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PhD In Management Information Systems

Program Overview

The PhD in Business Administration with a focus in Management Information Systems is a five-year full-time program. MIS 51 Years BadgeConsistently ranked among the best information systems PhD programs worldwide, the program is known for its cutting-edge research and support from actively publishing faculty.

The program prepares future information systems academics by providing strong foundations in a broad range of methods spanning psychometrics, econometrics, computational, design, and qualitative and by providing a strong emphasis in theory development to address important business and societal problems.

Given that information systems are ubiquitous and influence every aspect of life — individuals’ personal and work life, their transactions and interactions, organizational processes, outcomes, and interorganizational relationships, online platforms, markets, governments and society — the information systems field is broad and interdisciplinary and affords research opportunities across a diverse range of topics.

The research approach in the program is problem-focused, theory-based, and method-inclusive (i.e., all methods are welcome and no one single method is favored). Our PhD program provides you with significant individual flexibility, while at the same time ensures that you acquire the necessary conceptual and methodological skills to become a scholarly leader in our field.

Why a PhD in MIS?

There are five compelling reasons to join our program:

Research Productivity
We are among the most research productive groups, consistently ranked in the top 10 or top 15 departments worldwide in publications in the top two IS journals (MIS Quarterly and Information Systems Research). Further, several of our faculty have won multiple research grants and awards for outstanding research.

Editorial Appointments
Our faculty includes current and former senior editors at MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, and the Journal of the Association for Information Systems, associate editors at MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Management Science, and the Journal of the Association for Information Systems, and editorial board members of the Journal of Management Information Systems and Strategic Management Journal, among others.

Internationally Renowned Faculty
Our faculty includes a former president of the Association for Information Systems (Richard Watson), two Leo Award winners — the highest award in the field (Richard Watson and Elena Karahanna) — and three AIS Fellows (Richard Watson, Hugh Watson and Elena Karahanna).

Student Focus
Our culture is collaborative and supportive and one in which we view our students as junior colleagues. Students are provided extensive mentoring, support, and personal attention given our one-to-one faculty-student ratio. Evidence of the quality of mentoring is the outstanding placement of doctoral students and the plethora of journal papers co-authored with our faculty (over 100 publications in the past 10 years). Students can work with multiple faculty, not just their dissertation chair as they develop as scholars.

Weekly Research Seminars
In these weekly seminars top scholars from around the world present and discuss their research. The PhD students have the opportunity to interact and discuss their research with these scholars in a meeting after the seminar.

MIS Faculty Research Interests

Typical Course Sequence

Year 1


  • MIST 9700 MIS Research I
  • Regression
  • MIST 9770 Philosophy of Science and Measurement
  • MIST 9777 Big Data Research Methods
  • Econometrics



  • MIST 8990 Directed Study
  • First Year Exam (May)
Year 2


  • MGMT 9610 Introduction to SEM
  • Econometrics
  • Research Methods Course
  • MIST 8990 Directed Study


  • MIST 9760 MIS Topics
  • MIST 9710 Organizational Level IS Theories
  • Econometrics
  • Research Methods Course


  • MIST 8990 Directed Study
  • Written Prelims
  • Oral Prelims
Year 3



  • MIST 9000 Doctoral Research
  • Dissertation Proposal


Year 4



1. ^ 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.
2. ^ Dissertation defense occurs in the Spring of their fifth year


Our PhD graduates are placed in top research universities around the world.

View Complete List of Placements


The MIS PhD program at UGA provides a phenomenal mix of rigor, diversity, and collegiality. The faculty are not only extremely productive but also extraordinary human beings.
 - Dr. Carolina Salge, Wake Forest University (UGA PhD 2018)

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, William and Mary 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, Washington and Lee 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) 

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