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    Sep 27, 2020  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Information Science, PhD


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The interdisciplinary doctoral program with a major in information science responds to the varied and changing needs of an information age. There is increasing recognition of the central role of information in individual, social, economic and cultural affairs, along with recognition of the widespread application and influence of information and communication technologies. Graduates of the program are prepared to contribute to the advancement and evolution of the information society in a variety of roles and settings as administrators, researchers and educators.

The mission of the program is to provide a center of excellence in doctoral education and research. Its primary goals are to

  1. develop scholars passionate about the role of information in human affairs;
  2. nurture critical and reflective thinking on fundamental issues and problems related to information;
  3. promote cross-disciplinary thinking and research; and
  4. foster an environment of substantive and productive mentoring and apprenticeship.

Students are attracted to the program from a wide range of disciplines and are encouraged to expand their expertise in cutting-edge areas of information science that cross disciplinary boundaries. The multifaceted nature of information science warrants the integration of resources, courses and faculties from a broad range of academic units. The following units actively participate in the doctoral program:

  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Department of Criminal Justice, College of Health and Public Service
  • Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences, College of Business
  • Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism
  • Department of Learning Technologies, College of Information
  • Department of Information Science, College of Information
  • Department of Linguistics, College of Information
  • College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism

Admission requirements

Students may enter the doctoral program in the fall semester. Prospective students must apply and be admitted first to the Toulouse Graduate School and then to the doctoral program (see respective web sites for details). To ensure full processing by all offices, including international admissions and scholarships if appropriate, all application materials are due by November 1 of the year preceding the fall semester of initial enrollment. Applicants must meet all general admission requirements of the Graduate School and requirements of the doctoral program, as follows:

  1. Completed Masters or Bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Overall grade point average of  3.5 (4.0 scale).
  3. Competitive Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores including verbal, quantitative and analytical writing (must be on file at the time the application is reviewed) or successful completion of UNT Graduate Preparation Course (GPC).
  4. For international students, a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or successful completion of the UNT Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) through level 6.
  5. Three recommendation letters from former professors, employers or others who can give evidence of the applicant’s academic potential,  interest in and aptitude for a research career in information science.
  6. Personal statement (300–500 words) of career objectives, which may include doctoral research areas of interest; research, professional or community experiences that demonstrate motivation, commitment and potential for doctoral work; accomplishments (publications, presentations, awards); communication skills including multilingual proficiency; technology skills; and contribution to diversity of the field.
  7. Curriculum vitae.
  8. Sample of formal academic  writing (published paper, major term paper, thesis chapter, etc.).
  9. Optional: Interview with program faculty prior to application and may be requested by the admission committee. An admission committee of interdisciplinary faculty members reviews applications. Admissions are highly competitive, depending on applicant qualifications and the availability of faculty members to mentor doctoral students. Not all qualified applicants can be accepted. 

An admission committee of interdisciplinary faculty members reviews applications. Admissions are highly competitive, depending on applicant qualifications and the availability of faculty members to mentor doctoral students. Not all qualified applicants can be accepted.

Degree requirements


A student with a previous master’s degree must earn a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the master’s degree in organized course work, independent study and the dissertation. Additional courses above the 60 hours also may be stipulated as needed, such as the research tool and subject tool requirement. Courses counted toward the doctorate must be numbered 5000 or above (except  INFO 5000 , INFO 5080 , INFO 5200  or INFO 5600 ) and must be chosen with the approval of a faculty academic advisor.

A student with no previous master’s degree must earn a minimum of 72 semester hours of graduate course work in organized course work, independent study and the dissertation. Additional courses above the 72 hours also may be stipulated as needed. Courses counted toward the doctorate must be numbered 5000 or above and must be chosen with the approval of a faculty academic advisor. The student formally concludes course work by passing the qualifying examination before fully engaging in dissertation research.

Course requirements


Methods core, 9 hours


  • Research design
  • Research statistics
  • Elective

Areas of emphasis, 18 hours


Two of the following three areas:

  • Information theory and design, 9 hours: Explores ways to structure information and knowledge for a multitude of uses, including the evaluation and study of information systems, related communication processes, and systems application and design.
  • Information and behavior, 9 hours: Relates to human information and communication behavior and the systematic response to these behaviors by using information technologies to facilitate communication and learning in a variety of settings.
  • Information policy and management, 9 hours: Focuses on organization, cultural and societal behavior with respect to information and the management of information, information policy development and ethical issues, and the organizations and systems that handle information.

Electives, 9 hours


Dissertation, 12 hours


Research tool requirement


Students must demonstrate proficiency in research methods or statistics prior to or shortly after beginning doctoral course work. This requirement can be met by successfully completing the courses listed below or an equivalent course, or by passing a proficiency exam. A course accepted for this requirement cannot count toward the 60 hours required for the doctoral degree.

Additional requirements


Information organization requirement

Students must demonstrate proficiency in the organization of information prior to or shortly after beginning doctoral course work. This requirement can be met by successfully completing INFO 5200  or an equivalent course or by passing a proficiency exam. A course accepted for this requirement cannot count toward the 60 hours required for the doctoral degree.

Multidisciplinary requirement

The doctoral program is intended to provide students with a variety of approaches to researching and solving information problems from multiple disciplines. Therefore, no more than 18 graduate credit hours may be taken from any one academic unit in areas of emphasis and electives.

Doctoral committee

The doctoral committee comprises at least three faculty members who represent at least two academic units, one of which is the Department of Information Science. The committee is formed by the student and serves to evaluate the student’s work at the qualifying examination, dissertation proposal, and dissertation stages.

Progress toward the degree

The student must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) on all course work on the degree plan.

In addition,

  • all core courses must be completed with a grade of A or B;
  • no more than two C’s in the non-core program requirements will count toward the degree; and
  • no course with a grade below C will count toward the degree.

The maximum time allowed for completing the doctoral degree is 8 years. A faculty academic advisor meets with each student at least annually to review the student’s progress in the program. The student is eligible to sit for the qualifying examination when he or she has designated a doctoral committee, met all degree plan requirements except dissertation hours, and cleared any incomplete grades. When a student passes the qualifying examination, he or she is admitted to candidacy. The doctoral candidate must write and successfully defend a dissertation proposal and a completed dissertation in order to complete the degree.

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