PhD Program Overview

The general objective of the PhD Program in Decision, Operations and Information Technologies is to produce outstanding scholars who are well prepared for careers in research and teaching in leading academic institutions or for research-oriented careers in industry or government. For more information on research in DO&IT and the Smith School, please see the Smith Research Network page.

There are two majors offered in the PhD program in Decision Operations and Information Technologies. These are the Information Systems (IS) major, and the Operations Management/Management Science (OM/MS) major.

General Information About Our Application Process

Thank you for your interest in our department and in the topics of our research. There are many creative and important projects in progress in our department, and we are delighted that some of our own excitement has come to you through our brochures and website.

If you have not yet applied for admission, you may request application materials from our PhD Program Office.

If you have already applied for admission, you have done all that is required to gain full consideration for admission and financial support.

It is not possible for faculty to provide an individual assessment of your chances of admission to our department. The volume of such requests makes such assessments impractical for us, and our department's admission procedure makes them irrelevant. In our department, a faculty Admissions Committee reviews all applications, ranks the applicants by overall merit, and makes decisions on admission and financial support based on the application material submitted. Your chances of gaining admission depend on the quality of the applicant pool and on the quality of your application.

In particular, students are not admitted to the department by research project directors, so contacting individual faculty has no effect on your chances of being admitted.

The Department is usually able to offer financial support to admitted students in the form of teaching or research assistantships or fellowships. If you are admitted, you will be notified in your admission letter whether you are being offered financial support and what form that support will take.

Admission to the department is not initially tied to any research project. Final assignments of students to research or teaching assistant positions are made just before each semester begins, after students and faculty have had an opportunity to meet and hold interviews. Similarly, Ph.D. advisor-advisee relationships are established by mutual consent, usually after the student has completed a year of coursework and has passed the PhD Qualifying Examination.

Admission to our program is highly competitive. We get as many as 600 applications for about 60 admission slots. It is hard to say "no" to many of the excellent candidates who apply here. In the Fall of 2004 we received a total of 134 applications for the DIT area, 92 for IS and 42 for MS.

Thank you for your interest in our department, and best wishes in the admission process.

Minor in MS for AMSC Students

Minor in MS for AMSC Students details the requirements for doctoral students from the AMSC Program to minor in Management Science, including comprehensive exam requirements.