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Through a combination of required and elective courses, independent study, workshops, and guided experiences, the Ph.D. focused on library and information science prepares students for lifelong activity in research, scholarship, teaching, and service. Students work closely with faculty as they progress through the degree, and are guided by faculty advisors and annual reviews of progress as evidenced by analytical papers and other course work, experience reports related to teaching and service activities, and self-reflective essays. The doctoral program is a small, strong program composed of students who form a cohesive and collaborative cohort, and who will be nurtured from enrollment through to completion of the dissertation.

Program Attributes

  • The program is unique among LIS doctoral programs in its guided preparation in the three areas of scholarship, teaching, and service.
  • Students emerge from the degree with a record of publications, teaching experience, a professional activity record, and a portfolio.
  • Simmons is small and personal, but at the same time has excellent bibliographical and technological resources and can draw on a robust local library and information community.
  • There are rich opportunities for synergy between the doctoral and master's students. Collaborative research and group work enriches the learning experience and fosters a stimulating classroom environment. Doctoral students offer colloquia open to master's students, and mentoring opportunities are available.
  • SLIS has an established reputation for producing leaders in professional service at local, national, and international levels. Interaction with the SLIS alumni community (and the New England LIS community) enriches the doctoral student experience.

Areas of Study

Doctoral studies can be conducted at various intersections of setting, audience, and activity. Some examples of study areas which build on strengths among our faculty include archives and preservation, reference, metadata, scholarly communication, information retrieval, and visual information systems.

Student Learning Outcomes

A graduate of the Simmons SLIS Ph.D. program:

  • articulates researchable problems and applies relevant research studies, research designs, and methodologies to tasks requiring problem solving and critical thinking;
  • analyzes scholarship in the field of library, archival, and information science;
  • analyzes and presents information, including research proposals and findings, clearly and accurately in a variety of formats;
  • develops appropriate unit- or course-level student learning outcomes, when engaged in teaching activities, and plans and implements learning experiences that assist students to achieve those outcomes; and
  • leads service activities for local, national, or international professional associations and communities.

Required Courses

Students noramlly complete 36 credits to achieve the degree. Of these 36 credits, 15 are devoted to required coursework and three are devoted to the dissertation. Below is a listing of the required courses:

  • LIS 620 - History, Concepts, and Research Opportunities
  • LIS 621 - Conducting Research
  • LIS 642 - Applied Statistics for LIS
  • One of the Following Courses:
    • DEDU 652 - Applied Statistical Analysis II
    • DEDU 653 - Qualitative Research
    • SW 654 - Qualitative Research Methods
  • SW 671 - Teaching and Learning
  • LIS 699 - Supervised Dissertation

If you would like full descriptions of the listed required courses and other courses offered by SLIS, you may visit the Course List Page.