What will I learn?

This PhD program is designed to prepare students primarily for careers as members of faculty in academic information systems units and secondarily as professionals in non-academic research and professional organizations. The program focuses on developing traditional technical and empirical research skills and is also characterized by four distinctive elements that enhance the traditional model:

  • a commitment to practical relevance
  • an emphasis on producing quality teachers
  • a research apprenticeship requirement
  • interdisciplinary research

The primary mission is to prepare graduates to conduct top-quality basic and applied research in Information Systems. In addition, the program includes a commitment to practical relevance, an emphasis on producing quality teachers, a research apprenticeship requirement, and interdisciplinary research.

A full-time student is expected to complete the Ph.D. degree in four years. The program requires two years of course works, followed by written comprehensive examinations, an oral examination, proposal defense, writing of the dissertation, and the dissertation defense.

While the coursework may be customized for each student in consultation with the Ph.D. Director, the major elements of the coursework include courses in the major (IS), supporting area, research methodology, and teaching preparation. The supporting area can be from within the Bryan School or outside depending on the research focus of the student. There are requirements for a research apprenticeship during the first two years and an organizational internship if necessary.

Students entering into the program with deficiencies may be advised to take additional “leveling” courses. Students are advised to work closely with department faculty and the Ph.D. Director in order to identify and develop research interests early during the program.

Which department am I in?

Bryan School of Business and Economics

Study options

Full Time (71 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$21,200.00 per year
Start date

20 August 2019


Bryan School of Business and Economics

516 Stirling Street,


North Carolina,

27412, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

All applicants must have obtained the following: A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or appropriately-evaluated credentials for non-U.S. schools. Satisfactory academic standing as an undergraduate or in a post-baccalaureate program: “B” (3.0 GPA) average or better. Other English language requirements: TOEFL Paper-Based score of 550; A score of at least 53 is required for the Pearson Test of English.

For international students

The PhD in Information Systems (IS) program is available to students with master’s degrees in appropriate areas such as business, computer science, public administration, engineering, or the social sciences. Students without masters’ degree in business will need to take additional courses to establish an understanding of business processes.

English Language Proficiency: TOEFL: internet based - 79, or paper based - 550. A score of at least 6.5 is required on the IELTS.

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.