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2021 Information Studies PhD Programs


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Hi everyone! I applied to information studies PhD programs for the fall 2021 semester, and I wanted to start a topic for those of us in the information studies/library science fields or other related fields. I am hoping to study archives and digital access, but I also am interested in other topics in information studies and related interdisciplinary humanities fields, like digital humanities. 

I didn't apply to many programs this cycle, but I still have my fingers crossed! 

I just wanted to start this topic in case anyone wants to connect. I know for me it was especially challenging to apply while dealing with the pandemic alongside my master's degree work and my jobs. I'm nervous, too, because I have heard from faculty and administration at schools I am interested in that they are expecting a large amount of applicants, and have fewer spots available.

The application process for me was stressful, but it was a benefit being able to connect with prospective advisors over zoom.

Has anyone else here applied for information studies phd programs? How do you feel? What was your experience like?

Edited by figtree
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Hey! I applied to IS programs at Michigan and Cornell, as well as a few Communication programs. I'm interested in the politics of technology design and digital infrastructures.

The process was definitely stressful amid the pandemic, but faculty conversations were very helpful for finding a good fit and talking through my research.

Good luck to everyone!

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Heyo! iSchool and HCI applicant checking in. I'm hoping to study the design of online communities/social media and how these tools might affect the formation of an individual's political identity. My background is in design research.

It was a super stressful application season. I have a ton of relevant work experience and I'm not sure I mapped that well enough to my SOP's. I'm fully not expecting to get in anywhere this season. In total, I applied to 7 schools. 

Good luck to all!

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On 12/31/2020 at 1:26 AM, kineto said:

Hey! I applied to IS programs at Michigan and Cornell, as well as a few Communication programs. I'm interested in the politics of technology design and digital infrastructures.

The process was definitely stressful amid the pandemic, but faculty conversations were very helpful for finding a good fit and talking through my research.

Good luck to everyone!

That sounds so interesting---I definitely want to learn more about digital infrastructures in my future studies related to access. I also applied to Michigan....and I am not expecting to get in, but we'll see. Good luck to you!

Edited by figtree
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On 12/31/2020 at 4:35 PM, capuuu said:

Heyo! iSchool and HCI applicant checking in. I'm hoping to study the design of online communities/social media and how these tools might affect the formation of an individual's political identity. My background is in design research.

It was a super stressful application season. I have a ton of relevant work experience and I'm not sure I mapped that well enough to my SOP's. I'm fully not expecting to get in anywhere this season. In total, I applied to 7 schools. 

Good luck to all!

7 seems like a good number from what I hear! I applied to 4 - University of Michigan, University of Maryland, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the University of Texas. 

Your research sounds really interesting and important. Much luck to you!

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On 12/31/2020 at 8:31 AM, figtree said:

Hi everyone! I applied to information studies PhD programs for the fall 2021 semester, and I wanted to start a topic for those of us in the information studies/library science fields or other related fields. I am hoping to study archives and digital access, but I also am interested in other topics in information studies and related interdisciplinary humanities fields, like digital humanities. 

I didn't apply to many programs this cycle, but I still have my fingers crossed! 

I just wanted to start this topic in case anyone wants to connect. I know for me it was especially challenging to apply while dealing with the pandemic alongside my master's degree work and my jobs. I'm nervous, too, because I have heard from faculty and administration at schools I am interested in that they are expecting a large amount of applicants, and have fewer spots available.

The application process for me was stressful, but it was a benefit being able to connect with prospective advisors over zoom.

Has anyone else here applied for information studies phd programs? How do you feel? What was your experience like?

Hey Figtree,

It's great to hear your interest in the field and that you are applying to a few colleges. I am also applying this year but in the masters program.
Was wondering why do you think you won't be able to get in? Is it because of the no. of applications?

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On 1/4/2021 at 2:49 AM, Har5hraj said:

Hey Figtree,

It's great to hear your interest in the field and that you are applying to a few colleges. I am also applying this year but in the masters program.
Was wondering why do you think you won't be able to get in? Is it because of the no. of applications?

Hi Har5hraj,

 

Thanks for the reply and encouragement! And good luck to you on your master’s application. That’s very exciting!

I’m nervous because I’ve heard at several information studies interest meetings that admissions teams were expecting more applications than usual this year, I think due to COVID and people being uncertain of their futures and able to transition to a PhD program perhaps without having to move. Apparently there has been a lot of interest, so I feel like the stakes could be higher, but you never know.

 

best of luck to you!!

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I was wondering how COVID would affect admissions processes. (Fewer staff? More applications to process? Remote procedures?) So far, I've applied just to University of Michigan for a masters in Human-Computer Interaction. 3.62 GPA from Florida State University with a degree in English (Editing, Writing, and Media). 4 years of experience teaching K-12 in Madrid. Great letters of rec, a few interesting service/experience (learning) design projects in my portfolio. 

Looking to apply to other schools.

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12 hours ago, philmendez said:

I was wondering how COVID would affect admissions processes. (Fewer staff? More applications to process? Remote procedures?) So far, I've applied just to University of Michigan for a masters in Human-Computer Interaction. 3.62 GPA from Florida State University with a degree in English (Editing, Writing, and Media). 4 years of experience teaching K-12 in Madrid. Great letters of rec, a few interesting service/experience (learning) design projects in my portfolio. 

Looking to apply to other schools.

Hi!


I have heard that funding at some institutions will be impacted, which makes it difficult to attend for many people. I haven’t heard of any info studies programs that have done this, but I know a ton of humanities programs aren’t accepting applications for 2021 admissions this semester. Some programs are expecting a lot of applicants and less funding, but maybe that will change!

Good luck on your Michigan app! Their program seems awesome, and they definitely have some of the best/most consistent funding in the US, and lots of student support! I heard in an info session that their PhD funding was not impacted by Covid.

what other programs are you looking at?

 

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5 hours ago, figtree said:

Hi!


I have heard that funding at some institutions will be impacted, which makes it difficult to attend for many people. I haven’t heard of any info studies programs that have done this, but I know a ton of humanities programs aren’t accepting applications for 2021 admissions this semester. Some programs are expecting a lot of applicants and less funding, but maybe that will change!

Good luck on your Michigan app! Their program seems awesome, and they definitely have some of the best/most consistent funding in the US, and lots of student support! I heard in an info session that their PhD funding was not impacted by Covid.

what other programs are you looking at?

 

Definitely applied to Michigan with that program + funding combo in mind. When I looked into Carnegie Melon, Georgia Tech, University of Washington, University of Indiana Bloomington -- it just didn't make sense to drop 80k. Now I'm thinking, do I try Rochester, Drexel, DePaul? Do I wait for next year's cycle? Right now I'm banking on Michigan.

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On 12/31/2020 at 5:35 PM, capuuu said:

Heyo! iSchool and HCI applicant checking in. I'm hoping to study the design of online communities/social media and how these tools might affect the formation of an individual's political identity. My background is in design research.

It was a super stressful application season. I have a ton of relevant work experience and I'm not sure I mapped that well enough to my SOP's. I'm fully not expecting to get in anywhere this season. In total, I applied to 7 schools. 

Good luck to all!

Hey! I am pretty much in the same line of research as you are. Goodluck tho! I applied to Kent State, UW-Madison, Depaul, UT-Austin, Cornell.... Playing the waiting game now

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I saw on the results page that someone was anxious about Berkeley's Information Management and Systems PhD so I thought I'd drop a note here

I heard from a friend who is a current PhD student there that the application pool doubled this year (maybe because of covid) and they're planning to take 7ish students total (last year it was 8 or something, I forgot the exact number, but almost everyone ended up attending), and usually profs only take on 1-2 students each. Some interviews have already happened, and the faculty have a shortlist by mid-Jan. Also acceptances usually come through via a phone call from a potential advisor in late Jan. 

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Hey guys I'm also applying to ischools this year six in total, Michigan, Cornell, CMU, Syracuse, IUPUI and Toronto. I've had calls with profs from all the colleges except Michigan and Cornell and haven't heard anything back. Is it normal for professors not to interview you after already discussing their research plans with you in advance and discussing collaborations and stuff. I've been working for the last five years, I have publications in journals and conferences and relatively decent grades. So I'm just wondering if anyone is in the same boat? I see a lot of people getting interview calls and honestly I'm terrified that I haven't heard anything. 

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On 1/29/2021 at 4:20 PM, Beezy said:

Hey guys I'm also applying to ischools this year six in total, Michigan, Cornell, CMU, Syracuse, IUPUI and Toronto. I've had calls with profs from all the colleges except Michigan and Cornell and haven't heard anything back. Is it normal for professors not to interview you after already discussing their research plans with you in advance and discussing collaborations and stuff. I've been working for the last five years, I have publications in journals and conferences and relatively decent grades. So I'm just wondering if anyone is in the same boat? I see a lot of people getting interview calls and honestly I'm terrified that I haven't heard anything. 

Hi @Beezy! I don't know anything about norms/procedures for graduate admissions. But sounds like it's unclear what your relationship is to faculty. Would you consider your outreach "just contact," informational interview, or building rapport. Seems like a sliding scale, and it's hard for me to gauge. I have had short email correspondence with one professor from Michigan who responded promptly that his research will continue but will probably not receive funding for assistantships. Sorry I don't have much to help out, but I wish you luck!

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13 hours ago, philmendez said:

Hi @Beezy! I don't know anything about norms/procedures for graduate admissions. But sounds like it's unclear what your relationship is to faculty. Would you consider your outreach "just contact," informational interview, or building rapport. Seems like a sliding scale, and it's hard for me to gauge. I have had short email correspondence with one professor from Michigan who responded promptly that his research will continue but will probably not receive funding for assistantships. Sorry I don't have much to help out, but I wish you luck!

Ahh well it varies from school to school. Cornell and Michigan were very basic emails about applying. The others however I've had zoom calls and discussed the research and the fit for their programs. They got me in touch with grad students about applying. And I've even exchanged emails about recent publications with them. So I don't know. The waiting is terrifying. 

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On 1/29/2021 at 9:20 AM, Beezy said:

Hey guys I'm also applying to ischools this year six in total, Michigan, Cornell, CMU, Syracuse, IUPUI and Toronto. I've had calls with profs from all the colleges except Michigan and Cornell and haven't heard anything back. Is it normal for professors not to interview you after already discussing their research plans with you in advance and discussing collaborations and stuff. I've been working for the last five years, I have publications in journals and conferences and relatively decent grades. So I'm just wondering if anyone is in the same boat? I see a lot of people getting interview calls and honestly I'm terrified that I haven't heard anything. 

Hi Beezy! It depends on the school. In my experience, some schools require the interview process as a standard procedure, even if you have met and discussed research with multiple potential advisers. Other schools have different procedures. I recently heard that at University of Maryland, if you have spoken with potential advisors who informally agree to be a potential advisor, you likely won’t have a formal interview. I reached out to admissions of places I hadn’t heard from too, which was helpful. 

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Hi all, 

I just wanted to share my application updates, as of now. I was interviewed by Cornell for their InfoSci program twice but I found out I wasn't accepted. I have been admitted to one of my top choices, Temple's Media & Communications PhD and I'm a finalist at NW's MTS PhD program. I'm applied to a LOT of schools so Im waiting to her back. I feel very optimistic though. 

 

Does anyone know whats up with receiving emails form financial aid to set up your financial aid account (and student portals) with schools you've heard back from regarding admissions decisions?

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