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Earn your PhD in just three years. In this weekend and hybrid program, you’ll prepare for high-level research, teaching and leadership in the information industry.

Dominican’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Information Studies program will put you on the path to rewarding faculty and research positions in academia, as well as senior leadership roles in libraries, information centers and a multitude of other data- and information-rich settings. Unlike traditional, residential programs, Dominican’s PhD program allows you to complete your coursework and dissertation in just three years—all without putting your professional and personal life on hold. Starting with the Fall 2022 cohort, only four in-person weekend meetings are required during the two years of coursework. The remaining class meetings will be held entirely online and on weekends only.

As a PhD student at Dominican, you can choose to concentrate in library and information science or information management. You’ll have the support of a cohort of fellow students and expert faculty who are committed to your success and eager to collaborate with you.

Take a closer look at how our primarily online PhD in Information Studies program is designed to fit almost any schedule:

  • Classes meet on weekends only and primarily online via Zoom
  • Our cohort model encourages intellectual engagement, collaboration and professional development; new cohorts are launched every two years
  • You’ll work closely with faculty members with years of professional and scholarly experience
  • A team of advisors, faculty members and peers will counsel you on achieving your goals
  • Connect to a strong alumni network of information leaders around the world

Take the next step. Request information

What You’ll Learn

Together with your cohort, you will complete 12 intensive courses over six semesters (two years). You’ll take two courses each semester in the fall, spring and summer terms. The third year is devoted to individual dissertation work.

The curriculum includes courses in information policy, information systems research, library leadership and much more. You’ll gain the advanced knowledge and skills needed for expansive service in the indispensable field of library and information science or information management.

You’ll graduate prepared to advance your career and secure high-level research, teaching and leadership positions. You’ll also gain hands-on research experience through your dissertation work. The possibilities are limitless, and you and your team will find the focus that’s right for you. To see a sample of the wide-ranging research options, browse recent dissertations by PhD students at Dominican’s School of Information Studies.

Download our program flyer (pdf opens in a new window)

Quick Degree Details
  • 36 semester hours in addition to dissertation
  • Expect to attend class six weekends per semester - five weekends online and only one in-person weekend per semester. In-person weekends are required in the Fall and Spring semesters only.
  • Designed for working professionals with a master’s degree (not necessarily in library and information science)
  • Complete in as little as 3 years, or take up to 5 years

SOIS Learning Goals and Outcomes (pdf opens in a new window)

PhD Concentrations

You can choose a concentration in either library and information science or information management. Learn more about the curriculum for both areas and read detailed course descriptions.

Accelerated Degree Option

Don’t yet have a master’s degree? Our accelerated MLIS/PhD option is ideal for information science professionals who are interested in pursuing doctoral-level coursework and research, but who have not yet earned a master’s degree. Through the accelerated option, you can complete your master’s in library and information science and your doctoral degree in information studies in just four years.

What to Expect as You Earn Your PhD in Information Studies

At Dominican, we pride ourselves on the hands-on experiences and personal attention our students receive. Whether you study online or in person on campus, you’ll get the benefit of a collaborative learning environment that will expand your knowledge, deepen your understanding and prepare you as a leader and advocate in library and information science, and information management.

Our faculty come from across the country and around the world. They bring visionary approaches to advancing the complex and flourishing field of information studies. Our cohort model ensures deep intellectual engagement and powerful professional development within a close-knit, collaborative learning environment. A team of advisors, professors and peers will accompany you as you work to achieve your academic, research and professional development goals. New cohorts start every two years. You can choose a concentration in library and information science or information management. This demanding yet flexible program prepares you for expansive service in a stimulating and indispensable profession.

Renowned School of Information Studies (SOIS)

As part of our School of Information Studies, our PhD program sets the standard for excellence among the best information studies doctoral programs in the Chicago area. We continually re-evaluate our rigorous academics to make sure our students gain the skills needed to be successful in today’s ever-changing environment. See what sets us apart

Nationally recognized faculty

Our PhD professors have a broad range of experience, and our small class sizes allow them to get to know you—and become the foundation of your professional network. Meet our faculty

Areas of faculty expertise include:

  • Digital libraries and digital curation
  • Information policy
  • Media and services for youth
  • Archives and cultural heritage
  • Informatics
  • Cataloging and classification
  • School library media
  • Management
  • Leadership and advocacy

Learn about faculty specializations and recent publications (pdf opens in a new window)

Strong graduate retention, achievement and career outcomes

PhD students at Dominican University continue to meet and exceed program standards and completion rates—and enter into a wide variety of professional positions in the field upon graduation. See our graduates' completion, achievement and career outcomes (pdf opens in a new window)

Financing Your Degree

Along with opportunities for financial aid through loans and grants, the School of Information Studies offers a variety of departmental scholarships, including the Ellin Greene Research Scholarship for doctoral students.

Contact our Office of Financial Aid to learn more. We can be reached at (708) 524-6809 or

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I do with a PhD in Information Studies?

As the nature of information studies grows more complex, so do the expansive research opportunities examining the interaction between people and information. Dominican’s doctoral program in information studies will enable you to pursue scholarly research in areas of immense importance in our daily lives and for a multitude of sectors from health care and business to government and technology.

A PhD is also an increasingly influential credential for professionals seeking the most senior leadership roles in libraries and information centers of all types. Teaching at the post-secondary level is another common avenue for doctoral graduates.

You will find Dominican MLIS and doctoral graduates working in an array of settings:

“Traditional” Libraries
  • Chicago Public Library
  • University of Minnesota Library
  • State Law Library of Montana
  • Western Michigan University
  • Oswego East High School
  • and many more
Non-library Settings
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • McDonald’s Digital Asset Department
  • WFMT’s Studs Terkel Radio Archive
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Morningstar
  • BP
  • Law firms such as Sidley Austin
  • Consulting firms such as Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
Cultural Institutions and Museums
  • Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Oswego History Museum
  • Theater Historical Society of America
  • Polish Museum of America
How do I apply?

To apply to our doctoral program, students must submit an online application, a personal essay, a scholarly research writing sample, official transcripts, and GRE scores (for applicants with less than a 3.5 GPA). Before you apply, make sure you review our full application and admission requirements.

Ready to take the next step? Apply now online

Prepare for a Career Where You Can Make a Difference

Information is at the heart of innovation, progress and the search for answers to the world’s most pressing questions and challenges. As an information leader, you’ll be at the center of it all, working to speed the flow of knowledge, to educate and to inform our society. Be part of something meaningful and in tremendous demand. 

Request information today