Information Science, PhD

Thanks to constant advancements in technology, we have access to more information than ever before. How can technology use this information to enhance our lives? Our program lets you explore the intersection of information and technology. By enrolling in our PhD in Information Science degree program, you’ll receive interdisciplinary training, conduct high-impact research, and pursue and succeed in careers in both higher education and industry.

Led by their own curiosities, our PhD students are researching 3D brain reconstruction, human-robot interaction, geoinformatics, high performance cloud computing, user-centered design, data visualization, machine learning, health informatics, and more.

Graduates from this program have contributed their expertise at major research universities, research and development organizations, and international government agencies.

Degree Requirements

There are three stages of admission to the doctoral program:  

  • Admission to graduate study when the student first matriculates
  • Admission to doctoral study following successful completion of the preliminary examination 
  • Admission to candidacy following successful completion of the comprehensive examination and the approval of the dissertation proposal

A minimum of 48 credits, including 30 course and seminar credits beyond the master’s degree, and at least 18 dissertation credits are required. Students without a master’s degree will be required to take a minimum of 24 additional credits of coursework or seminars, for a total of 72 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students who did not take the prerequisite courses as part of earlier studies should expect to complete admission requirements or equivalent courses.

A student pursuing a PhD degree is first admitted to graduate study in Information Science. During the first year of study and in preparation for the preliminary examination, PhD students should complete initial coursework and attend the PhD orientation session (a two-hour review of requirements for the PhD degree). 

Core Courses

Four graduate-level courses, one in each of the following areas. Students, who have taken two or more of these courses (in any cluster described below) as part of a degree at the University of Pittsburgh, may take additional courses from the remaining areas.

Prerequisites for the core courses are not counted as part of the PhD course requirements.

Research methods





For more degree requirement details, visit the Information Science, PhD course catalog.

Admissions Requirements