Below are frequently asked questions from students interested in the doctoral program in Management Information Systems (MIS).

General Admissions Topics

The deadline for all students (domestic and international) is January 15. Your application must be received by 5 p.m. MST on that day in order to be considered.

The University of Arizona mandates that every department have their admissions applications submitted to the Graduate College no later than February 1. Additionally, some University awards require nominations in early February. In order to be sure the MIS applicants are eligible for these awards, applications must be received by January 15.

There are no specific prerequisites for the program. A strong knowledge of a high level programming language is important. A master’s degree is not necessary to apply to the doctoral program.

Until we have received your complete application, we are not able to predict your chances of being admitted into the program. The selection committee will consider all parts of every application submitted, including the essays and letters of recommendation. We want the best students in our doctoral program, but we do not have a maximum or minimum number of students that we accept each year. 

Due to enrollment limits, the Eller College does not find it possible to admit all applicants who meet the minimum entrance requirements. The Eller College, therefore, reserves the right to:

  • Refuse admission to any applicant
  • Require the withdrawal of any student whose condition endangers his or her well-being or the well-being of others
  • Require the withdrawal of any student whose condition precludes him or her from doing the required work

On average, the MIS program usually takes around four to five years to complete, although this varies from student to student. Typically, the first year is spent taking the core course work. During the second year, students typically complete elective classes as well as their minor coursework. By the third year and fourth years, students are usually working on research and/or dissertation projects.

The background of our students is very diverse. The program attracts students of various age groups from all over the world, having different levels of education, work experience and technical/professional expertise.

Work experience is not required for our program. However, many students do have some work experience.

The University of Arizona is on the semester system. The fall semester starts in mid-August and ends in December. The spring semester starts in January and ends in mid-May. Whereas The University of Arizona has two summer sessions, the MIS department does not normally offer MIS doctoral courses during the summer sessions.

We do not have a virtual or online doctoral degree program at this time.  All of our classes are in Tucson, and the nature of this program requires that our students be in residence here.

Yes and no. You can apply any time throughout the year, but the MIS doctoral program’s curriculum begins only in the fall semester. The core courses in the spring term build upon the core courses taken in the fall term, so starting in the spring term is simply not practical.

The Office of the Registrar is the sole authority in all residency decisions at the University of Arizona. Neither the MIS department nor the Eller College of Management has any influence in these determinations. For more information on residency rules and requirements, please visit the UA Office of the Registrar website. 

While we do not have any published expectations for scores, higher is better. Students who score in the 80th percentile and above have traditionally been more successful in the doctoral program.

Yes. In order to qualify and apply as a domestic student, you must be a U.S. Citizen.

Doctoral students in the MIS program receive financial aid through either research or teaching assistantships. These assistantships include a stipend, an out-of-state tuition waiver, and student medical insurance. Please refer to the UA Bursar's website below for more information on fees and expenses. 


Testing and Score Reports Topics

The TOEFL is required only for international students. If you have a degree from an accredited U.S. institution that is awarded within two years of the term of enrollment, you do not have to take the TOEFL.

We accept official score reports from both the GMAT and the GRE, there is no preference given to either test. However, we do not accept or consider scores from the LSAT or MCAT.

The GMAT/GRE score must be less than five years old at the time of starting to take your first class.

The TOEFL score must be less than two years old at the time of starting to take your first class.


Preparing/Submitting and Application

The admission GPA that we use to determine your eligibility may be calculated in one of the following ways:

  • Undergraduate GPA is calculated over the last 60 semester units or last 90 quarter hours of the U.S. undergraduate degree. In this situation, only the highest grade of repeated courses is counted.
  • If the undergraduate degree was completed outside the U.S., grades are converted to the U.S. grading system and the GPA is calculated using the last two years of course work.
  • f you have completed more than 12 semester units or 16 quarter hours of graduate level coursework for graduate credit in the U.S., the Graduate College will ignore your undergraduate grades and use this GPA for admissions purposes. If you have completed a master's or doctorate degree in the U.S., the Graduate College will admit you based on this GPA. Grades that are excluded from the GPA calculation include: S, P, Audit, grades awarded for professional programs (i.e., law, medicine, etc.)

You can submit your application at any time during the year. We review the applications throughout the year, however only completed applications will be reviewed.

The letter of intent is a cover letter. However, it should clearly state somewhere that "it is your intent to apply for admission to the University of Arizona's doctoral program in MIS." Please include this letter of intent with you other application supporting documentation.

The MIS PhD program is intended to be a full time program. There are many elements to earning a PhD that are outside of traditional coursework. Students are expected to work on research when not in class. Students are also expected to participate in the weekly research workshop and be available to help others in data collection, etc. This program simply cannot be done part time.