The information science PhD program is preparing the next generation of information scientists for academic and professional careers where an in-depth knowledge of research processes and evaluation is needed.

Program Type


Program Format

Hybrid, On Campus, Online
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A Research Environment – Vibrant and Diverse

PhD Alum, Hyoungju Park

The PhD program at SOIS establishes a dynamic, inclusive, and supportive intellectual environment from a combination of advising, mentoring and involvement in research projects with faculty.

Hyoungjoo ParkPhD Alum

The information science PhD program emphasizes the study of the representation, storage, retrieval, use and impact of information resources on society.

Graduates will contribute to the knowledge base of the discipline and will take on leadership roles as scholars and administrators in the discipline and the profession.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies is a STEM-designated program with Optional Practical Training (OPT) eligibility.

Ph.D. Alumni Placements

Our program prepares the next generation of information science scholars.
Recent graduates of the information science PhD program have joined the faculty of leading universities in the U.S. and abroad. Others join work in leading research positions in industry, academia, and private organizations.

Faculty & Post-Doctoral Positions

Faculty Positions

  • Simmons University
  • Tamkang University,Taiwan
  • Chicago State University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Kuwait University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Washington
  • Arizona State University
  • Chungnam National University
  • Nanjing University
  • Renmin University of China
  • King Saud University

Post-Doctoral Scholars

  • Penn State/Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
  • University of Maryland
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of Missouri

Ph.D. Dissertations

Dissertation Titles by Year


Shannon Crawford Barniskis
Convivial Making: Power in Public Library Makerspaces

Meghan Dowell 
‘The Same Information is Given To Everyone’: Algorithmic Awareness of Online Platforms

Tae Hee Lee 
Information needs of Korean immigrants in the United States: Selection and use of social media

Bradley Wiles 
‘For What We Do Today Becomes the History of Tomorrow’: A History of the Bay View Historical Society, 1979-2015


Mutasim Abdulrahman A. Alfadhel
The Analysis of User Characteristics on Twitter During Early Stage of The Covid-19 Pandemic: A Comparison Study Before and After Declaration of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Xin Cai
Application of the Markov Chain Method in a Health Portal Recommendation System

Jean Rene
Exploring the Information Experience of the Immigrant Toward Public Libraries in New York City


Yifan Zhu
An Optimization Analysis of the Subject Directory System on the MedlinePlus Portal – An Investigation of Mental Health, Children, Teenagers, and Older Adults Related Health Topics

Yazeed Alhumaidan
A New Framework of Privacy Concerns Assessment in The Context of Facial Recognition Technology (FRT): Mixed-Methods Sequential Exploratory Analysis of YouTube Users

Laura Ridenour
Examining the Notion of the Boundary Object in Information Systems: The Transdisciplinary Oeuvre of Cognitive Science


Sukjin You
The Ensemble MeSH-Term Query Expansion Models Using Multiple LDA Topic Models and ANN Classifiers in Health Information Retrieval

Musa Dauda Hassan
Consumer Health Information Needs, Seeking and Searching Behavior by Rural Residents in the Kachia Grazing Reserve, with a Focus on Vector-Borne Diseases


Adrianna McCleer
It Was Never About The Books

Maali Alghnimi
Digitization Guidelines for Static & Non-static (Audiovisual) Media: Compliance & Challenges in Academic Libraries.

Hyoungjoo Park
The Impact of Research Data Sharing and Reuse on Data Citation in Stem Fields


Yuehua Zhao
An Investigation of Autism Support Groups on Facebook

Yanyan Wang
Analysis of Family-Health-Related Topics on Wikipedia

Inkyung Choi
Toward a Model of Intercultural Warrant: A Case of the Korean Decimal Classification’s Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Dewey Decimal Classification

Ann Graf
Facets of Graffiti Art and Street Art Documentation Online: A Domain and Content Analysis


Jennifer Stevenson
Social Network Analysis on Wisconsin Archival Facebook Community

Hyejung Han
Understanding Children’s Help-seeking Behaviors: Effects of Domain Knowledge

Carol Sabbar
The Information-seeking Strategies of Humanities Scholars Using Resources in Language Other Than English


Jennifer Thiele
Information Access in Rural Areas of the United States: The Public Library’s Role in the Digital Divide and the Implications of Differing State Funding Models

Renee Bennett- Kapusniak
Baby Boomers and Technology: Factors and Challenges in Utilizing Mobile Devices

Melodie Fox
Gender as an ‘Interplay of Rules’: Detecting Epistemic Interplay of medical and Legal Discourse with Sex and Gender Classification in Four Editions of the Dewey Decimal Classification

Nicholas Proferes
Informational Power on Twitter: A Mixed-methods Exploration of User Knowledge and Technological Discourse About Information Flows


Dalal Al-budaiwi
The impact of culture and religion on the perception of freedom of expression between older and younger generations in South Africa and State of Kuwait: An international and comparative study | Advisor: Britz

Jeremy Mauger
Framing the policy debate: Competing portrayals of technology in online content regulation and lessons from science and technology studies | Advisor: Zimmer


Soohyung Joo
Investigating User Search Tactic Patterns and System Support in Using Digital Libraries | Advisor: Xie

Jihee Beak
A child-driven metadata schema: A holistic analysis of children’s cognitive processes and book selection behaviors | Advisors: Olson & Smiraglia

Anna Lauren Hoffman
Google Books as Infrustructure of In/Justice: Towards a Sociotechnical Account of Rawlsian Justice, Information and Technology | Advisors: Britz & Zimmer

Edward Benoit III
MPLP: A comparison of domain novice and expert user-generated tags in a minimally processed digital archive | Advisor: Xie

Chunsheng Huang
Understanding novice users’ help-seeking behavior in getting started with digital libraries: Influence of learning styles | Advisor: Xie


Suyu Lin
A Comparative Study on Institutional Repositories (IRs): Comparing Organizational Factors Influencing Initiation and Implementation of Two IR Projects | Advisor: Britz

Kun Lu
Assessing systematic topic difficulty based on query and collection features | Advisor: Wolfram

Program Information

Ph.D. Brochure

PhD in Information Studeis Brochure Cover

Ph.D. Handbook

PhD in Information Studies Handbook Cover

Doctoral Program Coursework

Information science PhD students will need to complete a minimum of 30 credits of approved coursework at the 700-level or higher.

  • Foundation Courses in Information Studies (12 credits)
  • Research Methods and Design (9 credits)
  • Specialized area (9 credits)
  • Sample PhD Course Plan – Please note this course plan is TENTATIVE and subject to change without notice.

The complete list of SOIS courses can be found in the UW-Milwaukee Academic Catalog.

Preliminary Examinations / Preparatory Essays
Dissertation Proposal
Dissertation Defense

PhD Program Details

Please visit the UW-Milwaukee, Academic Catalog for complete program details:

For information on policies and procedures for doctoral students, please see the UW-Milwaukee, Graduate Policies website.

Full-time onsite information science PhD students are eligible for teaching assistantships. Typical appointments are 33% (13 hours per week) and 9-month appointments. Assistants receive bi-weekly pay, tuition remission, and health insurance coverage based on the Graduate School Schedule.

Financial Aid, Scholarships, Assistantships & Awards

SOIS offers several funding opportunities for its PhD students based on the availability of funding. Funding opportunities can include: travel funding for conference presentations, research support to assist with costs associated with dissertation research, and adjunct teaching opportunities to support their studies.

UWM Graduate School Financial Support Resources

The UWM Graduate School provides competitive scholarships such as Graduate School Fellowships, Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships, Advanced Opportunity Fellowships, Graduate Student Travel Awards and Golda Meir Library Scholar Awards. For more information on the types of funding available, please visit the UWM Graduate School website:

Cost of Attendance

UWM Onsite Tuition and Fee Information
(Including dissertator fees)

Tuition is determined by the UW System Board of Regents, in the summer preceding each academic year. More information is available on the UW System website.

SOIS Online Fees
The 2022-23 academic year tuition for one online 3-credit graduate course in the School of Information Studies will cost $2,400 ($800/per credit). This amount is assessed for all online courses regardless of your geographic location. This tuition is assessed in lieu of standard UW System resident/non-resident tuition and campus-segregated fees.

How is this fee determined?
The University of Wisconsin System online course regulations determine how this fee is structured. This amount is calculated by adding the off-campus tuition for one credit to SOIS’ online fee. Over the past five years, SOIS has held the increase of this fee to under the percentage applied to general tuition by the Board of Regents.

Students begin the Information Science PhD program in the fall. All application materials, as outlined in the application checklist below, must be received by Jan. 10. An applicant whose file is incomplete will not be eligible for review. Application requirements are the same for traditional and distance students.

An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus the departmental requirements to be considered for admission to the program in regular status.

Graduate School Application Checklist

For complete details on Graduate School Admission Requirements, please visit:

School of Information Studies Application Checklist

An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these departmental requirements to be considered for admission to the program in regular status:

  • Have a cumulative GPA in coursework for the master’s degree of at least 3.5 and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants possessing a Master of Library and Information Science, or a master’s degree in an allied discipline, are encouraged to apply.
  • Submit verbal and quantitative scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the past five years. Please note: GRE is recommended but not required for the fall 2024 SOIS admission cycle.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from qualified persons who can attest to the applicant’s aptitude for doctoral study. At least one letter must be from an academic.
  • Submit a writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s analytical and critical thinking skills. This may take the form of a published research paper, a term paper from a previous graduate program or an earlier completed thesis.
  • Applicants are encouraged to bring at least two years of relevant professional experience prior to entering the PhD program.

Applicants lacking the requisite GPA or academic area may be considered for admission on probation and may be required to complete preparatory coursework.

The PhD Distance Option provides an additional mode of research and study that eliminates some of the barriers associated with the traditional method of pursuing an advanced research degree.

Distance Students Encourage To Apply!

Distance students (not located near Milwaukee, Wisconsin) are encouraged to apply. Such students will be required to attend a one- to two-day orientation on campus at the beginning of the program and be physically present for all major program milestones, including preliminary exam defense, dissertation proposal defense and formal defense of the dissertation. SOIS doctoral seminars will be streamed live online for distance students to participate synchronously with local students and faculty, and students will be responsible for meeting all other program requirements via online courses or other approved means.

Students begin the Information Studies doctoral program in the fall. An applicant whose file is incomplete will be asked to contact the Graduate School. Application requirements are the same for traditional and distance students. Distance students must also meet the UWM Graduate School residency requirements; physical residency in Milwaukee is not necessary.

Note: PhD students enrolled in the Distance Option are self-funded. There is no financial support provided by the School of Information Studies for this program option.

Distance Ph.D. Technology Requirements

Internet Connection:
Required: Broadband Internet Connection with 5Mbps download and 5Mbps upload and a home network to reliably support these speeds

Highly Suggested: 15Mbps download and 5Mbps upload

Required: Intel i5 CPU 8GB RAM 160GB HDD

Highly Suggested: Intel i5 CPU 16GB RAM 250GB SSD

Computer Accessories Requirements:
Monitor capable of displaying 1920×1080 or higher Webcam capable of 1080p resolution (Suggestion: Logitech C920) Microphone (Suggestions: Rode Procaster, Blue Yeti, Shure SM58) Quality Headphones (Suggestions: Shure SRH440, Sennheiser HD 280 PRO)

Operating System:
Windows 10 (preferred), MacOS Sierra

Physical Environment:
A comfortable and quiet environment that is free from environmental noises (kids, traffic, etc.) and provides good lighting so that the class can see the distance student and hear them without interference.