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Ph.D. in Library and Information Science

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Leadership (CHIL) Program

Important Note:
SLIS is accepting applications from Spectrum Scholars for Fall 2014. The application deadline is March 15, 2014.


The mission of this program is to provide doctoral-trained teacher scholars for library and information science programs across the nation, and to promote the research-based foundation for these areas within the profession.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. program is competitive and is based on a holistic review of the strength of the applicant's educational background (with the expectation of a master's-level degree in a related field), standardized test scores, work experience, a statement of research interests, and a personal interview.

  • Application requirements for the Ph.D. program include:
  • An official transcript with baccalaureate degree posted from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting agency. The GPA requirement is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required. The recommenders should be in a position to evaluate (a) your academic performance at the undergraduate or graduate level (e.g., faculty or instructors) or (b) your job performance (e.g., supervisors or administrators). Letters from friends and relatives which speak only of the applicant’s personal attributes will not be accepted. For guidance concerning this matter, please contact the SLIS Graduate Admissions Coordinator. Applicants are required to provide contact information for recommenders who will be contacted by the Graduate School.
  • The School of Library and Information Science Supplemental Application which is accessible through the Graduate School application. The Supplemental Application includes an essay requirement. Applicants must respond to the statements provided on the application when writing the essay.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae outlining applicant’s educational and professional achievements.
  • The General Record Equivalency (GRE) official score report must reflect scores within three years of your application. The combined verbal and quantitative score of 297 or above and either a verbal score of 160 or above or a quantitative score of 148 or above is required on the GRE taken beginning August 2011. Tests taken before August 2011, but within the three years of your application must reflect combined scores of 1000 or above with either the verbal or quantitative of 600 or above.
  • International Students: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) International students whose native language is not English must also submit an official score report with a minimum score of 570 paper-based or a minimum score of 80 on the internet-based test. TOEFL scores are available from ETS for two years. Information can be found at
  • Applicants will be required to participate in an interview with the doctoral committee.

Financial Assistance

Several highly competitive fellowships are available that pay both a stipend and a reduction of tuition.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete an approved program of 54 credit hours of 700- and 800-level courses beyond the master’s level, including a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation preparation with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above.

Core Courses (15 Hours)

  • SLIS 801 - Research Issues in Library and Information Science
  • SLIS 802 - Theory and Research Methods in Library and Information Science
  • SLIS 803 - Information and Society
  • SLIS 804 - Preparation for Academic Careers in Library and Information Science
  • SLIS 805 - Information Policy and Ethics

Research Methods (6 Hours)

  • Qualitative Research – chosen from advisor-approved options such as EDRM 740 or ANTH 719
  • Quantitative Research - chosen from advisor-approved options such as STAT 700 or STAT 701

SLIS Electives (12 Hours)

  • Chosen from advisor-approved 800-level seminars or 700-level courses appropriate to research interests and the production of work designed for scholarly publication or presentation

Cognate Courses (9 Hours)

  • Chosen from advisor-approved courses from another discipline related to the student’s research interests (i.e., mass communication, sociology, education, anthropology, computer science, English, geography, history, marketing, philosophy, political science, psychology, public administration)
  • Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations
  • Dissertation Preparation (12 Hours)
  • SLIS 899

Residency Requirement

The intent of the University and Graduate School residency requirement is to ensure that doctoral students benefit from and contribute to the full spectrum of educational and professional opportunities provided by the graduate faculty of a research university. When establishing residency, the student should interact with faculty and peers by regularly attending courses, conferences, and seminars and using the library, library services, and other resources that support excellence in graduate education.

The doctoral residency requirement may be satisfied only after admission to a doctoral degree program. It requires enrollment in at least 18 graduate credit hours within a span of three consecutive semesters (excluding summers). Enrollment in a summer term is not required to maintain continuity, but credits earned during summer terms (including May Session) will count toward the 18 hours required for residency.

Committees | Ph.D. Requirements | SLIS Ph.D. Handbook |
SLIS Faculty Expertise and Research Interests
| PhD Students | PhD Colloquium (12-13)

Contact Information: Dr. Jennifer Arns,

  Columbia, SC 29208 803-777-3858