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The main purpose of Ph.D. Program in Information Technology Management is to develop scholars who intend to pursue academic careers in research universities. This is a five-year program for most students although a few students successfully complete the program in four years. We outline below the curriculum, program requirements, and financial support available to students throughout the five years.


The College of Business and the Department of Accounting and Information Systems have course and other requirements for the PhD degree that, in total, form a student’s program of study. These requirements are summarized below and provided in more detail in our Student Manual.

Course Requirements

  1. The ITM major field (four courses: ITM 911, ITM 912 or ACC 950, ITM 914, ITM 915)
  2. An appropriate minor field (course requirement will vary; typically 9 credit hours), such as economics, finance, supply chain, computer science, organizational behavior, sociology, or psychology
  3. Research methods (four courses, including MGT 906 and MKT 904 or equivalent)
  4. Economics and/or Behavioral Analysis (two courses, as required by the College of Business)
  5. Other business fields (as required by the College of Business, set by Guidance Committee)

Note:  Per College requirements, to be in good standing each student must attain at least a 3.25 (out of 4.0) cumulative grade point average by the end of the second full semester of enrollment and thereafter.

Other Program Requirement Milestones / Timing Expectations

  1. Second year paper—Work with a faculty member; complete before taking Comprehensive Exams
  2. Comprehensive Exams—Usually taken during fall of 3rd year
  3. Select dissertation chair and committee—Usually done during fall of 3rd year, but can change if needed
  4. Dissertation Proposal—Targeted at summer of 3rd year; could be done later
  5. Dissertation Defense—Targeted at summer of 4th year; or later

Additional Expectations for Doctoral Students

  1. Active participation in ITM research workshops with outside speakers, ITM dissertation defense presentations, and informal (i.e. brownbag) meetings for IS faculty and students.
  2. Submit papers to and attend professional meetings (e.g., ICIS, AMCIS, INFORMS, Academy of Management).
  3. With professors’ guidance, submit papers to journals (e.g., based on class papers, second year paper).
  4. Apply for and obtain funds intended for graduate students (e.g., NSF grants) for their dissertation research.


At the present time, all doctoral students in accounting receive financial support from the Department, the College, the University and/or various external organizations. Our goal is to provide every student admitted to the program with a graduate assistantship and/or a fellowship. The assistantship is usually at a half-time level. A half-time appointment requires that the student be a teaching assistant and/or a research assistant for 20 hours a week. Renewal of financial assistance is contingent on the student making satisfactory progress in the program. Assistantships include a nine-credit hour tuition waiver (i.e. tuition is covered for up to 9 credit hours per semester) for each of the fall and spring semesters, a waiver for the out-of-state portion of tuition for non-Michigan residents, and health insurance. The waiver does not include registration fees or other fees.

For more information about funding sources, visit the MSU Graduate School.

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