Doctorate Degree Programs in Computer Information Systems

Check the prerequisites, curriculum and research requirements for a Ph.D. program in computer information systems (CIS). Find out if online doctoral programs in CIS are available, and get info on career possibilities in this field for doctorate-holders. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Doctoral Degree Program in Computer Information Systems?

The program is designed for those who already have a master's degree, considerable experience in the field and a desire to pursue professional development or a more prominent position within a branch of information technology. You'll take traditional courses, attend seminars and engage in a substantial amount of research related to your academic and professional interests. Most programs lead to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Information Systems.

PrerequisitesMaster's degree and considerable experience in CIS field
Common CoursesResearch methods, statistics, probability, network security, enterprise technology
Job Outlook15% growth from 2014-2024 (for computer and information systems managers)*
Online AvailabilityLimited, with the opportunity for few distance learning courses

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Types of Courses Will I Take?

The curriculum emphasizes advanced research methods, enhancing your understanding of CIS; professional communication; CIS ethics; identification, analysis and synthesis of scholarly information; and the generation of new ideas. Most Ph.D. programs require that you complete an original research dissertation. Because this is an advanced research program, your original ideas will most likely be published in an academic journal. Some of the advanced course topics you may cover are:

  • Research methods
  • Statistics
  • Probability
  • Network security
  • Enterprise technology
  • Data communications
  • Data mining
  • Networking
  • Econometrics
  • Database systems
  • Regression analysis

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Your Ph.D. will qualify you for a teaching position at a university; however, you could also work at a computer systems design firm, government agency, financial firm or business. Some sample job titles include independent contract worker, manager, supervisor, computer systems analyst, database administrator and research scientist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for information systems managers were projected to grow faster than most occupations, with a 15% increase in jobs between 2014 and 2024 (

Can I Pursue This Degree Online?

There are very few doctoral CIS degrees programs offered online, but some schools may offer some of the required courses in a distance format. For the most part, any online engagement you have in a Ph.D. program will be for peer communication, faculty communication and research purposes.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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