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How to Apply

PhD Admissions

We expect students to have the following foundation before entering the program:

  • An academic background that includes coursework in several of the following areas:
    • Information organization
    • Information retrieval
    • Communication
    • Design and evaluation of information systems
    • Knowledge management
  • A knowledge of research methods that includes an understanding of distinctions between the qualitative and quantitative data collection and the analysis strategies employed in the social sciences, along with a facility to develop research questions.
  • Knowledge of computing equivalent to that required in the school’s master’s degree programs. The requirement can be met by a demonstration of competence gained through experience, as well as by a record of formal coursework, or the completion of recommended coursework.


Applicants admitted without the necessary foundation will be asked to take the courses necessary to develop the foundation. This will result in the student completing courses beyond the 36-hour minimum requirement. Such additional requirements will be outlined in the admissions letter.

After completing The Graduate School application your application will go through these steps:

First, your application will be reviewed by a committee of faculty. If you are selected, you will be invited to an interview with members of the committee and interested members of the faculty who might be interested in serving as your academic advisor. This interview will take place remotely over Zoom in early January. We expect to make admission decisions by the end of January or beginning of February.

If you are accepted, you will be contacted by one or more doctoral students who will be able answer questions about life at SILS from a student’s perspective. We can arrange a campus visit for you following your acceptance.