Doctoral

Degree Requirements

Content and Length Of Program

The MIS PhD program requires full-time continuous enrollment and consists of approximately two years of coursework. Approximately eleven courses are taken in your major area of Management Information Systems. A minimum of three courses are taken in a supporting area of your choosing and three additional courses are required to fulfill the research methodology requirement. Coursework is followed by a comprehensive exam, the development of a dissertation proposal, and your dissertation research. The program length varies depending on the time required to complete the dissertation. However, four and one half years is a reasonable estimate.

General Timeline and Milestones for Doctoral Studies in MIS

First year of studies
  • Fall semester:
    • Nine semester hours.
    • Appointment of the advisory committee (also called course committee). Required by the end of semester.
    • Appointment of the doctoral student mentor. Required by the end of semester.
  • Spring semester:
    • Nine semester hours.
    • Degree plan completed. Required by the end of semester.
  • Summer semester:
    • Six semester hours.
Second year of studies
  • Fall semester:
    • Nine semester hours.
  • Spring semester:
    • Nine semester hours.
  • Summer semester:
    • Six semester hours.
Third year of studies

During the third year of studies: Oral defense of the dissertation proposal. Suggested.

  • Fall semester:
    • Nine semester hours.
    • Comprehensive examination. Required.
  • Spring semester:
    • Nine semester hours.
  • Summer semester:
    • Six semester hours.
Fourth year of studies

During the fourth year of studies: Oral defense of the dissertation. Suggested.

  • Fall semester:
    • Nine semester hours.
  • Spring semester:
    • Nine semester hours.
  • Summer semester:
    • Six semester hours.

Dissertation

All graduates of the program must research, write and defend an original piece of research in the field of management information systems. This Dissertation must be completed within four years of the comprehensive examination (college policy); a student who fails to successfully defend a dissertation within six years of entering the program must retake the comprehensive examinations (college policy). Further details about the Dissertation are available here.

Required Examinations

Comprehensive Examination

The purpose of the Comprehensive examination is to determine if the student has achieved acceptable mastery of the Management Information Systems field in order to successfully complete a doctoral degree in this program. The comprehensive examination has a written and oral component.

Each student must complete the comprehensive examination by the end of the Fall semester of the third year of studies after completing the coursework specified in their degree plan (as specified by the College Ph.D. policies). MIS faculty will assign the materials, design the comprehensive examination questions and grade the questions. The examinations are graded as a “pass” or a “fail” and the student will be notified within the timeline specified by the College Ph.D. policies.

If the student has failed either the written or the oral part of the comprehensive examination, they must retake both parts of the exam within six months of the notification that they have failed. Only one reexamination is allowed.

Dissertation Proposal Defense

The dissertation proposal defense is an oral examination that takes place during the dissertation process. It establishes that the student has a solid understanding of the prior work that his or her dissertation follows on to and also provides an opportunity for the student and his or her dissertation committee to reach agreement about the research plan and potential outcomes. All course work must be successfully completed prior to the Dissertation Proposal Defense and the Comprehensive Examination Passed. This is usually completed in year three of the program.

Final Dissertation Defense

This is an oral examination following the draft submission of the written dissertation. It is the final hurdle to obtain a Ph.D.

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