PhD in MIS

The PhD Business Administration in MIS at Fox produces high-caliber faculty who are ready to assume responsibilities at top-tier research universities and generate high impact research. A hallmark of our program is the close collaboration between faculty and PhD students. The program includes highly acclaimed faculty that has a superb research record, and extensive experience in mentoring doctoral students.

  • Fox MIS was ranked Number 1 worldwide for research in MIS (MIS Quarterly and Information Systems Research) for 2009-2012.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Fox MIS in the top 10 in the U.S. for faculty research productivity.
  • MIS faculty are on the editorial board of leading academic journals such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Management Science and Organization Science.
  • MIS Faculty and doctoral students work on exciting and innovative research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, IBM, Samsung, Lockheed Martin, Merck, and Campbell Soup.
  • The Fox School has made a major commitment to the MIS department as the only free-standing IS department in the Philadelphia area.
  • The Fox MIS research portfolio covers a range of topics including e-commerce, innovation, competitive strategy, social media, virtual teams, and mobile computing.

All qualified students receive full financial support including tuition and stipend. We also provide generous travel support to present your work at leading academic conferences and there are fellowship opportunities for top quality PhD students. For truly outstanding candidates, we also provide incentives through additional summer funding. Students also have the opportunity to receive funding from the Institute for Business and Information Technology which partners with some of the leading corporations in the world.

The program requires about two years of course work and added time for the dissertation. The average expected time to completion is 4 years.

Shuting Wang“I was attracted to the Fox MIS PhD because of its reputation and high productivity. I enjoy working with innovative professors in this fast paced environment.”
Shuting Wang, MIS PhD candidate 



Admission to the Fox School of Business and Management PhD MIS specialization is highly competitive. All applicants must take the GMAT or GRE General Test and have obtained a masters or undergraduate degree from an accredited  university. Successful applicants typically possess an aptitude for critical thinking and have good knowledge about the state of art of applied information technology. Over the past several years the average student accepted into our program has scored 710 on the GMAT, 1400 on the GRE, and has had a GPA of 3.7 in their undergraduate and graduate degree programs, strong letter of recommendations, and a well-written personal statement.

Application Deadlines: Rolling basis (with a final deadline of February 1 before the start of the program in August). You are strongly encouraged to apply early as additional University-wide scholarships may be available for outstanding candidates. The program only admits students in the fall of each year. For additional information please contact Joseph Allegra, Associate Director.


All admitted students receive full financial support including tuition and stipend. Funding and scholarship options for new PhD in MIS students are listed below. In addition, there may be additional funding available for students through grants and projects that are currently in progress inside the department. Therefore, it is important that you contact the department as early as possible to discuss admission.

If you have excellent academic credentials or meet the criteria for any of the financial aid opportunities please contact us for further assistance. For additional information please contact Joseph Allegra, Associate Director.

gordburtchThe MIS faculty at Fox are at the top of their field, and it seems like there is a constant stream of scholars visiting from institutions all over the world, delivering seminars about whatever cutting edge research they happen to be working on. With access to great minds like these, I always have the opportunity to bounce my ideas off others, to obtain great feedback, regardless of the topic.
Gord Burtch, MIS PhD Graduate,  Assistant Professor at University of Minnesota



The MIS doctoral program consists of sixteen doctoral level courses, which include four core courses (Math Preparation, Business Statistics I & II, Theory of Choice), at least three theory electives and at least three research method electives (the choices are dependent on the students’ research interests and qualification and are decided upon consulting with the concentration advisor and faculty mentor of the student), four MIS concentration seminars (one proseminar + three research seminars) and two electives of students’ choice. Below is a sample course map:

Fall Year 1

  • BA 9100 – Math Preparation (August)
  • BA 9101or BA 9090 – Business Statistics I
  • BA 9103 – Theory of Choice
  • BA 9105 – Business Econometrics I
  • Concentration pro-seminar

Spring Year 1

  • MIS 9002/ MIS 9003 – MIS seminar I
  • BA 9102 – Business Statistics II
  • BA 9106 – Business Econometrics II or BA 9201 – Quantitative Research Methods I
  • Elective:
    • BA9001 – Organizations and Management Theory
    • BA 9104 – Game Theory
  • Screening Exam (end of semester)
  • First Year Research Paper

Fall Year 2

  • MIS 9004 – MIS seminar II
  • BA 9209 – Business Econometrics III or BA 9207 – Quantitative Research Methods II
  • BA 9002 – Philosophy of Science
  • Electives: BA 9205 – Information Economics

Spring Year 2

  • MIS 9002/9003 – MIS seminar III
  • Electives
  • Second year research paper
  • Preliminary exam (summer’s end)

Yili HongThe faculty’s expertise here covers almost all aspects of IS research, and that gives us an edge in knowing different research streams and research traditions in IS.
Yili Hong, MIS PhD Graduate, Assistant Professor at Arizona State University


 Paper Requirement

PhD students in MIS are required to complete two research papers: first year summer paper and second year summer paper. Students will be asked to present a proposal of their research papers in May of the first and second year and the final presentation in the beginning of the second and third year. After each presentation, the MIS faculty will evaluate whether the student has satisfactorily completed the research paper and presentation requirement.

Comprehensive Exam Requirement

PhD students in MIS are required to pass a Comprehensive (Preliminary) Exam in the end of the second year. The Comprehensive exam is designed to test whether the student has a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the theories, methodologies, and empirical findings in MIS. The exam primarily focuses on the knowledge gained in the concentration seminars and theory courses, albeit other pertinent materials may also be included in the comprehensive exam.


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