The Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology (founded in 1969, formerly known as Ph.D. in Information Transfer) at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies is one of the finest interdiscipinary PhD programs in the information field in the nation. It addresses information-related phenomena in all settings: individual, organizational, societal, political, and technical. The Information Science and Technology PhD program is interdisciplinary, bringing together relevant knowledge and methods from information science, behavioral and social sciences, management science, computer science, law and public policy.
The Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology is a full time, residency based research-oriented degree awarded for excellence in the advancement and dissemination of new knowledge, both basic and applied, about the design, use and evaluation of information systems, services, and policies for individuals, groups, private-sector firms, nonprofit and governmental organizations. PhD students in our program study in a wide range of areas, including:
Information and Society: public policy, societal impacts and information technology (IT), e-government, the digital divide, media convergence, community networks, libraries
Information and Organizations: IT management, e-commerce, technology-driven innovation/change, IT-enabled organizations
Information and Education: digital literacy, e-learning, school library media, asynchronous learning networks
Information and Individuals: human-computer interaction, information-seeking behavior, medical informatics
Information Systems: design, survivability, security
Information Organization and Access: metadata, representation, knowledge discovery, information retrieval, image retrieval
Networked Information: digital libraries, distribution of public information, digital reference
Information Technology: emerging technologies, wireless networks, natural language processing, middleware
Students engage in research every semester through individual faculty-supervised, hands-on research practica.
The faculty members are highly accessible and work closely with students in both formal and informal settings.
Individualized Program of Study
There are only a handful of required or suggested courses. Students, in consultation with their advisors, can select the majority of courses in their program.
To supplement the diversity of research approaches in the school, students are encouraged to take relevant courses in other departments of the University.
Doctoral students have annual individual evaluations with their faculty to identify significant intellectual gains over the past year and to suggest courses and priority activities for the remainder of the program.
Students share responsibilities in research, teaching, and school administration.
The Graduate School's professional development programs are nationally recognized. The school participates in the Future Professoriate Program, through which students can earn a Certificate in University Teaching.
Our program attracts students from across the United States and around the world. Our internationally renowned faculty members lead numerous research and educational activities, also worldwide. We have current or recent students from many nations, including Australia, China, Japan, Thailand, India, Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, Jordan, France, Canada, Ecuador, and Venezuela, to name a few.
Scholarship in action
The Syracuse University School of Information Studies is a leader in advancing both the theory and practice of the information professions, based on an interdisciplinary view of information phenomena. The school is committed to conducting research that expands human capabilities through information and offers solutions for the future.
The school's 40+ full-time faculty members have formal training in a wide range of areas, including information systems, telecommunications, computer science, communications, library science, school media, digital literacy, gaming, information science, instructional technology, engineering, industrial psychology, cognitive psychology, law, economics, and political science. More information about individual faculty members and their research can be found at http://my.ischool.syr.edu/Profiles/Faculty.
The school receives more than $5 million annually in sponsored research funding, among the highest per capita level of funding at Syracuse University and near the top among peer information schools. Recent sponsors include the National Science Foundation, DARPA, Department of Education, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Ford, Robin Hood and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations, and Unilever, AT&T, Raytheon, Alcatel, Cisco, Intel, Kodak, and Nokia.
The school houses or participates in several research centers, including the Center for Convergence and Emerging Network Technologies, the Center for Natural Language Processing, the Information Institute of Syracuse, the Center for Digital Literacy, the Collaboratory on Technology Enhanced Learning Communities (COTELCO), and the Systems Assurance Institute. Information about these centers can be found on their web sites, accessible from the schools web site at http://ischool.syr.edu/research/researchcenters/index.aspx.
The school enjoys strong support within the University. It is featured in the University's development and academic plans and is being positioned as the next Syracuse signature school. In May 2008, the school celebrated the completion of renovations to its high-tech home in Hinds Hall.
Who should apply?
Since the degree programs inception in 1969 as the first broad, interdisciplinary doctorate in the field, the Ph.D. program at Syracuse University has been training researchers, educators, consultants, and others who share the view that information is a manageable resource.
New institutions and systems are emerging in society around the use and management of information.
How are these systems to be designed and evaluated?
How should information systems and services be responsible to their clientele?
What kinds of media and channels for information transfer are most effective?
How can our current theories be modified to better account for the transfer and use of recorded information?
The Ph.D. program at Syracuse leads the effort to establish the new interdisciplinary field of information studies and contributes significantly to knowledge in this area.
You are welcome and encouraged to apply if:
You want to have a career in academia or research institutions or anywhere that focus on research
You have curious observations, or concerns or burning questions that fall under the research streams or areas listed on the PhD program overview page
You are enthusiastic about learning AND producing new knowledge
You have working knowledge and skills of English
You can commit four or five years full time to concentrate on your PhD study
You are open-minded and respect and appreciate interdisciplinary views and approaches
You have a CAN-DO and WILL-DO attitude toward the PhD study.
The most up-to-date curriculum information may be found on the Syracuse University Course Catalog.
View Curriculum >>
Prospective applicants will use the regular Syracuse University online application to apply for the Ph.D.Program. The application deadline is January 8th. We only have Fall admissions.
Application requirements >>
Application Requirements and Materials:
A complete application should include the following. Incomplete applications cannot be processed. It is the applicants' responsibility to make sure that their complete application packages are received before the deadline. If in doubt, please email us.
Personal Statement: it should at least but not limit to cover the following:
Your long term career goal(s) once obtain the PhD degree
Your research interest(s)
Your past research experience or training if any
Your reason to study at Syracuse University's i-school. In partiuclar, where do you see the fit between your research interest(s) and the expertises of the faculty.
Any faculty members you would like to work with or learn from, and why
Three letters of recommendation, ideally from people who can comment on your research skills and preparation.
GPAs from previous institutions. If you have a Masters degree in any field, you may waive 30 credits of the overall PhD program course requirements.
GRE scores (verbal >= 600, quantitative >= 600, writing >=5). GMAT is acceptable too.
TOEFL scores if you are not a native English speaker and you do not have a degree from a US institution.
Writing samples: can be publications of any kind, working papers, project reports, even course term papers. The samples should show your conceptualization ability, communication skills, and presentation skills.
Once the application deadline is over, the doctoral committee, composed of several faculty members and several current students, will go through all applications, conduct interviews (in person or by phone), and make final decisions. If all goes as planned, final admission decisions are made in mid March. We normally admit four to six new students each year.
Once a student is admitted, a faculty advisor will be assigned to the student to guide his/her first year of study in the program.
For information about the substantive components of the program, please contact:
Director, Ph.D. Program
Phone: +1 315-443-6147
For information on the application process, please contact:
Graduate Admissions Processor/Ph.D. Recorder
Phone: +1 315-443-1713
For an information packet with complete admissions and curriculum information, please use our online information request form.