Online Ph.D. application is available through the Graduate School starting August 30. The Information Science Ph.D. application deadline is December 1, 2019 for the Fall 2020 admission. No application materials will be accepted, and no submitted applications will be updated after the deadline. There are no Spring admissions. No preadmission application is required. Please direct all inquiries to: Graduate Program Coordinator Barbara Woske at

Online Application

Online Ph.D. applications are available through the Graduate School. No preadmission application is required. Important Note: Please do not send hard copy materials. This increases processing time. To complete the Graduate School application, you will need three recommendation letters. Official GRE scores are recommended but not required. In addition, international applicants will need an official TOEFL or IELTS scores. All materials must be received by the field's deadline of December 1, 2019 in order to be considered for admission. If you believe your application can’t be considered without a particular document, please submit it electronically through the online application system. Start your application by creating an account.

Statement of Purpose

A successful statement of purpose will address the following topics:

  • Questions and Issues you're interested in exploring as a PhD student and why they matter to you;
  • How your research interests relate to the work of Faculty at Cornell;
  • Your ultimate goal in pursuing a PhD. 

Faculty Research Interests

For a list of faculty in the field of Information Science and their concentrations, please see our Faculty section of the website. Please feel free to contact specific Faculty to discuss in more detail their research interests. 

Please direct other inquiries to: Graduate Program Coordinator Barbara Woske at

Campus Locations: Ithaca and Cornell Tech

Though we have two campuses, each PhD student's location is determined by the location of their preferred or temporary advisor. Students considering changing their advisor should keep in mind that the change could mean a move to either the Ithaca or New York City campus, depending on where the preferred advisor is based. When applying to the PhD program, applicants may indicate a campus preference, but ultimately the advisor's location determines which campus the PhD student will be based. Further, all applicants will be evaluated by the Field as a whole regardless of their intended location. There is no requirement for students working with Cornell Tech faculty to complete a residency period in Ithaca, or vice-versa. 


Admission into the doctoral program in the Field of Information Science is based purely on academic merit. 

All Ph.D. students in Information Science are fully supported during the academic year as long as they remain in good academic standing. Support from Cornell includes tuition, health insurance, and stipend. Support is available in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. For students entering in the Fall 2019 semester, a Teaching Assistantship (TA) or a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) covers full tuition, health insurance and pays a stipend of $27,218 for nine months. Fellowships also cover tuition and health insurance in full and pays a stipend, which is typically higher than the TA or GRA stipend. Summer support is often available but not guaranteed, and pays an additional stipend.

Students located at the NYC Tech Campus

Students who are in residence at our NYC Tech Campus are paid a higher stipend in order to offset the higher cost of living in the city. Teaching Assistantship (TA) or Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) and Fellowships cover full tuition, student insurance and pay a stipend for nine months.

Teaching Assistantships

Each TA is assigned to a course and is tasked with helping the course instructor. The average time commitment is 15 hours per week. TA assignments typically involve grading homework, holding office hours, preparing assignments, or teaching recitations. Students who TA for the semester should make arrangements to arrive back to campus at least one week prior to the start of the semester.  For Fall TAs, this would be no later than August 22; for the Spring term, this would be no later than January 15. If students are expecting to TA for the following semester, they should make sure their summer/winter internships or other commitments end in time to return to campus earlier. 

TA assignments for Ithaca-based courses are assigned by the Director of Graduate Studies; and the Graduate Field Assistant at the Ithaca campus. TA assignments for the Tech Campus are assigned by the Student Service Assistant at the Tech Campus.

Research Assistantships

A GRA is given to a student whose research interests coincide with a sponsored research project. Typically, the work of a Graduate Research Assistant is an integral part of the student’s dissertation research. The faculty member in charge (your advisor) of the project grants a GRA. GRAs working 12 hours per week on the grant project but may work an additional 8 hours.

Cornell Fellowships

The Graduate School awards several one- and two-year Cornell fellowships to incoming graduate students. Your application for admission automatically serves as the fellowship application. However, your application and all supporting credentials must be received by December 1 in order to be considered for a Cornell Fellowship.

External Fellowships

Applicants are also encouraged to apply for external fellowships. Below is a sample listing of fellowships that our IS students may be eligible for. These fellowships are highly prestigious, and they free the student of the responsibilities of an assistantship. Whenever possible, the department helps students in the fellowship application process. In some instances, the department must nominate the applicant. The department will put a call out for nominations for these fellowships throughout the year. Students are also encouraged to look for fellowship opportunities and alert their advisor if they would like to be nominated for one.

Some of the outside fellowships that our students have been awarded include:

  • IBM – This fellowship is open for continuing students. The department nominates the candidates for this fellowship.
  • Facebook – This fellowship is open for continuing students. The department nominates the candidates for this fellowship.
  • Google – This fellowship is open for continuing students. The department nominates the candidates for this fellowship.
  • Microsoft – This fellowship is open for continuing students. The department nominates the candidates for this fellowship.