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.