The Informatics PhD Program

The Illinois Informatics PhD program is a unique research degree defined by innovative application and invention of computational methods to advance existing or newly created fields of inquiry. Research and education in informatics has a strong interdisciplinary flavor as it involves experts in the information and computation foundations together with experts in the application areas.

The Informatics PhD program at the University of Illinois supports such interdisciplinary research, and promotes the creation of new fields of research enabled by the development and application of new technologies.

The Informatics PhD program at Illinois brings together faculty working in various application areas, faculty working in information and computation foundations, and interdisciplinary faculty conjoining the two.


  • Individually tailored, student-centric study — with the help of an advisory committee, each student will craft his or her own program of study.
  • Renowned faculty from the entire campus and wide disciplinary spectrum, representing more than seven Schools and Colleges across the Urbana-Champaign campus
  • World-class computing resources
  • Fellowships and assistantships for the most qualified applicants

PhD Research Areas

Health and Medical Informatics
Spatial Informatics
Art and Cultural Informatics
Design, Technology and Society
Data Analytics and Information Visualization
Cognitive Science and Language Processing

Admission to the program

Applicants to the PhD program must have been awarded (or are about to be awarded) a 4-year bachelors degree equivalent to that granted by the University of Illinois.

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How it all works — committees, courses, and requirements

Advisory and Dissertation Committees
Applications and Foundations
The first half of the program (years 1 and 2)
Area Qualifying Examination
The second half of the program (years 3 and 4)
Preliminary Examination
Course load and GPA
Required courses and hours
Summary of requirements