The Systems Testing Excellence Program (STEP) is a major interdisciplinary research initiative under the umbrella of the FedEx Institute of Technology with academic program support from the Fogelman College of Business and Economics.

The Department of Management Information Systems is leading this Program and is tasked with building up research and curricular competencies at the University of Memphis that will help position the university as a national and internationally recognized thought leader in the science of systems testing.

To achieve this, The Department of Management Information Systems, in collaboration with industry and academic partners has set forth a three part agenda that addresses:

The Program defines systems testing as a strategic and interdisciplinary area of interest encompassing all aspects of the testing of business systems including hardware testing, software testing, requirements testing and the testing of business rules. At a theoretical level it encompasses all forms of validation and verification of business applications using a systems thinking approach to ensure the successful development and application of technology in business.


  • Organize research competitions for faculty teams across campus working in testing related areas to provide seed funding for research projects.

  • Encourage faculty teams to invite selective faculty from other universities and industry experts in testing to join their research projects as co-authors.

  • Promote the hiring of faculty with software testing related research interests.

  • Monitor and update curricular planning and execution of software testing as a recognized focus on certain courses as well as in the undergraduate minor and the graduate certificate in software testing.

  • Initiate an incentive program for attracting high-quality post-graduate students to work on software testing research areas at the University.

  • Organize an annual international-level workshop on advances and innovations in software testing.

  • Develop a close working partnership with the Global Testing Center of Excellence at FedEx Corporation and with other national and international technology organizations.

  • Publish ground-breaking research in top-tier conferences and journals on topics which advance novel insights into the science of and promote best practices in software testing.

  • Sponsor top software testing leaders to visit our campus and engage with our faculty and local practitioners on state-of-the-art ideas.

  • Bring interested parties and academic units at the University of Memphis and elsewhere together to collaborate on research programs in software testing.

  • Offer industry partners a research-based testing certification program comprising two levels of certification for testers and other interested parties in order to improve their software testing effectiveness and efficiency.

  • Undertake testing improvement projects for industry clients who seek to advance their testing best practices.

  • Continue to grow a knowledge base of software testing best practices.

  • Serve as an international focal point for cutting edge research and discourse for advancing the science of testing.