Ph.D. in Information

The School of Information has a proud history of innovation and is a founding member of the nation’s iSchool consortium. Doctoral students become familiar with a wide range of research methods, and develop backgrounds in social science, computer science, and/or the humanities as they analyze, evaluate and explain information phenomena. In collaboration with faculty and colleagues doctoral students embrace the interdisciplinary nature of LIS by employing research techniques. A dynamic and collaborative atmosphere supports innovative and critical thinking. There is a sense of excitement as faculty and students address cutting-edge research topics.

Admission to the doctoral program is selective, based upon the assessment and balancing of a number of factors (including past performance) that, when taken together, provide evidence of superior scholastic ability and potential for success in a rigorous graduate program of research study. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the Ph.D. in Information Studies, applications from prospective students representing a wide range of fields are strongly encouraged.

Learn more about why you should choose Florida’s iSchool.

Doctoral Studies and Research

Doctoral students analyze, evaluate, and explain a variety of information phenomena and become familiar with and develop backgrounds in such areas as the social sciences, information science, and/or the humanities, as they relate to information phenomena. Doctoral students will also become aware of the multiplicity of problems in the information field to which these research techniques may be applied. To demonstrate this familiarity, they will perform original research, and report the results of their research in a clearly written dissertation.

The degree is granted only to students who:

  • Have mastered definite fields of knowledge so that they are familiar not only with what has been done in their specific fields but also with the potential and opportunity for further advances;
  • Have demonstrated capacity to do original and independent scholarly investigation or creative work in their selected fields; and
  • Have the ability to integrate their selected fields of specialization with the larger domains of knowledge and understanding (Graduate Bulletin).

Program Requirements

A series of program components must be completed as you progress toward a Doctor of Philosophy Degree. For a complete description of the program’s guidelines, please visit the Doctoral Program Guidelines page.

Application Deadline

Applications to the Ph.D. program are accepted for the fall semester only. The fall 2018 application deadline is February 15, 2018. All application materials must be received by the application deadline.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires approval of both the University and the School of Information. To be considered for admission, students must provide:

      1. Proof of Completion of a Master’s Degree from a regionally accredited college or university; and
      2. Proof of an earned minimum 3.0 GPA on the last two years of the bachelor-degree program or a 3.0 on your master’s-level work; and
      3. Official test results from a nationally standardized Graduate Admissions Entrance Exam, such as the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), and the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).  The GRE is preferred.

        Preferred GRE Scores

        Exam Taken prior to August 1, 2011
        Verbal – 450
        Quantitative – 630
        Writing – 4.0

        Exam Taken on or after August 1, 2011
        Verbal – 150
        Quantitative – 149
        Writing – 4.0

      4. English Language Proficiency (International Applicants ONLY)
        Official English Language Proficiency results are required of all international applicants whose native language is not English.  The minimum scores required for admission to the School of Information are:

        • Paper based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 600 total / 61 writing
        • Internet based TOEFL (IBT): 100 total / 24 writing
        • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 7.0
        • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 84 total

Application Requirements

The process of applying to a doctoral program is involved, but it can be easy. Everything can be done online — from applying to planning the course of your education.  Applying can be as easy as 1-2-3.

Step 1 – Apply to The Florida State University

Submit the online University Graduate Application.  Students will be required to apply to the University and pay an application fee (online).  With your University Graduate Application, you will be required to include the following:

      1. Upload a copy of your current resume/curriculum vitae
      2. Upload a Statement of Purpose:
        A personal statement of purpose detailing career objectives, areas of research interest; names of School of Information faculty with whom you would like to work; specific or unique skills that you bring to the program and your reasons for undertaking advanced study. For a list of faculty, visit  The Statement of Purpose should be 2 – 3 pages, double-space, with 1-inch borders, and in 10-12 point font in Times New Roman or Arial.
      3. Upload a writing sample:
        Submit a sample of substantive academic or professional writing (preferably recent). The paper should be lengthy enough to fully demonstrate your abilities.

        • Not to exceed 20 pages
        • May be from previous coursework
        • May be an excerpt of a research paper or thesis
        • Must be submitted in English
      4. Three letters of recommendation:
        Three letters of recommendation are required and each letter should be on a company/institution letterhead and include the date and signature of the recommender. All letters should be uploaded to the online University application.  One letter should be from a current or former employer who can attest to your work performance and potential for advanced graduate study.  The second letter should be from an instructor with whom you took a course or someone who can attest to your potential to complete successfully a program of advanced study, including the rigor of graduate level writing.  Each letter should address the following items, if known:

        • How long she/he has known the applicant and in what capacity
        • Intellectual ability
        • Communication skills, both oral and written
        • Analytical skills
        • Ability to work independently and with others
        • Emotional maturity
        • Potential for the profession
      5. Identify three eligible faculty members with whom you would like to study.  Eligible faculty must be in  your area of interest and can be selected from the following

Warren Allen
Gary Burnett
Kathy Burnett
Nancy Everhart
Melissa Gross
Zhe He
Chris Hinnant
Shuyuan Ho
Michelle Kazmer
Don Latham
Mia Lustria
Marcia Mardis
Paul Marty
Charles McClure
Lorri Mon
Gregory Riccardi
Howard Rodriguez-Mori
Besiki Stvilia

Step 2 – Submit a Digital Video Interview

Video Upload Instructions: Each applicant must film and upload a video interview to Youtube. The completed video interview should be uploaded to Youtube as an unlisted video. This means that it will only be viewable to those who are given the link.

phdvideoOnce you have uploaded your video interview, please send the video link to us at .

If you are unable to upload your video to YouTube due to restrictions in your country, please contact us at .

Interview Instructions: Please read each question before answering it and limit your video to approximately five minutes. Dress appropriately and treat this as an in-person interview. Review the questions and organize your thoughts. Tailor your responses to the questions and be sure to answer each question. Be sure to look into the camera. Be yourself!

–    Why are you interested in the Ph.D. program at the FSU School of Information?
–    What research area(s) are you interested in studying?
–    What is your goal in obtaining a Ph.D.?
–    Please name three professors at the FSU School of Information with whom you would like to study.

Step 3 – Submit Official Graduate Admissions Entrance Exam Test Scores and Transcripts

An official copy of your graduate admission entrance exam test scores should be sent directly to the University Office of Admissions, as well as official transcripts from each college or university attended.  If you previously attended FSU, you will not need to submit an official FSU transcript. All test scores and transcripts must be sent to:

Office of Admissions
Florida State University
282 Champions Way
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400

NOTE:  International Applicants should also request that official test scores from an approved English Language Proficiency Exam be sent to the University Office of Admissions address above.