Ph.D. Program in Business Administration

Information Systems Concentration


The Ph.D. program prepares graduates for careers in teaching, research and consulting in various functional areas of business. Graduates of the program are expected to make significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge of business practices through research and consulting and to disseminate such knowledge through their teaching.

The curriculum is designed to provide graduates with in-depth exposure to a specific business content area, sophisticated analytical methods, and adult education techniques. This last feature is unique to the program and is structured around a four-course sequence covering different aspects of university-level teaching.


Admission into the Doctoral Program is in the fall semester only. The deadline for applications is February 1. All applications must be complete and include all supporting documents and test scores before they can be considered. Applicants are also strongly advised to arrange for an interview with members of the Doctoral Program Committee, by March 31, as part of their application whenever possible.

Criteria for Admission                                                                                           

  • A Masters Degree in Business from an AACSB-accredited college or university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students without such backgrounds will be required to take MBA level business courses at an AACSB-accredited institution in order to ensure adequate preparation prior to enrollment in required doctoral courses. Outstanding applicants who only possess a Bachelor=s degree may be considered for admission if they possess a GPA of at least 3.5.
  • A satisfactory score on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) taken no more than three years prior to applying;
  • For students from non-English speaking countries, a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) the exam must not have been taken more than three years prior to applying. This requirement may be waived for students who have had at least a year of university-level education in English;
  • Three completed recommendation forms from people who are qualified to comment on the applicant=s academic preparation and potential for success in the Doctoral Program;
  • An essay on professional plans and what role the doctorate will play in attaining them.

Additional Information for International Applicants

  • Completed Supplemental International Applicant Information Sheet;
  • An evaluation of the applicant's credentials from Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., P.O. Box 92920, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202-0790, (414) 289-3400.  The application for evaluation of foreign credentials must be sent directly to Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.  Official or certified true copies of all grade reports, mark sheets, certificates, diplomas, and similar academic records testifying to the completion of secondary and post-secondary work must accompany the application.  These records must include a list of subjects studied, the grades received in each subject on each examination, the maximum and minimum passing marks on each examination, and the student's rank in class.  Documents not written in English must be accompanied by official English translations.
  • Applicants must not send any foreign transcripts, certificates, or portfolios to the School of Graduate Studies.

Transfer of Credits

Doctoral level Foundation courses taken at other universities may be credited towards the Morgan State University program if they are judged to be equivalent by the Doctoral Program Committee. A maximum of 12 credits may be transferred in this manner.

Residency Requirements and Time Limits

  • Acquiring a doctoral degree requires a strong commitment. Students who stretch out their studies are usually unable to complete them. Thus, full-time students must enroll in a minimum of 9-credit hours per semester. With the exception of credits transferred at the beginning of a student's program, all courses must typically be taken at Morgan State University. The Doctoral Program Committee in very rare cases will grant transfers of credits from other institutions.
  • Students must pass written and oral comprehensive examinations. Written and oral comprehensive examinations covering the major area of study are scheduled by the fall of the third year of enrollment in the program. A written comprehensive examination covering the minor field is also scheduled in the summer of the first year of enrollment.
  • A dissertation proposal must be successfully defended within 12 months of passing the comprehensive examination in the area of specialization.
  • All requirements for the program must be completed by the end of the sixth year. An extension of not more than one academic year may be granted under extenuating circumstances. Only the Doctoral Program Committee may grant such an extension.

Dismissal from the Program

A student will be dismissed from the program if she or he fails any of the comprehensive exams twice. Students can also be dismissed if, in the view of the Doctoral Program Committee, they are not making satisfactory progress in their program of study after a written warning from the committee. Examples of instances that may lead to such dismissal include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Failure to take scheduled comprehensive exams.
  • Failure to participate in required professional development activities such as faculty and other research seminars.
  • Failure to complete assistantships in a satisfactory manner.
  • Failure to follow an approved study plan.
  • Exceeding time limits for completing specified time limits for various stages of the program.


Each student is assigned an academic advisor upon enrollment in the program and must complete an individual program of study form. The advisor provides guidance to the student on matters relating to the program. At the dissertation stage, the student selects a dissertation committee and a chairperson who act as advisors during the process.

Graduation Requirements                                                             

  • A grade point average of at least 3.3, on a 4 point scale, in all courses taken at Morgan State University;
  • A minimum grade of B in each course taken in the area of specialization;
  • No more than two grades of C or less may be earned in the program;
  • Pass written and oral comprehensive examinations covering major and minor areas of an approved course of study;
  • Successful oral defense of a proposed and completed dissertation;
  • Submit four (4) copies of the revised (where applicable) and final draft of the dissertation to the Director of the Doctoral Program.

Course Work

Elements of Business Operations                                                                       

Each student is required to demonstrate mastery of the major elements of business administration prior to formal doctoral candidacy. The elements cover such functional areas as accounting, finance, organizational behavior, marketing, information systems, general and operations management. They are designed to give students a broad knowledge of business operations. The following School of Business & Management (SBM) courses address these areas:

INSS 586

Quantitative Analysis

ECON 513

Statistical Analysis

MKTG 567    

Marketing Management

BUAD 521

Administrative Theory

INSS 540

Operations Management

INSS 587

Management Information Technology

ACCT 500

Accounting for Decision Making

FIN 520

Financial Management

ECON 501 

Micro and Macro Economics

Every student must satisfy these 3-credit prerequisites prior to beginning formal doctoral study. Each course requirement can be satisfied in one of 3 ways

  • By taking and passing an equivalent course to SBM courses from an AACSB-accredited institution with a grade of at least B, a maximum of five years prior to admission;
  • Possession of an undergraduate major in the subject area;
  • Passing a proficiency examination administered by the relevant department with a grade of at least B.

Note: Higher- level courses may also be required depending on area of specialization.

Foundation (18 Credits)

The Foundation is common to all students and is designed to provide students with an understanding of the philosophy and tools of scientific inquiry. Emphasis is placed on developing students= research skills. Particular attention is placed on quantitative and qualitative methods involved in research processes. All foundation courses must be completed prior to enrolling in specialization courses. The specific courses will be partly discipline-specific, but all students must take and pass the following as part of their foundation:

BUAD 700 Quantitative Methods

BUAD 701 Applied Statistics I

BUAD 702 Foundations of Scientific Research

BUAD 703 Measurement Theory and Method

BUAD 705 Applied Statistics II

Other Foundation Courses*                                                                                           

BUAD 704 

Qualitative Research Methods

FIN 820

Microeconomic Theory

FIN 821

Macroeconomic Analysis

MGMT 860

Seminar in Organizational Behavior

MGMT 861

Seminar in Organization Theory

*Two of these courses are chosen by students with the approval of their advisors.

Area of Specialization (18 Credits)                                                                     

Each area has a separate set of requirements including research skills and methodology courses. Students choose specific courses with the approval of their advisors. Morgan offers specializations in accounting, finance, information systems, management, and marketing. The goal of specialization is to give students a firm grounding in a functional area of business. This area reflects the student's chosen area of theoretical and intellectual interest.
Courses are designed to develop knowledge and analytical capabilities to contribute to intellectual developments in the field. Following is a list of course offerings

Information Systems Courses

INSS 840       Foundation in Information Systems
INSS 841       Information Systems Strategy
INSS 842       Information Systems Seminar I
INSS 843       Information Systems Seminar II
INSS 850       Dynamics of Information Systems in Organizations
INSS 851       Knowledge-Based Information Systems
INSS 852       Enterprise-Wide Infrastructure
INSS 853       Management Databases

Courses are designed to develop knowledge and analytical capabilities to contribute to intellectual developments in the field. 

Minor Field (12 Credits)                                                                                              

The purpose of the minor field is to prepare students to be effective teachers at the university level. It is also designed to give them skills in case research, writing and presentation. Recognizing the importance of teaching skills in career development, the courses are designed to guide students in understanding relevant issues associated with teaching college students. Emphasis is therefore placed on developing pedagogical skills and knowledge of psychological and other bases of learning. These are the courses that are offered: 

BUAD 711 Professional Development Seminar In Business I

BUAD 712 Seminar In Case Writing

BUAD 713 Professional Development Seminar In Business II

Dissertation (12 Credits)                                                                                          

The final stage of the Doctoral Program requires a student to write and defend a dissertation. A dissertation must address a major research issue. It is expected to result in a significant contribution to the received body of knowledge in the field of study. Students work under the guidance of a dissertation committee and as part of their preparation enroll in 12 credits of dissertation seminars. These seminars are designed to guide students in their development of a proposal, proposal defense, research implementation, and dissertation defense.

After completing six credits of dissertation seminars, a student presents a dissertation proposal to an advisory committee. The committee consists of a four-member dissertation committee plus one other faculty member chosen by the Doctoral Program Committee. Members of the Dissertation Committee are selected by the student but must meet the following requirements:

  • The Chairperson must be from the major area.
  • One member must be from the major area.
  • At least one other member must be from the foundation area but not the area of specialization.
  • One other member must be from the major area or closely related discipline.
  • The Advisory Committee must certify to the Doctoral Office that there is justification for a formal review before a proposal defense is scheduled

After the proposal defense, if relevant, the dissertation Chairperson prepares a document that details issues of concern raised by the Committee and suggestions for revising the proposal. The student then revises the proposal and prepares a document that shows how the issues raised have been addressed in the revised proposal. This document and the revised proposal are then circulated to members of the Advisory Committee. Once the committee approves this document, a student may continue with the dissertation process.

After the student completes the dissertation, it is submitted to the Dissertation Committee. Committee members then read the dissertation and if there is unanimous concurrence, the Chairperson certifies to the Doctoral Office that no major revisions or problems are anticipated. The Doctoral Office then schedules a public defense attended by the Committee, other faculty and doctoral students. Post-defense dissertation changes must be completed within 30 days.

Course Offerings for the Dissertation:

BUAD 900-901         Dissertation Seminar I
BUAD 902-903         Dissertation Seminar II