Program Overview

The PhD in Business Administration with a focus in Management Information Systems is a five-year full-time program. Consistently 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 ensuring you acquire the necessary conceptual and methodological skills to become a scholarly leader in our field.

Priority deadline: January 4

Applications after January 4 will also be considered until spots are filled

Elena headshot
  • C.Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Distinguished Chair of Business Administration, UGA Distinguished Research Professor and Professor, Department of Management Information Systems
Management Information Systems
PhD Program

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

Typical Course Sequence

Year 1


  • MIST 9700: IS Research Fundamentals
  • MIST 9770: Research Methods
  • MIST 9760: Foundational IS Theories and Emerging IS Phenomena
  • MIST 9780: Workshop & MTP
  • Multivariate Statistics



  • MIST 8990: Directed Study
  • First Year Exam (May)
  • First Year Summer Paper due (beginning of Fall Semester)

Year 2



  • MIST 9710: Digital Strategy and Digital Innovation 1
  • MIST 9740: Qualitative Research Methods
  • MIST 9780: Workshop & MTP
  • Research Methods Elective


  • MIST 8990: Directed Study
  • Written & Oral Prelims
  • Second Year Summer Paper due (beginning of Fall Semester)

Year 3




Year 4



  1. MIST 9750 and MIST 9710 are offered every other year. Some incoming PhD 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.