Accelerated MLIS/PhD

The Accelerated MLIS/PhD degree option is designed for students who want to earn MLIS and PhD degrees through an accelerated sequence of courses. The accelerated degree option is particularly relevant to practicing information science professionals who have an undergraduate degree, but not a master's degree, and are interested in pursuing doctoral level coursework and research. Individuals who have earned a master's degree in another field and would like to expand their competencies to take on new roles and research in the information professions will also find the accelerated degree a viable option.

The accelerated degree option can be completed in four years. The first year consists of MLIS coursework and then students join a cohort-based PhD program to complete the doctoral degree.

Apply for the Accelerated MLIS/PhD option.

Degree Requirements

Successful completion of the Accelerated MLIS/PhD option includes:


12 credits of core and required courses:

Additional courses and requirements:

  • 12 credit hours of MLIS coursework
  • 12 credit hours of doctoral coursework
  • Submission of and passing grade on ePortfolio
  • All other MLIS degree requirements, including maintenance of a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale


  • Completion of a minimum of 36 hours of doctoral coursework (including the 12 credits earned as part of the MLIS)
  • Passing the PhD qualifying/comprehensive exam
  • Satisfactory completion of a doctoral dissertation (which includes 18 credit hours of dissertation work beyond the 36 course credit hours)
  • Maintenance of a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale

Prospective students should apply for the Accelerated MLIS/PhD option. When a student begins the MLIS coursework, his/her status as a doctoral student is conditional until the 24 MLIS credits have been completed. 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 needs to 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.

A student who has a master's degree and wants to pursue the Accelerated MLIS/PhD option after beginning doctoral coursework can petition to pursue the accelerated option.

Graduates of Dominican University's PhD program may petition to begin the MLIS accelerated degree within two years of graduation. Individuals who hold a PhD from another university are not eligible for the Accelerated MLIS/PhD degrees.