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Library and Information Science

Information about the Ph.D. Program for Current Students

Our Ph.D. program provides doctoral-trained teacher scholars for library and information science programs and cultural heritage informatics leaders for institutions across the nation.  Our faculty have been recognized for their research and service to the profession.

Degree Requirements

Phase I - Coursework

Students must complete an approved program of 54 credit hours of 700- and 800-level courses beyond the master’s level, including a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation preparation with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above.

Core Courses (15 Hours)

  • SLIS 801 - Research Issues in Library and Information Science
  • SLIS 802 - Theory and Research Methods in Library and Information Science
  • SLIS 803 - Information and Society
  • SLIS 804 - Preparation for Academic Careers in Library and Information Science
  • SLIS 805 - Information Policy and Ethics

Research Methods (6 Hours)

  • Qualitative Research – chosen from advisor-approved options such as EDRM 740 or ANTH 719
  • Quantitative Research - chosen from advisor-approved options such as STAT 700 or STAT 701

SLIS Electives (12 Hours)

  • Chosen from advisor-approved 800-level seminars or 700-level courses appropriate to research interests and the production of work designed for scholarly publication or presentation

Cognate Courses (9 Hours)

  • Chosen from advisor-approved courses from another discipline related to the student’s research interests (i.e., mass communication, sociology, education, anthropology, computer science, English, geography, history, marketing, philosophy, political science, psychology, public administration)
  • Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations
  • Dissertation Preparation (12 Hours)
  • SLIS 899

Phase II - Comprehensive Examination

Once admitted to candidacy, students will establish their eligibility for Comprehensive Examination by completing the following:

  • All coursework requirements;
  • Two papers that are submitted for publication or presentation;
  • Two comprehensive literature reviews that correspond to the student's research interests with reference to the student's cognate area.

The examination process is initiated with the acceptance of the literature reviews by the student's faculty adviser. A faculty examination committee then prepares the written examination. After completing the written exam, the student takes a follow-up oral examination. It will typically be considered unsatisfactory progress if a student has not taken the exam one year after completing coursework with no other signs of progress. The student has a maximum of two opportunities to pass his or her comprehensive examination. The student will not be allowed to continue in the doctoral program if the comprehensive examination is not passed. 

Phase III - Doctoral Dissertation

Proposal: Upon successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination, the student in consultation with his or her adviser forms a Dissertation Committee and prepares a dissertation proposal to present to the Committee. The proposal typically includes: an introduction; an extensive literature review; a discussion of related theory; a proposed hypothesis/hypotheses; and a detailed methodology.

Doctoral Dissertation: The doctoral dissertation is a demonstration by the candidate that he or she has mastered research techniques and is able to add new knowledge on a significant question or issue. The Dissertation must be completed n o later than five years after passing the comprehensive examination.

Dissertation Defense: The dissertation defense is an oral defense by the candidate of the written dissertation and is conducted by the student's Doctoral Dissertation Committee.