Distance Learning Doctorate Degree Programs in MIS

Research online MIS doctoral degree programs. Find out what you can learn in these programs and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Available from traditional universities and private online schools, an online doctoral program in management information systems (MIS) typically includes online and on-campus study. These programs are usually research-intensive, focusing on the intersection of business management practices and information technology.

Online program options relevant to this field may include a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in Information Systems, a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business Administration with a specialization in MIS, or a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Management Information Systems.

These programs are mostly designed for experienced professionals, and schools typically require students to have master's degrees in information systems or a related field of study. Some institutions may admit students without a solid background in this field, but they will be required to complete additional foundational coursework.

Common Coursework

Students enrolled in a D.Sc. or other doctoral program related to management information systems will learn how information systems and technology are utilized by many businesses. Depending on the specific program, students may have the opportunity to choose an area of specialization. Typical concentration areas include decision support, knowledge and data management, healthcare information systems, and information assurance and computer security. Online coursework in these programs may include the following:

  • Applied statistics
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Knowledge management
  • Information assurance and computer security research
  • Health informatics research
  • Information systems programming

Completing and defending a dissertation is a major part of doctoral programs, including those related to information systems. These typically must be presented before a committee on campus. Some doctoral programs in this field also require students to complete portfolios and comprehensive exams.

Learning Environment

Online MIS doctoral programs typically require a combination of learning via the Internet and in a traditional classroom setting. Students should make sure that they are able to travel to campus for any meetings and classes that are required by the program. Most of the courses will be delivered via Internet and will be web-enhanced using a combination of:

  • Interactive course web boards
  • Web conferencing
  • Live and streaming videos of classes
  • E-mail
  • A type of learning management system

Career Information

Before beginning a distance learning doctorate program in MIS, students may have worked as computer and information systems managers, MIS directors, information technology directors or project managers. Graduates can return to their old jobs and may receive raises or advancements. They can also stay in higher education and work as professors or university lecturers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there were about 341,250 computer and information management jobs in 2015 ( The number of jobs was expected to increase by 15% from 2014 through 2024, which is faster than the national average of 7% for all occupations.

Management information systems doctoral degrees can be found in partially online formats. A dissertation will likely be required, along with the creation of a portfolio and final exams.

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