PhD Overview

Doctor of Philosophy in Information and Library Science

The PhD program seeks outstanding students who possess the qualities to be successful independent investigators.


The SILS doctoral program provides intensive, but highly flexible and customizable, preparation for careers in academia and research centers. We seek students who:

  • Enjoy intellectual challenges and demonstrate analytical and critical thinking;
  • Are committed to a life of research and scholarly inquiry;
  • Possess the discipline and will to be independent investigators and the vision and communication skills to be influential leaders in the field;
  • Are attracted to information and library science as a field that incorporates diverse theories, scholars, and methodologies; and
  • Aim to be information leaders in the twenty-first century.

Academic Background and Knowledge Expected

A student is expected to have the following foundation before entering the program:

  • An academic background including 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 who are admitted without the necessary foundation will be asked to take the courses necessary to develop the foundation. This will result in the necessity to complete courses beyond the 36-hour minimum course requirement. Such additional requirements will be outlined in the admissions letter.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the doctoral program is competitive and is based upon the strength of the applicant's educational background and standardized test scores, work experience, statement of research and personal interview. 

In reviewing applicants for admission to the program, the school will consider past academic record and scholarly potential of an applicant as well as the match of the candidate's research interests with those of the school's faculty. One or more faculty must be willing to assume the advisory role for the student. 

Exceptions to these admission policies may be allowed for students with the potential for outstanding research contributions through their special background or experience. 

For information on admissions please visit our Admissions page.


For information on tuition, fees, and other financial information, please refer to the Financial Information page.