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

If you don’t find the answer to your question below, please contact us.

General Admissions Topics

When is my application due?

The deadline for all students (domestic and international) is January 15th. Your application must be received by 5:00 p.m. MST on that day in order to be considered.

Why is the MIS admissions deadline so early?

The University of Arizona mandates that every department have their admissions applications submitted to the Graduate College NO LATER THAN February 1st. 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 15th.

What are the prerequisites of the program?

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.

What are my chances of being accepted into the 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

How long will it take to complete the MIS doctoral degree?

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.

Do you accept international students?


What is the background of your students?

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.

Is work experience required?

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

Are your classes on the semester system or the quarter system?

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.

Do you offer online or virtual degree programs?

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.

Can I apply now, but start the program in the spring or summer?

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.

How is “residency” determined by the University?

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 following site: www.registrar.arizona.edu/residency/residenc.htm

What do you expect for a GMAT or GRE score?

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.

I am not a US citizen, but I am living in the United States. Do I still need to apply as an international student?

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

What financial aid and/or assistantships are available?

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 web site below for more information on fees and expenses.  www.bursar.arizona.edu/

Testing and Score Reports Topics

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

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

Do you accept test scores from the GRE, LSAT, or MCAT?

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.

How long are my test scores valid? How old can my GMAT/GRE score be?

The GMAT/GRE score must be less than 5 years old at the time of starting to take your first class.

How old can my TOEFL score be?

The TOEFL score must be less than 2 years old at the time of starting to take your first class.

Preparing/Submitting and Application

How is my GPA calculated for application eligibility?

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 US undergraduate degree. In this situation, only the highest grade of repeated courses is counted.
  • If the undergraduate degree was completed outside the US, grades are converted to the US grading system and the GPA is calculated using the last two years of course work.
  • If you have completed 12+ semester units or 16 quarter hours of graduate level coursework for graduate credit in the US, 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 US, 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.)

When is the earliest that I can apply for the program?

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.

What is the “letter of intent” document that you need for my application?

The "letter of intent" is really nothing more than 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.

Can I continue to work full time and do this program part time?

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.