Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.
Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.
|Fall Deadline||December 31|
|Spring Deadline||The program does not admit in the spring.|
|Summer Deadline||The program does not admit in the summer.|
|GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)||Required.|
|English Proficiency Test||Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).|
|Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT)||n/a|
|Letters of Recommendation Required||3|
Ph.D. admissions at the Information School require GRE scores, a GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or better in the last 60 hours of academic credit earned; a detailed written statement of the area of research interest, fit with current faculty and the purpose for pursuing doctoral study; and an interview (usually a phone interview) with the school's Ph.D. committee or other faculty members serving on the committee's behalf. International students must meet the Graduate School's language and degree requirements.
For more information, including detailed instructions for submitting an application, see this link.
Applicants whose GPA falls below the required level must provide other evidence of academic ability. (Advice on the type of evidence appropriate to the applicant should be requested from the administrator of the doctoral program.) Applicant qualifications for admission will be reviewed by the school's Ph.D. committee, which will make an admissions recommendation to the director who, in turn, makes a recommendation to the Graduate School. The criteria used in this review include academic promise, the probability that the school's doctoral program will meet the goals and research interests of the applicant, and that the applicant will be able to complete the program successfully. Under certain circumstances, admission may be approved on a probationary basis or with deficiencies. Students will not normally be permitted to continue longer than the first year on probation. For more information see the Ph.D. program admissions page.
Graduate School Resources
Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.
Admitted students receive financial support including tuition remission, a stipend, and funds for research support including travel.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
MODE OF INSTRUCTION
|Face to Face||Evening/Weekend||Online||Hybrid||Accelerated|
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.
Evening/Weekend: Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules. Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.
Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.
Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats. Contact the program for more specific information.
Online: These programs are offered 100% online. Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.
|Minimum Credit Requirement||51 credits including dissertator credits|
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement||32 credits|
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement||At least 50% of the 51 credits must be taken in graduate-level coursework. Courses at the 300–600 level should be taken sparingly and must be approved by the student’s advisor. Courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (http://my.wisc.edu/CourseGuideRedirect/BrowseByTitle).|
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement||3.50 GPA required.|
|Other Grade Requirements||To remain in good academic standing within the iSchool Ph.D. program, a student must maintain a 3.5 overall GPA, not carry any incomplete grades in courses (other than 999s) for more than 1 semester, and pass all mastery demonstration paper deadlines by appointed deadlines.|
|Assessments and Examinations||Each student is required to fulfill at least two different research practica. Students will demonstrate mastery of subject areas and research skills through two mastery demonstration papers and a program portfolio. Presentation and successful defense of a program portfolio and statement of intent constitutes the preliminary examination. Successful defense of the program portfolio and statement of intent constitutes formal acceptance into candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.|
|Language Requirements||No; however, coursework in a foreign language may be required if necessary for completing research activities.|
|Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements||All doctoral students are required to complete a minor.|
|Core Required Courses|
|L I S 910||Smr-Research Design & Methodology for Library & Information Studies||3|
|L I S 925||Professional Writing and Reading (PWR) Seminar 1||6|
|Students must take a minimum of 6 credits from the list below:|
|Seminar in Information Policy, Management and Institutions|
|Seminar in Information Use and Users in Context|
|Seminar in LIS Foundations: Histories, Philosophies and Debates|
|Seminar in Information Organization and Access|
|Students must complete 12 credits of breadth requirements, with a minimum of 3 credits in each of 4 breadth areas.|
|Breadth Area 1: Introductory Research Design, Thinking, Methods||3|
|Research and Assessment for Information Professionals|
|Communication Research Methods|
|Communication Research Methods|
|Breadth Area 2: Statistics/Numerical Literacy||3|
|Introductory Analytics for Decision Making|
|Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences|
|Statistics for Sociologists I|
|Statistics for Sociologists III|
|Statistical Methods Applied to Education I|
|Statistical Methods Applied to Education II|
|Breadth Area 3: Working with Digital Data||3|
|Data Science Programming I for Research|
|Data Management for Social Science Research|
|Digital Humanities Analytics|
|Data Management for Education Policy Analysis|
|R for Statistics I|
|R for Statistics II|
|R for Statistics III|
|Breadth Area 4: Pedagogy and Teaching||3|
|Pedagogical Theory and Practice for Information Professionals|
|Teaching Controversial Issues|
|Culturally Relevant Pedagogy|
|Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits in their area of specialization. Courses must be relevant to the student's program of study but may be internal or external to the iSchool. Courses should be chosen in consultation with their advisor or the PhD program chair and must meet all Graduate School requirements.|
|The minor requires that students take a minimum of 12 credits outside of the iSchool. Courses must meet Graduate School minor requirements. The Option A minor requires a minimum of 9 credits; the Option B, 12 credits. Students interested in an Option A minor should initiate contact and seek approval from the minor department. Students electing the Option A minor must complete an additional 3 credits of course work outside of the department in order to satisfy the minor requirement.|
Students must take this 1 credit seminar six times before becoming a dissertator. The seminar provides foundational knowledge for becoming a researcher.
Students who have previously completed the iSchool MA or MS
Students should work with the PhD program advisor to determine which courses taken as a masters student fulfill requirements for the iSchool PhD or would be appropriate electives for the PhD. Not all coursework will be approved. iSchool masters degree graduates who are accepted into the Information School Ph.D. program may apply to count up to 10 qualified credits from their iSchool masters degree toward their Ph.D. Qualified courses include iSchool Ph.D. seminars (900 level), other courses that fulfill Ph.D. program requirements, or approved electives.
Students who have previously completed another UW-Madison graduate program
Students should work with the PhD program advisor to determine which courses taken as a masters student fulfill requirements for the iSchool PhD or would be appropriate electives for the PhD. Not all coursework will be approved.
Concurrent pursuit of an iSchool PhD and an iSchool masters degree
Students admitted to the PhD program who wish to obtain both an iSchool masters degree and an iSchool PhD should be assigned both a masters advisor as well as consulting with the PhD program chair. Depending on the student’s individual program of study and careful planning, it is expected that students will use some approved credits to fulfill both degree requirements. Students should expect to complete more than the minimum 51 credits in order to fulfill the requirements of both degrees.
Graduate School Policies
The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
Students may count up to 9 credits of approved graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
A student may request that the Information School PhD program consider up to seven credits numbered 300 or above of undergraduate work completed at UW–Madison towards fulfillment of minimum degree and minor credit requirements. Undergraduate coursework from other schools is not permitted
UW–Madison University Special
Students are allowed to count up to 9 approved credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
Students who fail to meet any of the assessment criteria as described in the Doctoral Program Student Handbook will receive a letter of warning from the Ph.D. program director placing them on probationary status. They will have one additional semester (not including summer) to change their status. If they do not successfully change their status, they will be asked to leave the program. If students do not expect to successfully change their status within the probationary semester, they can request that the Ph.D. committee grant a probation extension; however, an extension will be granted only if the student can prove likelihood of success in the upcoming semester. The student should send a letter asking for an extension and providing evidence of likelihood of success to the Ph.D. program director.
The Information School Ph.D. Committee serves as the Progress Evaluation Committee for doctoral students. Upon admission, the Ph.D. committee chair serves as the default advisor for all students. At any point, the student may switch to a major professor/advisor based on similarities in research interests.
CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED
8 to 12 credits in a regular semester is considered full time at the graduate level. Course load maximums are 12 credits in a regular semester, 8 credits in the summer term and 3 credits in the intersession.
Completion of the degree should be within a three- to four-year period beyond earning the master’s degree.
A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing their program portfolio and statement of intent may be required to take additional coursework, redefend their program portfolio and statement of intent, and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.
Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.
Grievances and Appeals
These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:
- Bias or Hate Reporting
- Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
- Hostile and Intimidating Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Dean of Students Office (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
- Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
- Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
- Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
- Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
- Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)
Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.
A complete set of Information School Ph.D. program policies can be found in the PhD program planning guide on the iSchool PhD program website.
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.
- Add to existing bodies of theory, scholarship, or scientific knowledge through critique, testing or extension in scholarly output.
- Demonstrate mastery of statistical, computational, and digital data collection and analysis methodologies.
- Employ scholarly methodologies and tools appropriate to areas of study to inform research.
- Demonstrate scholarly communication skills both orally and in writing.
- Engage in service contributions as appropriate to profession and field of study.
- Demonstrate teaching skills and experience including cultural competency training.
For a complete faculty/staff directory see this website.