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Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems

Admission Requirements | Program Requirements | Course Requirements | Our Doctoral Students | Frequently Asked Questions


The Graduate School at UMBC is located in the heart of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, a premier location known for its flourishing tech industry.

Our Ph.D. is one of the few programs that approaches Information Systems in a holistic sense, including the social and political elements of building and maintaining complex, large-scale systems. We have a diverse, multicultural faculty and student body that practices an interdisciplinary and applied approach to Information Systems.

Our well-renowned full-time faculty is involved with a wide variety of externally funded projects and they are also proudly featured in top scholarly venues.


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Admission Requirements

  1.  The majority of successful applicants have an undergraduate GPA well above 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  2. The IS Ph.D. program builds on an understanding of the design, development, analysis, and use of computer-based information systems. Successful applicants will have demonstrated aptitude and/or interest in one or more of these areas. In addition, applicants should have or be willing to acquire the necessary competence in some of the following areas depending on their research concentration: statistical analysis, experimental design, programming, databases and data mining, computational analysis, in order to conduct sophisticated research at the doctoral level
  3. All applicants must submit GRE Aptitude Test or GMAT scores.
  4. All applicants are expected to read, speak, write, and understand the English language fluently. Otherwise, applicants are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). But, students who have earned a post-secondary degree from an accredited university in the US are excused from this requirement. The minimum acceptable combined TOEFL score is 550 (written), 213 (computer based) or 80 (iBT-Internet based). Students who have received post-secondary degrees from an U.S. institution and whose native language is not English may be required to demonstrate proficiency in English. (UMBC TOEFL code: 5835). We will also accept International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores, the minimum acceptable total score is 6.5.
  5. Statement of Purpose (included in the online application). Please elaborate on the following: what research area are you interested in, why, and what are your career goals?
  6. Three letters of recommendation
  7. Official transcripts of all post-secondary schools (Electronic Transcripts: If you are submitting transcripts electronically, please forward to Kathie Nee ( for domestic applications and to Kathy Ruth ( for international applications.
  8. The UMBC Graduate School will accept official WES ICAP Course-by-Course evaluations as fulfillment of the requirement for official transcripts in the admissions process.


The deadlines for the Ph.D. program are:

  • Fall semester: February 1
  • Spring semester: September 1

All application materials must be on file in the IS department for expeditious review – incomplete files will be kept open for the following semester admission decisions.


If you need any further information please contact Shannon Keegan, Graduate Programs Manager (