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M.Sc. Program
Ph.D. Program
0 Program of Study in Ph.D Program
        Course Work
        Course Plan
        Research Core
        Research Area
        Research Activities
        Research Assistance
        Qualifying Examination
        PhD Student Evaluation Procedures

       The students must take:

Required Courses 24 credits
Elective Courses 9 credits
Dissertation 36 credits
Total 69 credits


0 Course Work

       Required Courses (24 credits)

        The students must take all 8 required courses (24 credits) as follow:


Independent Study in Information Systems/Information Technology Research

3 credits


Quantitative Research Methodology

3 credits


Qualitative Research Methodology

3 credits



3 credits


Theories in Management Information Systems Research

3 credits


Applied Multivariate Analysis

3 credits


Seminar in Information Systems/Information Technology

3 credits


Seminar in Information Systems/Information Technology Research

3 credits

       Elective Courses (9 credits)

        The students must choose at least 3 elective courses (9 credits). The student can choose from the following:

2600715 Special Topics in Information Technology in Business 3 credits
2600716 Field Study Research in Information Technology in Business 3 credits
2600723 Intensive Research Methods 3 credits
2602701 Seminar in Information Resource Management 3 credits
2602702 Virtual Societies 3 credits
2602703 Knowledge Management 3 credits

        The students may also choose from other courses offered at the graduate level with consent from the advisor.

       Dissertation (36 credits)

        All students must write a dissertation. The defense is oral and open to public.

2600826 Dissertation 36 credits
2600894 Doctoral Dissertation Seminar -- credits

       Qualifying Examination

        At the end of the second year, students must take the qualifying examination based on the material in the required courses.

2600897 Qualifying Exam -- credits

       Academic Calendar

       The program uses an international two-semester calendar year:
               - First semester August to December
               - Second Semester January to May
               - Summer June to July

       Study Plan

       The student's individual “Study Plan” details all of the courses the student will take in the program and when they will be taken.

       Each student must discuss and plan out with the student's academic advisor and submit to the PhD program committee no later than the beginning of the student's second semester in the program.

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0 Course Plan

        The students must plan their course work to allow them to finish all 8 required courses (24 credits) and at least 9 credits from elective courses within the two-year framework. Any deviation must be approved by the PhD program committee.

Year 1 First Semester Second Semester
2603721 Seminar in IS/IT 2600721 Qualitative Research Methodology
2602704 Theories in MIS Research 2600722 Measurement
2600720 Quantitative Research Methodology 2600714 Independent Study In IS/IT Research
2603720 Applied Multivariate Analysis 2600894 Doctoral Dissertation Seminar
Year 2 First Semester Second Semester
2603722 Seminar in IS/IT Research (elective)
(elective) 2600894 Doctoral Dissertation Seminar
(elective) 2600826 Dissertation 6 credits
  2600897 Qualifying Exam
Year 3 First Semester Second Semester
2600826 Dissertation 9 credits 2600826 Dissertation 9 credits
Proposal Defense  
Year 4 First Semester Second Semester
2600826 Dissertation 9 credits 2600826 Dissertation 3 credits
  Dissertation Defense

      The course of study typically spans four semesters, including two semesters in the first year, and two semesters in the second year. Students must take at least 9 credits (3 courses) per regular semester. With no exception, students commence their programs only in the first semester. Following completion of all required courses, students will take the comprehensive qualifying examination. Students making normal progress in the program should pass the Qualifying Examination by the end of the 2 nd years.

      Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student is admitted to candidacy and formally begins the dissertation phase of the program. With normal progress, the dissertation will be completed in one and a half to two years. Students are required to enroll in a minimum of 9 credit hours of dissertation and doctoral dissertation seminars while the dissertation is in progress.

      The minimum number of total credit hours (required courses, elective courses, and dissertation) is 69 credits. Students making normal progress should expect to finish all degree requirements within 4 years. Students have an absolute, maximum of 5 years to complete the PhD degree, no extension can be made. According to the university regulation, students must pass their proposal defense within 3 years.

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0 Research Core

      Each student is expected to complete all 8 required courses (four IT in Business seminar courses and four research methodology courses) and three elective courses after their 4 th semester of study. All courses must be completed before sitting for the Qualifying Examination. Additional independent study course or directed reading course can be taken as many as needed after the students pass their Qualifying Examination.

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0 Research Area

  • Strategic Information System Information
  • System Development and Management
  • Collaborative Technology
  • E-Business
  • IT and Business Innovations
  • Management of IT-related Risks
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0 Research Activities

     First Year

      Within the first academic year (no later than the July 1 st ), the student will lead a workshop before the program faculty and other PhD students. A workshop paper will be circulated prior to the workshop. The paper will include a comprehensive literature review of the student's identified area of inquiry, a frame of research issues and gaps in the literature, and their implications for theory and practice. The distinctive feature and essence of the paper is its conceptual development of the student's research interest.

     Second Year

      Before taking the Qualifying Examination, the student is required to lead a seminar based on their research before the program faculty and other PhD students. A student making normal progress will give such a seminar presentation no later than the July 1 st of the second academic year.

      A paper will be circulated prior to the seminar. The paper must include a literature review that identifies and justifies the problem area being studied, a framing of the research issues and/or hypotheses to be investigated, the methodology (research design and tools) employed to study the issues/hypotheses, and a statement of the study's expected contribution to practice and theory. The distinctive feature of this project is its empirical work and analysis.

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0 Research Assistance

      In addition to pursuing his or her own research agenda, as an integral part of each student's training and preparation for a career in research/teaching, he or she will be assigned to a faculty member to assist such faculty member in the pursuit of research activities to be defined by the faculty. Assignments are solely at the discretion of the faculty member. Moreover, from time to time, assignments may include teaching or administrative assistance, although the dominant focus of the assistantship will be on research assistance. Over each semester, the workload for a student is expected to average ten hours per week, although this may vary from week to week. The student is responsible for contacting the faculty member each week to be certain that the work schedule is adjusted to their mutual satisfaction and that the faculty member's expectations are being met.

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0 Qualifying Examination

     Structure and Content

      The qualifying examination has both written and oral components. Both portions of the exam are considered jointly in evaluating the student's performance. The questions will be drawn from all areas of study and also assess general knowledge of the student's fields that should be acquired outside the classroom (e.g., during assistantships, reading of the journals, research seminar presentations, and individual research projects). A strong emphasis will be placed on the student's ability to discuss appropriate research methods and tools to use in the study of substantive issues.


      Students making normal progress toward the degree will schedule the Qualifying Examination at the end of their 2 nd year. For students who are allowed a late exam with consent from the program committee, but in no event will the Qualifying Examination be scheduled later than the 3 rd year in the program. Fail to do so will lead to a student's being excused from the program.

      The particular dates for examination are to be mutually arranged by the student and the PhD program committee. The oral portion of the exam will follow the written portion by 7 to 15 days.

     Examination Outcomes

      Students may be evaluated as having achieved a “Pass” or “Fail” status. Students will be able to take the Qualifying Examination twice. If the student does not pass the first examination, he or she must retake the exam the next semester. A second failure will lead to the student's being excused from the program. Failure to re-take the Qualifying Examination within the next semester will also lead to a student's being excused from the program.

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0 Dissertation

     Dissertation Stages

      Upon passing the Qualifying Examination, the student is admitted to PhD candidacy and formally begins work on the dissertation. Students should, however, begin considering and analyzing potential dissertation topics shortly after beginning the program. There are three distinct phases in writing the dissertation — the pre-proposal, proposal, and dissertation phases.

      The pre-proposal is typically about 10 pages and specifies the problem area to be studied. The purpose of the pre-proposal is to satisfy the faculty, at a very early stage, that the student's ideas represent a potential contribution to the discipline. Often, but not always, the pre-proposal will be derived from the student's first year research workshop paper. During this stage the student must also form the dissertation committee, with the membership finalized prior to the pre-proposal being approved.

      The dissertation proposal builds directly from the pre-proposal and typically ranges from 20 to 60 pages in length. The proposal identifies and justifies the problem area to be studied, thoroughly reviews the relevant literature, specifies the hypotheses and research issues to be investigated based on the literature review, details the methodology that will be employed to study the issues/hypotheses, provides foreseeable limitations, and explains the study's expected contributions to theory and practice. Normally, the dissertation proposal will be refined as a result from the students 2 nd year research seminar.

      The dissertation builds directly from the proposal and typically ranges from 200 to 300 pages in length (although this can vary a great deal). In the dissertation the areas discussed under the proposal will often be revised and expanded, the results reported, a discussion of the results in light of the hypotheses/issues presented, and the conclusions to the study's findings summarized. Included with the conclusions should be a statement of the limitations of the study and recommendations for future research directions. The specific requirements and format for any dissertation are exclusive from the responsibility of the dissertation committee.

     Dissertation Committee

      In considering the composition of their dissertation committees, students are advised to consult University requirements which may be revised from time to time.

     Dissertation Progress

      The pre-proposal should normally be circulated to the faculty within one to two months after the end of their 1'st year. It is expected that the student will defend the dissertation proposal within six to nine months after the qualifying exam. The completed dissertation should be defended within 1 – 1? years of successfully defending the proposal. The total time between the Qualifying Examination and the dissertation defense should not exceed two years.

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0 PhD Student Evaluation Procedures

     Faculty Review

      In July of each year, each PhD student will be formally reviewed by the program faculty. Normally, such review will be completed after the deadlines for the first year workshop and the second year research seminar. The results of the review will be communicated to the student orally and in writing. At the oral review, students should also provide feedback about their satisfaction with the course work, assistantship assignments, work environment, and any other aspects of the PhD program they wish to discuss. Recommendations for improving the quality of the program would be particularly appreciated.

     First Year Review Criteria

      The review at the end of a student's first year will focus on course work. Students must maintain the minimum GPA standard. The program committee will assess the extent to which the student is making normal and satisfactory progress in mastering the methodological tools and substantive knowledge needed for the area of research emphasis that has been identified by the student. The basis for the evaluation will be qualitative, with reliance placed on the observations of the faculty who have taught courses the student has taken in the first year. Heavy emphasis will be placed on the student's presentation in the first year workshop. Special attention will be paid to the student's ability to conceptualize both the problem and key elements of the area chosen for research as evidenced in the workshop and workshop paper.

     Second Year Review Criteria

      Year two (and third year, if necessary) reviews focus on the student's total experience in the program. All course work and research assistance work will be considered in the review. Heavy emphasis will be placed on the "Second Year Research Seminar" presentation and working paper.

     Candidate Annual Reviews

      Upon the satisfactory completion of the Qualifying Examinations, the student is entered into candidacy status. Annual reviews will stress the timely achievement of dissertation milestones.

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0 Retirement

      Students with normal status will be excused from the program if they cannot meet the following requirements:

  • Students must maintain their cumulative GPA (GPAX) of at least 3.0 (out of 4.0 scale). Students who obtain GPAX less than 3.00 but not less than 2.5 will be in probation which they must improve their GPAX to 3.0 within 3 semesters.
  • Students must receive “satisfactory” grades for Qualifying Examination within the second time and within 3 years.
  • Students must pass their proposal defense within 3 years.
  • Students must stand up in dissertation defense within 5 years
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