Database PhD Program Information

The Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems program prepares graduates for careers as college-level researchers and educators or database administrators or managers. Programs can have a number of specializations, depending on your career goals.

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Essential Information

The 4-year Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems curriculum provides training in the conceptualization, design and deployment of information systems. A database systems option introduces students to database design, data mining, the retrieval of information and database applications in various industries. Other specializations include operating systems or security and networking. The final years of enrollment are devoted to research and defense of a dissertation.

Applicants need at least a bachelor's degree in a computer science field, but students can take a number of courses to substitute for a bachelor's degree. Applicants also need GRE scores and letter(s) of recommendation.

Doctorate in Computer Information Systems

Core classes and electives are taken during the first and second years of enrollment. Students choose electives that are pertinent to their area of interest within the field. Courses may include:

  • Data mining
  • Issues of database design
  • Algorithmic theory
  • Database management
  • Bioinformatics and data mining
  • Distributed database systems

Popular Career Options

The Ph.D. in Computer Information Science primarily prepares students for careers as researchers and educators at the college-level. However, some graduates may choose to enter private industry. Possible positions may include:

  • University professor or researcher
  • Computer information systems administrator
  • Database administrator
  • Data communications analyst
  • Computer information scientist

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The 2014 to 2024 decade is predicted to see an 11% increase in the employment of database administrators, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ( This faster-than-average job growth is attributed to the increase in the use and application of database and information systems by corporations and organizations. The best employment opportunities exist for database mangers with expertise in new technology. The BLS also reported that, as of May 2015, the annual median salary for a database administrator was $81,710.

A Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems allows for specialization in the field to further your career goals, in addition to completing coursework and a dissertation. Graduates are prepared to manage databases as analysts, administrators, or even professors and researchers.

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