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Prospective students should apply for the MLIS program first and will begin MLIS courses, followed by applying to the PhD program during its respective admission cycle. The PhD program starts every even year (Fall 2020, Fall 2022, etc.). Students must complete 24 credit hours of MLIS courses prior to the start of their PhD program in the Fall. The MLIS degree is awarded after the student completes the 24 MLIS credits, 12 doctoral credits, and the ePortfolio requirement.

A student who begins the accelerated MLIS/PhD option and decides not to pursue the PhD degree or who does not meet the doctoral course requirement must complete the full 36 MLIS credit hours to satisfy the current MLIS degree requirement. A student who successfully completes the 24 credit hours of MLIS coursework and then completes 18 credit hours of doctoral coursework, but who does not pass the PhD comprehensive exam, will receive the MLIS degree.