2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Information Management, DPS

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Dr. John Jordan 
Program Director
Website: https://ischool.syr.edu/academics/doctor-of-professional-studies-in-information-management/http://ischool.syr.edu 



The Doctorate of Professional Studies in Information Management (DPS-IM) is a 51-credit, part-time degree program for working professionals who are interested in the applied aspects of research in the information field. This 36-month degree program prepares its students to be a catalyst for positive change within their organizations.

The DPS-IM  serves mid-career information professionals. Our practice-focused curriculum will prepare them for advanced placement opportunities in senior information management positions in the public, private, defense, academic, and non-profit sectors. Whether the goal is enhancing one’s contributions and advancement within an organization, or pursuing a shift in specialization within the information professions, a doctoral degree can open a world of new possibilities for a thriving career in a rapidly changing profession.

The Doctorate of Professional Studies in Information Management will be of particular interest to those who consume, create, supervise, or evaluate research as part of larger problem solving or information management.

Distinctive Features

• Limited residency, distance-learning format

The combination of online and brief residency course formats provides flexibility for remote learners while encouraging opportunities for interaction among students and with faculty. Two one-week residencies per year bring cohorts together, typically in May and September.

• Applied focus

The program enriches students’ understanding of the role of information in the economy and teaches how to apply this expertise to enhance the effectiveness of information-based organizations in the public and private sectors. Students add to their breadth and depth of conceptualization, build a solid foundation for advanced levels of information research, and develop competencies, data interpretation and domain-specific problem solving.

• Doctoral level research

Because most students will enter with one or more relevant masters’ degrees in hand, the program’s emphasis is on the development of the research that underlies the writing of the thesis. This document is focused on the application of existing scholarly and professional literature to management and leadership in information industries, the military and public sector, or librarianship. A distinctive feature of this program is that the cohort of students pursue common deadlines. So, for each cohort, the research question and motivation, the review of literature, the method(s) of inquiry, the thesis proposal, and the thesis defense are pursued in a structured thesis-writing class, relying on each other for encouragement and practical support. All theses in the cohort model will likely follow a similar architecture (across students’ diverse topics) in contrast to the individualized approaches that reflect the iSchool PhD program’s mentor-apprentice model.

• Customizable areas of study

Concentrations and fields of research can focus on many of the Information School’s  disciplines, including inquiries that connect information studies to business, engineering, communications, or policy studies.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop research questions
  2. Read and synthesize relevant literature
  3. Select theories for use in thesis
  4. Select and apply the appropriate research method(s) to test the theory
  5. Complete data collection and synthesize data
  6. Develop skill in scholarly writing
  7. Application to changing or impacting practice


The Doctorate of Professional Studies in Information Management curriculum involves coursework, a thesis proposal, and thesis research and writing completed over 36 months starting at the beginning of a summer semester.

The 51-credit program of study requires:

39 Thesis Credits

39 of credits are devoted to the DPS thesis - the culminating and critical component of the DPS in Information Management. Specific semesters cover: topic selection, literature review, methods chapter, data collection/analysis, thesis proposal defense, thesis proposal public presentations, findings/implications chapter, Introduction, and thesis defense.

9 Methods and Theory Credits

Two methods courses, 776 Research Methods and 777 Statistical Methods (6 credit hours total), and one theory course, IST 790 Theories of Information (3 credits), are required in the first two semesters prior to beginning the thesis.

3 Residency Credits

801 Introduction to Doctoral Studies is 3 credits. There are five sections of zero credit 880 Intensive Seminar residencies over the course of the program in semesters 2, 4, 5, 7, & 8.

Additional Information

The degree program begins with an intensive residential introduction to doctoral study (IST 801) at the beginning of the summer semester (usually in May) for the year in which a student is admitted. During the first residential seminar, students will become more familiar with the program’s coursework, faculty, technology, and each other. This opening residency leads into the summer online statistical methods course, IST 777.

Students will return to campus in early fall for their second residential Intensive Seminar and have the opportunity to interact with their course faculty, program staff, and fellow doctoral students. The fall online courses address research methods in IST 776 and theories of information in IST790.

Course work in the Spring semester of year two and going forward will be focused on the sequence of thesis-writing deadlines. Students begin the thesis writing sequence in semester three with thesis topic selection.

The second summer of the program of study begins with the third residential Intensive Seminar, followed by a semester of thesis work.

In the fall semester of the second year of study, students will return to campus for their fourth residential Intensive Seminar, continuing their face-to-face interaction with program faculty, staff, and students across cohorts. The residential Intensive Seminar is again followed by thesis work that continues through the Spring semester.

The third summer semester begins with the fifth residential Intensive Seminar in which the students present their thesis proposals in a public forum. During the final year of the program, students complete their final residential Intensive Seminar in the fall, as well as the remainder of their thesis credits. Theses will be defended in the spring semester, with the objective of having a cohort graduate together in May.

1 (Summer)

IST 801 Introduction to Doctoral Studies

IST 777 Statistical Methods in IST       

2 (Fall)

IST 880 Intensive Seminar (residency)

IST 776 Research Methods in IST

IST 790 Theories of Information  

3 (Spring)

IST 997 Thesis credits (topic selection)

4 (Summer)

IST 880 Intensive Seminar (residency)

IST 997 Thesis credits (Literature review)

5 (Fall)

IST 880 Intensive Seminar (residency)

IST 997 Thesis credits (methods chapter) 

6 (Spring)

IST 997 Thesis credits (data collection/analysis, thesis proposal defense)

7 (Summer)

IST 880 Intensive Seminar (residency)

IST 997 Thesis credits (findings/implications chapter)


8 (Fall)

IST 880 Intensive Seminar (residency)

IST 997 Thesis credits (Introduction)

9 (Spring)

IST 997 Thesis credits (thesis defense)

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