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The PhD in Administration program celebrates its 400th graduate

November 13, 2018

The PhD in Administration program celebrates its 400th graduate

The Professor Samuel Sponem, the Director of HEC Montréal Michel Patry, the Director of the PhD in Administration program Jacques Robert, the PhD Graduate Ksenia Kordonsky, and the Professors Rahul Ravi, Martin Boyer and Gunnar Grass.

The HEC Montréal PhD in Administration program has reached an important milestone: its 400th graduate!

Ksenia Kordonsky successfully defended her thesis in Finance, entitled Social Responsibility, Ethics and Lawsuits: Three Essays on Corporate Wrongdoing and Do-gooding, at the School on November 8.

The jury was made up of her research director, Professor Martin Boyer; the chair/rapporteur, Professor Gunnar Grass; a member of the thesis committee, Concordia University Professor Rahul Ravi; and the external examiner, from Georgia State University, Professor Charlotte Alexander. Professor Samuel Sponem represented the HEC Montréal Director.

In Union there is Strength

The PhD in Administration program is offered jointly by HEC Montréal, Concordia and McGill universities and UQAM. Canada’s first PhD in Administration, it was designed by professors Bertin Nadeau and Henry Mintzberg. It was and remains a unique program, in particular thanks to the possibilities it offers students and the potential for advancing research.

The program gives students access to a vast pool of professors from the four partner universities: nearly 600, a number that even the leading American universities are hard put to match. This means that a huge variety of highly specific research topics can easily be supervised and developed. This is the advantage of a broader range of courses and greater diversity of expertise.

The four partner institutions also work in close collaboration. Students enrol at the university of their choice, but take courses at all four. In addition, committees supervising doctoral students must include at least one professor from one of the other three universities.

An Innovative Program

When it was launched, in 1975, the program naturally faced certain challenges. “American university colleagues told us that a PhD program run jointly by four universities would never work. It seemed too complicated,” recalls Jean-Marie Toulouse, former Director of HEC Montréal and the first Program Director.

Mr. Toulouse admits that it was sometimes difficult to co-ordinate the partners’ standards and methods, but says everything finally came together. “After 43 years and 400 graduates at HEC Montréal alone, we can certainly say that the program has proven itself,” he concludes.

This very first joint program for HEC Montréal paved the way for the introduction, just over 30 years later, of the Executive MBA, another program offered jointly by HEC Montréal and McGill University.

The PhD in Administration in a Few Figures

12 specializations

60% international students

74% of graduates choose an academic career

130 students currently in the program at HEC Montréal

33 (candidates’ average age)

61% men

39% women

Financial support for doctoral studies 

As is the case for most students in the PhD in Administration program, Ksenia Kordonsky was able to complete her doctoral studies and her research project thanks to scholarships.

In addition to the admission and excellence scholarships she was awarded by the HEC Montréal Foundation, Ms. Kordonsky received funding from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC) and the Education and Good Governance Fund of the Autorité des marchés financiers.


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