NUS Computing

  • PhD in Information Systems

We welcome graduates with good academic potential and strong interest in research to be a part of the premier research-based programme leading to a doctoral degree.

Students in this programme spend the first two semesters on advanced courses before embarking on a research project that culminates in a research dissertation.

Detailed information on the research interests of our faculty members can also be found  here .

Structure of Programme

All graduate research students are admitted directly into a full-time graduate programme that leads to either:

  • Doctor in Philosophy (PhD), if the candidate passes the Qualifying Examination (QE); or
  • Master of Science (MSc), if the candidate fails the Qualifying Examination but is allowed to complete as an MSc candidate

PhD students admitted from August 2018 intake onwards to the  Department of Information Systems and Analytics (DISA)  will follow the structure for the IS PhD programme:

Coursework Requirements

All IS PhD candidates are required to complete four out of five foundation courses (16 units), spanning the different streams of IS research. For students who plan to work on economics of IS, design science, or data mining research, they can take relevant elective courses from the Computer Science or Economics departments in the first year. IS PhD candidates will also have the flexibility to select elective courses (24 units) that are relevant to their own study and research plan. For the elective courses, at least 16 units must be at level 6000, and at least 8 units must be from School of Computing.

PhD Qualifying Examination (QE)

The QE is to be taken by all postgraduate students, and the PhD candidate must pass his/her QE 18 months after admission. A maximum of two attempts will be allowed. Candidates are allowed to take the QE earlier than the specified period. There is no exemption of the QE. The PhD QE will be offered twice a year, e.g., in January/August for IS candidates. The research scholarship will be terminated the moment a student fails the QE. The student will complete the rest of the degree requirements as an MSc candidate.

The PhD QE for IS PhD students will be assessed through the Graduate Research Paper (GRP) after their first year of PhD study. The GRP should highlight the importance and novelty of the proposed research problem, and demonstrates sufficient knowledge of related literature and research methods, with the potential of publications in top journals or conferences.

PhD Thesis Proposal / Doctoral Seminar

The Thesis Proposal is an important component of the PhD programme. It should highlight the significance of the research topic, its goal, the approach adopted, and work to be done. It should be precise and convincing to the examiners that the candidate is proposing a novel area of research and the goal is achievable.

PhD candidates are encouraged to attempt the Thesis Proposal by their 5th semester of PhD study. A PhD candidate must pass his/her thesis proposal by the end of Year 3. The proposal will be examined by two faculty members of SoC familiar with the area of research in the proposal. A maximum of two attempts are allowed.

The PhD candidature of a student will be terminated if s/he fails to pass the Thesis Proposal. This student, subject to the approval of the School, may proceed to obtain an MSc degree by completing a dissertation and meeting all the requirements of an MSc degree.

The Thesis Proposal comprises of an open seminar presentation (doctoral seminar), followed by a close-door oral examination.

The presentation is a public talk open to both staff and students, and should take about 30 to 40 minutes. The seminar, which should include any research findings or work from published papers, will be graded on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory (S/U) basis.

A close-door oral examination will follow after the seminar presentation. The student is expected to answer satisfactorily any questions raised by the evaluators

PhD Defense

The PhD Defense will be pre-scheduled when the candidate submits his/her thesis. It will comprise of an open seminar presentation, followed by a close-door oral examination.

Seminar presentation should take about 30 to 40 minutes. This will be a public talk open to both staff and students. After the presentation, a 10-minute Q&A session will be available for the public.

A close-door oral examination will follow after the seminar presentation. The student is expected to answer satisfactorily any questions raised on the subject matter pertaining to her/his research thesis and related subjects.

This oral examination will be conducted by a 3-member panel that is chaired by the Head or nominee.

Duration of Programme

The maximum candidature period inclusive of periods of approved study leave for PhD programme is 5 years

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction for the graduate programmes is English.

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  • Cumberlands PhD program ranked No. 1 nationally

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Williamsburg, Ky. – May 21, 2024 – University of the Cumberlands’ executive PhD in business (finance specialty) was recently ranked No. 1 in the nation by Forbes Advisor. The university’s online PhD in business (strategic focus in management) made a similar list by Forbes, ranking No. 1 in the state , fourth in the nation.

Forbes Advisor noted that these degree programs are among the most advanced anyone can receive in the field and that a PhD with a financial focus can prepare students for “various specialized, high-level roles in financial management” and more, while earning a PhD with a business management focus prepares students for “high-level roles in research, academic, or consulting.”

To complete its ranking, the organization weighed schools based on multiple points within the four categories of student experience, credibility, student outcomes, and affordability.

“We innovate our business programs constantly to ensure we are providing the highest quality programs to our students while still offering one of the lowest price points nationwide,” said Dr. Daniel Kanyam, director of the graduate business school at the university. “It’s rewarding to receive recognition like this for the caliber of our programs, especially considering our students’ experiences and outcomes were taken into account to determine the ranking. Students are at the center of everything we do at Cumberlands.”

Cumberlands’ No. 1 national ranking for its PhD in business (finance) program outranked schools such as Texas Tech University, Kansas State University, and National University. Meanwhile, the university’s ranking for online PhD in business management outranked schools like Bellevue University, Troy University, and Indiana State University.

University of the Cumberlands offers entirely-online graduate programs as well as executive graduate programs offered in a hybrid format. Over the past few years, the Plaster Graduate School of Business at Cumberlands has significantly expanded its academic offerings, beginning new programs in entrepreneurship, business analytics, healthcare administration, and supply chain management, as well as a blockchain certificate program and a financial management certificate program. To learn more about these and other business programs at Cumberlands, visit .

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‘There are no jobs’: PhD graduates struggle to build careers in academia

Ian Corbin, who holds a PhD in philosophy from Boston College, is a researcher at Harvard Medical School's Center for Bioethics. The academic job market has become especially tight.

For the first time in decades, Ian Corbin has dental insurance.

Over the past 15 years, Corbin has been a doctoral student, an adjunct professor, and a postdoctoral fellow. And trying to scrape together a living has been tough. “I was always hustling,” he says.

When Corbin — who holds a PhD in philosophy from Boston College and works at the intersection of ethics and medicine — was a postdoc at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2019, he earned about $50,000 a year and had kids to support. “So I was always teaching classes in the evening and publishing articles as fast as I could. Just taking on really anything that anyone would give me,” he says.


Corbin’s story isn’t unusual. For many of those with doctorates, who typically spend between four and seven years in graduate school, the employment picture is increasingly bleak, especially for jobs in academia.

Maren Wood, who founded a firm that helps those with doctorates find jobs, says that the market for full-time professors has collapsed. Between 2007 and 2020, the number of openings in philosophy dropped by roughly half. The number of openings in English fell by about 60 percent .

Universities staffed up to accommodate millennials, she says, and now they’re trying to cope with declining enrollments, which are predicted to continue indefinitely . “There’s nothing wrong with a PhD,” says Wood, chief executive of Beyond the Professoriate, whose platform is currently used by Harvard and BC . “The problem is there are no jobs.”

Wood holds a PhD in history, and her breaking point was in 2011 when she came in second place for a job thousands of miles away. The gig was a one-year position. In Reno. And she was told the pay wouldn’t even be enough to live on.

The woman doing the hiring encouraged Wood. “You came in second place!” she exclaimed.

“For what?” Wood asked.

Wood had hoped to be a professor. She had been a top student and earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina. But it didn’t take long to realize: Despite the fact that she had a prestigious degree, there were virtually no decent jobs in universities.

Students walk on campus at the University of North Carolina on May 1. Maren Wood, who founded a firm that helps those with doctorates find jobs, had been a top student and earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina. But it didn’t take long to realize: Despite the fact that she had a prestigious degree, there were virtually no decent jobs in universities.

Often, those with doctorates serve as adjunct professors — sometimes while they look for a more permanent gig. To students, adjuncts and tenure-track faculty may appear to be the same. They have PhDs. Students call them “professor.”

But when it comes to stability, they’re worlds apart. Adjuncts rarely get health care. They’re generally paid between $3,000 and $7,000 per class, and you might have to drive considerable distances to get from one job to another.

Over 30 percent of nontenure-track educators in higher education make under $25,000 a year, according to a 2019 survey by the American Federation of Teachers . Another 30 percent make between $25,000 and $50,000 a year. But over the past few decades, the number of adjuncts has grown much faster than the ranks of full-time faculty.

The dearth of jobs has been particularly tough on those in the social sciences, humanities, and some sciences, including biology. Richard Larson, a professor of data, systems, and society at MIT, has noted that many professors churn out lots of doctoral students over the course of their careers — and a good chunk of those students would like to be professors themselves.

But the math simply doesn’t work. Only a few of those grad students — fewer than 20 percent — can get the sort of job that their advisers have. (Though there are certainly disciplines — including chemical engineering and computer science — in which graduates can find jobs fairly easily, often in industry.)

Kristina Aikens, who earned her PhD in English from Tufts University, initially tried to piece together a living as an adjunct. For a year and a half, she says, she was teaching four or five classes in two or three locations, which is a common — though brutal — workload.

Aikens doesn’t believe that doctoral students — particularly in humanities — understand the real threat of finding themselves in an unstable position. “I think people think it won’t happen to them,” she says. “It’s not because they think that they’re better than anyone else. It’s just a denial that they’re in.”

But the threat of job instability is considerable. Massachusetts is not only the state with the highest percentage of people with undergraduate degrees; it also has the highest percentage of those with graduate degrees . And while many of those degree holders are thriving, too many live in precarious situations — situations made all the more precarious by the extraordinarily high cost of housing in the Boston area.

So if the supply of academic jobs has waned, why don’t doctoral programs simply slim down and admit fewer students?

Most of the people I spoke with noted that professors may be loath to give up their graduate students because they genuinely enjoy working with them. Grad students can talk about esoteric areas of scholarship, built on years of deep study.

“I think that faculty want to believe that they’re doing good,” says Wood. “I think that graduate deans generally believe that graduate education does good. And the fact that universities have paid so little attention to career outcomes means that they don’t actually have good data to work with.”

It’s also possible that schools’ reluctance to admit fewer graduate students is financially motivated. Universities often run on the work of grad students, as the Boston University strike has demonstrated . Grad students teach sections of large classes. They work in labs. They perform in-the-field research.

“The business model only works with a lot of cheap labor,” Corbin says. “I think it’s bad. I think it’s bad for students. I think it’s bad for the classroom. I think it’s bad for the grad students and the perennial adjuncts.” But, he believes, doctoral students represent an enormous pool of untapped talent.

Corbin is now a tenure-track researcher at Harvard Medical School’s Center for Bioethics. It’s a job he likes, and life feels much more stable. “It’s becoming less desperate,” he says.

Aikens — who now serves as the program director of writing support at Tufts — says she doesn’t regret getting a doctorate, and she doesn’t think we should preclude people from pursuing that sort of intense study.

Coming from a working-class background in West Virginia, she had wanted to see if she could do it. And the six years she spent getting a PhD were hard. But she knew that success wouldn’t necessarily lead to employment:

“At my graduation, literally at the ceremony, I turned to my friend and said: ‘Should I apply to law school? Because I don’t think this is going to work out.’”

Follow Kara Miller @karaemiller .

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Tremblay receives USF Muma College of Business Distinguished PhD Alumni Award

  • Davina Gould
  • May 21, 2024

Business News , Honors and Awards

TAMPA - The University of South Florida Muma College of Business recently recognized Monica Chiarini Tremblay, a professor at the College of William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business, with its 2024 Distinguished PhD Alumni Award.

Tremblay, who holds the Dorman Family Term Distinguished Professorship at William & Mary, earned her PhD in business administration and master’s in information systems from USF.

image of al hevner

“Dr. Tremblay is internationally recognized for her research on the design of complex information systems,” said Alan Hevner, distinguished university professor and eminent scholar at the Muma College of Business who co-chaired Tremblay’s dissertation committee in 2007. “The impacts of her research have influenced the application of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics in the areas of healthcare and government.”

Over her career, Tremblay has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings and served as lead author of the book Advancing the Impact of Design Science: Moving from Theory to Practice . She has served on the editorial boards of several major journals, and been the principal or co-investigator on several federal, state and private grants in the area of health information technology.

The USF Muma College of Business Distinguished PhD Alumni Award is presented annually to a graduate who has made significant contributions via their research, teaching, and service to their organizations and disciplines. 

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I'm a recent college graduate. No one told me it would be this hard to make ends meet.

  • After graduating college, I couldn't get a full-time job, so I am working several part-time gigs.
  • I am frustrated because I didn't know it would be this hard to make ends meet after college.
  • I am trying to look on the bright side and understand that I am learning financial lessons.

Insider Today

After the initial thrill and excitement of graduation wore off, the first few months as a recent college graduate were quickly followed by a blur of job applications, rejections, and figuring out budgeting basics.

I quickly realized that the financial independence I longed for now seemed like a far-off dream.

On the one hand, I gained my independence, but on the other, I now had to navigate issues like rent, groceries, and basic utilities. But since I couldn't land a full-time job in my desired field — as a biotechnologist — I struggled to make ends meet.

I realized I had a lot to learn.

I couldn't get a full-time job, so I struggled to make ends meet

I rarely considered the comfort and stability that being in college had provided. While in school, I could always rely on my family — and even friends — to quickly jump in to support me if I needed financial help . But soon after graduation, I realized I was on my own. I had to quickly understand that the support I once enjoyed had finally dwindled.

The possibility of getting a full-time job seemed almost impossible, so I had to take what was available. I took any odd job: I waited tables, babysat, and even became a part-time receptionist at a hotel.

With the measly paychecks I got, I then had to figure out how to negotiate between my needs and wants. I had to plan every single bit of my income and spending.

Related stories

I remember sitting in bed , surrounded by bills and a spreadsheet that refused to balance. The uncorrelated numbers on my spreadsheet were a stark reminder that my survival jobs weren't cutting it. My pay barely covered what I needed monthly.

That's when I decided I needed at least two part-time jobs to cover my basic needs.

I don't understand how I got here

In the midst of all that was happening, I couldn't quite get my head around the fact that I couldn't secure a future or land a job. I went to college and followed every step I needed to; my future felt like a guarantee. But I'm realizing I was wrong.

I felt like a failure for not being able to get a job, and I also felt let down by the system.

But I am trying to look on the bright side. Learning to manage my finances at such a young age has taught me invaluable lessons. The challenge of having every penny already spent before receiving the paycheck makes saving an impossible but interesting task. I am learning how to save money and how far a dollar can truly go. I am becoming stronger and wiser through this process.

I am still looking to the future

It's been a year since I graduated. Though I am still looking for a full-time job and struggling to make ends meet, I try to remind myself that this is just a phase in a tough labor market . It will just take some patience and practice.

But while I wait for that to happen, I am quickly learning to adapt to my reality and figure it out one day at a time.

I hope that one day, I will look back at these struggles as the foundation of my financial wisdom. The lessons taught me not just how to survive but how to thrive.

Watch: How counterfeit money actually works, according to a former forger

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    In a PhD programme, what's important is the research environment, and the academic and support staff involved. In the NUS Business School programme, these boxes are often ticked and well resourced. Professor Ang Siah Hwee The Bank of New Zealand Chair in Business in Asia School of Marketing & International Business Victoria University of ...

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    NUS BUSINESS SCHOOL v PhD & RESEARCH National University of Singapore BIZ 2 Building, Basement B2-03, 1 Business Link, Singapore 117592 E: [email protected] T: (65) 6516 4418 / 6516 4417 F: (65) 6873 3352 Visit to learn more

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    Explore Graduate Programmes NUS Graduate School offers innovative, cross-disciplinary programmes across a diverse range of schools and institutes Doctoral

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    School of Business Overview Faculty's Commitment Expand For more than 50 years, NUS Business School has offered a rigorous, relevant and rewarding business education to outstanding students from across the world. Founded in the same year that Singapore gained independence, NUS Business School stands today among the world's leading business schools. It is distinctive for … Overview Read ...

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    QS World University Rankings 2024: NUS Business School achieves best-ever performance with its Master of Business Administration ranked 1st in Asia and Master in Business Analytics in top 10 globally. ... Graduate Programme; Executive Education; Executive Education (Mandarin) NUS Business School. 15 Kent Ridge Drive

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    PhD students admitted from August 2018 intake onwards to the Department of Information Systems and Analytics (DISA) will follow the structure for the IS PhD programme: Structure of PhD Programme (Information Systems) [with effect from August 2018 Intake] Year 1. Semester 1. 2 Foundation Courses + 1 Elective Course. Semester 2.

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    Williamsburg, Ky. - May 21, 2024 - University of the Cumberlands' executive PhD in business (finance specialty) was recently ranked No. 1 in the nation by Forbes Advisor. The university's ...

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