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 Pamplin College of Business Virginia Tech Pamplin Hall, Suite 1007 880 West Campus Drive 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 15
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Department Head : Quinton Nottingham
Graduate Program Director : Paul Lowry (Ph.D. and Graduate Programs Director)
Professors: Parviz Ghandforoush (National Capital Region); Tabitha James; Paul Lowry; Anthony Vance; Viswanath Venkatesh (National Capital Region); Alan Wang; Christopher Zobel
Associate Professors: Alan Abrahams; Idris Adjerid; Quinton Nottingham; Onur Seref
Assistant Professors: Mikhail Gordon; Alice Jang; Jiayi Liu; Vitali Mindel; Wenqi Shen
R.B. Pamplin Professor: Christopher Zobel
Eminent Scholar and the Suzanne Parker Thornhill Professor: Paul Lowry
Eminent Scholar and Verizon Chair of Business Information Technology Director Executive PhD: Viswanath Venkatesh (National Capital Region)

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 of 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 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 at least 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.  The required BIT PhD curriculum is rigorous and is heavily focused on required interdisciplinary BIT PhD-level seminars and PhD-level method courses.

Regardless of research foci, all students are required to take the following eight, three-credit BIT PhD seminars in a sequences of two a semester for the first two years in the program:

1. BIT 6334 OM & supply chain seminar

2. BIT 6224 Security & privacy seminar

3. BIT 6414 Seminar in IT

4. BIT 6424 Theory building seminar

5. BIT 6214 BIT Foundations

6. BIT 6314 AI/ML/DL seminar

7. BIT 6324 Design science seminar

8. BIT 6336 Behavioral economics seminar

In addition, every Fall and Spring seminar of enrollment (until graduation), all BIT PhD students must enroll the 1 credit p/f BIT 6194 Colloquium, which includes guest speakers, panels, and activities and readings to learn about becoming researchers and academics.

Adding to this curriculum foundation, we also require BIT PhD students to take a minimum of six, three-credit methods courses before graduation, where they can attain further depth in methods in four major areas of interest:

1.      Foundational statistics and BIT methods

2.      Analytics, data science, and AI/ML/DL methods

3.      Econometrics and experimental economics methods

4.      OR / OM methods

Finally, BIT PhD students must take a minimum of 18 credits p/f or more of BIT 7994 (Research and dissertation credits)

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 $35,500 plus additional summer support of $6,000 the first two years. Of this total amount $24,500 is the standard assistantship and to this we have added $10,500 a year as a premium scholarship to attract the best students.

Full tuition waivers and other benefits are given. In return, all students work 20 hours a week during Fall and Spring semester as graduate research assistants to help with research, grading, administrative and other faculty and department 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 each student’s qualifying 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 third or fourth semester of study. This plan is developed by the student in conjunction with the BIT Ph.D. program director and the student’s proposed advisor. 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.

Data & Decision Sciences Building

 Starting Fall 2023, the BIT PhD core faculty and all PhD students will move to the new state-of-the-art Data & Decision Sciences Building, a 100,000 square foot world-class facility for a truly outstanding educational and research experience.
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