Communication and information technologies are transforming society, impacting on a cross section of human activity far greater than any innovation since the printing press. Leaders in this nexus of technology and society require interdisciplinary expertise, transcending the individual disciplines from which the underlying technologies and their applications arose.
The Communication and Information Sciences (CIS) PhD program at the University of Hawai‘i was established in 1986 to meet this need. At that time, it was one of the first interdisciplinary programs of its nature, predating the recent trend in the establishment of interdisciplinary information schools nationwide. It transitioned from provisional to permanent in 1994. The CIS PhD Program is sponsored by four units: The Department of Information and Computer Science and the Library and Information Sciences Program in the College of Natural Sciences, the School of Communications in the College of Social Sciences, and the Department of Information Technology Management in the Shidler College of Business. The program is unique at UH Mānoa, crossing three colleges.