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Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. program requires 48 credits of course work beyond a master’s degree, plus a minimum of 12 credits of dissertation research. In addition, students must successfully pass a comprehensive examination, a dissertation proposal defense and a dissertation defense. Experience indicates that it takes 4-7 years to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

The curriculum is subject to change at the discretion of the Doctoral Committee.  Normal progression through the program will be as follows:

  1. 48 Credits of Course Work:
    1. Required first-year doctoral-level courses (12 credits)
    2. Elective course work (36 credits)
      i. Elective doctoral-level courses (18 credits minimum)
      ii. Elective related Palmer School master’s-level courses or independent study (0-9 credits)
      iii. Elective co-related courses (9 credits)
  1. Comprehensive examination
  2. Dissertation research (12 credits minimum)
    1. Dissertation proposal preparation
    2. Dissertation proposal defense
    3. Dissertation research and writing
    4. Dissertation defense

Additional information about the distribution of credits follows below.

Required First-year Doctoral Level Courses (12 credits)

There are two required area/content courses:

  • DIS 801: Knowledge Organization and Access (3 credits)
  • DIS 803: Information Studies and Services (3 credits)

There also are two required research methods courses:

  • DIS 805: Research Methods I (3 credits)
  • DIS 807: Research Methods II (3 credits)

These four courses must be taken in the first year of study with two courses being required in the Fall Semester and two courses being required in the Spring semester.

Elective Courses (36 credits)

Students will choose elective courses in consultation with the Major Advisor and possibly the External Advisor.  Prior education, experience and research plans will be considered in making decisions about what is to be taken in the field of Information Studies and in co-related areas.

Doctoral-Level Electives (Minimum of 18 Credits)

Students must complete a minimum of 18 credits from the following courses:

  • DIS 810:  Knowledge Organization
  • DIS 812:  Information Retrieval
  • DIS 815:  Information Systems: Theories, Paradigms, and Methods
  • DIS 816:  Human-Computer Interaction
  • DIS 820:  Information Policy and Services
  • DIS 822:  Information and Society
  • DIS 824:  Information Services
  • DIS 826:  Organization Information Management

Prerequisite for all doctoral-level electives: DIS 801, 803, 805, and 807 

There are no distribution requirements between the two major areas of study (Knowledge Organization and Access; Information Studies and Services).  Doctoral students may take any of the above as doctoral-level electives but students must pass the comprehensive examinations in both major areas, since one of the objectives of the program is to produce individuals with a broad understanding of the field.  It is expected that students will take electives that complement their own strengths and experience.

Electives from Related Master's-Level Courses or Independent Study (0-9 Credits)

Advanced master's courses at the 700 level in the Palmer School may be used as electives. Courses numbered LIS 901 may or may not be used as electives in the Ph.D. Program, depending upon the subject of the course.  LIS 901 courses require the prior approval of the Director of the Ph.D. Program.

DIS 899 (Independent Study) requires an application that is approved by the Major Advisor, the faculty member who will supervise the independent study, the Director of the Ph.D. Program, and the Director of the Palmer School.  DIS 899 may only be applied to this area of the curriculum.

Electives from Co-related Field of Study (9 credits)

Students must identify a co-related field of study outside of Information Studies. Students will incorporate knowledge from their co-related fields of study in answers to questions on the comprehensive examinations and in the dissertation. These courses must be graduate courses at the doctoral level or master's courses approved as appropriate for doctoral-level study. They may be taken at LIU Post or at other institutions. The selection of courses in the co-related area must be approved by the Major Advisor prior to registration.