The objective of the doctoral program of the School of Information is to prepare graduates to contribute to the discipline through research and teaching. The doctoral program prepares future scholars for careers involving research and instruction, typically as tenure-stream faculty members at major research universities. The doctoral program provides students with research experience, the opportunity to pursue advanced studies in information studies (broadly defined), familiarity with appropriate methods and theories, and participation in an active research community.

A Community of Research

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an independent policy and research center, launched the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, a “project to develop creative solutions and approaches for transforming doctoral programs.” In the book that summarizes this five-year project, The Formation of Scholars, the authors assert:

The PhD is the monarch of the academic community. It is the very highest accomplishment that can be sought by students. It signals that its recipient is now ready, eligible, indeed obligated, to make the most dramatic shift in roles: from student to teacher, from apprentice to master, from novice or intern to independent scholar and leader.1

The requirements a student must fulfill to earn a Ph.D. from the School of Information are a combination of those imposed by The University of Texas and those imposed by the iSchool. All have been thoughtfully considered and incorporated with the sole goal of helping shape the emerging scholar into a vital and valued member of the research community. The iSchool-specific requirements, in particular, have been chosen with an eye towards acknowledging the intellectual breadth that is our field, and at the same time instilling in the student a spirit of the pursuit of research and scholarship.

Recommended Timeline

The faculty of the School of Information very strongly recommend full-time study in the Doctoral program. While every doctoral student’s program is unique, students will complete the program at approximately this pace in full-time study:

  • 1.5 – 2.5 years of coursework.
  • 0.5 years of qualifying procedure.
  • 0.5 years of dissertation proposal.
  • 0.5 – 1.5 years of dissertation.
  • 1. Walker, G. E., Golde, C. M., Jones, L., Bueschel, A. C., & Hutchings, P. (2008). The Formation of Scholars. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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