Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Science

PhD in Library and Information Science

To find out more or to apply to the PhD program, please contact program director Karen Snow, PhD, at or (708) 524-6077. Here is further information about admissions and tuition. Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis. The next PhD cohort will begin in fall 2018.

The PhD in Library and Information Science is a highly regarded and desirable credential for those interested in pursuing research in LIS, teaching at the post-secondary level and, increasingly, those seeking or working in leadership positions in libraries, information centers and a variety of other organizations. Download the doctoral program flyer.

Dominican's PhD in LIS was created with working professionals in mind. Unlike traditional residential PhD programs at large universities, our cohort-based program can be completed in just three years, with all coursework taken on weekends.

Combining the rigor of a top-level research degree with the collaborative and personal approach that is the hallmark of a Dominican education, the PhD provides a strong yet flexible pathway that helps professionals expand their vision as well as advance their careers.

You'll work closely with a team of faculty advisors, professors and peers committed to both intellectual engagement and the professional skills needed to advance in your career. The cohort will progress through 12 intensive courses over six semesters (two years), with a third year devoted to individual dissertation work.

Program Distinctions

  • Convenience: Classes meet weekends only on our River Forest campus, so you won't need to quit your job or delay your career to further your education.
  • Cohort model: The cohort model encourages intellectual engagement and professional development in a collaborative environment. New cohorts are launched every two years.
  • Revered faculty: You'll work closely with faculty members who bring years of professional and scholarly experience.
  • Personal attention: A team of advisors, faculty members, peers and professors of the practice will counsel you on meeting your goals, whether you come to the program with specific research interests, career or educational goals.

Recent graduates of the doctoral program are working as library and information leaders in libraries, schools and academia:






Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Science


Each cohort will complete the following courses (all courses are 3 credit hours):
Note: The timeline below is a sample.

First Year

18 credits. Two courses each semester (fall, spring, and summer).

Second Year

18 credits. Two courses each semester (fall, spring, and summer).

Third Year

Upon completion of coursework, passing a qualifying field examination and approval of a dissertation proposal, PhD students proceed to dissertation work.

Degree Requirements

Successful completion of the doctoral program includes:

  • Completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours of doctoral coursework in the Dominican University SOIS program;
  • Successful completion of qualifying field examination;
  • Satisfactory completion of a dissertation;
  • A minimum grade point average of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Continuous enrollment in the degree program;
  • Completion of the degree program within three years* and;
  • Filing an Application for Graduation by the filing deadline with the Office of the Registrar the semester before the anticipated graduation date.

*The program is a three-year program requiring continuous enrollment in fall, spring and summer semesters for two years of coursework, with a dissertation work in the third year. If a student needs to extend beyond the 3 years, he/she may repeat the dissertation course for a period not to exceed an additional two years.