Programs by Campus


Social Informatics

Rob Kling Center for Social Informatics

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(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Ph.D. Minor in Social Informatics

Social Informatics (SI) refers to the interdisciplinary study of the design, uses, and consequences of information and communications technologies (ICT) that takes into account their interaction with institutional and cultural contexts. Social Informatics research examines the roles of technologies in social and organizational change and the social shaping of ICT. SI research and SI courses are organized within diverse fields, including information systems, telecommunications, journalism, information science, and political science. One key goal of t SI is to shape ICTs and policies relevant to them in order to enhance human communication and lead to more acceptable technological developments at organizational and social levels.

Course Requirement for the Ph.D. Minor in Social Informatics (12 credit hours)

This minor consists of four courses (12 credits), selected from an approved list of courses as described below. Please note that astudent minoring in SI cannot include classes in the minor from their home department. Students who complete the Ph.D. minor in SI at Indiana University must demonstrate proficiency in a set of courses that examines the design, uses, consequences of and/or policies impacting ICT use in social, cultural, or institutional contexts. The SI Ph.D. minor emphasizes theoretical and methodological issues, as well as substantive issues.

The student must submit a written proposal to the Steering Committee describing a detailed course of study. The proposal will explain the student’s focus of study, its relationship to SI, the relationship of proposed SI courses to the overall program of study, and the likely dissertation topic or area. It will also include the name of the student’s SI Ph.D. minor advisor. While the SI Ph.D. minor is likely to be completed before a student develops a detailed dissertation proposal, it is expected that the dissertation will address issues related to social informatics. If a student is interested in a course that is not on the approved course list, he or she can petition the director and Steering Committee to have the course included as part of the minor; the procedure is described below.

The complete proposal must be approved by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee must also attest that the approved course of study has been completed successfully. Students seeking the Ph.D. minor in SI must also obtain the approval of their Ph.D. Advisory Committees. The range of courses listed on the RKCSI courses Web site ( is designed to enable students to construct a program for the Ph.D. minor in SI that is relevant to their primary research interests. This program of courses should include some courses that have strong theoretical and/or methodological content, as well as substantive issues.

Specific Course Requirements

Students seeking a Ph.D. minor in Social Informatics must complete four graduate level courses (12 hours) that have been selected from the courses listed on the RKCSI Courses at Indiana page; this list includes courses that have been specifically identified as approved for the Ph.D. minor. One of the four courses for the SI minor must be taken in the Media School  or the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering and this course, which will serve as a foundation course for the minor, must be approved by the committee. This course should be taken first and may not be in the student’s home school or department. Other courses in these schools and departments may be taken as electives. Possibilities include:

  • I609 or I709 Advanced Seminar I or II in Informatics, Topic: Social Informatics
  • Z514 Social Aspects of Information Technology
  • MSCH-T604 Topical Seminar in Media and Society

In addition, students can propose, in consultation with their advisors, that their minor include other SI courses that are not on this list, or that are on the list but have not yet been formally approved for the SI minor. Such proposals should include syllabi and other detailed information about the course. The proposal should make a convincing case that the course is aligned with one or more main SI themes, such as the complex relationships among technology, people, their work and/or play, and the contexts within which people interact with technology.


Students seeking the Ph.D. minor in social informatics must complete an additional three courses (9 credit hours). These additional courses must be selected from the list above or the following list. The elective courses should be taken from at least two departments or schools other than the student’s home academic unit. The Social Informatics Program is developing rapidly at IU, and we expect that additional doctoral-level courses will be offered each year. Students can propose that their minors include other social informatics courses that are not included on this list. Such proposals should include syllabi and other detailed information about the course.

Department of Information and Library Science
Z513 Organizational Informatics
Z541 Information Policy
Z542 International Information Issues
Z544 Gender and Computerization
Z643 The Information Industry
Z652 Digital Libraries
Z661 Concepts and Contemporary Issues in Human-Computer Interaction

Kelley School of Business
S600 Foundations in Information Systems Research
S602 Information Systems Technology Research
S606 IS Strategy and Management Research
S607 Collaborative Technologies Research
S796 Special Topics

Cognitive Science Program
Q540 Philosophical Foundations of the Cognitive and Informa­tion Sciences

Department of Communication and Culture
CMCL 620: Media, Politics, and Power: Ethnographic Approach­es to New Media: Configuring the Object of Analysis in New Media Research

School of Education
P550 Cognition and Semiotics

School of Informatics and Computing
I605 Social Foundations of Informatics
I690 Seminar in Social Informatics II: Political and Economic Issues

Department of Political Science
Y665 Public Law and Policy

Department of Telecommunications
T602 Interactivity and New Media
T610 The Networked Society

Academic Bulletins

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