US News Best Online Programs Grad Education 2023This PhD can be completed either in-person or entirely online. This degree is housed in the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies (SISLT).


As a doctoral student in the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, you can follow interdisciplinary paths. Approaches to inquiry include technical, cognitive, epistemological, cultural, political, and economic aspects of informing and learning. Interest areas include:

  • Engineering education
  • Educational gaming and simulation
  • Information organization, access, and dissemination
  • Information seeking and use
  • Interactive learning environments including VR, embodied and augmented learning
  • Learner-centered design, interface design, instructional design
  • Libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions
  • Reading, gaming, and other immersive experiences
  • User eXperience (UX) and Human computer interaction (HCI)

The completion of the program will prepare you for career tracks in higher education, public policy, public and private research in various fields including but not limited to interaction design, instructional design, library and information science.

Doctoral students are required to complete a minimum of 9 credits of ISLT Doctoral seminars where they will become fluent in current research in our field and develop writing skills. These seminars are face to face and online offerings of 3 credits each. Click here for the rotation of doctoral seminar topics.

Reference the PhD Handbook for complete requirements for doctoral program.

Brief description of SISLT courses.

Forms & Downloads

See all SISLT PhD forms

Fast Facts



Admission Application Deadlines for Fall Semester

  • December 1st – Priority Admission
  • February 15th – Regular Admission

Note: Prior to Program action on your application, you are free to enroll as a non-degree-seeking (i.e., post-baccalaureate) graduate student. Please note that only nine credit hours of course work taken as a non-degree-seeking student will be considered as meeting program requirements upon admission.

Admission Requirements

If you do not meet these standards, you should provide evidence of exceptionality in one or more other categories.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Minimum Scores

  • 156 Verbal
  • 146 Quantitative
  • 4.0 Analytical Writing

Please use school code 6875 to have your scores sent to MU. Be sure your GRE scores are current.

International Applicants

All international applicants from countries where English is not considered the native language are required to provide proof of English language ability, regardless of other study in Anglophone institutions or countries (including in the U.S.) and will need to submit a TOEFL score of 100 or a Duolingo score of 130.

GPA Minimum Requirement

  • Graduate GPA: at least 3.5

How to Apply

  1. Apply to the PhD Program in ISLT through the MU Graduate School.

    If you are an international student, please read the international student admission requirements.

  2. Submit the following supplemental materials by uploading them to your online application:
    • Statement of purpose
      • This will be a major source of information for the faculty as they consider your application.
      • Explain your professional intentions, career goals, intellectual beliefs and research interests.
      • Use this statement to convince the faculty that you are a mature, self-directed and purposeful individual.
      • Please do not copy ideas from our website. Rather, convince the faculty why pursuing a doctoral degree is an important life goal for you.
    • Curriculum vitae or resume
    • Three letters of reference sent on the references’ letterhead
    • Optional: Any other materials you wish to include to support your application (e.g., papers you have published, technical reports you have written or any other supportive materials).
  3. Review the application checklist to ensure you submit a complete application.
  4. Check your application status.

Important! Your application is not considered complete and subject to review until both the Graduate School has received ALL of your application materials.


Applicants that meet the minimum requirements will have an interview with SISLT faculty. The SISLT Student Services Office will set up the interview.

Admission Decisions

Decisions on admission will be based on due consideration of all information presented.

Timeline of review and admissions decisions following the application deadline:

  • Within one week, the SISLT Student Services Office will make complete files available to SISLT iSchool doctoral faculty for review.
  • Within three weeks, the doctoral faculty will schedule and complete an interview with each qualified candidate.
  • Within five weeks, the doctoral faculty will meet to present and discuss their recommendations. The doctoral faculty will then vote on each candidate. At this meeting, applicants who are accepted will be assigned an initial adviser based on compatible interests and current advising responsibilities of doctoral faculty. Decisions regarding financial assistance, with the exception of some named assistantships, will not be made at this meeting.
  • Within seven weeks, applicants will find out via letter whether they are accepted.


Contact the SISLT Student Services Office, we’re happy to assist you with any questions.

Amy Adam

Program Manager IStudent Support Services

Breanne Meyer

Student Support Specialist II

303 Townsend Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Office: (573) 882-4546
Toll-free: (877) 747-5868
Fax: (573) 884-0122

Or the Director of Graduate Studies at the SISLT iSchool – Heather Moulaison Sandy (