Research for the digital age
Be a next-generation thought leader
We train you to analyze how technology can be transformative in business, society, and daily life. With a dozen faculty members advising students, you will work with experts in the field to craft research that matters. Our research tracks are flexible and our curriculum guides you down a path of creating impactful research that applies to business today.
100% academic placement over the past 3 years
Collaborate across disciplines
Top 10 city for tech
Denver is home to companies like Google and SendGrid
As the school’s flagship PhD program, our students and faculty regularly publish student and faculty research in A-level journals. You’ll have a solid foundation in research methodology through a mix of hands-on and theoretical work. Our students choose research in areas that are of interest to both academia and industry.
Research tracks are individualized, but always reflect themes relevant to the modern business environment. Examples include:
- Business Value of Information Technology
- IT Governance and Strategy
- Business Intelligence
- Technology Adoption
This rigorous program is designed as a full-time four-year program consisting of 60 credit hours. Thirty credits are dedicated to course work beyond the master’s level, while the remaining credits are related to your dissertation. A detailed look at the schedule of courses can be found in the CSIS PhD Handbook.
Core information systems PhD courses (9 hours)
These courses give a broad foundation of knowledge in conducting doctoral level research.
- Philosophy of science
- Research themes in information systems
- Strategic and organizational research
- Analytical research
Core information systems method courses (9 hours)
You’ll gain a strong background in different methods that you’ll apply to your dissertation research.
- Foundational research methods
- Qualitative research methods
- SEM and regression techniques
Computer science courses (6 hours)
These courses solidify your knowledge in topics relevant to modern challenges in the digital era.
- Computer networks
- Cloud computing
Advanced research methods (6 hours)
These courses vary from multivariate statistics to econometrics courses.
Dissertation (30 hours)
After selecting a dissertation advisor, you will choose a committee that will continuously monitor your progress throughout the program. You’ll begin working on your independent research project during the summer before your third year. The emphasis for dissertations is that the research should be practically relevant and solve a problem facing modern business.
PhD CSIS Learning Outcomes
Value 1: Communicate Effectively
Outcome: Create effective academic papers and presentations to communicate results of original research.
Value 2: Research Proficiently
Outcome: Demonstrate competence in developing research questions in important areas of information systems and applying research methods to study research questions.
These objectives are assessed using a written dissertation and oral defense.
Every full-time student admitted into the program typically receives full financial support in the form of scholarships and teaching assistantships. Doctoral students can also apply for financial support for travel related to research. You will be gaining practical teaching skills as a teaching assistant by developing curriculum and instructing classes to prepare yourself for a future in academia.
Admissions for the Computer Science and Information Systems PhD program is competitive with a few positions available for spring and fall entrance.
Applicants are required to submit all application materials. Interviews are a part of the admission process. Because of the program’s competitive nature and rolling admissions policy, we strongly recommend submitting your application as soon as possible.
You can check your admission status online through the account you created for the online application.
- Applicants must have completed an undergraduate program at an accredited United States college or its equivalent in another country.
- The GMAT is required for admission, however the GRE may be substituted.
- No work experience or formal business education is required for admission.
For any questions, please contact our admissions team at email@example.com or call 303-315-8200.
To meet the English Language Proficiency (ELP) criteria, you must either showcase your proficiency through past education in English instruction or an English Language Proficiency test. If you are a citizen of a country whose official language is English, you do not have to prove proficiency. See below for a listing of accepted countries.
To claim proficiency, you must complete one of the following criteria. Please note that test scores are valid for two years.
- Submit a TOEFL score that meets the minimum requirements of 83 (IBT) or 560 (PBT). The minimum IBT sub scores for each section are: Reading: 15, Listening: 15, Speaking: 18, Writing: 17.
- Submit an IELTS score of at least 6.5 The minimum IELTS sub scores for the reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections are 5.5.
- Submit a copy of completion from the CU Denver ESL Academy.
- Earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the United States or has successfully completed a minimum of two semesters of full-time study in a master’s program at an accredited institution in the United States.
- Have graduated from a US/UK accredited school abroad with English as the medium of instruction.
- Earned an associate's or bachelor's degree in the US or have successfully completed a minimum of two semesters of full-time study in a master's program at an accredited institution in the US.
- Be a citizen of a country whose official language is English. These countries include Australia, Belize, Botswana, Canada (except Quebec), Commonwealth Caribbean, Ghana, United Kingdom, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
To be eligible for scholarships you must apply by the priority deadlines. Plan to submit materials early to expedite processing. Deadlines apply to all required documents. Please note that if you apply by the final deadlines many classes may be full.
To be eligible for scholarships, you must apply by the priority deadlines.
Priority: March 1
Final: April 15
Priority: September 1
Final: October 15
Research that matters
“It was my privilege to have been a doctoral student at CU Denver. It is amazing how much my education and practical training in this program have been serving me in my endeavor as a researcher and an educator at one of the most prestigious medical programs in the United States.”
– Toan Ong ’14, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine
100% academic job placement over the past three years
“The department provided financial support for me to attend various conferences, which helped me to keep abreast of all the latest research being conducted in the field and interact with top information systems professionals from companies like IBM and Microsoft.”
– Bidyut Hazarika ’16, Assistant Professor, Western Michigan University
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