Doctor of Science Program

Important Links:
Faculty Bios
Course Descriptions
Program Outline


For More Information, Contact:

Dr. Sushma Mishra
D.Sc. Program Director
412-397-5442 Phone
412-397-6469 Fax
Wheatley Center 305
Moon Campus

Course Descriptions 


Fall Semester (9 credits) 

DISC 8110 - The Information Age Organization focuses on the dramatic changes within organizations in the early 21st century as affected by information technology and such elements as restructuring, entrepreneurship, and managing the complex organization.

DISC8120: The Scientific Dissertation: Theory and Practice

Students will explore the nature of scientific theory and research and begin defining a potential dissertation topic.  The course introduces students to the overall format of the dissertation, to scientific writing as a recursive process, and to the APA citation and style guide.

DISC 8720 - The Ethnography of Information Systems is concerned with learning the use of ethnographic method and techniques in order to describe and analyze systems of meanings contextualizing information systems or informational situations, and grounding informing actions and objects.

Spring Semester (9 credits)

DISC8180 Survey of MIS focuses on the relationship between technology and human communication and interaction.  Among topics studied is the process of creation, storage and transfer of knowledge and information within an organization. Technologies that support these actions will be emphasized.  Students will study the information needs of various organizations and develop strategies for the selection of the appropriate technology to meet those needs.  Students will be given many hands on examples of various technologies to support the business of many different organizations.  Emphasis will be placed on the managerial side of Computer Information Systems, along with the skill set needed to manage Information Systems subordinates.

DISC8730 - Systems Usability Studies, Testing and Design focuses on what professionals must know to manage the process of analyzing, designing, and testing user interfaces within organizational contexts. Taking a user-centered, problem-solving approach, this course incorporates principles from several disciplines, including cognitive psychology, human computer interaction, communication, information, research methodology, and organizational behavior.

DISC 8740 - Readings in Information Systems and Communications Research focuses on exposure to and comprehension of diverse preparation of peer reviewed research and focuses specifically on qualitative research methods through an extensive examination of peer-reviewed literature in the areas of communications and information systems.



Fall Semester (9 credits)

DISC 9110 - Special Topics Seminar - Data Warehousing Issues provides an introduction to data warehousing and the foundations of understanding the issues involved in building a successful data warehouse.

DISC 8710 - Applying Quantitative Methods provides students with practice using quantitative methods to evaluate, adapt, improve, or verify the effectiveness of systems in an organizational or other social setting.

DISC 9515 - Field Project Proposal Seminar prepares students to write and defend their dissertation/field project research study proposal, which is expected to be defended during the Spring term of this academic year. This course covers all elements of proposal writing from examining ways to identify and articulate research problems, supporting claims for the purpose and value of the study, to the appropriate design of a specific research study.

Spring Semester (12 credits)

DISC 8150 - Economics of Information Systems focuses on examining and managing the increased complications of defining costs and benefits under an increased sense of urgency in making decisions about information technology and its competitive implications and impacts on the organization.

DISC 8160 - Knowledge Management provides opportunities to study the defining and fundamental concepts, and vocabulary, of knowledge management. Knowledge management is the logical and historical extension of expert systems in business and knowledge based systems. The course covers concepts of knowledge creation and acquisition, knowledge generation, and concepts of knowledge representation or codification, as well as the use of knowledge in organizations.

DISC 9510   Field Project I (Proposal) involves individual research resulting in the design and development of the Field Project Proposal.

DISC 9517 - Research Design is designed to enable students to understand and apply social science and communication/rhetorical analysis research methods for collecting data to answer research questions in support of their field projects.  The course includes instruction and practice in sampling, instrumentation, and procedures for both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods in order to construct feasible and purposeful research designs.



Fall Semester (12 credits)

DISC 8140 - Information Technology in Legal Contexts examines the legal framework for the protection as well as the regulation of the communication of information through an understanding of court decisions, legislation, and administrative regulations.

DISC 9520 - Field Project II (Research) focuses on the data gathering and analysis process associated with the Field Project/Dissertation (6 credits)

DISC 9525 - Data Analysis Seminar is designed to help students focus on issues of data gathering and data analysis as they apply to their individual doctoral field projects. 

Spring Semester (12 credits)

DISC 9310 - Special Topics Seminar prepares students to develop a baseline of technological competency. This course will provide a substantive and comprehensive array of historical technology issues and investigate the myriad of new developments on the horizon.

DISC 9530 - Field Project III (Final Document) comprises the individual's writing and defense of the Field Project/Dissertation. (6 cr.)

DISC 9535 - Quality Assurance Seminar is designed primarily to provide assistance to doctoral candidates as they move through the process of drafting and completing their field projects/dissertations.