School of Information Sciences - Information Science & Technology Program

PhD Admissions

Online Application Is Available. We offer a Web-based application to make our application process as easy and convenient as possible for you. You can get started right now.

A masters degree from an accredited university, a recognized international program, or the equivalent is required. Students must submit official transcripts as evidence. Only official transcripts will be accepted.

Students must prove that they have attained (in graduate work) a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 (on a scale with an "A" having a value of 4 points per credit). An international student's GPA will be calculated on the basis of equivalency from universities that use a different scale.

Students must submit at least three references from persons in the professional and academic communities. The Ph.D. Admissions Committee may, on occasion, require additional references.

Students must submit as evidence of the ability to undertake doctoral work, an essay (not to exceed 1,000 words) indicating, as specifically as possible, the student's academic and professional goals in relation to the Information Science and Technology doctoral program and identifying potential areas and/or topics in which the student expects to pursue dissertation research. This essay is a critical component of the admissions process, and will be used in assigning the student's initial program advisor.

PhD applicants must either have or demonstrate the following prerequisite knowledge. These courses or their equivalents should be taken before seeking admission but may be taken during the first four terms of study. All courses must be at the graduate level and may have been taken in the course of pursuing another graduate degree:

  1. Statistics or Discrete Math (e.g., IS 2060 Statistics or IS 2020 Mathematical Foundations)
  2. Cognitive Psychology (e.g., IS 2300 Human Info Processing or IS 2350 Human Factors)
  3. Systems Analysis and Design (e.g., IS 2510 Information Systems & Design)
  4. Data Structures (e.g., IS 2500 Data Structures)
  5. Database Management (e.g., IS 2710 Database Management)

If petitions are made, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide full syllabi and supporting documentation for any courses taken at other institutions that they view as equivalent. Prerequisite courses, and any coursework required to prepare for prerequisite courses, are not considered in the 60 credits required for the PhD program.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

All applicants are required to submit a recent score (within five years of the date of application) on the Graduate Record Examination as part of their admission credentials. Scores on all three sections (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) of the General Section should be submitted. While submission of the GRE scores are preferred, a recent and strong performance on the GMAT will be accepted in lieu of taking the GRE exam. The University code for the GRE is 2927. The Program code is 0404.

Applicants please note that ​you can not ​add the numerical code 0404 by it​self​. Please type “Information Sciences” ​in the required field and the system will auto populate your choices, one of which is Information Sciences/Studies 0404.

International Applicants

There are different documentation and admission requirements for international students. These are explained here.

Applications from all individuals, regardless of citizenship, who have a degree from a non-U.S. institution must be reviewed by the University Office of International Services (OIS) prior to their review by the Admissions Committee.

In addition, a candidate may elect to include the following optional material:

  1. a complete curriculum vitae that provides an overview of education, work, publication, and other professional activities.
  2. an example of published writing.
  3. a description of any published or unpublished research, contributions to the professional or scholarly literature, and other professional or academic experience relevant to an assessment of his or her capacity to pursue doctoral study successfully.

Credentials of prospective students are reviewed and voted upon by the entire graduate faculty.

Students whose complete credentials are not available for full admission may register as special students until the completed credentials are received (up to a maximum of 12 credits), provided all other requirements have been satisfied. Prerequisite courses should be completed within the first two terms and must be completed before graduation is approved.

Application Fee

The application fee is $50 for all applicants and must be paid when you submit your application. The fee will not be waived, deferred, or refunded. Applications will not be considered until the fee has been received. Receipt of payment will be acknowledged by email from Apply Yourself.


All application materials for PhD applicants should be received at the school by January 15 for admission the following Fall Term. Applications submitted for Spring Term may be considered in exceptional circumstances upon the strong recommendation from a potential faculty advisor.

Application Processing and Notifications

The School of Information Sciences makes every effort to issue a determination about applications within 4-6 weeks of the application deadline. This is, of course, dependent upon the timely receipt of all required application materials. You will be notified via e-mail when an admissions decision has been posted to your Apply Yourself account.

Please note that, during the December–January timeframe, numerous applications are received. Due to the volume of submissions, there may be a delay in notification of receipt of materials.

You may always check your Apply Yourself account to ascertain if documentation has been received or if an admissions decision has been made. The status of your application, related documents and admission decision cannot be verified until you have submitted the application fee (which is the final step in submitting your application).

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Learn More!

The iSchool hosts a number of opportunities for you to explore the IST program. Attend Information Sessions at the iSchool or online, whichever suits your schedule. More >


  • Shabana Reza
    Recruitment & Admissions
  • Phone: 412-624-3988
    Fax: 412-624-5231

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