Ph.D. in Business Administration with a major in Management Information Systems

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  Deadline to Apply!

Begin your application today by entering the Graduate Admissions Portal.

Submit your application by:
January 15 – Application review begins and will continue until positions are filled.
March 1Application submission deadline. All supporting materials must be received by March 15.

  Contact Us

  • Contact Dr. Xinlin Tang, program director, for more information on the MIS major, its content and curriculum.
  • Email Elizabeth Kistner, Ph.D. graduate advising director, for more information about the admissions process.

Graduate Programs Office
  877-587-5540 (toll free)


Management Information Systems is one of seven majors offered through FSU’s College of Business’ Ph.D. in Business Administration. The major admits two or three candidates each fall, and the program typically takes four years to complete.

  • Focuses extensively on the organizational and behavioral aspects of MIS
  • Includes seminars in information systems; information technology’s impacts, innovation and management; and decision processes and structures
  • Offers research courses in mathematics and statistics and a wide range of support area choices, including accounting, econometrics and marketing
  • Includes one-year apprenticeship with MIS faculty member in second year, exams and dissertation

For an overview of FSU’s Ph.D. in Business Administration and its seven majors, download the brochure.

  Student Accomplishments


University of Wisconsin – Whitewater; University of North Carolina at Pembroke; James Madison University; Middle Tennessee State University; Northern Michigan University; University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; University of the Incarnate Word; University of North Carolina at Pembroke; University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; Wake Forest University


  • Ibtissam Zaza, finalist in Three Minute Thesis and Doctoral Consortium of ICIS (International Conference on Information Systems)


  • “Enterprise Social Media in Individuals’ Performance: An Affordance Perspective,” by Miaoyi Zeng; Dr. Deborah Armstrong, major professor (2023)
  • “Two Essays on Crowdfunding and Consumer Returns,” by Dan Liu; Guangzhi Shang, major professor (2023)
  • “Intra-Platform Competition: The Role of Strategic and Operational Evolution in App Success” by Yi Liu; Dr. Ashley Bush and Dr. Xinlin Tang, major professors (2018)

  Program Requirements


All applicants must have either an undergraduate or master’s degree in MIS or a related field such as Business, Information Studies, or Computer Science.  Each applicant is also required to know two programming languages, statistics, and calculus.


The Management Information Systems (MIS) doctoral program is one of a few in the United States that focuses extensively on the organizational and behavioral aspects of MIS. It is also heavily research-oriented while emphasizing relevance to the practice of business. As such, the primary goal of the program is to produce competent scholars who will contribute to the Information Systems community through careers in university teaching and research, as well as selected administrative and research positions in industry.

All MIS doctoral students must complete courses in four areas – Tools for Analytical Research (TAR), Primary and Support Area Coursework, and Research Competence Milestone Projects.

I. Tools for Analytical Research (TAR) Area

All MIS doctoral students must take six TAR courses from the disciplines of mathematics and/or statistics. These courses provide the tools and skills necessary to understand and conduct rigorous empirical research in Information Systems.

All MIS doctoral students must take courses in the following four topics:

  • General Linear Model Applications
  • Advanced Topics in Analysis of Variance Applications
  • Multivariate Analysis Applications
  • Causal Modeling

Plus two courses on topics such as the following:

  • Content Analysis
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Bayesian Analysis
  • Nonparametric Statistics
  • Survey Research
  • Scale and Instrument Development
  • Microeconometrics

Several departments offer similar courses on these topics with different flavor. The students can consult the program advisor on the exact TAR courses that they need to take.

Note that students must earn a grade of ‘B’ or better in each course to satisfy the TAR requirement. TAR courses may not be taken on an S/U basis.

Calculus is a prerequisite for all TAR courses. There are three options, to be selected by the MIS program adviser, for satisfying the calculus requirement:

  1. By having previously taken and passed a sequence of courses equivalent to MAC 2311 and MAC 2312
  2. By taking MAC 2311 and MAC 2312 or
  3. By taking an appropriate graduate level mathematics course.

If options (1) or (2) are selected, six statistics courses are required. If option (3) is selected, five statistics courses are required.

II. Primary MIS Coursework

The primary area courses and seminars provide opportunities for in-depth study of organizational, managerial and behavioral issues in Information Systems. Further, the seminars provide broad coverage of methodology and philosophy of science topics. Along with the research competence requirement, described below, the seminars aim to develop the students' research competencies, thus preparing them for a career in academia at leading research institutions.

All MIS doctoral students must complete the following primary area seminars:

  • ISM 6109 Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Theory and Information Systems
  • ISM 6395 Doctoral Seminar in Information Technology Impacts, Innovation and Management
  • ISM 6405 Doctoral Seminar in Decision Processes and Structures
  • ISM 6979 Doctoral Seminar in Research Methods and the Philosophy of Science
  • MAN 6933 Doctoral Seminar in Research Design

In consultation with the student's program adviser, additional courses may also be selected.

In addition to these courses, first- and second-year students will participate in a professional development series that will be an additional registered course in each semester of the first two years of the program. The development series is designed to introduce doctoral students to the roles and responsibilities of faculty members, including research ethics, communication with faculty at other universities, the research review process, balancing research, teaching and service, among other topics.

III. Support Area Coursework

The support area for MIS provides an opportunity to concentrate in a field of study complementary to the primary area and to the student's research interests. Typically, the support area will consist of three or four graduate courses or seminars, selected in consultation with the program adviser, in one of the following fields: Accounting, Communications, Computer Science, Econometrics, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Mathematics, Organizational Behavior, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Risk Management and Insurance, Sociology, Statistics or Strategy. All Support area coursework must be taken for a letter grade, with exceptions to take courses on an S/U basis to be granted only with the explicit approval of the program adviser. In addition, at least two of the courses required in the Support area cannot be used to satisfy other requirements.

IV. Research Competence Milestone Projects

In addition to the courses, each MIS doctoral student will be required to demonstrate research preparation and competence by completing two milestone projects in the first and the second years of the program.

The first-year milestone project can be an extension of the coursework from seminars or directed independent studies. This project requires the students to develop a full research paper and submit to a national conference or an IS journal before the end of the first summer semester. Students successfully completed the first-year milestone project will be able to continue the program in the second year.

The second-year milestone project is a one-year research apprenticeship with an MIS faculty member during the second year of his or her program. This project requires each student to identify a topic of interest to him or her and work under the supervision of a specific professor in devising the empirical project, gathering and analyzing the data and developing a manuscript.

The professor supervising the student's work must certify the completion of the project and the potential for journal submission in order for the student to complete the research competence requirement. Students successfully completing the second-year milestone project will be able to take the comprehensive exam in the third fall semester.






Year 1


  • ISM 6979 Research Methods (odd years)
  • ISM 6395 IT Impacts, Innovation and Management (even years)
  • EDF 5401 General Linear Model Applications
  • TAR Elective
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • ISM 6109 Organizational Theory and Information Systems (odd years)
  • ISM 6405 Decision Processes and Structure (even years)
  • MAN 6917 Research Design
  • EDF 5402 Advanced Topics in Analysis of Variance Applications
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • EDF 5406 Miltivariate Analysis Applications
  • TAR Elective or Support area
  • ISM 5906 First-year Milestone Project

Year 2

  • ISM 6395 IT Impacts, Innovation and Management (even years)
  • ISM 6979 Philosophy of Science (odd years)
  • EDF 5409 Causal Modeling
  • Support area
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • ISM 6109 Organizational Theory and Information Systems (odd years)
  • ISM 6405 Decision Processes and Structure (even years)
  • TAR Elective of Support area
  • Support area
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • GEB 6904 Readings for Examination (6 hours)
  • ISM 6917 Second-year Milestone Project


Year 3

  • Comprehensive Exams and Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation

Year 4

  • Dissertation and Defense
  • Dissertation and Defense
  • Dissertation and Defense

  Application Process

Admission decisions are made by the college’s Doctoral Admissions Committee and are based on a combination of factors, including prior academic record from accepted universities; GRE or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores taken within the past five years; letters of recommendation; experience; record of accomplishments. Admission is competitive and focused on students with grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher and GMAT scores of at least 600 or GRE scores of at least 155 on each section of the revised test.


  • Login to (applications will only be accepted through this portal).
  • Begin your application by logging in with your FSUID or clicking the link to register to get one.
  • Complete your online application form and submit.
  • Include the names and contact information for at least 3 (required) references.
    • This will generate automated email sent to your references by our system to request that they submit a recommendation for you and answer a series of standardized questions.
  • Submit your Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages).
  • Submit a current resume or C.V.
  • Pay the nonrefundable $30 application fee.
  • Required transcripts: Unofficial transcripts uploaded to your application, provided they are in English and have grades assigned to coursework, will be sufficient for the first round of review. An official transcript will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that each college or university you have attended submit an official transcript to FSU (see below for email/address).
    • Transcripts are considered official if they are sent directly to FSU (either through the U.S. mail or electronically) by your undergraduate or graduate institution.
  • Required test scores: Unofficial test scores are sufficient for the first round of review. Complete the Self-reported Test Score Form. Official test scores will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that official GMAT or GRE scores (and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/DuoLingo/Cambridge C1 Advanced/Michigan Language, if applicable) be submitted to FSU (see below for email/address)
    • Test scores will only be considered official if sent directly from the testing service. The code for ETS to send (GRE and TOEFL) scores to FSU is 5219. The code to send GMAT scores to FSU is PN8K567.
    • An English proficiency exam score (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE) must be submitted for international applicants whose native language is not English or who have not received a college degree from an institution where the instruction is primarily in English.
  • Have transcripts and test scores sent to or:

    Graduate Admissions Office
    222 S. Copeland St.
    314 Westcott Building
    Florida State University
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410


International applicants should visit for information concerning financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc.

English Language Proficiency Exam
International applicants whose native language is not English or who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in an English-speaking country are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL,) the International English Language Testing System (IELTS,) the Pearson Test of English (PTE,) Duolingo, Cambridge C1 Advanced Level, or Michigan Language Assessment and submit official test results in order to be admitted to Florida State University. The College of Business requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the internet-based test, a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS exam, or a minimum of 66 on the PTE, a minimum score of 120 on Duolingo, a minimum score of 180 on Cambridge C1 Advanced Level, or a minimum score of 55 on the Michigan Language Assessment taken within the past two (2) years.

  Program Costs

Ph.D. students typically take 27-33 credit hours each year. Here are the estimated program costs for the 2023-2024 academic year:

  • Florida residents: $479.32 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $12,941.64 - $15,817.56 per year.
  • Non-Florida residents: $1,110.72 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $29,989.44 - $36,653.76 per year.

Note: These costs do not include required books, supplies for courses, or required health insurance. Costs are subject to change. Fees above do not include some per-term flat fees for FSUCard and facilities use. For a breakdown of on-campus student fees and their explanations, visit the university’s Tuition Rates page.

  Residency Information

The doctoral program is a full-time program that lasts four to five years. Students should plan to live in the Tallahassee area year-round, including summers. Our program is not set up for individuals who wish to take courses part time or online.

  Financial Assistance

The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. The goal of the college is to provide assistantships and/or fellowships to all of our admitted doctoral students, subject to overall enrollment and fiscal limitations. Most doctoral students who request funding, who maintain a satisfactory level of academic and work performance, and who are in residence receive financial assistance from the college. Annual stipends and supplementary assistance such as travel expenses for conference attendance will vary among cohorts and programs. Students who are not Florida residents should note that tuition waivers associated with assistantships only cover the out-of-state portion of their tuition for year one of the program. Out-of-state tuition waivers are generally not available for years two through five.
Doctoral students on assistantship are supported for four full academic years, contingent upon satisfactory performance in the program. Eligibility for fifth-year support is considered for a student having made substantial progress toward placement at a research-oriented university. For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.


The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. There are various scholarships available for graduate students. Visit our graduate scholarships page to learn more.

(Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.)

  • For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit
  • For more information on Florida State University's research and research funding, visit
  • For more information on Florida State University's graduate fellowships and awards, visit