Ph.D. in Information Science
Ph.D. students are knowledge architects and respected contributors to our information society, with a vision of expanding access to quality information, an appreciation for diverse perspectives, and the spirit of collaboration.
You Belong at Berkeley
The I School is a welcoming community of students, faculty, and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds, nations, cultures, and experiences.
The doctoral program is a research-oriented program in which the student chooses specific fields of specialization, prepares sufficiently in the literature and the research of those fields to pass a qualifying examination, and completes original research culminating in the written dissertation. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is conferred in recognition of a candidate's grasp of a broad field of learning and distinguished accomplishment in that field through contribution of an original piece of research revealing high critical ability and powers of imagination and synthesis.
The Ideal Place for Breakthrough Thinking
School of Information offers an ideal environment for information scholars, on the campus of a preeminent, forward-thinking research institution.
Dedicated to cross-disciplinary research, breakthrough thinking, and creative collaboration, the I School actively shapes the information frontier and has a track record of scholarly ideas, solutions, and policy counsel that make information more accessible, manageable, and useful.
Rigorous academics instill the theoretical and research capabilities required to advance diverse interests — from information design, architecture, and assurance, to human-computer interaction and the social, economic, and public policy implications of information. Ph.D. students work closely with faculty recognized as information pioneers.
Interdisciplinary thinking and partnership are central to the I School approach, so doctoral research often engages exceptional UC Berkeley schools and departments beyond the I School, from journalism, business, and law to computing, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.
On average, I School students complete the Ph.D. degree in 6 years.
- Semester 1–4: Breadth, major, & minor coursework
- Semester 4–5: Prelim research paper & exam
- Semester 6–8: Qualifying exam
- Semester 10–12: Complete & present dissertation
Areas of Study
Major and minor areas include:
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Information Economics and Policy
- Information Law and Policy
- Information Organization and Retrieval
- Information Systems Design
- Social Aspects of Information
- Information and Communication Technologies and Development
I School Ph.D. graduates go on to careers in academia, industry, or the public sector.
Recent Ph.D. graduates hold tenure-track faculty positions at the world’s leading universities, as well as leading research positions in industry, academia, and public-interest organizations.