PhD in Information Systems and Technology 

CISAT’s PhD program prepares students to participate in the academic IS&T research community. It is a demanding program focused on IS&T research. PhD graduates from CISAT are prepared to conduct rigorous and relevant IS&T research, as well as to apply what they know about IS&T research to teaching, consulting, and other activities.



The completion of at least 76 units is required for PhD students. Though most of these units will be taken at CGU, it is possible that certain units may be waived or transferred.
Students may specialize in one of seven areas - GIS Solution Development, Cyber Security and Crisis Management, Social Technologies, Health Informatics, Mobile Technologies and Cloud Computing, Computational Methods - or design their own specialization.

Screening Exam

The Screening Exam must be successfully completed before a student is allowed to advance to PhD candidacy. The exam is integrative, and thus does not focus on the topics of any single course, but requires proficiency in topic areas of all required courses.

Qualifying Portfolio

The Qualifying Portfolio is a compilation of activities that reflect the abilities necessary for success as a PhD. There are five required items, though students are expected to work with their faculty advisors in order to create portfolios tailored to their own needs. The required items are:

  1. A refereed paper published in the proceedings of a conference.
  2. A refereed journal article that has been published, accepted for publication, or revised and resubmitted with the student as a primary author.
  3. One grant proposal, consulting engagement, or related practice.
  4. Post-secondary teaching or mentoring.
  5. Service as a peer reviewer.


To be conducted per current CGU rules. Students should discuss this with their dissertation advisors at an appropriate time. Typically, students identify their dissertation advisors following completion of the screening exam.

Minimum GPA

Ph.D. students must maintain at least a 3.5 GPA to remain in good standing in the program.