School of Information Sciences

Information…the key to a better future

Become a leader for that future

The iSchool is home to three research-intensive doctoral programs:

At the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (the iSchool), we have a strong tradition in creating educators and leaders for the Information Field. Since 1963, the iSchool has graduated doctoral students who have gone to successful academic and research careers in universities, governments, research organizations, federal agencies, and corporations.

Doctoral study in this field is a challenging, life-changing experience. You will learn how to conduct independent research through projects that have the potential to change the way people interact with information. This could fundamentally impact how society evolves: how corporations do business, how services are provided in both developed and developing countries, how our digital lives are to be protected. This program will go far beyond giving you a set of skills… it will teach you to think in a completely different way. Instead of only being concerned with how information is archived, perhaps students will explore how information is evaluated in terms of being saved for posterity? How can the digital footprint of a corporation be extended to include corporate values and traditions? How can simulations reduce battle-field injuries and fatigue?

Highlights of our PhD Programs

Research – Oriented >

With faculty guidance, students will engage in research projects as part of grant-funded programs or in pursuit of completion of their dissertation.

Multidisciplinary >

One of the major benefits of studying at an iSchool is that faculty come from a broad representation of disciplines – therefore, students are exposed to perspectives that are truly multidisciplinary.

International >

This community of learners comes from across the US and from more than 20 different countries. It is an important facet of life here at the iSchool – students and faculty are exposed to a wide variety of perspectives and experiences.

The curriculum is extremely individualized to allow students to craft a challenging and satisfying program of study that will best prepare them for their academic and research careers. After taking courses to provide a solid foundation in the discipline and research methodology, students and their advisors select from a diverse set of doctoral-level courses and special topics courses to provide an in-depth view of the field and the issues facing us in the future.

In addition to coursework, students undertake research projects for their advisors and for their dissertation work.  This is a hands-on opportunity to learn how to conduct leading-edge research with guidance from an experienced faculty researcher. The iSchool receives more than $2 million in research funding each year from prestigious organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Office of Naval Research, Gates Foundation, and Google.


Selected Research Areas

  • Computer and network security
  • Science and technology studies
  • Advanced database management
  • Geoinformatics
  • Human-centered computing
  • Strategic aspects of information literacy development
  • Decision support systems
  • Cognitive systems
  • Large-scale and distributed systems
  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • Adaptive Web systems
  • Children and young adult information behavior and literacy
  • Museum recordkeeping
  • Cyberscholarship
  • History of archives
  • Medical informatics
  • Multi-lingual information search and retrieval
  • Social informatics
  • Open source computing
  • Information and network security
  • Wireless network systems and their survivability
  • Policy implications of new technologies



Success stories in Academia

Graduates of the Doctoral Programs at the School of Information Sciences teach and undertake research at an amazing variety of institutions of higher education including:

Institution Position

University of Maryland

Research Associate

Syracuse University

Assistant Professor

University of Texas at Austin

Assistant Professor

Dominican University

University Librarian

National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

Assistant Professor

Seoul National University, Korea


Simmons College

Assistant Professor

Purdue University Calumet

Assistant Professor

Catholic University of America

Assistant Professor

Carnegie Mellon University

Post Doctoral Fellow

Columbia University  Post Doctoral Innovation Fellow
Naresuan University, Thailand Assistant Professor

Read more >

Success stories in Industry

Other PhD graduates have secured exciting positions with corporations and governments across the world including:

Institution Position

Knowledge Technologies

Director of Research Services

UPMC Mercy

Vice President Clinical Operations & Informatics

Chitika, Inc.

Chief Executive Officer

OPNET Technologies

Senior Software Engineer

Nielsen Mobile

VoIP System Architect

SAP Labs

Research Scientist

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Computer Scientist

Sibcom AS, Norway

Director, Network and Systems Development



Centre for e-Learning Technology (CeLTech), Germany

Head of the Intelligent e-Learning Technology Lab

Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. Senior Software Engineer

Read more >

A Vast Range

iSchool students may take courses and work on research projects in a vast range of subjects, tailoring programs suited to their own professional objectives.