Ph.D. Application Checklist

Find everything you need to know about applying to our doctoral program, advice for prospective students, and more.

PhD Program Director and Associate Professor Bei Yu and the 2021 PhD Cohort

Ph.D. Program Director and Associate Professor Bei Yu and the 2021 Ph.D. cohort

About Our Admissions Process

Applications for the Ph.D. program are only accepted for the Fall Term which begins in August. The deadline to apply for the Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology is December 15.

Current Syracuse University students should apply to the program using the Graduate Program Application. As of Fall 2021, there is no longer a separate internal application process.

Our program is currently not available in online or part-time formats. If you apply to the iSchool’s Ph.D., you should be prepared to dedicate to 4-5 years of full-time and on-campus study to concentrate on your program.

We do not accept or reject applicants based on test scores. We review applications holistically. 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. All applicants for the Ph.D. are carefully evaluated on all of their application materials by the Doctoral Committee for their:

  • Research interests as they relate to faculty interests
  • Academic preparation for research
  • Communication skills, both oral and written
  • Intellectual ability as reflected in standardized tests and performance in coursework
  • Readiness for the Ph.D. reflected through research and personal statements

You must find at least two research faculty members whose research interests align with your own to be seriously considered for the iSchool’s Ph.D. program. Applicants who apply without a secured research fit will find it difficult to gain acceptance into the program. We have several online resources that can help you find a research fit at the iSchool:

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

After the application deadline, the doctoral committee, composed of several faculty members and several current students, will go through all applications, conduct interviews (either in person or by phone), and make final decisions.

Once a student is admitted, a faculty advisor will be assigned to the student to guide his or her first year of study in the program.

You can apply to the program using the Graduate Program Application.

You will receive an email from Syracuse University when you application has been received and processed.

Current Syracuse University students should apply to the program using the Graduate Program Application. As of Fall 2021, there is no longer a separate internal application process.

The non-refundable application fee is $75.

Please include a check or money order payable to Syracuse University. Do not send cash.

If you wish to apply to more than one Syracuse University program, you must file a separate application and application fee for each program.

Post-9/11 veterans of the armed forces may have their admissions fee waived upon verification by Veterans Resource Center staff. Identify yourself as a Post-9/11 Veteran while completing the online admissions application and contact the Veterans Resource Center (veterans@syr.edu) for further instructions.

One (1) copy of records of all previous postsecondary education.

If you have a master’s degree in any field, you may be able to waive 30 credits of the overall Ph.D. program course requirements.

Contact the Registrar’s Office of each higher educational institution that you attended and have one copy of your transcript(s) sent to the Syracuse University Enrollment Management Processing Center. Address and submission instructions are below.

You do not need to send transcripts from secondary schools as part of this application.

We can consider your application with unofficial transcripts, but we recommend that you send official transcripts. If you choose to submit an unofficial transcript, all offers of admission from Syracuse University are conditional pending receipt of official academic credentials showing that a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) has been conferred upon you.

Failure to submit official degree-bearing credentials may result in revocation of an offer of admission, or dismissal from the graduate program if admission has already been granted.

Your statement of research interests must provide the following information in up to 1500 words:

  • Your long term career goals once you obtain your Ph.D. degree
  • Your research interest
  • Your past research experience or training, if any
  • Your reason to study at the Syracuse University iSchool. In particular, where you see the fit between your research interests and the expertise of the faculty.
  • A list of any faculty members you would like to work with or learn from and why. We expect you to make a connection of your interest(s) to at least two iSchool faculty members, and you will be evaluated on the strength of your connection(s).

All three letters of recommendation should be provided by individuals who can comment on your research skills and preparation.

  • GRE General Exam (optional)
    • Entry to our program is competitive. GRE scores are optional, though recommended. We understand the difficulties facing many of you in these unsettled times in sitting for the GRE. We welcome your application.
  • TOEFL scores (required for international applications)
    • If you are not a native English speaker and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution, you are required to take the TOEFL exam.
    • Successful applicants typically have a TOEFL score of 105 or above.
    • If you have completed an advanced degree taught at an accredited U.S. educational institution, you do not need to provide a TOEFL score. Please also know the doctoral admissions committee welcomes submission of previous TOEFL or IELTS scores to provide additional information.
    • International applicants whose native language is English, or, who are citizens of English-speaking countries are not required to submit TOEFL scores.
    • For more information on TOEFL scores, whether you need to submit your scores, and other common questions for international applicants to Syracuse University, please visit the International Student FAQ.

Your writing sample can be a publication of any kind: working papers, project reports, even course term papers. The sample should show your conceptualization ability, communication skills, and presentation skills.

How to submit your application:

Electronically using the Graduate Program Application

We strongly encourage that all application materials and credentials be submitted electronically using the Graduate Program Application listed in step 1.

You will receive an email confirmation from Syracuse University when all your application materials have been received.

By mail

Any materials that cannot be submitted electronically can be mailed.

Any letters of recommendation that you are unable to submit electronically must be submitted in sealed envelopes, on which the recommender has signed across the seal.

For all other materials, you must include your first name, last name and SU I.D., and mail the materials in a sealed envelope to:

Enrollment Management Processing Center
Syracuse University
Graduate Admissions Processing
P.O. Box 35060
Syracuse New York 13235-5060

If you are sending materials using a package delivery company (i.e. FedEx, UPS, DHL), use this address:

Enrollment Management Processing Center
Syracuse University
Graduate Admissions Processing
400 Ostrom Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13244

To verify the status of your application, please contact Bridget Crary at bmcrary@syr.edu.

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