PhD in Information Science

Leysia Palen and graduate students

The PhD in Information Science is for students who want to engage in empirical investigations of interdisciplinary problems. Students in the PhD program will learn a diversity of methods, theoretical frameworks, design practices and computational techniques. A PhD student's scholarly practice will include collaborative research on grant-driven projects.

The scholarly skills required of PhDs in Information Science are fundamentally analytical, creative, interdisciplinary and in constant interaction with information that is generated, manipulated and transformed within and across domains. The PhD aligns culturally with the grant-driven, collaborative “lab model” of research that characterizes the natural and engineering sciences, but is nevertheless deeply integrative of the social sciences and humanities in its scholarly pursuit and intellectual contributions.

The PhD program in Information Science requires a minimum of 30 course credit hours and 30 thesis credit hours. Students are encouraged to take courses outside of the department beyond any departmental foundation courses pending approval by their advisor and the graduate committee.  After a written and oral preliminary exam, students go on to specialize in a dissertation area in consultation with their committees. Completion of the PhD will take approximately 5 years.

Admissions Requirements

●   Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent

  • We encourage applications from individuals representing the broad range of disciplines that bring fundamental skills and insights to bear on the range of issues related to understanding and shaping a future of information science as envisioned above. However, all students admitted to the program will be expected to develop a breadth of competencies (including empirical, computational, and designerly competencies) that are essential to being a researcher in this diverse, interdisciplinary field. One’s ability and willingness to expand skill sets should be demonstrated in the statement of purpose.

●   CV or Resume

●   Statement of purpose (maximum of two pages)

  1. Your statement of purpose should describe a question, problem or topic in information science that you have a passion to address.
  2. Please describe how your previous academic training, professional experience and/or personal passions have led you to this question, problem or topic and have drawn you to this degree program.
  3. Identify the faculty members with whom you would be interested in working and why.

●   Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.20, and graduate GPA of 3.50 if any prior graduate coursework was taken.

●   One unofficial transcript from each college or university attended.

●   Three letters of recommendation from people qualified to judge your potential for success in graduate school.

  • The most compelling letters will provide specific observations about the candidate’s promise in analytical thinking, scientific communication (both oral and written), research and teaching, as well as demonstration of teamwork and collegiality.

●   Scores from the general GRE. International students must also have a TOEFL score of at least 600 (IBT 100).

●   Optional: A writing sample in addition to the statement of purpose.

Fall Domestic Application Deadline

Wednesday, December 1, 2017

Fall International Application Deadline

Wednesday, December 1, 2017