PhD ISDS Orientation Guide | LSU Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship & Information Systems



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Rudolf A. Hirschheim
Professor, Director of Graduate Studies-PhD Program, and Professor CCT
Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship & Information Systems
2221 Business Education Complex South
Telephone: 225-578-2514


Orientation Guide

Although this guide offers useful information about the PhD program at LSU, there are always questions not answered in a standard guide, and each doctoral student has special needs. When questions arise, please seek help from the graduate advisor, other faculty members and/or fellow students.

Length of Study

Most students should plan on spending four years in the program. Course work typically takes two full years; for example, 3 courses each in Fall and Spring semesters the first year, 2 courses in the Summer, then 3 courses each in Fall and Spring the second year to complete the minimum courses. Students who have taken such a schedule usually prepare for their Comprehensive Exam during their second Summer and sit for the exam in early Fall. Most doctoral students seek academic careers, and the central market for academic placement occurs a full year before positions are actually available.

Sequence of Course Work

Course work is usually sequenced as follows: Entering students tend to concentrate on research methods courses because they have not selected a supporting field. They also must take the four core ISDS doctoral- level seminars offered, usually only one per semester. In the first two semesters, then, a student would take 2 ISDS doctoral core courses, typically 2-3 research methodology courses, and 1 or 2 ISDS courses supporting their minor concentration. The second year of course work contains the balance of the ISDS doctoral core courses, research methodology, supporting field and ISDS course work, often including at least one independent study course to pursue special interest areas. Of course, all of this depends on how quickly you choose a supporting field and on the availability of courses.

Research Assistantships

Research assistantships are an important part of your program because they provide "on the job training." As mentioned above, you are expected to show initiative in research assistant duties. Also, you should expect to receive training via your assistantship. Assuming adequate progress in the PhD program is being made, research assistantships are renewed annually for up to four years.

A half-time research assistantship involves twenty hours of effort per week during the semester. The workload usually varies across the semester, though, so that some weeks require more time and some less.

Minor in ISDS

  • Students minoring in ISDS must take 12 hours of 5000 level or higher courses. At least six hours must be ISDS PhD core courses, i.e., 7950, 7080, 7081.
  • Students with a major outside the E. J. Ourso College of Business may be required to enroll in one or more remedial courses before taking other courses in the Department.
  • Students minoring in ISDS and with a GPA less than 3.5 in ISDS courses shall be required to take a four-hour written exam designed and evaluated by their Minor Professor.
  • The evaluation of the written exam shall be reported to the Graduate Advisor in the student's major department rather than to the student.