PhD plan of study

The PhD program consists of a minimum of 84 semester hours of graduate-level coursework beyond the bachelor's degree. Approved master’s degree-level coursework up to 30 hours beyond deficiency and prerequisite courses may be included.

A minimum of 42 hours of doctoral coursework and 12 hours of dissertation credits are required for completion of the degree. The 42 hours of coursework consists of three components:

  • Basic program (12 hours): Three courses on research tools and techniques; choose from economics, behavioral science and quantitative methods
  • Area of concentration (15 hours): Four doctoral seminars and one additional graduate course in information systems
  • Supporting coursework (15 hours): Two supervised research project courses in information systems (6 hours), and other graduate course electives related to your research interests (9 hours)

Program milestones

Year 1 & 2 Year 3 & 4
Coursework Research publications
Research publications Dissertation proposal
Qualifying exam Dissertation defense
Research assistantship Teaching assistantship


Once you successfully complete the PhD exam, you will begin to work with a personally selected faculty member or faculty committee on an original research-based dissertation. Once your research proposal is accepted, you will conduct your research. A final oral defense of your dissertation is required.


You are eligible for graduation from the PhD program when you meet the following conditions:

  • All Graduate College requirements have been completed
  • The final oral examination in defense of your dissertation has been passed
  • Your dissertation has been approved by your doctoral committee committee
  • Your dissertation has been accepted by the associate dean in the W. P. Carey School and the dean of the Graduate College