Jan 24, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Computer Science and Information Systems PhD (Business School)

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►  Graduate School Rules  apply to this program.

CSIS Business Ph.D. Program

Program co-director: Jiban Khuntia (Ph: 303-315-8424, email: jiban.khuntia@ucdenver.edu)

The computer science and engineering (CSE) department in the College of Engineering, Design and Computing and the Business School offer a joint doctor of philosophy degree program in computer science and information systems (CSIS). Known as the CSIS Ph.D., this program provides two tracks:

  • The Computer Science (CSIS CS Track) in the College of Engineering, Design and Computing. 
  • The Information Systems (CSIS Business Ph.D.) in the Business School.

The CSIS Business Ph.D. The program is located Business School of the University of Colorado Denver. Students admitted to CSIS Business Ph.D. will work with the Information Systems Department of the Business School at the University of Colorado Denver. The primary mission of the CSIS Business Ph.D. The program is to produce individuals who will contribute to the discovery and dissemination of scientific knowledge through continued careers in research, publishing, and teach at research-oriented universities and research-oriented non-academic institutions throughout the world.

A prospective student requiring admission to this program, need to choose the CSIS Business Ph.D. track and complete the admission. The admission to the program is decided based on the following criteria. Admission is competitive.

Program Components

Program Requirements: Business School IS Ph.D. students should complete at least 60 credit units of coursework. This includes 30 units of Ph.D. level Information Systems (IS) theory-based, and research methods courses; and 30 dissertation topic units. Students are not holding a master’s degree in IS, and demonstrating insufficient skills, may need to take additional coursework prior to the start of their Ph.D. program.

Each student will develop a detailed program plan with the consultation of advisor(s) to outline two years of required course works, take the prelims and comprehensive exams, fulfill their teaching requirement, and complete their dissertation. Students generally complete the IS theory-based and methods coursework within the first two years of their program. After completing all required coursework, students immediately take a comprehensive exam, typically during the Maymester time-period if finishing coursework in the Spring. Besides these general requirements, students should work with faculty on various research assignments that ultimately may be published in top-ranked IS journals.

Following successful completion of the comprehensive exam, students begin to work on their dissertation research during the Summer before the start of their 3rd year. The dissertation is an independent research project conducted by the student under the supervision of a dissertation committee assembled by the student. It is strongly recommended that students do research consistent with the research interests of current faculty. These topics include Behavioral, Organizational, Economics and Social issues related to information systems. The specific sequence of courses can vary depending on the schedule of classes being offered. The following is a sample milestone for the program schedule and completion requirements.

Schedule and Milestones

  • Year 1, Semester 1         
  • Coursework
  • •   ISMG PHD1

    •   ISMG 7200

    •   Advanced Research Method

  • Initiate research project 1 (RP1) with faculty.


  • Year 1, Semester 2         
  • Coursework
  • •   ISMG 7211

    •   ISMG PHM1

    •   Advanced Methods Research

  • Complete research project 1 (RP1) with faculty.
  • Work on at least one publication for submission to a conference
  • Year 1, Summer               
  • Prelims examinations.
  • Conduct independent research with a faculty advisor; be ready with a rough draft by the end of summer.
  • Continue writing and improving the paper for presentation in year-2.


  • Year 2, Semester 1         
  • Coursework
  • •   CS Breadth Course

    •   ISMG 7220

  • Initiative research project 2(RP2) with advisor              

  • Year 2, Semester 2         
  • Coursework
  • •   ISMG PHD2

    •   CSCI Course

  • Complete research project 2(RP2) with advisor for submission to a conference


  • Year 2, Summer               
  • Comprehensive examinations.
  • Develop preliminary ideas for a dissertation topic.

  • Year 3, Semester 1         
  • Dissertation hours (6)
  • Conduct research for dissertation proposal (at least two essays, three is better), with a focus on literature review, research questions and proposed methods


  • Year 3, Semester 2         
  • Dissertation hours (6)
  • Dissertation first study should be complete or near to completion

  • Year 3, Summer               
  • Dissertation hours (6)
  • Dissertation proposal submission to committee for review and finalization
  • Finish Dissertation Essay 1 and plan for submission to journal
  • Year 4, Semester 1         
  • Dissertation hours (6)
  • Defend proposal
  • HICSS and ICIS paper submissions.
  • Research seminar presentation and Job preparation (Complete enough of the dissertation to be able to interview at the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) in December).         
  • Year 4, Semester 2
  • Dissertation hours (6)
  • Campus interviews, finalize/negotiate job offers.
  • Finish and defense dissertation.
  • Prepare dissertation journal articles.


University-Level Instructional Training

During the program, each student will obtain training for university-level instruction. This requirement can be fulfilled by working with a faculty member as a teaching assistant, attending university-level teacher training or teaching a university-level class. Students who plan a university career will be encouraged to teach one or more courses and participate in training. When teaching or working as a teaching assistant, a student will be compensated according to standard university salaries.

Dissertation Completion

Following completion of the approval of the dissertation proposal, each student prepares and then submits a dissertation. The dissertation is defended before the doctoral committee in a public meeting. Final approval for the dissertation is given by a vote of the dissertation committee after the public defense of the dissertation.


Upon completion of all degree requirements, including the dissertation defense, the student receives the degree of doctor of philosophy. Students applying through the information systems program receive the PhD from the Business School.

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