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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 at the dissertation stage. A minimum of six credits of course work must be taken in each of the first two semesters of study. The remaining 36 credits of course work may be completed at a varying pace. In addition to the course work, students must successfully pass a comprehensive examination, defend a dissertation proposal and, upon completion of the approved research, defend the dissertation. The statutory limit for completion of all degree requirements is five years after a student passes the qualifying examination.

Normal progression through the program will be as follows:
1. Required doctoral level courses (12 credits)
2. Elective course work (36 credits)
a. Elective doctoral level courses (18 credits minimum)
b. Elective related master's level courses (0-9 credits) or Independent study
c. Elective co-related courses (9 credits)
3. Comprehensive examination
4. Dissertation proposal preparation
5. Dissertation proposal defense
6. Dissertation research
7. Dissertation defense
8. Graduation


There are:
a. two required area/content courses for a total of 6 credits:
DIS 801 - Knowledge Organization and Access (3 credits)
DIS 803 - Information Studies and Services (3 credits)
b. two required research methods courses for a total of 6 credits:
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 first Fall Semester and two courses being required in the first Spring semester.

ELECTIVE COURSES (36 credits total)

a. Doctoral level electives (a minimum of 18 credits) from the following:
DIS 810 Seminar in 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 & Society
DIS 826 Organizational Information Management
DIS 824 Information Services

There are no distribution requirements between these main areas of study. Doctoral students may take any of the above as doctoral level electives but will be reminded by advisors that they must pass the comprehensive examinations in both areas, since one of the objectives of the program is to produce individuals with a broad understanding of the field. It is expected that people will take electives that complement their own strengths and experience.

b. Electives from related master's level courses (0-9 credits)
The distribution of electives between related courses and co-related courses is flexible and will be determined by students in conjunction with the Major Advisors and possibly the External Advisors. 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.