Ph.D. with a major in Management Information Systems

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  Apply Today

Begin your application today by entering the Graduate Admissions Portal.

Submit your application by:
January 15Priority deadline. 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.
  • Contact Gail Palo, Ph.D. academic program specialist, 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 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


Middle Tennessee State University; Northern Michigan University; University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; University of the Incarnate Word; Wake Forest University


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


  • “Compulsive Technology Use," by Jeffrey A. Clements; Dr. Ashley Bush, major professor
  • “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)
  • “IT Self-Service: A Conceptual and Analytical Study” by Ibtissam Zaza; Dr. Iris Junglas, major professor (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 IS 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 the following four courses:

  • EDF 5401 General Linear Model Applications (4 hours)
  • EDF 5402 Advanced Topics in Analysis of Variance Applications
  • EDF 5406 Multivariate Analysis Applications
  • EDF 5409 Causal Modeling

Plus two courses from the following list:         

  • COM 5317 Content Analysis in Communication Research
  • COM 5348 Qualitative Methods in Communication Research
  • EDF 5404 Bayesian Data Analysis
  • EDF 5410 Nonparametric Analysis Applications (or STA 5507 Applied Nonparametric Statistics)
  • EDF 5414 Introduction to Large Data Sets
  • EDF 5432 Measurement Theory I
  • EDF 5434 Measurement Theory II
  • EDF 5435 Theory of Scaling (2 hours)
  • EDF 5449 Survey Research Methods
  • EDF 5448 Scale and Instrument Development
  • EDF 5907 SPSS (1-3 hours)
  • EDF 6475 Qualitative Methods in Educational Research
  • STA 5225 Sample Surveys
  • STA 5507 Applied Logistic Regression
  • STA 5856 Time Series & Forecasting Methods
  • STA 5934 Special topic: Python for Data Science

Note that students must earn a grade of ‘B’ or better in each course to satisfy the TAR requirement. This implies that 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.

In addition to the general prerequisites for doctoral study, students must have completed either an undergraduate or graduate degree program in Management Information Systems.

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 primary area 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 support area 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 primary area 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.






First Year


  • ISM 6979 Research Methods
  • ISM 6109 Organizational Theory / Information Systems
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • TAR Course
  • MAN 6917 Doctoral Seminar in Research Design
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • Support area
  • TAR Course
  • Support area
  • TAR Course
  • TAR Course

Second Year

  • ISM 6395 Information Technology
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • Support area
  • TAR
  • ISM 6405 Decision Processes
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • Support area
  • Research Readiness
  • Comprehensive Exams


Third Year

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation

Fourth Year

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation

Fifth Year

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation & 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
  • 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
  • Request that each college or university you have attended submit an official transcript to FSU
    • 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. In some cases, an unofficial transcript may be used during the initial review process, however an official transcript must be submitted prior to admission.
  • Request that official GMAT or GRE scores (and TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable) be submitted to FSU 
    • 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 or IELTS) 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:
      Admissions Office 
      PO Box 3062400, 282 Champions Way 
      Florida State University


International applicants whose native language is not English and 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) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official test results in order to be admitted to The Florida State University. The College of Business requires a minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test and 100 on the internet-based test, or a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS exam, taken within the past two (2) years.

A minimum score of 25 for each section of the TOEFL is strongly recommended. In addition, international graduate applicants seeking teaching assistantships are required to pass a test of spoken English.

For more international applicant information, visit  for information concerning financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc.

  Program Costs

Ph.D. students typically take 27-33 credit hours each year. Here are the estimated program costs for the 2018-2019 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 years of academic support, contingent upon satisfactory performance in the program. Under certain conditions, students may qualify for a fifth year of support. Students who would like to request fifth year funding should notify their faculty advisor by the end of the second spring term in the program.


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

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