Doctoral Program

PhD Hero

Our doctoral program offers a research-intensive environment in which to pursue answers to important information problems of our time. Our emphasis is on immersing you actively into research practices with faculty mentors, supplemented by course work that prepares you to reason and evaluate ideas and data across disciplinary boundaries. This is a program for those who wish to advance knowledge and to become researchers, scholars, and teachers.

Read more about the PhD program in our Invitation to Apply.

Our Program

The information field is broad, allowing for a diversity of research questions and methods. But diversity without depth is insufficient. Doctoral research is intended to advance knowledge and increase our understanding of the world. All students seeking to attain this level of research competence require close partnership with expert faculty who can mentor and challenge them.

Our faculty have disciplinary backgrounds in anthropology, communications, computer science, engineering, English, history, information science, psychology, and science and technology studies. We study problems and build solutions for better information management and knowledge organization, interaction design and information work, to increase our understanding of the role and impact of information in all human endeavors. Our curriculum offers flexibility to tailor coursework for individual need, with the intention of preparing all students to produce high quality, original, and relevant research aligned to our mission as a school.

At the University of Texas iSchool, you will work with faculty who are among the best in the world in their areas of expertise. You will be immersed in an environment that offers the facilities and resources of a top-class research university. If you want to experience the best doctoral education in our field, you should apply to the iSchool in Austin.

Program Requirements

There are multiple elements of the iSchool doctoral program that students must successfully complete. The requirements listed below are minima; particular students’ committees may require more work, especially with regard to classes, research methods, experiences, and participation in the School’s research life (e.g., Research Colloquium presentations, and doctoral research presentations) as well as the field’s research life (e.g., presentations at national conferences). For more detailed information about program requirements and guideline, please view the PhD student handbook.

  • Formation of an initial committee, qualifying committee, and dissertation committee
  • Thirty-nine hours of coursework (usually 2 years)
  • Preparation of a plan of study
  • Annual review of each student’s progress prior to candidacy
  • Authoring of a qualifying research paper
  • Completion of a qualifying written examination
  • Completion of the qualifying oral examination based on the written examination
  • At least two submissions of research to peer-reviewed journals or proceedings
  • Admission to candidacy
  • Completion and defense of a dissertation proposal
  • Completion and defense of a dissertation


Degree Requirements