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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 804 - Preparation for Academic Careers in Library and Information Science
  • SLIS 803 - Information and Society OR
  • 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 (9 Hours)

Dissertation Credit Hours (12 Hours Minimum)

Students must register for at least 12 credit hours of dissertation preparation over the period of writing the dissertation.

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

Students will establish their eligibility for Comprehensive Examination by completing the following:

  • All coursework requirements;
  • Submission of an article to a peer reviewed journal, a full proceeding submitted to a conference, or a full paper presented at a national conference (Referred to as a Qualifying Examination)

The examination process is initiated with meeting the qualifying exam requirement and completing all coursework requirements either previous to or during the semester of the Comprehensive Exam.  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 their 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; proposed research questions and/or hypotheses; and detailed methodology and methods sections.

Doctoral Dissertation: The doctoral dissertation is a demonstration by the candidate that they have mastered research techniques and is able to add new knowledge on a significant question or issue. The Dissertation must be completed no 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.


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