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The University of Tennessee PhD in Communication and Information with an Information Sciences (IS) Concentration provides a flexible interdisciplinary curriculum, empowering students to approach research and learning from a holistic perspective and preparing them for research, teaching, service, and administration. Students not only enjoy the benefits of a world-renown information sciences doctoral program, but also a community that values diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity for all.

Information Lights the Way

“The University of Tennessee’s Volunteer spirit figures prominently in how we approach doctoral education. Not only do we help our PhD students develop into outstanding scholars and teachers, we also encourage them to make a difference in the world through service and engagement.”

One Concentration, Four Schools:
Flexible Academic and Research Opportunities

One unique aspect of our doctoral program is that it allows students to integrate scholarship from the information sciences and communication sciences to address information-related problems. The School of Information Sciences faculty have expertise in a number of areas including data management; human-computer interaction and user-centered design; information behavior and information literacy; evaluation of libraries, information services, and systems; and the use of information technologies to improve people’s social and economic conditions. When combined with the expertise of our College colleagues, who work in areas such as interpersonal, organizational, and international communications; media policy and ethics; and advertising and public relations, our students have a unique opportunity to build an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to research, teaching and service, which distinguishes our program from peer programs.


Cassandra Huang

“It’s great to be in this inclusive and open-minded IS program, we have lots of opportunity to collaborate and seek support from different disciplines.”
PhD Student Cassandra Huang

iman tahamtan

“Overall, being in this college has been a really great experience, and I’ve especially enjoyed working with different faculty members.”
– PhD Student Iman Tahamtan

scott sikes

“Even doing the online master’s program, I felt so connected to this school and so connected to my classmates. That’s another reason why doing the PhD program here was so important to me – I already felt like I was a part of the community,”
– PhD Student Scott Sikes

kevin mallary

“When I first started, [SIS professor] Dr. Kelly encouraged me to tap into the expertise in the various schools to understand the complexities of what I’m researching, and to build relationships with members of the college.”
– PhD Student Kevin Mallary

Diverse Career Opportunities

Our PhD students pursue a variety of research-intensive careers in and outside of industry, including academic, business, government, and research settings. Our graduates work at prestigious institutions like Oak Ridge National Lab and the U.S. Department of Energy, and others have moved into faculty positions at institutions like the University of South Carolina, Kent State University, Syracuse University, and Simmons University. Meet some of our PhD alumni. >>


Our curriculum is designed to help students develop a unified view of the information and communication fields, as well as the specialized knowledge they need to become an expert in whatever aspect of information science that interests them. Students take a core set of courses about the theory and practice of research, and multiple methods courses that introduce them to diverse approaches to data collection and analysis, including both qualitative and quantitative. Our curriculum is both flexible, providing students with the space to customize their program of study, and exacting, providing them with the foundation needed to be scholars of information science.

Rigorous, Thoughtful and Responsible Scholars

Our brand of information science embraces pluralistic approaches and perspectives that combine social scientific, humanistic and computational thinking, and often focuses on real-world problems and solutions. When it comes to methods and approaches used in information science research, faculty have varied and deep knowledge and expertise. Our goal is to help students develop into rigorous, thoughtful and responsible scholars and teachers through side-by-side collaborations and interactions, and through supportive and encouraging mentorship and dialogue.


Doctoral Graduate Students

Financial Support for Your Studies

SIS offers competitive financial assistance to to students through graduate teaching associateships, graduate research assistantships, conference travel support, and more.


Admission Requirements for the Information Sciences Doctoral Program Concentration

CCI admits students of exceptionally high competence and promise to the doctoral program. A master’s degree is required for entry. The required application materials and detailed instructions on how to apply can be found on the CCI PhD Admissions webpage.