PhD Admissions

UT Tower in sunset

General Admissions Procedures

Application Deadline

The deadline for fall admission is December 1st. Spring admission is not available.

Late applications may be submitted but are not guaranteed equal consideration, and fewer funding packages may be available.

Admission to the School of Information PhD Program requires:

  • Meeting the PhD Program Requirements
  • Admission to the University of Texas Graduate School
  • Admission to the University of Texas School of Information

Please submit your application as early as possible. Even if you are still missing some elements (e.g., GRE score, transcripts), the system will permit you to add materials to your application later as they become available.


GRE Scores: For the Fall 2021 admissions cycle only, the School of Information will not require GRE scores as part of the application for the MSIS and PhD programs. Submission of scores is optional for applicants who would like to provide the Admissions Committee additional information about their potential for success in the program.


Admissions Questions? If you have questions about application logistics (e.g., fee waivers, GRE or English test requirements, application completeness, transcripts, etc.), please contact the Graduate School admissions team. For questions about the doctoral program academics or the content of the Statement of Purpose (including faculty matches), please contact Dr. Yan Zhang, Director of Doctoral Studies, by email. 

Doctoral Student Funding

All applicants to the PhD program are automatically considered for iSchool doctoral funding packages in the admissions process. Our school has a strong tradition of fully financially supporting our doctoral students through a combination of Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, Fellowships and, in later years, teaching positions as Assistant Instructors. Our support packages include tuition, health insurance, and a stipend sufficient to live comfortably in Austin.

Doctoral Program Requirements

Applications submitted by the December 1st deadline will receive first consideration.

  • Bachelor's Degree: The completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the United States or proof of equivalent education at a foreign institution. Our PhD students come from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, and we welcome applications from interested candidates regardless of the field of study in which you completed your prior degree(s). A master's degree is not required to apply.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA): A GPA of 3.0 or higher in all junior- and senior-level upper division and graduate level-coursework attempted or completed.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Score: We take a holistic approach to considering doctoral applicants; as such, we do not have particular GRE cut-off points. (Optional for Fall 2021 applicants.)
  • Statement of Purpose: A clearly and thoughtfully written statement of purpose. (See below.)
  • Letters of Recommendation: Strong letters of recommendation discussing the applicant's academic abilities.

Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose is a key document in your doctoral application. Please address each of the following items in your statement:

  • Research Interests: Discuss your specific research interests as well as address the research questions and problems that you wish to pursue. Include a description of one potential research project.
  • Background & Experience: Make an argument for your preparation to undertake research in your area of interest by describing your previous research experience, existing skills, and other relevant background information.
  • Faculty Research: State your reasons for wanting to pursue studies specifically at the UT Austin iSchool doctoral program. In particular, you must identify at least two iSchool faculty members whose research aligns with your interests.
  • Career Objective(s): Discuss your long-term career goals after you receive your PhD degree.

Please limit your statement of purpose to 2,000 words.

Submission Guidelines: The Texas Common Application system gives two options for submitting your Statement of Purpose: 1) "Submit your essay online" (which mentions a plain-text editor), and 2) "Preferred: Upload your essay". Please choose the second option and upload your Statement of Purpose as a PDF after your application is submitted. If you use the first option the statements are presented to the committee in a way that is awkward to read.


Admission to the University of Texas Graduate School

Admission to the iSchool requires applicants to complete the following general application procedures for the UT Graduate School. Please allow plenty of time to process your application. For further information, please refer to the Graduate School’s Admissions page.

Required materials for the UT Graduate School:

  • Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) application for admission and admission fee: The Texas Common Application is available at ApplyTexas.org.
  • One official transcript from each college or university attended: Submit electronic copies of your official transcripts according to the GIAC website. Please avoid mailing paper copies to ensure a quicker processing of your application.
  • An official report of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores: Scores must be sent from the official testing agency to GIAC, using the codes for The University of Texas at Austin (GRE Code: 6882). (Optional for Fall 2021 applicants.)
  • Statement of Purpose: Once your application is submitted, electronically upload a statement of purpose for your desired program of study.
  • Three letters of recommendation: You will be asked to submit the names and contact information of three recommenders at the time of your online application. After submitting the application, each contact will receive an email with directions for submitting a recommendation letter online.
  • Resume/CV
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (international students only): International students must submit official test results from either the TOEFL or IELTS exams, according to the guidelines provided by GIAC.