Apply to our PhD in Library and Information Science

What are the requirements for admission?

  1. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, or a master's degree in library and information science or a related field.
  2. An applicant must have maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in master's-level coursework and in the last two years of undergraduate coursework, in which case GRE scores are not required. For those with a GPA below a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, GRE test scores are required. However, if an applicant has a JD, MD, or a PhD degree, they would be exempt from the GRE requirement.
  3. International applicants whose native language is not English must submit evidence of having passed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 620 or higher (or 260 or higher for the computer-administered version; 104 or higher [at least a 25 in each section] for the IBT). The test can be administered in the student's home country but should be arranged at least one year before the applicant expects to begin the program. The IELTS test is also accepted with a minimum score of 7 in each section. Our School's Institution code is 1836. Language proficiency is also to be demonstrated through an interview with the Doctoral Studies Committee. In exception, circumstances where a student is admitted who does not meet these requirements, further steps may be required during their first year in the program to ensure student success.

Note: The University's Division of English as an International Language offers courses for graduate students whose native language is not English and who wish to improve their language proficiency. The division provides other forms of help through the Intensive English Institute.

How do I apply?

To apply, visit the Graduate College's application page, review the information, and select the "Apply Now" button. Applicants must submit the following:

  1. CV
  2. Research Statement. The purpose of the Research Statement is to give applicants a chance to present a research problem or question that interests them and to propose how it might be investigated at the iSchool. The Committee also uses the Research Statement to help it assess how well an applicant's interests coincide with those of the faculty and are likely to be accommodated within the School; to that end applicants should identify faculty members who have similar research interests in the research statement. Please describe your intellectual interests, academic experience, anticipated area(s) of study, career goals, and identify faculty with whom you would like to work.
  3. Statement of purpose. Please indicate what experiences have shaped your thinking and motivated your decision to pursue a doctoral degree in LIS, with reference to the particular area in which you are interested.
  4. Letters of reference. Letters of reference must come from three individuals who can speak to the applicant's potential for teaching, research, and productive scholarship.
  5. Transcripts. Applicant will need to upload official or unofficial transcripts to the online application; see application for instructions.

Information about resources to assist domestic underrepresented applicants is available from the Graduate College.

When are applications due?

PhD students are admitted in the fall semester. All PhD applicants, including those who wish to receive financial aid, must submit their application no later than December 1.

Application portal opens for admission: August 1
Final application deadline: December 1 (application closes at 11:00 p.m. CST) – 2019 deadline extended to December 14 (application closes at 5:00 p.m. CST)

How will my application be evaluated?

All applications are assessed by the Doctoral Studies Committee. The committee then invites the most promising candidates for a phone interview, which enables the applicant and the committee to explore research connections in more depth. The phone interview is both evaluative (i.e., the committee assesses a candidate's ability to think analytically and communicate ideas effectively) and informational (i.e., candidates explore their fit with the faculty, the iSchool and campus environment, and the local community).

Applicants will be notified by the end of February if they will be invited to interview for the program.

What if I have questions?

For more information, contact us! You can e-mail ischool-apply@illinois.edu or call Kim Fleming (217-300-9111) or Dimitria Johnson (217-300-6646) for answers to your questions.