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. Applicants with a grade-point average (GPA) below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in their last two years of undergraduate coursework and in any master's-level coursework must submit GRE scores. Applicants with GPAs of at least 3.0, or those with an earned JD, MD, or PhD, are 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 exceptional circumstances, an applicant who does not meet these requirements may be admitted on limited status and will be required to take the English Placement Test (EPT) upon arrival to determine whether additional ESL coursework is necessary.

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 (2-3 pages): Please describe your intellectual interests, academic experience, anticipated area(s) of study, and career goals. Identify faculty with whom you would like to work. This is an opportunity to present a research problem or question of interest, propose how it might it be investigated at the iSchool, and discuss your preparedness to do so (i.e. languages or technical skills, as appropriate). This statement addresses the “what and how” of your research.
  3. Statement of purpose (1-2 pages): Please indicate what experiences have shaped your thinking and motivated your decision to pursue a doctoral degree at the iSchool, with reference to the particular area in which you are interested. This statement addresses the “why” of your research.
  4. Letters of reference. Letters must come from three individuals who can speak to your potential for teaching, research, and productive scholarship.
  5. Transcripts. See online application for instructions.

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

When are applications due?

All applicants, including those who wish to receive financial aid, must submit their materials no later than December 1 for entry in the following Fall semester. 

Application portal opens for admission: August 1
Final application deadline for Fall 2020: December 1 (application closes at 11:00 p.m. CST)

How will my application be evaluated?

All applications are assessed by the Doctoral Studies Committee. The committee 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.