General Information

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Information Resources and Library Science (PHD)  
Program Description

The goal of the doctoral program is to prepare future intellectual leaders in the area of information. Specifically, the program is geared toward intensive study of the organization, evaluation, and use of information. Each doctoral student will be expected to articulate his or her own goals within these general areas.

The School of Information Resources and Library Science is authorized to offer the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with an emphasis in Information Resources and Library Science. A student must minor in a second area, determined in consultation with the faculty advisor and approved by the SIRLS Ph.D. Studies Committee.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

School of Info Resources & Library Sci -

The ever-increasing pace of technological innovation requires a more information-savvy workforce that understands not only the how, what, where, when, and why of technology and data but how to apply that knowledge.  At the University of Arizona’s School of Information, we have faculty and students engaged in research and education around all aspects of the information sciences without regard for disciplinary boundaries. We do research in: artificial intelligence; data management and curation; computer vision; computer-mediated communication and learning; natural language processing; social networking; human computer interfaces; dark networks; computational art creation; eCommerce, eGovernment, and eHealth; computational music; library sciences; educational and entertainment technologies; and much more.

We are preparing our graduates to be the doers, thinkers, solvers, and game-changers, not only of the problems and opportunities we see now, but also of the myriad scenarios we can’t yet imagine but are sure to arise during our students’ lifetimes.

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Barbara Vandervelde
Graduate Program Coordinator
Luis D Zozaya
Director of Graduate Studies
Martin H Fricke
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Kristi Renee Davenport
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the doctoral program is competitive and based on both the applicant's abilities and faculty interest and expertise in the student's proposed area of study. SIRLS may deny entry to an otherwise qualified applicant if there is insufficient faculty interest in working with that applicant.

  • Admission to the doctoral program is possible with or without a master's degree.
  • All applicants must possess an undergraduate degree that is comparable to an undergraduate degree offered by the University of Arizona.

Admission to any graduate program at the University of Arizona is the responsibility of the Graduate College. SIRLS and other schools and departments with graduate programs make recommendations to the Graduate College.

The following are guidelines. The faculty consider the overall package when making candidate evaluations:

  • An undergraduate or graduate academic record that is indicative of significant achievement. This is normally a GPA of a minimum of 3.5 on a 4.0 
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation that clearly speak to the applicant's promise as a graduate student and as a doctoral student.
  • A résumé indicating both employment and educational experience to date.
  • A statement of intent from the applicant clearly outlining why he or she is applying to this particular program and what he or she considers the outcome of doctoral study will be. Applicants need not, at this point, indicate potential dissertation topics, but an indication of the area(s) in which they propose to study would be very helpful to the faculty.
  • An interview, on campus or by phone, with selected members of the faculty.
  • An online application for admission to the Graduate College with a $75 application fee via a credit card.
  • Two official transcripts from all schools attended. Both the Graduate College and SIRLS require a complete acadmic record.
Standardized Tests

GRE scores that are indicative of significant promise. This is normally a minimum of the 80th percentile or higher on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical portions of the test. There is no need to take or submit a specialized test. A photocopy of the Score Report is acceptable.

Financial Aid

SIRLS sees as a priority funding for Ph.D. students in their first three years of study. Opportunities exist within SIRLS and on campus for graduate assistantships, scholarships, and other forms of support.



Admissions Deadlines
  • Admission to the doctoral program normally occurs in the Fall semester.
  • The deadline for Fall admission is January 31st.
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

There are two parallel sets of requirements for the Ph.D.

  • One set is the Graduate College requirements, as found on the Doctor of Philosophy portion of the Graduate College site.
  • The second set contains the requirements of the School.
  • Graduate College Requirements

    The following is a summary of the Graduate College requirements. For the full text of the requirements, see the Graduate Catalog.

  • The equivalent of at least six semesters of essentially full-time study is required.
  • Minimum of 30 units of course work completed at the University of Arizona.
  • Registration for a minimum of 18 units of dissertation work. With prior approval, the dissertation may be done in absentia.
  • All requirements for the degree must be completed within 5 years of passing the Comprehensive Exam.
  • At least 36 units of course work, exclusive of the dissertation, must be in the major area.
  • Minimum of one-half of the courses presented for the degree must be courses in which regular grades (A, B, C) have been earned.
  • Comprehensive written and oral examination
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation defense
  • School of Information Resources & Library Science Requirements

  • Annual review of student's progress.

  • A minimum of 36 units in the major, inclusive of work done for the master's, but exclusive of the dissertation.

  • Dissertation proposal defense
  • 18 units of dissertation and successful completion of dissertation
Minor Requirements

Minor chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor (normally 9 units but at the discretion and control of the minor unit).

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 0%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) n/a
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 22%
Enrollment Percent Female 78%
Enrollment Percent International 1%
Enrollment Percent URM 33%

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Last revised 30 Jun 2014