Ph.D. in Information Science: FAQs

How do I apply to the IS PhD Program?

All applications are available online at ApplyYourself.

What is the application fee?

The application fee is $50 for all applicants and must be paid when you submit your application. The fee will not be waived, deferred, or refunded. Applications will not be considered until the fee has been received. Receipt of payment will be acknowledged by email from Apply Yourself.

What is the deadline for applying to the PhD in IS?

All application materials for PhD applicants should be received at the school by January 15 for admission the following Fall Term. Applications submitted for Spring Term may be considered in exceptional circumstances upon the strong recommendation from a potential faculty advisor.

What are the requirements for admission to the PhD Program?

General: Exceptional students with a bachelor's degree in IS, CS, Engineering, Math, or related fields or a master’s degree from an accredited university, a recognized international program, or the equivalent. Students must submit official transcripts as evidence. For admissions information pertaining to the School of Computing and Information as a whole, click here.

Education: Exceptional undergraduate or attainment in graduate (Master's) work of a minimum quality point average of 3.3 (on a scale with A having a value of 4 points per credit). An international student’s quality point average will be calculated on the basis of equivalency from universities that use a different scale.

Test Scores: Submission of scores from a predictor test such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or equivalent examination. Scores on all three sections (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) of the GRE must be submitted. Scores must be recent score (within five years of the date of application) on the Graduate Record Examination. While submission of the GRE scores are preferred, a recent and strong performance on the GMAT will be accepted in lieu of taking the GRE exam. The University code for the GRE is 2927. The Program code is 0404. Applicants, ​please note that ​you can not ​add the numerical code 0404 by it​self​. Please type “Information Sciences” ​in the required field and the system will auto populate your choices, one of which is Information Sciences/Studies 0404.

References: At least three references from persons in the professional and academic communities.

Essay: An essay (not exceeding 1,000 words) indicating, as specifically as possible, the student’s academic and professional goals in relation to the Information Science and Technology doctoral program and identifying potential areas and/or topics in which the student expects to pursue dissertation research.

Pre-requisite Knowledge: PhD applicants must have or demonstrate the following prerequisite knowledge. These courses or their equivalent should be taken before seeking admission but may be taken during the first four terms of study. All courses must be at the graduate level and may have been taken in the course of pursuing another graduate degree:

Statistics or Discrete Math (e.g., IS 2060 Statistics or IS 2020 Mathematical Foundations)
Cognitive Psychology (e.g., IS 2300 Human Info Processing or IS 2350 Human Factors)
Systems Analysis and Design (e.g., IS 2510 Information Systems & Design)
Data Structures (e.g., IS 2500 Data Structures)
Database Management (e.g., IS 2710 Database Management)

Petitions: If petitions are made to waive any pre-requisite knowledge, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide full syllabi and supporting documentation for any courses taken at other institutions that they view as equivalent. Prerequisite courses, and any coursework required to prepare for prerequisite courses, are not considered in the credits required for the PhD program by students already holding an MS degree.

How long does it take for my application to be reviewed?

The School of Computing and Information and the department makes every effort to issue a determination about applications within 4-6 weeks of the application deadline. This is, of course, dependent upon the timely receipt of all required application materials. You will be notified via e-mail when an admissions decision has been posted to your Apply Yourself account.

Please note that, during the December–January timeframe, numerous applications are received. Due to the volume of submissions, there may be a delay in notification of receipt of materials.

You may always check your Apply Yourself account to ascertain if documentation has been received or if an admissions decision has been made. The status of your application, related documents and admission decision cannot be verified until you have submitted the application fee (which is the final step in submitting your application).

How do I choose my advisor for the PhD Program?

An advisor will be assigned to the student upon entering the program, but students are free to select a different advisor for subsequent advising and registration as their interests become more focused. The PhD student should seek a faculty program advisor who is knowledgeable in the student’s major area of study. The advisor must be a member of the graduate faculty.

What kind of jobs can I get with the PhD?

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Information Science prepares students for independently engaging in advanced research, leading to research laboratory or academic positions.

Will I get to participate in research projects?

Both Master’s students and Ph.D. candidates can—and do—participate in research projects. The faculty have numerous projects underway, including several that have received federal funding.