PhD in Information Science and Technology

PhD at the iSchool

The PhD 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 in the information field. Our program addresses information-related phenomena in all settings: individual, organizational, societal, political, and technical. Our PhD program grants a doctorate in information science.

Since the degree program's inception in 1969 as the first broad, interdisciplinary doctorate in the field, the PhD in Information Science and Technology has been training researchers, educators, consultants, and others who share the view that information is a manageable resource.

Our students are expected to develop mastery across aspects of human uses of information, technologies that work with information, and theories of information. Our program is human-centered, rather than computer science and computer engineering, and more technologically-oriented than most programs in psychology, sociology, communications and business.


What you will learn

Research Areas

The iSchool has more than 30 tenured and tenure-track faculty engaged in a great variety of interesting research areas. The school also has several research-focused professors who include scholarly work in their portfolio of professional activities.

Data Science & Computation
  • Data science
  • Natural language processing
  • Machine learning
  • Visualization
Computational Social Science
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Opinion research
  • Social media
  • Information diffusion
Human-Centered Computing & Design
  • Computer-supported collaborative work
  • Human computer interaction
  • User cognition
  • Electronic health record
  • Online educational tools
  • Mobile systems and applications
Information Systems
  • Free/libre open source software
  • Management information systems
  • Information system design
  • Technology acceptance and use
Libraries & Librarianship
  • Assessment
  • Information and digital literacy
  • School librarians
  • Digital libraries
  • Knowledge representation and ontologies
Learning & Training
  • Motivation
  • Learning strategies for information professionals
  • Experiential learning
Organizations, Collaboration, & Leadership
  • Group coordination / Self-organized groups
  • e-Science
  • Citizen science
  • Leadership and management
  • Organizational change
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Security & Privacy
  • Cybersecurity
  • Network security
  • User privacy
  • Trustworthy computing
Digital Technologies & Society
  • Disruption, technology, and resilience
  • eGovernment
  • Economics of IT
  • Globalization of IT
  • IT workforce
  • Smart grids
  • Technology and civic contexts
  • Social informatics

Telecommunications & Networking
  • Disruption, technology, and resilience
  • eGovernment
  • Economics of IT
  • Globalization of IT
  • IT workforce
  • Smart grids
  • Technology and civic contexts
  • Social informatics

What we look for

Our PhD students are highly motivated individuals who aspire to a career in academia or otherwise committed to research.

Our students are lifelong learners who also have a passion for producing new knowledge and sharing it with the world.

The ideal PhD candidate is open-minded toward the interdisciplinary nature of the information field, and is respectful and appreciative of alternative views and approaches to research.

We expect PhD applicants to be dedicated to 4-5 years of intense full-time study to concentrate on your PhD studies.

iSchool Graduate Students

About our admissions process

Hinds Hall
  • We do not accept or reject applicants based on test scores.
    We look at all application materials, not just test scores, in order to make admissions decisions.

  • Admissions decisions are made by a committee.
    Individual faculty do not make admissions decisions, and cannot guarantee admission decisions for any applicant.

  • You must find a research fit among our faculty to be seriously considered.
    Applicants who apply without a secured research fit among our faculty will find it difficult to gain acceptance into the program.

  • We fund all admitted students.
    This puts a premium on providing us evidence of your interests and experiences with research, and is also why entrance to the iSchool PhD program is selective.

How to Apply

The PhD application for fall 2017 term will open on October 1.

The deadline to apply for this program is January 3.

We only have admissions for fall term. We do not admit for in spring or summer term.

We only offer our PhD in a full-time, on-campus format. We do not offer online or part-time formats for the PhD program.

Visit the Admissions page for more information on deadlines, tuition, and more.

The Checklist

Do you have everything you need to apply? Use our checklist to know that you’re ready to begin your application.

View the application checklist

Find your fit

Find and make a connection with one of our researching faculty members prior to applying to the program.

Explore Research Faculty

Learn more about our PhD program

Jennifer Barclay

Jennifer Barclay

PhD Program Manager