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PhD in Management Information Systems

Research in Information Systems and Technological Progress

The UIC Business PhD program in Management Information Systems educates and trains future scholars to establish successful careers as productive researchers, scientists and scholars at leading universities and research institutions. Our program stresses technical, economic and organizational/management aspects of information systems.

A STEM Degree Program

The PhD in Management Information Systems is approved as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Designated Degree Program. Under the Optional Practical Training program, international students who graduate from the program are able to remain in the United States and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months, and can remain for an additional 24 months on an OPT STEM extension.

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Important Dates Heading link

The application deadline for this program is January 15.

Admission Heading link

Admission is competitive and applicants are considered on an individual basis. The college considers applications for full time degree seeking status for the Fall term only. The deadline to submit the application, fee and required materials is January 15. Please see the admissions section of our catalog for application requirements

Requirements and Dissertation Heading link


Breadth Requirement

Two introductory courses in any two functional areas of business, for example:

  • Operations management (IDS 532)
  • Accounting (ACTG 500)
  • Economics (ECON 520,521)
  • Finance (FIN 500)
  • Marketing (MKTG 500)
  • Management (MGMT 541)

These courses will not count towards the 64 semester hours required for entrants with a master’s degree.

Technical Requirements

  • Data Structures and Operating Systems (IDS 401)
  • Business Systems Analysis & Design (IDS 405)
  • Business Database Design (IDS 410)

Each course may be waived based on equivalent prior coursework or appropriate work experience in the technical area. These courses will not count towards the 64 semester hours requirement for entrants with a master’s degree.

Basic Competency

  • Advanced database management (IDS 520)
  • Distributed processing and telecommunication systems (IDS 521)
  • Enterprise application infrastructure (IDS 517)

Each course may be waived based on equivalent prior coursework or appropriate work experience in the technical area.

Research Methods:
3-4 courses (12-16 semester hours) including statistical methods in research, behavioral research methods overview, quantitative methods in research and additional courses to be decided in consultation with the director of the PhD program.

MIS Specialization:
Minimum of six courses (24 credit hours) including two IDS research seminars (IDS 529), three specialized courses in areas of individual interest, IS research topics (IDS 525), and an additional courses in consultation with the director of the PhD program.

Additional doctoral-level course work, including dissertation: at least 8 courses (32 semester hours minimum.

IDS 599: PhD Thesis Research or additional doctoral-level course work chosen with the consent of the PhD coordinator and in consultation with the dissertation adviser. A maximum of 32 semester hours of thesis research can count toward the degree.

Annual Evaluation
The student will write a research paper each year beginning the first summer in the program and continuing until the preliminary evaluation. An assessment of the summer paper will be conducted at the beginning of the fall semester each year that the student is in the program, except the first year. The evaluation will be conducted by a three-member faculty committee, which will include the PhD director as the chairperson, the student’s mentor and an MIS faculty member who has taught the student during that year.

Preliminary Examination
The preliminary examination is normally taken upon successful completion of the required course work. In exceptional cases, the examination may be taken earlier upon recommendation of the MIS director of doctoral studies and the student’s PhD adviser. The Graduate College requires that “the preliminary examination may not be given before one calendar year of residence nor later than one calendar year before defense of the dissertation.”

The preliminary examination consists of an oral examination on the dissertation proposal and related material. The examination may cover any issues relevant to the topic addressed in the proposal and PhD common core and basic knowledge in the field of specialization related to the proposal.

For a full list of degree requirements, click here for the UIC Catalog.


A dissertation, which makes an original contribution to knowledge in MIS, is required and must be defended. Dissertations may address theoretical or applied problems. In most cases, a minimum of 24 semester hours will be required to prepare a dissertation acceptable to the committee. Up to 32 semester hours of credit can be awarded for successful completion of a dissertation.

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