Admissions - Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies (PhD)

Admission to the iSchool’s graduate programs is through the University of Maryland Graduate School, with supplemental program-specific application criteria and materials as described below. The University of Maryland’s Graduate School accepts applications through its ApplyYourself application system.  Before completing the application, applicants should check the Graduate School's Admissions Requirements. If you still have questions, please contact us for more information! 

Completed applications are reviewed by an admissions committee in each graduate degree program. The recommendations of the admissions committee are submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make the final admission decision. Students seeking to complete graduate work at the University of Maryland for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the Dean.

  • Complete the UMD Graduate School application.
  • Pay the application fee of $75 to the UMD Graduate School.
  • Upload transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate courses at each institution you have attended.
    • Unofficial transcripts may be submitted initially. Official transcripts will be required upon admission and enrollment.
    • Applicants must have earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. If you have questions, read more about this requirement.
    • Applicants must have earned a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework. If you do not meet this, provide more detail in your Statement of Purpose.
  • Provide a Statement of Purpose describing your experiences and interests that will help you succeed in UMD's Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies (PhD) program.
  • Submit the names and e-mail addresses of three academic or professional references.
  • Upload a current resume or CV.
  • GRE scores are optional.
  • Send TOEFL/IELTS scores to the University of Maryland (international applicants only).
  • If you are a resident of the State of Maryland or believe you qualify as one, be sure to fill out the Maryland Residency section of the Graduate Application. If you have questions about Residency Classification, email resclass@umd.edu.

In addition to the application materials listed below, all PhD applicants must respond to the following questions in the Statement of Purpose (no more than 1,500 words):

  • What is the specific area of your research interest? How have you developed your interest in this area?
  • What skills and/or prior experience will help you pursue your research interest?
  • Which faculty members at Maryland's iSchool would you be interested in working closely with, and why?
  • What are the goals you would like to achieve in your doctoral study at Maryland's iSchool? What is your plan to achieve your goals?
  • What kind of career would you like to develop after earning your Ph.D.?
  • To help us understand your background and skills, feel free to optionally include:
    • Descriptions of challenging professional or academic projects that you have successfully completed;
    • Notes about coursework that demonstrates your quantitative skills or writing and argumentation skills;
    • Links to, as appropriate: relevant projects you have completed, papers or articles that you have published, code you have written, or visualizations you have created.

University of Maryland Graduate School Application: See the Graduate School’s Step-by-Step Guide to Applying.
UMD’s iSchool is deeply committed to equity and inclusion, and as such, we acknowledge the cost barriers that can accompany the Graduate School's application process. Prospective students with current financial concerns or those who identify as part of a marginalized community should reach out to the PhD program regarding the possibility of an application fee waiver. To be considered, please provide us with a brief statement of need prior to December 7th, 2020 at ischoolphd@umd.edu.

  1. Application Fee: There is a non-refundable application fee ($75) for each program to which an applicant applies. The Graduate School waives the application fee for applicants from selected organizations and/or preparatory programs.

  2. Transcripts: In the online application to the Graduate School, you will be able to upload a copy of your unofficial transcript in the Previous Education section. The copy of your unofficial transcript is sufficient for the purposes of the review process of your application. However, if you are offered admission and choose to enroll in the University of Maryland, you will need to send your official and unopened (in a sealed envelope) transcript to: University of Maryland, College Park, Enrollment Services Operation, Attn: Graduate Admissions, Room 0130 Mitchell Building, College Park, MD 20742

  3. In the online application to the Graduate School, you will be asked to provide a Statement of Purpose responding to the questions listed above. 

  4. Letters of Recommendation: All programs require three (3) letters of recommendation. Provide the names and email addresses of three individuals who will provide online letters of recommendation. Letters should come from current/former faculty members, employers, colleagues, and in rare cases personal references. Letters should not come from family members or those unable to speak to your ability to complete a graduate degree.

  5. CV/Resume: A current resume or CV should be uploaded in the "Upload Requirements" section of the application.

  6. GRE scores are optional:

    How do we use optional GRE scores? iSchool faculty use the GRE scores in widely diverging ways. Some find standardized tests to be less useful indicators than essays and grades; others find the GRE to be a useful measure of quantitative reasoning and/or perseverance when facing a difficult challenge. If you choose not to submit GRE scores, we highly encourage you to include other potential indicators of your skills and experience in your Statement of Purpose, such as: 

    • Descriptions of challenging professional or academic projects that you have successfully completed;
    • Notes about coursework performance that demonstrates your quantitative skills or writing and argumentation skills;
    • Links to, as appropriate: relevant projects you have completed, papers or articles that you have published, code you have written, or visualizations you have created.
       
  7. Supplemental Materials: Remember to submit the additional materials required by your program, described above.

  8. Maryland State Residency Information: If you are a resident of the State of Maryland or believe you qualify as one, be sure to fill out the Maryland Residency section of the Graduate Application. If you have questions about Residency Classification, please direct them to resclass@umd.edu.

  9. Exam Scores

  • GRE - Optional
    • Institution Code: 5814
    • Department and Major Field code for all programs at iSchool: 4701 (Library and Information Science)
      Program GRE Requirements
      HCIM Required for international applicants only. Optional for domestic applicants. GRE scores are typically in the 40th percentile verbal, 60th percentile quantitative. International applicants who have an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution and wish to request a GRE waiver must submit their request in writing to hcim@umd.edu.
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE
    • Required for most international applicants. Applicants do not need to submit the English Proficiency Score if they received their degree from an education institution in the U.S. or a nationally recognized university in one of the countries listed at the bottom of the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency Requirements page. Note: Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE is required.
    • See the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency Requirements for instructions on submitting scores. The University of Maryland’s TOEFL Institution Code is 5814.
Program Deadlines
PhD

December 11, 2020 (priority deadline)

March 12, 2021 (final deadline)

The University of Maryland (UMD) is dedicated to maintaining a vibrant international student community. The UMD office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is a valuable resource of information and assistance for prospective and current international students. International applicants are encouraged to explore the services the ISSS office offers and contact them with related questions. 

The UMD Graduate School offers admission to international students based on academic information; however, it is not a guarantee of attendance. After receiving an admission decision from the graduate school, admitted international students will receive instructions about obtaining the appropriate visa to study at the University of Maryland, which will require the submission of additional documents. Please see the UMD Graduate Admissions Process for International applicants for more information.

STEM ELIGIBILITY: Our Master of Human-Computer Interaction (HCIM) program is STEM certified, enabling our students to potentially work in the U.S. for up to three years after graduation via the U.S. Homeland Security's STEM OPT program. Please visit UMD's OPT STEM extension webpage for more information about the application process.

The iSchool Student Services Office maintains application files until they are evaluated for admission or the application deadline for the requested semester has passed. To defer your enrollment for a subsequent academic year, the applicant must notify the iSchool Graduate Student Services Office PRIOR to the beginning of the original entry semester. Otherwise, the application will be deleted.

An applicant wishing to be considered after the file has been deleted must again pay the required Graduate School application fee and re-apply to both, the University of Maryland Graduate School and the College of Information Studies. The new application will be evaluated on the basis of admission standards existing at the time of reapplication.

 

 

Contact Us    PhD Home