Applications to the Ph.D. Program are accepted annually for the fall term only.
Complete your application no later than January 31st for fall admission in order to receive full consideration for financial aid.
There are five steps in the application and admission to the department of ISOM PhD program. Some of them are the applicant’s responsibility; some of them are taken care of by the University (and/or the department); and some require inputs both from the applicant and the department/University. Understanding these steps correctly will make the process easier for you as well as us.
Step 1: Program Fit
A very important question that you need to answer: Is our program right for you? Our department combines faculty in two areas: Information Systems and Operations Management. Check out our faculty in the two areas and their research. One easy way to do the latter is type down their name in Google Scholar and search.
Try to complete the following sentence: “I want to research in the area(s) of ________ and I can see the following faculty _______, ________ and _______ (the number could be more or less) who I can foresee as my advisors.”
If you are willing, you are welcome to visit the department to get a better feel (but most applicants live too far away to do so).
Consider the following question: Do you want to become what we expect you to be? At the end of the PhD, we want you to be successfully placed in tenure-track positions in top Universities (AAU or they are classified as R1 Universities (“Doctoral Universities – Highest research activity”) by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education). Our alumni are placed in Universities and not in the industry. If you are looking for the latter, our Masters program might be a better fit for you.
The application process is highly competitive. That is because we fully support our PhD students. That means, you get a full tuition waiver and a generous assistantship (possibly the best in the nation), so the number of admitted students is limited to just two or three. Our philosophy is full support (financial, as well as mentorship and advice) for every student, so we have to be very selective.
Step 2: Application
The deadline is January 31st. Apply. Take note of all the steps. Note that there are some minimum requirements for standardized tests (the only time we will make exceptions for the requirements is if we have a truly exceptional candidate as judged by his/her other dimensions), but the scores of the students who are finally accepted are often much higher than those minimums.
Applications are handled centrally at the University of Florida, not by the department.
Students in the PhD program are admitted only in Fall.
After your applications are received by the deadline (January 31st), the department gets involved. We download all your applications in one go and start evaluating them.
Step 3: Evaluation
The department evaluates the applications during the month of February. First, the graduate coordinator of the PhD program reads all the applications and shortlists the more promising ones. This happens over the first 2-3 weeks of February.
Then, the shortlisted applicants are called for an individual interview. For applicants who are geographically far away, the preferred method of interview is over Skype. The interviews are typically over by the end of February (or latest, the first week of March). The result of the interviews is a smaller shortlist, of around 6-10 applicants. The characteristic of the people in the final shortlist is that we would be happy to have any one of them as a PhD student in our program.
Step 4: Ranking of Candidates
In early March, the graduate coordinator of the PhD program sends the applications of the final shortlisted applicants to all the faculty in the ISOM department for their feedback. Once the feedback is collected (in about 1 week), the coordinator makes a ranking of the candidates.
Step 5: Offers and Acceptance
Mid-March to mid-April, depending on the number of offers that we can make (usually two every year), we invite the candidates at the top of the list with an offer to join the PhD program. If one of them declines, we move further down the list – and so on down the list.
The first offers usually go out by the middle of March, and the process of admissions for a year usually concludes by the middle of April (or sooner).
Applicants for the Ph.D. in ISOM must have, at a minimum, an undergraduate degree prior to entering the program. It is also expected that applicants will have a history of academic excellence.
The minimum level of academic achievement is a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate work before graduation, though successful applicants have average scores significantly higher. The average GPA of recent admissions has been 3.8. A master’s degree is not required prior to admission, but a master’s degree in a core social science discipline (economics, engineering, mathematics, operations research, psychology) is beneficial.
The minimum requirements are: a score of 650 on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), or 310 (verbal + quantitative) on the new revised version of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or 1350 on the old version of the GRE.
Finally, it is critical that the applicant be able to communicate clearly in written and spoken English. International students must submit an English proficiency test. Check the UF Admissions website for minimum scores and exemptions.
The applicant must submit letters of recommendation from three faculty members or others familiar with the academic potential of the applicant. Letters should speak primarily to the academic prowess of the applicant.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When will I hear whether I have been accepted?
Admission letters/emails will be sent out around March 15th.
- I missed the application deadline. Can I apply for Fall still?
- Do you accept applications for starting in the Spring semester?
- I am an international student but have good command of the English language. Can I get a waiver for the English proficiency requirement?
The University of Florida requires proficiency in spoken and written English and accepts the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Minimum scores acceptable for admissions are:
- TOEFL: 550 (paper test); 80 (internet based)
- IELTS: 6
- MELAB: 77
Please note: The TOEFL ITP is not accepted for admission purposes.
International applicants are exempt from the English proficiency requirement if enrolled for one academic year in a degree-seeking program at a recognized/regionally accredited university or college in a country where English is the official language prior to your anticipated term of enrollment at UF, or if you are from one of the following countries.
Further, Florida law requires all non-U.S. students who are going to be graduate teaching assistants (which you will be, at some point of time, if you join our PhD program) – even if exempted from the IELTS, MELAB and TOEFL requirement – to prove adequate command of the English language. This requirement can be met later after joining the program.
There can be no exceptions to these requirements.
- Will I get any assistantship?
Yes. We fully support our PhD students. That means, you get a full tuition waiver and a generous assistantship (possibly the best in the nation) – but that also means that the process is highly competitive. We admit only two students every year on average.
- What will be my main duties?
Initially, it will be mainly coursework and research. The details will vary from one student to another, because you will typically have different research interests. Some of you might become teaching assistants to faculty who are teaching some courses, and will be expected to help in the grading of assignments and exams (typically a few hours a week). You are also expected to help out in administrative work once in a while (typically a few hours every semester).
Your main duties typically start in your third year, when we expect you to teach a few classes. Typically, you will teach two to three classes over your entire stay in the Ph.D. program. This is because we want you to get prepared for becoming a member of the faculty of an elite University upon graduation.
Other than that, we expect you to be wholeheartedly devoted to your research, and we intend to give you every tool and opportunity for you to succeed.
- What kind of employment do your students get?
At the end of the PhD, we want you to be successfully placed in tenure-track positions in top Universities (AAU or they are classified as R1 Universities (“Doctoral Universities – Highest research activity”) by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education). Our alumni are placed in Universities and not in the industry. If you are looking for the latter, our Masters program might be a better fit for you.