Doctorate of Professional Studies

Most of the world’s businesses, libraries, schools, and government agencies depend on information to survive. One of the transformational influences on the current era arises from the creation and use of networked information resources by all types of organizations.  Research-driven leadership in evaluation, implementation, and management of information programs and systems provide a key ingredient for organizational success.  Moreover, a doctoral degree opens new possibilities for a thriving career to be a catalyst for innovative solutions and change in the rapidly evolving information field.

The Doctorate of Professional Studies (DPS) program is designed for high-achieving information professionals who are at least at their mid-career point and who seek rigorous training in research methods with a specific focus on problems encountered in professional practice. This combination of scholarly attention directed to addressing contemporary issues in information management builds from and extends the focus and legacy of the iSchool at Syracuse University’s doctoral, executive, masters and undergraduate programs.

The DPS serves accomplished information professionals who are already employed. Our diverse curriculum and practical research mentorship will prepare them to be thought leaders within the information professions.  As such, the DPS program is a highly selective program focused on the individual needs and research interests of each student.

Distinctive Features

Combines limited residency and distance learning format; provides flexibility for part-time students.

Premised on advisor-student collaboration on shared interests.

Course work focused on research methods and relevant analytic skills complemented with specific, guided, theory and literature reviews.

Applied focus

The program builds a solid foundation of theory and research related to the role of information in the knowledge economy. The goal for gaining this expertise is to prepare you to address the issues and challenges faced by information-based organizations in the public and private sectors.

Doctoral level research

Unique among practitioner-oriented doctoral degrees, the program is a process through which you develop in-depth expertise and a research agenda in a topic of your choice. The creation of a publication quality thesis can lead to recognition in your field through the production of a book, white papers, and other publications.

Interaction with Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology students

Ph.D. and professional doctorate students will share a blended learning environment: an overlap of intellectual domain and opportunities for resource-sharing through classes, writing groups, and editorial support.

Customizable areas of study

Concentrations and fields of research can focus on any of the school’s disciplines, including technology planning, data science, digital libraries, electronic commerce, telecommunications policy, global networking, cybersecurity, human-computer interaction, government information policy, knowledge management, among others.


While the Syracuse School of Information Studies is a highly ranked program, ultimately the marketability of any particular student’s doctoral degree depends less on the school ranking and more on research accomplishments of the student.  This program is intended to give students outstanding mentorship and the tools needed to undertake critical research on the issues facing today’s information professionals.  Graduates of DPS program are expected to stay involved in their professions, building their “marketability” by publishing and speaking on professional issues.  There is not an expectation of DPS graduates to enter the Academy unless they pursue additional studies for teaching and academic service


This highly-selective program is designed for very motivated professionals in the public, private, and non-profit sectors who want to participate in a high-quality, part-time but extremely-intensive executive doctoral program. Applicants should desire a solid foundation for advanced levels of information-related research and management practice

  • Fit of interests and abilities of the student, as indicated from application statement and other evidence, to the capabilities and expertise of the school’s faculty. Therefore candidates should be very specific about their intended plan of study and research focus to address a professional problem;
  • Intellectual ability and curiosity appropriate for doctoral level studies, as demonstrated by prior academic and professional activities, application statement, GRE scores, and the personal interview (telephone, video/web-conference, or face-to-face);
  • Motivation to complete the Professional Doctorate Program and commitment to put in the substantial and focused hours of reading, research and writing demanded of doctoral preparation in addition to work and family commitments, as demonstrated by the personal statement, letters of recommendation, and the personal interview;
  • A master's degree from an accredited university or college, with at least a 3.3 overall grade point average (on a 4.0 point scale) as demonstrated by original transcripts from that institution;
  • At least seven years of senior experience in the information professions, broadly defined, as demonstrated by application information, letters of recommendation, and the personal interview;
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is strongly recommended. While this may be waived in very exceptional circumstances by the program director, it is a very important measure when provided;
  • International applicants are welcome. Please note that admitted students must be available for regularly scheduled synchronous online meetings, classes, and conference calls. These calls are scheduled during the day and/or evening on Eastern Standard Time.
  • All candidates must have the flexibility in their work schedule to have the option of attending remotely regularly scheduled classes and/or meetings.
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 105 (Internet-based) or an IELTS score of 7.0 for international students.

Financial Information

Financial support for students in this degree program will not be provided by the School of Information Studies or Syracuse University. Students may be eligible for loans, employer tuition reimbursement, federally funded tuition scholarships, and other scholarships.

Normal Syracuse University rates for graduate level tuition will be charged for all Professional Doctorate courses. These fees include a $125 technology fee each term at the iSchool, as well as application fees, late registration fees, and graduation processing fees.

Students are responsible for purchasing their own books as required in course syllabi throughout the program of study. Students are responsible for their own room and board throughout their program of study. Students are responsible for travel and accommodations at the semi-annual residencies.


The Professional Doctorate curriculum involves coursework, comprehensive examinations, and thesis research. The 51-credit program consists of:

  • Six, 1-credit intensive seminars (residencies)
  • One, 3-credit summer doctoral gateway course
  • 12 credits of methods courses
  • 9 credits of doctoral level courses
  • 6 other credits (600 level or higher)
  • 15 thesis credits

For details view the Curriculum Chart

More curriculum information may be found on the Syracuse University Course Catalog.

View Curriculum >>


We are accepting applications for a May 2015 admission to the Doctorate of Professional Studies (DPS) program.   Application deadline is November 30, 2014.

Application Requirements >>

Prospective applicants will use the regular Syracuse University online application to apply.  We only have fall admissions.


Apply Online

For information on the application process, please contact:

Bridget Crary
Graduate Recruitment Coordinator
Phone: +1 315-443-1713


The following frequently asked questions cover many of the details that you might have while you are preparing your application. If you still have questions, e-mail DPS-IM Director Paul Gandel at

Frequently Asked Questions >>


For information about the substantive components of the program, please contact:

Jennifer Barclay
Program Manager
Doctorate of Professional Studies - Information Management

For an information packet with complete admissions and curriculum information, please use our online information request form.

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