Ph.D. Program Criteria

Admission to the doctoral program is highly competitive. Information about application procedures and admission criteria can be found in the Admission to Graduate Programs section of this bulletin.

Students who have graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in any discipline may apply for admission to the SLIS doctoral program. Students who are admitted and have a master’s degree from a recognized international program, in a field of study closely related to information science or the equivalent, may be enrolled in the doctoral program and may transfer up to 30 credit hours of recognized course work. The student must submit official transcripts as proof of degree completion. If a student is admitted who has an interest in information science but does not possess an appropriate graduate degree, the student will initially be enrolled in one of the master’s degree programs. After 12 months, the student’s performance will be reviewed by the Doctoral Steering Committee, and, if appropriate, the student’s status will be changed to reflect admission to the doctoral program.

The formal requirements for admission include:

  • A completed Indiana University Graduate Application for Admission (apply online).
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Submit transcripts for all course work taken and degrees completed.
  • Record of academic accomplishment. An applicant must have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in any previous graduate course work. An international applicant’s grade point average will be calculated on the basis of equivalency from universities that use a different scale.
  • Personal statement. The applicant must submit a 500-word statement of professional goals that reflects a commitment to teaching and/or research.
  • Three letters of recommendation should come from persons in the professional and academic communities who can address the applicant’s scholarly and analytical abilities and potential for doctoral study.
  • Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants must submit a recent score (within three years of application) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test as part of their admission credentials. Scores on all three sections (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) will be considered. GRE minimum scores of 500 each in the verbal and quantitative areas and 4.5 in the analytical area are required. GRE information and application forms may be obtained from Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000. These are the minimum scores required for an application to be processed further; we expect higher scores from successful applicants.
  • A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score above 100 (or 600 on the paper test) or 250 (on the earlier computer test) is required for applicants whose native language is not English. In addition, university policy provides that all international students be retested on English language abilities upon arrival at Indiana University.
  • Demonstrable potential for excellence in conducting research. Success in a doctoral program requires such characteristics as the ability to identify and conceptualize significant research problems, the ability to be insightful and express ideas clearly, and overall potential for contributing new knowledge to the discipline.

Applications from international students must be reviewed by the Indiana University Office of International Admissions before their review by the SLIS Doctoral Admissions Committee.

SLIS encourages doctoral applicants to provide the school with the most appropriate evidence regarding each of the admission criteria. GRE scores and college transcripts are usually sufficient to demonstrate capability of working with abstract concepts in doctoral-level courses and research. The essay portion of the application provides indication of the applicant’s commitment to research and to the field of information science and attracts the attention of relevant faculty to the application. It is required that each applicant submit a single-authored writing sample that is relevant to the admission criteria, such as academic papers or work-related projects.

Check our Web site for more information.

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