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Since the program’s inception in 1969 as the first broad, interdisciplinary doctorate in the field, the PhD Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology has been training researchers, educators, consultants, and others who share the view that information is a manageable resource.

Our students are expected to develop mastery across aspects of human uses of information, technologies that work with information, and theories of information. Our program is human- centered, rather than computer-centered – distinguishing us from the program in computer science and computer engineering. The Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology is also more technology-oriented than most programs in psychology, sociology, communications and management/organizations.

The focus in the PhD Ph.D. program is to train the next generation of scholars and intellectual leaders in the information fields. A strong Ph.D. program helps our research-active faculty to achieve their scholarly goals and expand their impact and both their and the school’s reputation. As such the Ph.D. program serves as a recruiting device, helping us to attract excellent young faculty. We are both extremely proud, and committed to ensuring, that our graduates are consistently winning scholarly awards and are prized by employers and colleagues for their broad, interdisciplinary training combined with methodological and topical depth.

The iSchool PhD Ph.D. is a research degree and about two-thirds of the 140+ graduates enter academia. The rest work in research labs, policy-oriented organizations in governments and the non-profit sector, and some become entrepreneurs. Given the focus on preparing future faculty peers, the PhD Ph.D. program also provides for advancing its graduates skills for teaching excellence.


6.1  Students are required to complete a minimum of four research (IST 810) and four teaching (IST 840) practica.

  • Typically the research practica are two credits per, and the teaching practica are one credit per
  • Typically, practica will be completed within the first four semesters of the student’s program of study, not including summers.
  • Practica must be completed before end-of-coursework (see section 10).


  • A completed masters degree that is relevant to the PhD Ph.D. study counts for 30 transfer credits regardless of the actual number taken.
  • There is no time limit on credits transferred.
  • Transfer credits may be accepted regardless of the grade if they are part of a completed Master’s degree program. Transfer credits not part of a completed Master’s degree program must have a grade of “B” or better. (Academic Rules, Section 20).


16.3  The dissertation must be reviewed and formally accepted at an oral examination by an Examination Committee (Academic Rules, Section 32).o

  • The Examination Committee consists of seven members:


        • A chairperson (appointed by the Graduate School)


        • The student’s committee (consisting of four people, at least three from


        • the  iSchool, as noted in 15.3)


        • A reader from the IST faculty, appointed by the Director


        • A reader from outside of IST, chosen by the student’s advisor and the Director


      • The oral examination cannot be scheduled until the student’s advisor and at least one other member of the student’s committee, or the Director, have certified the “dissertation is acceptable for the purpose of examination”. (Academic Rules, Section 32).


      • The dissertation defense cannot be scheduled during a time when the faculty are not on academic year appointments. This means that no defenses can be held during holiday breaks or summer.

      16.4 At least two weeks before the final oral examination the student must:o

      • Schedule the exam with his/her examination committee and announce the meeting.


      • File Doctoral Form #9.


      • Distribute an abstract of the dissertation to all IST Faculty members, all resident Ph.D. students, and interested Master’s students.
        • Provide each member of the examination committee with a reading copy of the dissertation (the “defensible draft”) and have one additional copy.
        • The dissertation must be complete in all substantive ways, including chapters,


        • appendices, bibliography, title, footnotes and table of contents and should


        • adhere to the formatting standards of the University.


        • Acknowledgements should be omitted

      16.5  Conduct of the meetingo

      • The chairperson appointed by the Graduate School chairs the meeting (Academic Rules, Section 32).


      • The final oral exam is open to all interested faculty members and students. They


      • may participate in the examination.

      16.6  The student’s advisor will take the minutes of the meeting.o

      • The minutes will contain the date of the meeting, the names of those present and the committee’s decision regarding the acceptance of the dissertation. If the committee does not accept the dissertation, the minutes must include the reasons for the decision. If the dissertation is accepted with modification, the minutes must record details of the required revisions.


      • A copy of the minutes will be given to the student.


      • A copy of the minutes will be included in the student’s permanent file.


      • The student’s advisor must file Doctoral Form #10 to record the committee’s decision.

      16.7  The examination committee must decide by majority vote (per Academic Rules and Regulations) whether:

        • The dissertation as written is accepted.
        • The dissertation with modifications is accepted. 
        • The dissertation is not accepted.


      • A student can attempt a second defense if the dissertation is not accepted.

      16.8  All members of the examination committee, including the student’s advisor, vote on acceptance of the dissertation.

      16.9  If the dissertation is accepted, the student must provide the School of Information Studies and the University Library with bound copies of the complete thesis after all of the changes and corrections have been made.o

      • The School’s copy will become the property of the School and will be made


      • available to all interested students and members of the faculty.

      16.10 If the committee finds that, as a result of the defense, revisions are required, a deadline must be set by the committee for the student to complete.o

      • The deadline for these revisions must be less than 1 year from the defense date o Failure to submit the revisions by the deadline means the dissertation is not accepted (and the student cannot continue after a second non-acceptance, per 16.6).

      Section 17: Exceeding Time to Degree Requirements and GRD 991

      17.1 The Graduate School follows for a policy of charging doctoral students who are beyond established time limits for achieving ABD status or completing dissertations (see Academic Rules, Section 32)o

      • Doctoral students must achieve ABD status within 7 years of matriculation.


      • Doctoral students must successfully complete and defend their dissertation within 5 years of achieving ABD.

      17.2  A student who does not meet these requirements must enroll in one credit hour of GRD 991 for the fall and spring semesters until their milestone is achieved.


      18.1 A student may voluntarily withdraw from the Ph.D. program at any time by informing the Ph.D. Program Director, his or her advisor and filing the required University paperwork.o

      • Withdrawal terminates a student’s relationship with the School, and results in the cessation of any benefits being received from the School.

      18.2 A student who has withdrawn may reapply for admission to the program.


      19.3  At the end of the first year, one student from Cohort 1 will volunteer to serve as the
      PhD the  Ph.D. mentor for the next year’s incoming Cohort. The PhD Ph.D. cohort mentor will serve as a resource for the new cohort and serve as an informal point of contact to support their transition to doctoral studies.


      20.1 A student’s records are available for examination by the student at any time, with the exception that the student does not have access to letters of recommendation written for him/her if confidentiality was guaranteed to the writer.o

      • Such recommendations will be filed separately from the student’s other records


      • so as not to interfere with the student’s ready access to other records.

      20.2 It is the student’s responsibility to see that his or her records are up to date and Accurate.o

      • Errors in the records should be brought to the attention of the Director or Program Manager for correction.

      Section 21: Full Time Status

      21.1 Syracuse University considers you a full-time student, and the Registrar can confirm your full-time status, if you meet one of the three criteria, below, for the semester in which verification of full-time status is requested. Your status is used for a variety of purposes, including the determination of federal loan eligibility and/or repayment.o

      • You are registered full-time by taking 9 credits in the fall or spring


      • You hold an appointment as a graduate assistant or fellow and are registered o You are engaged, at a level equivalent to full time study, in actively working on your dissertation

      21.2 Most students who have obtained ABD and have earned 78 credits will need to get a Certification of Full Time Status form filled out and signed every semester until they submit a diploma request. This form is required by the Slutzker Center.


      23.3  You may audit a class with approval of the instructor, and in consultation with your advisor.

      Future Professoriate Program (FPP)

      Syracuse University requires every full time, matriculated student to have health insurance coverage.

      You must be able to provide proof of insurance. If you have access to qualifying health insurance already, you may waive the SU plan. Qualifying coverage is:

      Provided by a U.S. based insurer

      Covers emergency and non-emergency services in the Syracuse area Compliant with all aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

      Please visit for more information 23 Auditing Courses

      Section 24: Future Professoriate Program (FPP)


      25.2 Students who first registered before 8 November 2002 are subject to the policies in effect when they first registered.o

      • Students may elect to be subject to the current policies by filing a written request


      • with the Ph.D. Program Director (This election cannot be reversed).


      1. Assignment of initial advisor
      2. Change of advisor
      3. Evaluation team report
      4. Committee members
      5. Meeting to end program of study 
      6. End of program of study results 
      7. Scheduling a proposal defense
      8. Proposal defense results
      9. Scheduling a thesis defense
      10. Thesis defense results
      11. IST 810—Research practicum plan
      12. IST 840—Teaching practicum plan
      13. IST 810—Research practicum evaluation
      14. IST 840—Research practicum evaluation