Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies (PhD)

Tackle the hardest information and technology problems of today and tomorrow


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World-renowned Research Centers & Labs

The Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies (PhD) program prepares students to address the hardest social and technical problems of today and tomorrow. Working side-by-side with world-renowned faculty and at internationally recognized research centers and labs, students conduct research on pressing information issues, which often entwine social and technical innovation. We draw on core values of information studies, including justice, inclusion, and access, and use these principles to facilitate the discovery of new knowledge.

Students also master research methodology/design, interdisciplinary theory, knowledge of previous research in their area, the ability to synthesize and apply this knowledge, and how to create and disseminate original research.

With a multidisciplinary faculty focusing on diverse information science research areas such as online communities, information systems, information policy, human-computer interaction, and digital cultural heritage, the UMD iSchool cultivates doctoral students from a wide range of backgrounds. Today’s hardest social and technical problems have information at their core. We’re seeking PhD students who have hard, unanswered questions about information problems. Explore our Expertise Areas.

We guarantee funding for all admitted full-time students. We also welcome self-funded part-time students working in areas that complement their doctoral research.

Diverse Students Walking Together on CampusThe UMD iSchool, with a history of activism and a continued mission to support social good, is a supportive and diverse community of 100 faculty and staff members and 1800+ students. Our students come to us from 37 countries with 29% from underrepresented groups and 44% female.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies (PhD) is a STEM OPT certified program.

UMD iSchool courses and research opportunities are offered as a combination of in-person and online. However, if there are social distancing restrictions, all courses will be offered in appropriate spaces or online.

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Recent News

Jane Robbins (left) and Mary Keefer (right), 1988. Image courtesy of the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies Digital Collection.

Alumni Profile: Jane Robbins, PhD ‘72

May 2, 2022 | Hayleigh Moore

The iSchool catches up with the its first PhD graduate as she shares her legacy as one of the most influential leaders in library science educati …

PhD Alumni Spotlight: Empowering Kids and Adults to Design Better Together – Greg Walsh, ‘12

April 11, 2022 | Hayleigh Moore

Alumni’s PhD experience inspired the launch of two research groups to develop new technology for youth and other in-need communities.

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