Organizations & Social Change Track - PhD


  • We are currently accepting applications for the PhD track in Organizations and Social Change. We are seeking outstanding applicants with a broad interest in organizations at the business-society interface. Prospective students with prior degrees in management, sociology, economics, political science or other relevant areas are encouraged to apply. Most successful applicants have a Master’s degree. Prior research experience (e.g. data analysis, literature reviews, academic writing) is highly recommended. Support of up to $25,000 is available for admitted students without other sources of funding.

The Organizations and Social Change (OSC) track responds to the growing interest in issues at the intersection of business and society. The interdisciplinary OSC track is distinctive among PhD programs in business schools, in our explicit commitment to diverse perspectives, theories, and methodologies. UMass Boston is guided by a mission of social justice and community involvement, and is an extraordinary place to learn about the relevance of business and organizations in addressing societal issues.

What are the career opportunities when I graduate?

Students in the OSC track will be positioned to pursue academic careers at universities and research institutions. Graduates from the OSC track have found positions at universities in the U.S. and abroad. However, a PhD degree from the OSC track will also qualify for research-oriented careers at think tanks, research centers and consulting firms. Graduates will be prepared to:

What kinds of research are faculty engaged in now?

Faculty of the OSC track possess international reputations in their fields and are actively engaged in academic and practice-oriented research, and publishing in highly regarded outlets. Their expertise in organizations and social change brings them into close contact with business, entrepreneurs, government agencies, and nonprofits.  The research interests of our faculty include (but are not limited to):

Who should apply?

The OSC track involves close, apprentice-like working relationships with faculty members, and students are introduced early to academic research and publishing. Current and former PhD students of the OSC track regularly publish in highly regarded journals, typically together with faculty, and have been involved in impactful community projects and action-oriented research. Apply if you are interested in pursuing a full-time doctoral program specializing in areas broadly aligned with those topics listed above or the overall intentions of the track in responding to the growing interest in issues at the intersection of business and society.

Why UMass Boston?

UMass Boston is recognized as a world-class research university with a reputation for linking rigorous research to economic development and community well-being. The campus is part of the University of Massachusetts system. The College of Management is AACSB accredited (some colleges will only employ PhD graduates from AACSB accredited institutions), and has been recognized by the Aspen Institute’s Business & Society program as among the top 75 business schools in the world for leadership in researching and teaching about the social impacts of business. OSC faculty have received awards for their impactful research to better understanding the role of business in society, and are regularly cited in the popular media, including The Conversation, Boston Globe, The Guardian, and other outlets. The college is home to the Entrepreneurship Center, the Financial Services Forum, the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness, and the Center for Collaborative Leadership. The location, breadth, and depth of university offerings, and faculty expertise, all offer doctoral students the chance to maximize their investment in a research degree.

Specialization: Doctoral students are able to create their own coursework specialties in conjunction with their interests and faculty expertise. Various university centers and programs serve as additional resources for students as they craft their particular course of study. A wide variety of relevant electives are also offered through other doctoral programs on campus, particularly in public policy and global studies, as well as through programs at other Boston area universities.

Location: The College of Management at UMass Boston is centrally located in one of the world’s premier cities for research, finance, technology, health care, social services, not-for-profits, education, consulting, and the arts. The opportunities for study, research, and outreach by doctoral students are abundant in the Boston area. Students will be able to leverage relationships among faculty and industry leaders, while conducting their own research. Learn more about campus life.

What are the general costs of the program?

Support of up to $25,000 per year is available for admitted students without other sources of funding.