Degree Programs

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. program in SLIS prepares the next generation of Information Science (IS) scholars to conduct research of the highest quality that will advance basic and applied knowledge about the design, use, management, and evaluation of information systems in all segments of society. The program adopts an interdisciplinary approach that integrates perspectives and research methodologies from information science with those of the behavioral sciences. The Ph.D. program emphasizes research experience, the development of theoretical understandings and methodological skills, and public discussion and dissemination of research findings.

Goals and Objectives for the Ph.D. Program

The school has identified the following goals for the Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science:

  1. To promote a common understanding of the research process and what constitutes scholarly research.
  2. To prepare scholars who are able to identify and conceptualize significant research problems.
  3. To train scholars who are able to produce relevant research and who have the overall potential for contributing new knowledge to the field.
  4. To prepare students for professional roles as researchers, teachers, and consultants in both academic and nonacademic settings.

Upon completion of their Ph.D. program, doctoral students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate their ability to generate original research that meets the scholarly standards of the field.
  2. Communicate the findings of their work, orally and in writing, in a clear, convincing fashion to other scholars in this and related disciplines.
Ph.D. Program Requirements

Details about doctoral program requirements are available in the School of Library and Information Science Ph.D. Handbook. The following outline summarizes these requirements.

Course Credits
Every doctoral student at Indiana University is required to complete a minimum of 90 credit hours in an advanced course of study. At least 60 of the 90 credit hours must be taken at the Bloomington (IUB) or Indianapolis (IUPUI) campuses of Indiana University. Up to 30 earned credit hours from a recognized graduate program may be transferred toward the doctoral program if they meet time limit requirements and are relevant to the student’s area of doctoral studies. All course work, with the exception of dissertation credits, must be completed within seven years of matriculation.

A committee of three or more faculty members will advise the doctoral student regarding coursework, annual progress reports and preparations for the qualifying examination. Two members of the advisory committee must be from SLIS and one from the student’s outside minor. At least two members of the committee, including the chair, must be members of the University Graduate School faculty.

Doctoral students must complete 22 credit hours of SLIS courses:

  • S701 Introduction to Doctoral Research in Information Science (6 cr.)
  • S702 Doctoral Research Practicum I (2 cr.)
  • S703 Doctoral Research Practicum II (2 cr.)
  • S710 Doctoral Research Practicum III (3 cr.)
  • Three sections of S764 Seminar in Information Science (total 9 cr.)

Up to 15 credit hours of S799 Ph.D. Thesis may be counted toward the 90 credit hours required for the Ph.D.

The doctoral student must also complete a research skills requirement consisting of 9 credit hours of basic and advanced research coursework: one graduate level statistics course (3 cr.) and two advanced courses (3 cr. each) in graduate-level statistics, research methods, or research design.

A minimum of 21 credit hours of graduate coursework, approved by the student's advisory committee, must be completed in the student's major area.  (The requirement for three sections of S764 may be counted toward the total 21 credit hours for the major.) Doctoral students must also complete an outside doctoral minor in a school, department, or program approved by the University Graduate School. Minimum course requirements and examination procedures for the outside doctoral minor are determined by the school, department, or program offering the minor.

Qualifying Examination
The qualifying examination requires the doctoral student to investigate an area in depth, to provide a written report of the findings of this investigation and to present the report in a public defense. In order to defend the qualifying examination, the student must have completed a minimum of 75 credit hours of graduate coursework and must have satisfied all required coursework, including the outside minor.

After passing the qualifying examination, the student will be nominated to candidacy.  Following admission to candidacy and until the dissertation has been successfully defended, doctoral candidates must register for at least one credit hour each semester (excluding summer sessions) in order to maintain active student status.

The Dissertation
A research committee consisting of at least four faculty members will guide the student through the research, writing and final defense stages of the dissertation process. Three members of the research committee must be from SLIS. All committee members must be members of the University Graduate School faculty; at least two members (including the chair of the research committee) must be endorsed to direct doctoral dissertations. The dissertation must be completed and successfully defended within seven years of admission to candidacy.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.