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  • 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).
  • 6.2  The Director (or another faculty member serving as the Research and Teaching Practicum Coordinator) will be assigned IST 810 and IST 840 as part of his/her teaching load. That faculty member will be responsible for:
    • Consulting with students taking practica during registration or the first week of classes regarding appropriate research and teaching activities for the practicum.
    • Arranging meetings and other experiences relevant to research and teaching apprenticeship for students enrolled in the practica.
    • Assigning grades for the practica. The grades should reflect the evaluations of the faculty members with whom the student worked in research and teaching activities and the student’s participation in other activities of the practicum.
  • 6.3 Research practica (IST 810)
    • Students taking a research practicum should register for two (2) credits of IST 810. o A student taking a research practicum must be actively involved in a research project or projects with a faculty member throughout the term.
    • The student and the research practicum supervisor should complete Doctoral Form #12 to record the plans for the practicum and #14 to record the evaluation. o Research and research-related activities should be comparable in value and effort to at least a two-credit course.
    • A student should ordinarily not take more than one research practicum with the same faculty member. The Director can approve an exception if the two practica are distinctly different projects.
    • Students are expected to be continuously involved in research activities throughout their residency in the program. After all practicum requirements are met, the student and advisor will determine the student’s research activities.
  • 6.4 Teaching practica (IST 840)
    • Students taking a teaching practicum should register for one (1) credit of IST 840. 
    • A student taking a teaching practicum will be assigned as a teaching apprentice to a faculty member or will teach a course under the oversight of a faculty member.
    • The student and the teaching practicum supervisor should complete Doctoral Form #13 to record the plans for the practicum and #15 to record the evaluation. o The teaching practicum should address the following objectives:
      1. Improve the student’s communication skills (if possible, by giving him/her increasingly sophisticated teaching responsibilities).
      2. Give the student an understanding of a wide variety of subjects that are of value to information professionals.
      3. Bring the student into contact with a number of faculty members in addition to those with whom the student otherwise has contact.
    • The student’s involvement should be comparable in value and effort to at least a one-credit course.
    • Students teaching a course for the first time can fulfill two teaching practicum requirements.
    • A student should not take more than one teaching practicum with the same faculty member (with the exception of teaching a course). The Director can approve an exception if the two practica are distinctly different teaching experiences.
  • 6.5 If the student feels that research or teaching activities during a particular semester are not of educational value, he/she should discuss the situation with his/her advisor who will follow through with the Director.

Section 7: Curriculum and Course Catalog

7.1  The program is extremely flexible, with only 12 required practica and 18 required dissertation credits.

7.2  The program will offer at least nine credits of doctoral courses each semester to include:

o IST 810 and IST 840
o One methods course
o One seminar
o IST 999 (dissertation credits)

7.3  IST 776 and IST 777, iSchool oriented research methods courses, will be offered in alternating falls.

7.4  Refer to the Graduate School Catalog for more information:

Ph.D. in Information Science & Technology on the Syracuse University Course Catalog

Section 8


: Annual Evaluation

8.1  Unless otherwise stated, the policies in this section apply only for active students who have not been admitted to candidacy (see section 13).
o After a student has been admitted into candidacy, the student’s committee will

determine the student’s status in the program and report it annually to the Director. It is recommended that candidates meet at least once a year with their committee to discuss their progress in the past semester and plans for the coming semester.

8.2  The major purpose of the annual evaluation meeting is to provide the student with the Faculty’s collective assessment of his/her progress in the program and of his/her plans for the following academic year.

8.3  The student will schedule an annual evaluation for his or herself in the Spring semester and for each continuing student in the Fall semester.
o In extraordinary circumstances, a student, a student’s advisor, or the Director can

call an evaluation meeting at any time.

o For first-year students who are not progressing satisfactorily in the opinion of


o A student who expects to end coursework (see section 10) in the current academic year may combine the annual evaluation and end-of-coursework meetings, with the prior approval of the Director.

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8.4 It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to arrange the evaluation meeting, to ensure that the members of the committee are informed of the meeting and to obtain their input for the meeting.
o An active student who fails to arrange an evaluation meeting for two consecutive


student before the next regular meeting (see section 8.3).

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8.11 Standards for evaluation
o No attempt is made to spell out the exact standards that the student must meet.


rather than be “dropped.”

Section 9: Inactive Status / Leave of Absence

9.1 A student may take a leave from active participation in the program (see Academic Rules, Section 15) by obtaining the permission from his or her evaluation committee at a regular or special evaluation meeting.
o If the student is determined to be not in good standing at this meeting, the

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  1. 9.2  An inactive student is still in the program.
    o Annual evaluation meetings are not required for inactive students, so section 8.4

    does not apply.
    o All time regulations remain in effect and the student is responsible for meeting

    deadlines as they may occur.

  2. 9.3  A student may return to active status by notifying the Director of his or her intention

    to return and by registering
    o If conditions were placed on the student’s return, the student will notify the

    Director and the student’s advisor of how these conditions were met. The Director and advisor will agree that the conditions were met before accepting the student’s return to active status.

  3. 9.4  A student may not remain in inactive status longer than thirty (30) months from the date inactive status was granted.
    o Petitions for extending this deadline will not be approved except in the most

    extreme and extenuating circumstances.
    o Any student who has not regained active status before the end of the thirty-

    month period will be considered to have voluntarily withdrawn from the program.

Section 10: End of Coursework

10.1 When a student has completed his or her program of study and developed a comprehensive mastery of his or her field, he or she may apply to end coursework. o There is no specific number of credits required to demonstrate the mastery and


o Students must successfully end coursework by the end of their 5th year in the program.

10.2  The purpose of the end-of-coursework meeting is both retrospective (certification and acceptance of a program of study) and prospective (advice on defining or refining a dissertation topic).

10.3  To end coursework, a student’s program of study and the student’s comprehensive mastery of the field must be reviewed and certified as adequate by a committee comprising of at least the Director and three IST faculty members who are familiar with the student’s work.

o Individuals from outside the School may be included on the end of coursework committee with the agreement of the student and the individual and the approval of the Director.

10.4  At least two weeks before the end-of-coursework meeting, the student will: o File Doctoral Form #4 to formally establish the committee.


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o o


As membership in the committee changes, Doctoral Form #4 should be refiled.


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10.8 A student whose program of study is not certified may schedule another end-of- coursework meeting.

Section 11: Credit Hours

11.1 Credit-hour requirements are not the primary basis of the decision that a student has completed an adequate program of study. That decision is based on the student’s demonstrated competency as well as credit-hour requirements.

11.2  A minimum of 78 credit hours are required: 60 credit hours of coursework and 18 credit hours of dissertation work.

11.3  There is no time limit for including courses in a student’s program.

11.4  Up to 50 percent of relevant coursework credits (30 credits) may be transferred from

outside Syracuse University. The other 50 percent must be taken within Syracuse University. (Academic Rules, Section 20).
o A completed masters degree that is relevant to the PhD study counts for 30

transfer credits regardless of the actual number taken.

o There is no time limit on credits transferred.
o Transfer credits may be accepted regardless of the grade if they are part of a


Syracuse University, be aware which courses you have already used towards those degrees. A class that has been counted towards both degrees cannot be used towards a Ph.D. degree.

Section 12: Registration and GRD 998

12.1 A student must be registered full time (9 credits) for fall and spring in the program
o Once a student has completed coursework and dissertation credits (IST 999) he or


being discontinued by the University.

12.2  A student needs to register for GRD 998, a zero credit, zero dollar “Degree in

Progress” placeholder that will maintain student status in the system.
o You cannot take “credits of GRD 998” as it is a placeholder
o GRD 998 is a Graduate School course
o You do not need to register for GRD 998 if you are registered for a class

12.3  In order to submit a diploma request, a student must be registered.

Section 13: The Comprehensive Examination and Candidacy

13.1 The Graduate School rules refer to a qualifying exam (Academic Rules, Section 32).

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o When a School certifies that the student has passed the qualifying exam, it certifies that the student’s knowledge of the field is sufficiently current.


  1. 13.2  Because the iSchool does not require that students take a comprehensive exam, the Dean will certify to the Graduate School that a student has successfully completed the qualifying exam when the student’s committee has certified that the student has completed an adequate program of study and successfully passed End of Coursework (see Section 10).

  2. 13.3  A student must become ABD within 7 years of matriculating into the program. Failure to do so will require the student to register for GRD 991 each fall and spring semester until ABD status is achieved. If the students does not register for GRD 991, he or she will be withdrawn from the program.

Section 14: Masters of Philosophy in Information Science & Technology

14.1 The degree of Masters of Philosophy in Information Science & Technology (M.Phil.) may be awarded to students who:
o Successfully end coursework (see section 10).
o Submit a Masters Thesis and have it accepted.

14.2  The M.Phil. may only be awarded to students who are matriculated for the Ph.D. in Information Science & Technology.

14.3  The M.Phil. is not a prerequisite for the Ph.D. in Information Science & Technology.

14.4  The M.Phil. may not be used as transfer credit under section 14.4.

14.5  The end-of-coursework committee (see section 10.3) will determine the acceptability

of the Masters Thesis.

14.6  Students whose Masters Thesis is not accepted may submit another thesis.

Section 15: Preparation and Defense of Dissertation Proposal

15.1 A student must prepare and defend a dissertation proposal.
o The student is expected to defend a proposal within two semesters of completing


  1. 15.2  The dissertation proposal must contain: (a) an introduction to the problem being

    studied, (b) a review of the relevant literature, and (c) a description of the methodology to be used. In most cases, these will correspond to the first three chapters of the dissertation.

  2. 15.3  The dissertation proposal must be reviewed, and formally accepted, at a proposal meeting, by a committee consisting of at least four members, of which three must be IST faculty.


Syracuse University School of Information Studies Ph.D. Program Handbook

o Students are encouraged to include a non-IST member on the committee. This member could be faculty from another department or School at Syracuse University, or an acknowledged expert working in government or industry or at another University.

o The dissertation proposal cannot be scheduled during the period when faculty are not on academic year appointments. This means that no proposals can be hdld during holiday breaks or summer.

15.4  At least two weeks before the proposal defense the student must:
o Schedule a proposal meeting with his/her committee and announce the meeting. o File Doctoral Form #7.
o Distribute an abstract of the proposal to all IST faculty members, all resident Ph.D.

students, and interested Master’s students.
o Provide each member of the committee and the Director with a reading copy of

the proposal and have one additional copy available for loan.

15.5  Conduct of the meeting

o The student’s advisor chairs the meeting.
o Other faculty members and students are encouraged to attend and participate in

the proposal meeting.

15.6  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 proposal. If the committee does not accept the proposal, the minutes must include the reasons for the decision. If the proposal is accepted with modification, the minutes must record details of the required revisions.

o A copy of the minutes will be given to the student.
o A copy of the minutes will be included in the student’s permanent file.
o The student’s advisor must file Doctoral Form #8 to record the committee’s


15.7  The committee must decide by majority vote whether:

o The proposal as written is accepted.
o The proposal with modifications is accepted.

A detailed list of the modifications needed to be acceptable must be provided to the candidate, and a copy placed in their folder.

o The proposal is not accepted.
A detailed explanation of the issues resulting in the non-acceptance

should be placed in the candidate’s folder.

15.8  If a proposal is not accepted, the student may submit another proposal.

o The current members of the committee, including the supervisor, are not obligated to continue on their committee, though they may opt to do so.

o If the second proposal is not accepted, the student is not allowed to continue in the program.

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Section 16: Dissertation Research and Final Oral Exam (Dissertation Defense)

16.1 The third and final formal requirement of the program is that a candidate will research, write and defend a dissertation (Academic Rules, Section 32).
o The candidate should work closely with his/her advisor in doing the dissertation