PhD/MBA Program


The Wake Forest University PhD/MBA program is dedicated to training and research at the interface between science andbusiness to unleash the power and potential of technology for the benefit of society.


A large proportion of Ph.D. graduates work in the private sector in positions that use the skills acquired during their graduate training. But in addition to the scholarship and rigor that makes the Ph.D. a world model, there is a need for a broader range of skills for success in a changing employment climate. The Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with the Schools of Business, has initiated an innovative course of study leading to the PhD/MBA. The Wake Forest PhD/MBA program is the first program of its kind in the nation, and the first to produce students with the joint degree (see testimonials from some of our graduates, below).

The World Can Change at the Intersection of Disciplines

Uniting science and management, the PhD/MBA program is preparing a new generation of leaders for the emerging fields of technology. Our mission is focused, providing education and research training leading to beneficial uses for the rapidly emerging discoveries in the sciences, and preparing students for industry or academic leadership. Multidisciplinary knowledge is indispensable in the development of new products and processes and in the translation of biomedical advances to patients and the global market. As the first graduate program in the nation offering management training with the Ph.D., we are dedicated to capturing the brightest minds and providing them with the scientific and management expertise needed to foster the technology infrastructure of the nation.

An Innovative and Efficient Curriculum

The PhD/MBA program is a synthesis of curricula from the Graduate School and the Evening MBA Program of the Schools of Business, with specialized course work and opportunities for industrial and business internships. The joint program is open to new and current students in all PhD-granting programs across all Wake Forest campuses. Students take from 4-6 years to complete the joint program, depending on the nature of the graduate research undertaken in the home program. The first year of the curriculum will provide students with a core base of knowledge in the core competencies of the home graduate program. At the end of the second year, and before beginning MBA course work, the student must take and pass examinations that will admit him/her to candidacy for the PhD. A student enrolling in the PhD/MBA program would have 5-6 semesters of evening MBA courses added to the graduate degree requirements. Opportunities for industrial projects and internships are possible after ascent to PhD candidacy and during the MBA coursework phase. The PhD and MBA degrees will be awarded simultaneously at the completion of all requirements for both degrees.

Apply Online

Students wishing to enroll in the combined program apply to and meet the respective admissions requirements of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Business. Admission to the MBA portion of the program occurs separately after gaining admission to the home graduate program, and after securing appropriate approval from the home program for participation in the joint program. In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Schools of Business requires completion of the GMAT (General Management Aptitude Test). The Schools of Business will also accept the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as a replacement for the GMAT for admissions.

Contact Information

Questions regarding admissions:
Mr. Kevin Bender
Associate Director, Graduate Admissions
School of Business
(336) 758-3091

General questions:
Dr. Dwayne Godwin
Associate Dean
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

A Small Program with Big Impact

TargaceptPhD/MBA students completed an economic impact study of new in silico algorithms used in the drug discovery process. This study contributed to a $2 million grant awarded by the US government to develop computer simulation software designed to predict biological and toxicological effects of drugs, which will reduce the failure rate in the drug development process. Pictured from the left are Donald Debethizy, President and CEO of Targacept, Inc., Randy Jacinto, PhD/MBA graduate; Richard Alexander, PhD/MBA graduate; Dwayne W. Godwin, Ph.D., Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy and Director of the PhD/MBA program; Adam Winseck, PhD/MBA graduate; and William S. Caldwell, Ph.D., Vice President of Drug Discovery and Development, Targacept, Inc. Not pictured is Heather Peters, PhD/MBA student who also worked on the project.


What the Students Have to Say About the PhD/MBA Program

Dr. Adam Winseck“My new job is exactly what I have been looking for. I found that the dual degree is an attractive combination that will allow me to go further, faster.”

Dr. Adam Winseck
Medical Marketing, Sanofi Aventis, Inc.
2004 Neurobiology and Anatomy
Medical Education Marketing

Dr. Randy Jacinto“The fusion of biology and business has provided a unique perspective – like looking at the world from space, it’s easier to see the whole picture. As an aspiring entrepreneur I feel that the skills I learned will amplify my ability to make a difference.”

Dr. Randy Jacinto
BioRad, Inc.
2004 PhD/MBA graduate
Molecular Medicine

Dr. Richard Alexander“Incredible advances can occur where disciplines collide. The PhD/MBA program has given me the tools to pursue a broader career horizon without sacrificing my core scientific interests.”

Dr. Richard Alexander
2004 PhD/MBA graduate

Dr. Heather Peters“The PhD/MBA program prepared me for a career, not just a job. Today I am conducting research with a deeper understanding of how my work supports my organization.”

Dr. Heather Peters
PhD/MBA graduate

Dr. Frank Welder “Drawing from my management and scientific training in equal measure, I’ve enjoyed the increased level of responsibility and respect that has come with achieving the dual degree.”

Dr. Frank Welder
PhD/MBA graduate
Mechnical and Quality Director
Microbac Laboratories, Inc.



Academic Programs

For a complete list of academic programs and  degree tracks offered, along with contact information, please click here.

To see a list of Programs:

WFU Graduate School Brochure

Click above to read our Graduate School brochure (PDF).