Program Overview

The PhD in MIS is a 4 to 5 year, full-time program that seeks to develop outstanding scholars who will excel in research and teaching positions at other major universities. We have developed a PhD program that will provide you with significant individual flexibility, while at the same time ensuring that you acquire the necessary conceptual and methodological skills to begin work toward a leadership position in your field.

Our PhD program is known for its cutting-edge research and support from actively publishing faculty.

Why a PhD in MIS?

Our research program has consistently been ranked among the top ten worldwide for more than a decade. Several of our faculty have won multiple research grants, awards for outstanding research, and Fulbright awards. Many of the MIS faculty hold editorial positions with the field's top research journals.

Internationally-Recognized Faculty

  • Leadership of the Association for Information Systems (Richard Watson, former president and Leo Award winner — the highest award in the field​, and AIS Fellows — Richard Watson, Hugh Watson and Elena Karahanna)
  • Ranked 6th worldwide in faculty research productivity in field's top journals (1990-2012 — 2 journals)
  • Ranked 8th worldwide in overall faculty research productivity overall number of IS publications (1990-2012 — 8 journals)
  • On editorial boards of all major IS journals (MISQ, ISR, JMIS, etc.)
  • Research faculty involved in PhD program and highly available for PhD students — a culture of prioritizing attention to PhD education
  • Weekly research seminars where top scholars from around the world present and discuss their research.

Our research is diverse, often interdisciplinary, and has a strong international flavor, with links to researchers around the globe. UGA has a strong tradition of innovative MIS research and is home to a variety of influential research programs, including the theory of task-technology fit, technology adoption over time, and IS and ecological sustainability. Further, researchers have impacted the field with ground-breaking work in executive information systems, enterprise-resource planning (ERP) systems, knowledge management, social media, cyber infrastructure, and telemedicine. More recently UGA MIS researchers have founded the field of energy informatics.

UGA's MIS researchers have deep knowledge of many different research approaches from statistical methods to qualitative data analysis and are well-versed in current cross-disciplinary thinking in fields such as economics, sociology, and psychology.

MIS Faculty Research Interests MIS Faculty and PhD Journal Articles



  • PhD graduates placed in top research universities around the world
  • Particularly strong placement record in Southeast U.S.

View complete list of placements

Typical Course Sequence

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1
  • MIST 9700 MIS Research I
  • Regression
  • MIST 9770 Philosophy of Science and Measurement
  • GRSC 7770 Teaching
  • MIST 9760 MIS Topics
  • MARK 9650 Multivariate
  • MIST 9750 Ind Level IS Theories(MIST 9750 and MIST 9710 are offered every other year. Some incoming Ph.D. student cohorts will take MIST 9750 in their first year and MIST 9710 in their second year and others will take MIST 9750 in their second year and MIST 9710 in their first year.)
  • Research Methods Course
  • MIST 8990 Directed Study
  • First Year Exam (May)
Year 2
  • MGMT 9610 Introduction to SEM
  • Research Methods Course
  • Research Methods Course
  • MIST 8990 Directed Study
  • MIST 9760 MIS Topics
  • MIST 9710 Organizational Level IS Theories
  • Research Methods Course
  • Research Methods Course
  • MIST 8990 Directed Study
  • Written Prelims
    Oral Prelims
Year 3
  • MIST 9000 Doctoral Research
  • Dissertation Proposal
Year 4
  • MIST 9300 Doctoral Dissertation
  • Dissertation Defense(If a student graduates in five years, then the student takes MIST 9300 in the summer of their fourth year, as well as in the Fall and Spring of their fifth year. Dissertation defense then occurs in the Spring of their fifth year.)


The faculty have created a PhD program that is a wonderful (and rare!) combination of rigorous and supportive. The faculty are very involved with PhD students and foster an environment of respect and collegiality, while they shape students into capable scholars.

Dr. Jennifer Claggett, University of Virginia (UGA PhD 2014)

As you would expect, the PhD program at the University of Georgia is a rigorous and demanding program working under some of the top scholars in the world. What you wouldn't expect is how wonderful, warm, supportive and encouraging each faculty member is to each doctoral student starting the first day of the program and continuing long after the student has graduated.

Greg Dawson, Arizona State University (UGA PhD 2008)

Faculty members here are all very friendly and collaborative…you have the opportunity to learn from world-renown faculty members, join their projects, and start research that you are interested in. The diversified knowledge and the rigorous training you receive during the process are lifelong treasures.

Dr. Seth Li, Clemson University (UGA PhD 2013)

The MIS doctoral program faculty at UGA are extraordinary mentors, and that doesn’t end when a student graduates… The rigor of this program’s training is known throughout the IS academic community, and the network of colleagues and collaborators available to graduates of the UGA MIS program is tremendous.

Dr. Keri Larson, Louisiana State University (UGA PhD 2012)

I really enjoyed the rigorous training and the family-like culture here. The faculty have been very committed to my success and growth as both a well-balanced scholar and a person…I feel truly grateful and fortunate that their commitment to my growth continues beyond my graduation.

Dr. Adela Chen, Colorado State (UGA PhD 2011)

The MIS department at UGA has a wonderful group of researchers and educators… The faculty members are collectively committed to the students' intellectual growth and professional development.

Dr. Ben Liu, City University of Hong Kong (UGA PhD 2011)