This document outlines the requirements of the PhD degree from the School of Information Sciences, which conform to the requirements of the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The doctoral program is a 48-hour research degree where students work closely with their Advisor to create educational experiences both within and outside the classroom that help to prepare the student for their future research career. Students are encouraged to pursue interests in other departments as well as within the iSchool, and program requirements reflect and enable this.
Students entering the program with a master's degree must complete 48 hours of doctoral-level coursework plus 32 hours of dissertation work. Students will choose, but are not limited to, 36 hours of elective courses to provide the intellectual breadth and depth required for a solid LIS foundation. At least 20 of these 36 hours of electives must be taken in the iSchool. Students without a previous master's degree must complete 32 additional hours of graduate-level (master's or doctoral) coursework to satisfy the requirements of the doctoral program. Should such students wish to petition for the MS/LIS, they must also take LIS 501 (4 hours) and LIS 502 (4 hours), for a total of 40 hours additional to the doctoral-level requirements. Courses are selected in consultation with the student's Advisor. Given the strong interdisciplinary focus of the School, doctoral students are strongly encouraged also to include elective courses related to their programs of study in other units of the University.
Doctoral students are required to be in residence for two full years of the program. In addition to taking classes and carrying out individual research projects, all students are expected to attend talks, meet with international visitors, and participate in School-sponsored events. First year students are expected to attend the proseminar during their first year. There is no course credit for the proseminar, however, attendance during the first year is mandatory. All PhD students are encouraged to keep attending the proseminar throughout their residency, and to drop in for any sessions of their interest. Students beyond their 1st year in the program are encouraged to attend sessions that involve interactions with junior students, e.g., student presentations. We strongly encourage senior students to attend at least 50% of the proseminar sessions per semester. Senior students can also consider the proseminar as an opportunity space for practicing their conference, proposal and thesis defense talks, and doing so is encouraged.
There is an expectation for students joining the program in 2004 or later to complete in degree in 4 years. Students beginning the program without the master's degree can expect to add an additional year to the program, and involvement in a special project might add another year; therefore 6 years would be considered the maximum amount of time for the degree. Leave for personal/medical matters is granted according to university policy.
Doctoral students proceed through the program by passing through the following set of milestones that are tied to three phases of intellectual development: