PhD Program Requirements and Courses

The PhD in Information Science requires 30 credit hours of course work, with 18 credit hours of core courses and 12 credit hours of elective courses. Additionally, students will attend a minimum of 8 semesters of the 1 credit hour Information Science Seminar.

INFO 7000 Intro to Doctoral Studies
Introduces students to practices associated with successful advancement in a doctoral program, rigorous scholarship in information science and more expert participation in their scholarly community of practice.

INFO 6101 Theories and Concepts
Surveys foundational theories and concepts in information science. Students will learn to read and reflect critically about seminal texts—tracing their intellectual genealogies from a variety of originating disciplines to their appropriation by the field of information science and analyzing their relevance to contemporary issues in the domain.      

INFO 6201 Interdisciplinary Ways of Knowing
Introduces principles of research design and surveys the breadth of research methods appropriated by the field of information science. Students will explore the diversity of epistemological orientations that make up the field, that influence the types of often-mixed research methods applied and that shape the kinds of questions that are and are not explored.

INFO 6301 Computation for Research
Introduces principles of computational thinking through the manipulation, transformation and creation of data artifacts used in research. Students will be exposed to a high-level overview of algorithms, functions, data structures, recursion and object-oriented computer programming through a series of assignments that emphasize the use of computation as a means of scholarship.

INFO 6401 Ideas in Design
Introduces principles and practices from user-centered design disciplines and examines how those principles and practices intersect with contemporary issues in information science. Theory, research and exemplary practices from interaction, graphic, product, communication and experience design are introduced through readings, problems and case histories.  Projects provide direct experience with common design tools and processes.   

INFO 65XX Methods in Information Science
Multiple courses will be offered that offer deep dives into various quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods in Information Science. Students must take one methods course in addition to INFO 5201 to fulfill the core requirements. 

Twelve credit hours of graduate-level elective course work must be taken. Elective specialization courses can be within or outside of INFO, under the guidance of the student’s advisor and committee.

INFO 5501 Peer Production and Crowdsourcing—3 credit hours
Analyzes the mechanisms of peer production and crowdsourcing systems like Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap. Students will investigate how these crowdsourced platforms work socially and technically, develop skills using tools for their analysis, and critically evaluate platform and community limitations.

INFO 5502 Online Communities—3
Explores practical and theoretical topics in online communities through inquiry into one or more particular online communities. Student projects will explore online communities as social and technical systems, including their alignment with conceptualizations of community, expressed and apparent interests, nature of membership and participation, history, participants' motivations for involvement, and explicit, implicit, and infrastructural features that enable and constrain behaviors.

INFO 5503 Everyday Information Behavior—3
Familiarizes students with practical and theoretical topics in the discipline of information behavior and its application to everyday events, activities, and environments. Explores the information dimension of various everyday activities such as buying a car, playing a game, or looking up health information online. Students will learn to analyze the informational dimensions of things that occur in their everyday lives.

INFO 5504 Digital Identity —3
Explores and analyzes identity in a digital era. Through applied research, students investigate both social and technical aspects of how identity is captured, represented, and experienced through technology using theoretical, empirical, and design-based inquiry. Methods and platforms studied vary by semester. “Problems in Information Science” is a series that brings contemporary research to the classroom in the form of progressive, project-based inquiry.

INFO 5505 Designing for Creativity and Learning —3
Analyzes learning technologies, discusses learning theories, and develops prototypes to investigate strategies for engaging people in creative and inclusive learning experiences. Students explore design, learning, and technology by examining sociotechnical systems like construction kits, online communities, and makerspaces with a critical lens on equity and inclusion. Studio format enables students to apply constructionist ideas into the design of technology-enabled environments.

INFO 5601 Information Ethics & Policy—3
This course will explore the ethical and legal complexities of information and communication technology. By combining real-world inquiry with creative speculation, students will probe everyday ethical dilemmas they face as digital consumers, creators, and coders, as well as relevant policy. Students explore themes such as privacy, intellectual property, social justice, free speech, artificial intelligence, and social media. Student work will be both writing and project-based, and the coursework will draw heavily from real world controversies, current events, and science fiction.

INFO 5602 Information Visualization —3
Explores the design, development, and evaluation of information visualizations. Covers visual representations of data and provides hands-on experience with using and building exploratory tools and data narratives. Students create visualizations for a variety of domains and applications, working with stakeholders and their data. Will cover interactive systems, user-centered and graphic design, perceptions, data storytelling and analysis, and insight generation.

INFO 5603 Survey Research Design —3
Familiarizes students with practical and theoretical topics in using survey methods for conducting information science research. Through discussion and authentic assignments, students will learn when and why to use surveys; effective, efficient, and ethical approaches to maximizing response; sampling issues; development of valid items and scales; and advanced topics, such as cross-cultural samples, missing data, and the forbid/allow asymmetry.

INFO 5604 Applied Machine Learning—3
Introduces algorithms and tools for building intelligent computational systems. Methods will be surveyed for classification, regression and clustering in the context of applications such as document filtering and image recognition. Students will learn the theoretical underpinnings of common algorithms (drawing from mathematical disciplines including statistics and optimization) as well as the skills to apply machine learning in practice. Prerequisites: INFO 2201 and INFO 2301.

INFO 5605  Applied Ethnographic Methods—3
Familiarizes students with ethnography as a research tool as it is used in corporate and consulting research.  Systematically explores issues and topics in research for the purposes of product design and development.  Limited to students with 45 semester hours.

INFO 5871 Special Topics: Experience Design in Ubiquitous Computing—3
Introduces research topics in ubiquitous computing, including sensors, ambient displays, tangibles, mobility, and location- and context-awareness. These topics are explored from a user-centered design perspective, focusing on how a situated models of computing affect requirements gathering, interaction design, prototyping, and evaluation. Students gain mastery with contemporary “UbiComp” technologies and learn to incorporate them into a user-centered research and design process.