University of Texas at Austin
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McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

IROM Doctoral Program


The PhD in Information, Risk, and Operations Management is a five-year degree that focuses on training future researchers in the areas of Decision Science (DS), Information Systems (IS), Operations Management (OM), and Statistics. Major emphases is placed on business applications throughout the program. 

Each of the areas has specific course requirements. These requirements include required courses, common to all students in each area, elective courses tailored to accommodate the course of study of individual students, and dissertation writing courses. Students are encouraged to interact with faculty and students from all the areas on a regular basis. Most of the courses for graduate students are small seminar courses, usually five to ten students, providing in-depth study and close faculty contact.

Student progress is assessed in terms of competence in theory, practice and research skills essential to each area. Each area assesses performance based on course grades or a qualifying exam at the end of the first year, and based on a paper or an oral exam by the end of the second year or the beginning of the third year of study. Students are encouraged to become involved with research projects as soon as possible. Faculty and students in one of the areas in IROM work closely with colleagues from other areas within IROM and from colleagues from other departments in the college and the university, including computer engineering, computer science, economics, law, management, marketing, mathematics, operations research, psychology, sociology, and statistics and data science.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When do new students begin?
    New students enter the program in the fall semester. The semester typically begins near the end of August. We do not accept new students in the spring semester under any circumstances.
  • When is the department's deadline for the PhD program?
    Application deadline for the Department of IROM is January 5. All applications must be submitted by this date.
  • Can I request a paper application?
    Sorry, the paper application is no longer available. Applicants must apply online at Texas Common Application. Please follow the instructions carefully.
  • What form of financial aid do you offer?
    We offer University Pre-emptive Fellowships or McCombs School of Business Fellowships to our most qualified applicants. In addition, we offer 20-hour per week teaching or graduate research assistant positions. If you have a 20-hour appointment or hold a pre-emptive fellowship, you will qualify for in-state tuition.
  • How long does it take to get a Ph.D.?
    Normally, students complete their dissertation work in the fourth or fifth year of the program.
  • Which standardized tests must I take and when must I take them?
    The IROM Department will accept either the GMAT or the GRE. For your scores to be acceptable, you must have taken the exam within the last five years. In order to be considered for the University Pre-emptive Fellowship, your scores must arrive before the January 5 deadline.

    International students must submit an official report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An exception is made for foreign students who obtained a Bachelor's degree in the US or other English-speaking countries. A Master's degree does NOT qualify for an exception.
  • What is the minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test score?
    A score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (internet-based test) on the TOEFL is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to The University of Texas at Austin.
  • How competitive is the admissions process?
    Because the concentrations differ in terms of applications received, the average GMAT and GRE scores, and the number of positions available, a simple answer cannot be given. However, competition in all three concentrations is keen, and admitted applicants ordinarily have test scores above the 90th percentile. They also have very high grade point averages from their undergraduate institutions. Master's degree and work experience are not required for admission. The admissions committee will evaluate all aspects of an applicant's background.
  • When will I receive notification of the admission decision?
    Although the notification dates for each concentration varies slightly, admissions decisions are usually sent out by early March