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Doctor of Library and Information Science

University of South Carolina - Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Are you passionate about libraries and information science? Do you want to spend your career researching these issues and teaching the next generation of information architects about how to manage data? The Ph.D. program in Library and Information Science might be the perfect next step in your career path.




6 Years









About This Program

The doctorate in library and information science prepares future leaders in information studies. Most students continue on to academic careers in information architecture and data management, teaching and researching at universities and colleges across the nation. As the demand for information architects keeps growing, so does the demand for professionals to educate them. The top-ranked University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science provides an IA education for future IA educators.

This IA program is competitive, intensive and lengthy. Most students take five or six years to complete the Ph.D. program. In the first year or two, most of their time will be spent taking classes and studying. As they move through the information architecture program, students will spend more of their time focusing on their personal research and completing their dissertation.

There are seven required courses in the doctoral program. These are Research Issues in Library and Information Science; Theory and Research Methods in Library and Information Science; Information and Society; Preparation for Academic Careers in Library and Information Science; Information Policy and Ethics in Society; Communication Processes and Information Seeking Behavior; and Information Representation, Organization, and Retrieval. After taking these courses, students will have a strong foundation in research issues in information architecture. Students also take at least three hours of Qualitative Methods, three of Statistics, and twelve of SLIS electives.

This doctoral level information architecture program consists of four phases. The first is the admission phase. The second is the coursework phase, where students complete their coursework and their qualifying exam. In the third phase or the comprehensive examination phase, students study for and complete their oral examination. In the final dissertation phase, graduate students prepare their proposal, collect data, write their dissertation, and finally defend the dissertation to earn their Ph.D.

This doctorate level IA degree also offers a Cultural Heritage Informatics Leadership Program, where students focus on the intersection of museums, libraries, and archives. Students learn how to solve the problems facing cultural institutions while connecting to leaders in the field. Participants in this program receive a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program for three or four years of funding.

To apply for this intensive IA program, students should apply to the University of South Carolina by completing the online Graduate School application. High scores will not be enough, however, as the application should also include three letters of recommendation from professors or professional colleagues, official transcripts, and a copy of their resume. They also need to write an essay responding to the questions on the application. All application materials need to be submitted by April 2 for the Fall semester.

About This School

The School of Library and Information Science was founded in 1972. It was the smallest of the colleges on the USC main campus in Columbia until it merged with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Now, the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies offers a few of the 350 courses of study available at the University of South Carolina.

What I Will Learn

Why We Recommend This IA School Program

The field of data management is growing and the need for leadership and educators is as well. This PhD program combines librarianship, information science and education to create one of the most competitive library science doctoral programs in the United States. If you are passionate about data and want to become a leader in the industry, this program is the way to go.

Course Requirements / Prerequisites

Applicants need a combined GRE of at least 297, with a verbal score of 160 and a quantitative of at least 148. Students whose native language is not English also need a TOEFL of at least 570 on the paper-based test.

View program University of South Carolina