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Postgraduate Programs 2020/21
Doctor of Philosophy Program in Information Systems
Award Title

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems

Program Short Name

PhD(IS)

Mode of Study

Both full- and part-time

Normative Program Duration

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

Programs Coordinator (IS):

Prof Jing WANG, Assistant Professor of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management

Enquiry

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.

 

Non-MPhil holders may be admitted through an integrated MPhil and PhD program study scheme.

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 in the division of Information Systems: 
(1) Business IT

  • Fintech: Big data analytics, AI, text and sentiment analysis, blockchain and cryptocurrency
  • IT strategy and organization: Technology use and implementation, human computer interaction 
  • IT policy: cybersecurity, privacy, technology regulation

 (2) Digital Platforms

  • Crowdsourcing: Crowd funding, innovation contests, idea competitions
  • Social media: Online sales and advertising, online communities, user generated content
  • Electronic commerce: platform economics, mobile commerce, two-sided markets
  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

ISOM 5535

Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Programs Coordinator *
 

Year 2 – Summer Term

ISOM 7000#

Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Programs Coordinator *
 

* 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
MGMT 5230
orMIMT 5120

 

  1. Elective Courses (at least 18 credits)

ECON 5130
orECON 5210
orECON 5300
ISOM 5535
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. Graduate Teaching Assistant Training
PDEV 6800

 

All full-time RPg students are required to complete PDEV 6800. The course is composed of a 10-hour training offered by the Center for Education Innovation (CEI), and session(s) of instructional delivery to be assigned by the respective departments. Upon satisfactory completion of the training conducted by CEI, MPhil students are required to give at least one 30-minute session of instructional delivery in front of a group of students for one term. PhD students are required to give at least one such session each in two different terms. The instructional delivery will be formally assessed.
 

  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 taking PDEV 6770, subject to prior approval of the School.

 

SBMT 6780


Students are required to complete SBMT 6780. The 1 credit earned from SBMT 6780 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.
 

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed SBMT 6780 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from taking SBMT 6780, subject to prior approval of the School.
 

  1. English Language Requirement
LANG 5000


Full-time RPg students are required to take an English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) Speaking Test administered by the Center for Language Education before the start of their first term of study. Students whose ELPA Speaking Test score is below Level 4, or who failed to take the test in their first term of study, are required to take LANG 5000 until they pass the course by attaining at least Level 4 in the ELPA Speaking Test before graduation. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5000 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

 

  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: 31 July 2019

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 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:

  • TOEFL-iBT: 80*

  • TOEFL-pBT: 550

  • TOEFL-Revised paper-delivered test: 60 (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)

  • IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score: 6.5 and All sub-score: 5.5

* refers to the total score in one single attempt


Applicants are not requried 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

Apply online before the application deadlines.

 

Application Fee

HK$180

Application Deadlines

For Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPFS) Application (for PhD studies only):

Step 1 deadline at RGC (to obtain an HKPFS reference no. from RGC):
2 Dec 2019 (12noon, GMT+8)
Step 2 deadline at HKUST:
2 Dec 2019 (11:59pm, GMT+8)

Details please refer to http://pg.ust.hk/hkpfs
 

For 2020/21 Fall Term Intake:

Non-local Applicants*
Full-time: 1 Feb 2020
Part-time: 1 Feb 2020
 

Local Applicants
Full-time: 1 Feb 2020
Part-time: 1 Feb 2020


 * Applicants are considered as non-local students if they hold (i) student visa/ entry permit; or (ii) visa under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG); or (iii) dependent visa/entry permit who were 18 years old or above when they were issued with such visa/ entry permit by the Director of Immigration. For details on student visa/ entry permit requirements, please click here.