As human interaction and cultural expression continue to be facilitated digitally, the workings of digital technologies, their impact and their uses need to be understood. Our doctoral degree in information science will provide the opportunity to study these issues in depth. A PhD in information science will give you the opportunity to develop sophisticated quantitative and qualitative research skills to equip you to delve into the complex information problems facing humanity and contemporary organizations. The information field is changing rapidly, and offering myriad opportunities for future scholars of information science. This program is best suited for those interested in exploring research questions in information science, looking to fill a faculty position in the field, or who are working to enhance leadership experience in libraries.
The features of our program include:
|Academic credential granted||Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)|
|Credits required for completion||72|
|Time to completion||4 to 5+ years|
|Course delivery||Online (except for a required one-week residency each year)|
|Application deadlines||Fall admission only |
Upon acceptance into the doctoral program, you are allowed to transfer credits from your master's degree program.
LIS 601 Qualitative Methods in Information Science
LIS 602 Quantitative Methods in Informtion Science
LIS 603 Theoretical Foundations of Information Science
LIS 604 Statistics I
LIS 605 Statistics II
Specialization will occur through elective courses and, where appropriate, independent study elective courses.
You will work with your advisor to assemble a dissertation committee conforming to UB graduate guidelines. The committee composition must reflect the intellectual diversity of the Department of Information Science, and must be approved by the director of the PhD program. The committee may include one external member.
You will decide on a research topic and produce a short research proposal (dissertation prospectus) that includes the research questions to be pursued; a short literature review; a description of one or more possible theoretical frameworks that will inform the research; and a summary of the methods expected to be applied. Your research proposal is expected to be approximately 20 pages in length.
You will pass an oral examination on the background knowledge required to conduct the research in your proposal. The committee will provide a written list of topics to be covered in the examination. This requirement must be met no later than the end of the fourth semester in the program (for full-time students). Upon successful completion of the oral examination, you may file for candidacy.
The final dissertation will be a refinement and expansion of the your dissertation prospectus. Your final dissertation must be completed by the end of the sixth semester in the program (for full-time students). You will defend your fully publication-ready dissertation at a public defense that will include an oral examination by your PhD committee.
Assistantships are available in a variety of areas that change from year to year. Compensation for positions ranges from hourly pay only to a stipend to tuition remission plus a stipend. Generally, assistantships require 20 hours of work per week.
The application process for assistantships is separate from the program admission process. Assistantship opportunities are posted for the following academic year in mid-January, from offices on campus such as Campus Living, Career Services, Student Engagement, Intercultural and Diversity Center, among others.
While assistantships are limited, new opportunities become available throughout summer and into the fall semester.
In an effort to make the application process more equitable, the GRE/MAT is no longer required for admissions consideration for those applying to this program through the fall 2023 semester. If you still plan to take the GRE/MAT exam, you can send your scores through the testing agency, and they will automatically be added to your application; however, they are not required for admission consideration to this program.
You must have a bachelor's and master's degree.
We have a small program that values strong faculty and student relationships. Before applying, explore our faculty’s research interests by viewing our Research Centers, Institutes and Profiles and Faculty Directory. Feel free to contact faculty with similar interests to yours to see if they are taking on new students. If you are unsure who to contact, Program Director Dr. Amy VanScoy (firstname.lastname@example.org) is happy to discuss your interests and recommend faculty to talk to.
Submit your completed online application, which includes:
Faculty Interview: After applications are submitted and reviewed, qualified candidates will be contacted for an admisssion interview with the faculty.
Former/Maiden Name: Please provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.
Admission Decision: The admission decision will be communicated to you as soon as review is complete. The decision is based on a number of factors and is the result of a thorough and deliberate process. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.
All financial forms and supporting documentation with required signatures must be uploaded with your application, and must be dated within one year of your intended enrollment date.
If you are currently unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.
The TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test center due to public health concerns.
Department of Information Science University at Buffalo 517 Baldy Hall (North Campus) Buffalo, NY 14260–1000
546 Baldy Hall North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260
528 Baldy Hall North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260