PhD in Information Studies

PhD Program Details

icon-transfer-purpleThe PhD in Information Studies emphasizes the study of the representation, storage, retrieval, use, and impact of information resources on society.
Program Details | Degree Requirements | Funding & Support

PhD Admission Requirements


Applicants must meet the UWM Graduate School requirements plus the SOIS requirements to be considered for admission to the program. Students begin the doctoral program in the fall semester.
Admission Requirements>>

PhD Distance Option

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.  PhD Distance Option>>

Our Research

Diverse and Productive

SOIS faculty members bring a broad range of research expertise and are nationally and internationally recognized for their research contributions. Our faculty have a variety of institutional personal backgrounds that increase the variety of information, techniques, points of view, and experiences that students encounter.

UW-Milwaukee has recently earned the highest rating for a research institution from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the gold standard for assessment.

SOIS Faculty rank 10th in Productivity of U.S. LIS and ischool faculty
~by John M. Budd, “Productivity of U.S. and ischool faculty,” October, 2015, in Library & Information Science Research

SOIS ranks 4th internationally and 2nd in the US/Canada in department contributions to library and information science (LIS) literature (2007-2012) as reported in a recent study by Walters & Wilder.
~Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology


Ph.D. Dissertations


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

Alumni Placements

Recent Faculty Positions:

  • Chicago State University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Kuwait University, College of Social Science
  • University of Kentucky
  • Louisiana State University

Post-Doctoral Scholars:

  • University of Maryland
  • University of California – Berkeley
Research Centers & Groups

CIPR-SquareCenter for Information Policy Research (CIPR)
The Center for Information Policy Research (CIPR) is UWM’s multidisciplinary research center for the study of the intersections between the policy, ethical, political, social and legal aspects of the global information society.

rigr-logo-squareResearch Group for Information Retrieval (rgIR)
The mission of RGIR is to promote and stimulate research in different aspects of information retrieval (IR) including: but not limited to: information behavior, human computer interaction with IR systems, IR evaluation, IR design, information visualization, and multimedia retrieval.

KOrg-logo-squareKnowledge Organization Research Group (KOrg)
The Knowledge Organization Research Group is designed to facilitate the discovery & development of knowledge in the field of information organization by established researchers and new scholars in LIS and related disciplines.

SSIRG-logo-squareSocial Studies of Information Research Group (SSIrg)
The mission of the Social Studies of Information Research group is to promote inquiry and pedagogy in the historical, social and cultural dimensions of information at its most fundamental levels, including information institutions, practices, industries, technologies, disciplines, users, policies, and ethics.

PhD Workshops & Presentations