About the Information Science Ph.D. Program

The mission of the University of North Texas (UNT) Information Science (IS) Ph.D. Program is to provide a center of excellence in graduate education and research. Its primary goals are to:

  • Nurture critical and reflective thinking on the fundamental issues and elements of problems of utilization of information
  • Foster an environment of substantive and productive mentoring and apprenticeship
  • Prepare scholars passionate about the role of information in human affairs
  • Foster cross-disciplinary thinking and research.

Corollary Goals

  • Constructing a substantial yet flexible and customized program of study
  • Maintaining a culture of open dissemination of ideas
  • Maximizing participation in the intellectual life of the school and field
  • Building a community with regular interaction among faculty and students

The UNT IS Ph.D. Program emphasizes the interrelationship of the economic, social, cultural, and technological aspects of an evolving information society. The intent is to unify knowledge systems, problem-solving approaches and research methodologies regardless of their disciplinary roots, and to produce graduates who will be leaders in the information age.

Research Areas

The structure of the IS Ph.D. Program deliberately encourages and supports interactions among students and faculty in different academic units. Faculty and doctoral students together pursue research in a variety of areas including but not limited to:

  • philosophy and theories of information representation
  • digital image retrieval
  • youth information needs
  • social media behaviors
  • ethnography of information systems
  • metadata and organization of networked resources
  • information technology standards development and application
  • bibliometrics
  • theories of human information behavior
  • roles of user needs in information systems design
  • technology-based social networking in corporate and cultural environments
  • information policy
  • medical informatics
  • information flow in corporate, biomedical, legal, and government settings
  • information technology issues of ethics, privacy, and security, etc.

Students are recruited to the UNT IS PhD Program from a wide range of disciplines and encouraged to expand and refocus their expertise and skills in cutting-edge areas of information science that cross disciplinary boundaries. The multifaceted nature of information science warrants the focusing of resources, courses, and faculties from a broad range of academic units. At UNT, IS PhD students take courses from a variety of departments. Examples include:

Research Organizations and Labs
The Intelligent Information Access Lab (IIA) explores effective and efficient methods for access, interaction and analysis of large, distributed, heterogeneous, multimedia and sometimes multilingual information.
The Visual Thinking Lab (VTL) explores the ways humans interact with the territory at the juncture of image and meaning.
The Data Innovation Lab is interested in applying/developing novel interdisciplinary research methods to tackle data-driven problems and exploring data-driven methodology in evidence-based information science research and practice.


UNT IS Ph.D. Program students are pursuing either a general program (including areas of emphasis such as Information and Behavior, Information Theory and Design, Information Policy and Management), or a program of study and research with a more specific concentration such as:

  • Consumer Behavior and Experience Management Concentration (developed and offered jointly with UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism)
  • Cyber Security Concentration (developed and  offered jointly with UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UNT Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences, and UNT Department of Criminal Justice)  
  • Data Science Concentration (developed and offered jointly with UNT)
  • Geospatial Information Science (developed and offered jointly with UNT Department of Geography and the Environment)
  • Health Informatics Concentration (developed and offered with contributions from multiple UNT departments and colleges)
  • Journalism Concentration (developed and offered jointly with UNT Mayborn School of Journalism)
  • Knowledge Management Concentration
  • Linguistics Concentration (developed and offered jointly with UNT Department of Linguistics)

Please see the UNT Information Science (IS) PhD Program Student Handbook for details on our PhD Program.

To receive timely notifications about the upcoming deadlines, defenses, TA/RA position opportunities, conferences, new courses, etc., IS PhD Program students (both continuing and incoming) need to be subscribed to UNT-ISDOC-L mailing list. To subscribe to the list, send an email to listserv@unt.edu with the subject line blank and with "SUBSCRIBE UNT-ISDOC-L YourFirstName YourLastName" in the body of the message.

Dr. Daniella Smith (Daniella.Smith@unt.edu)

Serves as the Director of the IS PhD Program.

Mrs. Jade Moran


Serves as the Program Coordinator of the IS PhD Program.

To receive timely notifications about the upcoming deadlines, defenses, TA/RA position opportunities, conferences, new courses etc., IS PhD Program students (both continuing and incoming) and applicants need to be subscribed to UNT-ISDOC-L mailing list. To subscribe to the list, please visit the UNT-ISDOC-L listserv websiteIf you ever want to unsubscribe or change your options (eg, switch to or from digest mode, change your password, etc.), visit your subscription page