Postgraduate Programs 2017/18
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Information Systems
Award Title

Master of Philosophy in Information Systems
Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems

Program Short Name

MPhil(IS)
PhD(IS)

Mode of Study

Both full- and part-time

Normative Program Duration

MPhil

Full-time: 2 years
Part-time: 4 years
 

PhD

Full-time: 3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (with a bachelor’s degree only)
Part-time: 6 years

Program Advisor

MPhil/PhD Programs Coordinator (IS):
Prof Xiaojun ZHANG, Associate Professor of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management

Enquiry

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Program is a research-oriented degree that aims to prepare students for a research and teaching career in universities, research institutes, governmental or business organizations. It has a technology management perspective with a focus on economic modeling and behavioral research into the management, design, use, and socio-economic impact of information technology on individuals, organizations, and societies. A candidate for an MPhil degree is expected to demonstrate knowledge in the discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making a contribution to the field. Students intending to do a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program in Information Systems at HKUST should consider entering the MPhil Program to acquire the training necessary for a PhD degree.
 

The PhD Program follows a strong research-intensive tradition on the North American model. It is designed to enable students to gain a deep knowledge of management in general, to develop a concentration in a specialized field, and to provide opportunities for students to do significant original research in their chosen area. PhD students are offered intensive and targeted research training and exceptional collaboration opportunities with faculty to prepare them for their future careers in teaching and/or research in universities, research institutes, governmental or business organizations. It has a technology management perspective with a focus on economic modeling and behavioral research into the management, design, use, and socio-economic impact of information technology on individuals, organizations, and societies.

The program is offered by the Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management which comprises two divisions: Information Systems and Operations Management. The following are the research foci in the Division of Information Systems.
 

Research Foci

There are two key areas of research focus in the division of Information Systems: (1) Behavioral Research and (2) Analytical and Empirical Modeling Research. The primary interest of Behavioral Research is in studying the management of information technology (IT) and the use of IT for business innovations and market competitiveness. Examples include IT strategy, IT innovations, human-computer interaction, online communities, e-government, e-commerce strategy, information privacy, social networks, and telecommunications policy. Examples of Analytical and Empirical Modeling Research include big data analytics, e-marketing and digital products, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, online labor markets, IT in financial markets, entrepreneurship and innovation, economics of social media, information privacy policy, and IT security policy.

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
 

1. General Admission Requirements of the University
  • Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;

  • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.

2. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:
 

Proficiency Test Minimum Scores
TOEFL-iBT 80
TOEFL-pBT 550
IELTS (Academic Module) Overall score: 6.0 and All sub-scores: 5.5

 

Applicants don't need to present TOEFL or IELTS score if

  • their first language is English, or

  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

3. Program-Specific Admission Requirements
  • A satisfactory score in GMAT or GRE

  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

MPhil: 34 credits

PhD: 36 credits
 

  1. Credit Transfer

PhD students who have taken the HKUST MPhil Program in Information Systems will be granted credit transfer to the PhD Program. Students who have taken an MPhil program or equivalent in other universities may be granted credit transfer on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of 24 credits.
 

  1. Introductory Quantitative Requirement

Unless students have clearly demonstrated sufficient knowledge in the area, students entering the MPhil or PhD Program are required to take the following two mathematics-oriented courses in the first regular term of study. The credits earned from these two courses cannot be counted toward the degree requirements.
 

ECON 5100
ISOM 5540

 

  1. Course Requirement

MPhil:

Students are required to take at least 34 credits in the sequence suggested below. Students may need to take additional courses related to their research topics, as requested by their thesis supervisors.
 

  1. Required Courses (14 credits)


Year 1 – Fall Term

ECON 5130
orECON 5210
orECON 5300
LANG 5002


Year 1 – Spring Term

ISOM 5020
orISOM 5100
ISOM 5550


Year 1 – Summer Term

ISOM 5400

 

  1. Elective Courses (20 credits)

Year 1 – Fall Term
Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Programs Coordinator *

Year 1 – Spring Term

ECON 5130
orECON 5210
orECON 5300

Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Programs Coordinator *
 

Year 2 – Fall Term

Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Programs Coordinator *
 

Year 2 – Spring Term

Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Programs Coordinator *
 

Year 2 – Summer Term

ISOM 7000#

* Students need to select postgraduate level courses offered by but not limited to the following programs: Information Systems, Management, Economics, Finance, Marketing, or Operations Management programs.


# The course can be repeated for credits.
 

PhD:

At least 36 credits including the following. Students may be required to take additional courses related to their research topics, as requested by their thesis supervisors.
 

  1. Required Courses (14 credits)

ECON 5130
orECON 5210
orECON 5300
ISOM 5020
orISOM 5100
ISOM 5400
ISOM 5550
LANG 5002

 

  1. General Management Courses (at least 4 credits)

ACCT 5100
orACCT 5150
FINA 5120
orFINA 5210
ISOM 5270
ISOM 5320
ISOM 5460
ISOM 5700
MARK 5120
orMIMT 5010
orMIMT 5310
orMIMT 5320
MGMT 5230
orMIMT 5120

 

  1. Elective Courses (at least 18 credits)

ECON 5130
orECON 5210
orECON 5300
ISOM 5530
ISOM 5560
ISOM 7000#


Other Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Programs Coordinator *
 

# The course can be repeated for credits.
 

* Students need to select postgraduate level courses offered by but not limited to the following programs: Information Systems, Management, Economics, Finance, Marketing, or Operations Management programs.
 

  1. Professional Development Course Requirement
PDEV 6770


Students are required to complete PDEV 6770. The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.
 

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from this requirement, subject to prior approval of the School.
 

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

All PhD students must pass a qualifying examination.
 

Students admitted via the HKUST MPhil Program in Information Systems will take the qualifying examination in the Summer of the second year of MPhil study. Students who fail the qualifying examination in the first attempt can retake the examination once and must pass the examination no later than December of the first year of PhD study.
 

Students admitted with an equivalent research master’s degree will take the qualifying examination in the Summer of the first year or the second year of PhD study. Students who fail the qualifying examination in the first attempt can retake the examination once and must pass the examination no later than December of that same year of PhD study.
 

Students admitted without an equivalent research master’s degree will take the qualifying examination in the Summer of the second year of PhD study. Students who fail the qualifying examination in the first attempt can retake the examination once and must pass the examination no later than December of that same year of PhD study.
 

A thesis proposal presentation will be scheduled after the Thesis Supervision Committee concludes that a suitable topic has been chosen and sufficient amount of preliminary work has been completed. Once the thesis proposal is approved, the student is then admitted to candidacy and can proceed to complete the thesis in accordance with the agreement.
 

  1. Research Paper Requirement

PhD students are required to submit a research paper by the end of the Summer Term of the second year of study. PhD students admitted with an HKUST MPhil degree in Information Systems or equivalent will be exempted from the requirement.
 

  1. Thesis Research
ISOM 6990
ISOM 7990


MPhil:

  1. Registration in ISOM 6990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis.

PhD:

  1. Registration in ISOM 7990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017