each student in constructing a program of study that fits that individual’s background and interests. Students select one major area of specialization and complete requirements in an additional minor area that supports their major area of specialization. Throughout the program, doctoral students receive support and training that hone their skills as researchers, teachers and course developers. Any deviations from the program requirements must be recommended by the supervisory committee and must be approved by the program director.


Research paper

Each student must complete at least one academic paper per year. The first-year paper must be submitted to a national research conference by the end of the first year of the program. All other papers must be submitted to top refereed academic journals. Each student must have at least two “revise/resubmit” or accepted academic papers before graduating from the program.  Failure to meet these research and publication requirements will result in the student being placed on probation or being dismissed from the program. Faculty will set a deadline by which doctoral students must complete an independent research paper and present their findings in a research workshop. The research project is supervised by a faculty adviser on a topic selected by the student and approved by the faculty adviser.


Comprehensive Examination and Admission to Candidacy

To be eligible to apply for candidacy, students must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.3. Admission to candidacy is a formal University process signifying that a student has completed specific degree requirements and that the faculty expects that the student will successfully complete the degree program. Students are admitted to candidacy upon completion of the comprehensive examination in entrepreneurship. The supervisory committee administers this test after all area requirements are completed.



After earning candidacy, students must successfully complete a dissertation that demonstrates their ability to identify a significant research question or problem in entrepreneurship and apply appropriate research techniques to its resolution. The dissertation must be an original and independent piece of work. Dissertations are supervised by a reading committee. After the dissertation has been written to the satisfaction of the reading committee, the student defends his or her dissertation research in a final oral examination by program faculty.


In-Residence Study

A doctoral student must spend at least four years of full-time, in-residence study beyond the baccalaureate degree. Experience has shown that the probability of successful completion of the program diminishes substantially unless the student is committed to full-time, in-residence work until all requirements are fulfilled. Prospective students should plan on full-time studies, including the summer semester, from the time of enrollment until the completion of the dissertation.


Teaching Effectiveness Training

Each year, the academic market places increasing weight on teaching skills. Many business schools, in fact, now require teaching presentations of all prospective faculty. All students are required to participate in the Teaching Effectiveness Training Program.  Students will observe other instructors, including someone teaching their spring course assignment, draft a syllabus, and receive feedback on a microteaching session. Teaching assistants assigned to teach core courses will receive additional guidance from faculty course coordinators.

During the doctoral program, students will be required to teach two courses. They will receive feedback from peer classroom observations and an opportunity to share experiences and ideas informally at lunch gatherings of teaching assistants. Students are expected to put together formal teaching presentations that aid them both in the interview process and in the transition to full-time, tenure-track faculty.


Application Review Process and Timetable

Applications for admission and financial aid must be complete, including all supporting materials, by February 1 of each year. Applicants should take the GMAT or GRE in November or earlier because scores from later examinations will not arrive by the admissions deadline.