Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Business, Business Information Technology
Pamplin College of Business
Academics and College of Business administration. Known as Commerce Hall 1957-69; renamed Pamplin Hall in May 1969. Building completed Fall 1957; cost $734,645; 49,060 sq. ft. Named after Robert Boisseau Pamplin (1911-2009) and Robert Boisseau Pamplin Jr. (1941- ) who was a member of the Class of 1964.
Department of Business Information Technology MC# 0235 850 Drillfield Drive, Room 1007 Blacksburg VA 24061
Pamplin Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• PhD
PhD Degree in Business, Business Information Technology
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Feb 01
Spring: Apr 24
Summer I: Apr 24
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Pamplin Hall

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Department Head : Roberta Russell
Graduate Program Director : Paul Lowry (Ph.D. and Graduate Programs Director)
Professors: Ralph Badinelli; Parviz Ghandforoush (National Capital Region); Paul Lowry; Cliff Ragsdale; Terry Rakes; Loren Rees; Roberta Russell; Bernard Taylor; Christopher Zobel
Associate Professors: Alan Abrahams; Idris Adjerid; Jason Deane; Barbara Hoopes (National Capital Region); Tabitha James; Lara Khansa; Raymond Major (National Capital Region); Lance Matheson; Quinton Nottingham; Onur Seref; Alan Wang
Assistant Professors: Vitali Mindel; Wenqi Shen
Ralph Medinger Lenz Professor: Ralph Badinelli
Bank of America Professor: Cliff Ragsdale
William C. and Alix C. Houchens Professor: Terry Rakes
Arthur Andersen Professor: Loren Rees
R.B. Pamplin Professor: Bernard Taylor; Christopher Zobel
Collegiate Associate Professors: Wade Baker (National Capital Region); Michelle Seref
Suzanne Parker Thornhill Professor: Paul Lowry

Business Information Technology Introduction

The PhD in Business with a concentration in Business Information Technology is designed to be a full-time, four-to-five year, residential program offering specialized study in information systems and technology, business analytics, security, and operations and supply chain management. The program emphasizes the study of systems and technologies used in the creation, storage, exchange, analysis, and use of information in organizational decision making. Considerable emphasis is given to the use of statistics, data science, machine learning, experimentation, surveys, field studies, and theory building. Study of these topics requires that the student have a strong background in quantitative methods and computing, but also strong conceptual thinking, creativity, and writing skills.

The primary objective of the program is to prepare graduate students for successful academic careers in tenure-track positions that value high-quality research and teaching. This objective is realized through a research-oriented program of study that provides extensive interaction with our faculty of outstanding researchers and teachers.
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
    • Paper
      • 577.0
    • iBT
      • 90.0
  • GRE
    • General
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
  • GMAT
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
Responsibility for the administration of the PhD in Business with a concentration in Business Information Technology is shared by the Department of Business Information Technology, the Pamplin College of Business, and the Graduate School. General university graduate degree requirements, procedures, and policies, are available through the Graduate School's web site


Applicants to the PhD in Business with a concentration in Business Information Technology must complete and submit scores for the candidate’s choice of either the GRE exam or the GMAT exam. There is no minimum required GRE/GMAT score, but full GRE/GMAT exam results must be provided. However, entrance into this prestigious Ph.D program is highly competitive, and thus all other factors being equal, candidates should be in the upper 90th percentile or higher in these exams to be fully competitive. High grades from quality universities, academic references, and demonstrated potential for conducting academic research all weigh in heavily on admissions decisions.


All Ph.D. candidates must complete a minimum of 90 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate. This total must include a minimum of 60 semester hours of approved course work and no fewer than 30 hours of research and dissertation credits. A prior master’s degree or work experience are not required, but the most competitive applicants usually have at least one of these factors; it is thus extremely rare that a student with only an undergraduate degree would be admitted. At least 50 percent of all graduate course credits (excluding research and dissertation credits) must be earned at Virginia Tech. The program of study must also satisfy the following departmental requirements:


1.  BIT Ph.D. students are required to take approximately 30 hours of Ph.D. seminars hosted by the department. Moreover, students will select a flexible methodology track, generally in one of three areas for 15–18 credits: (1) behavioral and organizational information systems and operations management methods; (2) econometric and financial methods; or (3) operations research/management science methods. Moreover, there are a large number of Ph.D. seminar electives and method courses students can add for further expertise in artificial intelligence/machine learning, security, human-computer interaction, big data analytics, computer science, disaster resilience, management, marketing, operations research/IE, and other areas. 


2. At least two continuous years must be spent in residence on the Blacksburg campus as a full-time student. A minimum of 24 graduate-level semester credit hours must be earned during this period.


3. The BIT department only admits Ph.D. students on a full-time basis. Admitted students are funded with a generous stipend of $34,000 plus additional summer support of $6,000 the first two years. Full tuition waivers and other benefits are given. In return, all students work 20 hours a week during Fall and Spring semester as graduate assistants to help with grading, research, and administrative duties. Additional summer funding is available starting in the third year on a competitive basis. As needed, additional funding is available for software, data collection, travel to conferences, and the like. We aim to fully fund BIT Ph.D. students for four years, subject to their adequate performance. Exceptional students who are on track for completion in their fourth year plus publication in elites are eligible for a fifth year of funding, which provides substantial advantages for job placement at top business schools.


4. Per graduate school policies, the BIT Ph.D. is a full-time residential program, and students are expected to be in residence the entire year (including most of the summer, with the exception of Graduate School allowed vacation/leave). During the first two summers students are required to complete a summer research paper, which is rigorously evaluated and represents the each student’s screening exam for continuation in the program.


5. To prepare for academic employment, students will be asked to teach one carefully selected course later in their program (usually after third year), subject to departmental needs.


6. Each student's formal program of study is prepared during the second or third semester of study. This plan is developed by the student in conjunction with the Ph.D. advisory committee. Aside from finalizing the courses that a student will be contracted to complete for graduation, this is also when the student formally arranges for a Ph.D. advisor and Ph.D. committee. In formulating the program, attention is given to the student's prior academic preparation and career objectives.


7. There are multiple additional requirements such as completion of Pamplin College workshops in Ethical and Scholarly Research Practices, and Inclusion and Diversity, and participation in any department-hosted research series. Each student participates in and receives a formal annual evaluation to provide constructive feedback on their performance and details on any corrective action that is needed, if applicable.


8. Becoming a Ph.D. candidate is a formal process and designation, which requires that the student have successfully passed both of their summer papers, all of their coursework, and have a formal plan of study approved. Moreover, the final step in becoming a Ph.D. candidate will be to pass the formally scheduled “preliminary exam,” which tests the candidate’s knowledge of their research area and readiness to complete their dissertation, in terms of a formal dissertation proposal. Upon successful completion of the preliminary exam, the student is then cleared to use their remaining time in residence to complete their dissertation (during this time, coursework consists of pass/fail dissertation credits.

Business Information Technology Facilities Introduction

The Department of Business Information Technology is located in Pamplin Hall with its main office in room 1007.
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