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Online PhD in Decision Analysis: Program Overview

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online decision analysis (D.A.) Ph.D. school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, education applicability, and common courses offered for the field of study.

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Because decision analysis Ph.D. program are not available online, students should research related programs that offer some decision analysis coursework. Other considerations should include residency requirements and what kind of resources an institution provides for online doctoral students.

How to Select an Online Decision Analysis Ph.D. School

Students considering online decision analysis Ph.D. schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Universities do not presently offer online Ph.D. programs in decision analysis. At the doctorate level, decision analysis is offered as part of a Ph.D. in another discipline, such as management or environmental issues. Students interested in an online doctorate in decision analysis may have to choose a discipline related to their career aspirations and combine it with coursework in decision analysis, if available. Students must then weigh the requirements for residency along with resource availability.

Residency Requirements

Some programs have a residency requirement, while others do not. Residency should take place at a location that is convenient to the student. It may last from a few days to a year depending on the program. A student should make sure that he or she can meet the residency requirement before committing to a program.

Available Resources

When studying to complete a research degree, it's important that adequate resources are available. An institution should have a good electronic library that gives the student access to online databases, journals and other research valuable sources.

In addition, the institution should have a system setup that allows students to communicate with faculty and other doctorate candidates and professionals in the field. A Ph.D. candidate must have his or her work overseen by a supervisor. Prospective online students should check to see how accessible supervisors are and how easy it is to communication with them.

Online Degree Options in Decision Analysis

Online Ph.D. in Management

This program aims to teach students, through courses and research, the necessary techniques, concepts and theories that will allow them to make reasonable managerial decisions in their careers. A program may allow students to concentrate in a specific area, such as organizational change and leadership. Courses may include:

  • Decision making in management
  • Qualitative analysis and reasoning
  • Power, influence and leadership
  • Applied systems thinking

Ph.D. in Environmental Decision Making and Policy

The focus of this Ph.D. program is the effect of decisions made by the government on environmental issues. The program considers decisions by all levels of government within the U.S. These include decisions made through public participation, community action and social movements as well as other methods. Students examine the effect of past governmental decisions on forest, coastal and ecosystems management, public health and mining. Course topics often include:

  • Public opinion and politics
  • Landscape planning and analysis
  • Environmental decision making and governance
  • Negotiation skills

Schools with Online Programs Related to Decision Analysis

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Management degree. This program allows students to specialize in a number of subjects like accounting, information systems management, and operations research. The operations research specialization includes a course entitled Current Research in Human Development-Decision Analysis. While students can complete most of the academic requirements of this program online, there are also four residency requirements, two of which must be completed in-person, in order to finish the program. Program participants can also complete an optional face-to-face intensive retreat while writing their dissertation in order to seek additional help and guidance. Students must have a master's degree to apply for this program.

Colorado Technical University offers several online Ph.D. degree programs related to the field of management. All management programs include a course in organization innovation and scenario thinking. If students choose the organizational development and change specialization, they can also take a course in system thinking and decision making, both of which are related to decision analysis. Of the 24 courses in this program, all are conducted online and nine are related to doctoral research. However, students must complete a required residential symposium four times during the course of their degree.

For students interested in studying decision analysis at the doctoral level, fully online programs are not available. Instead, students can opt for a related program in management which includes coursework in decision analysis. Students may want to consider residency requirements, relevant coursework and school resources before selecting a program.

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