College of Liberal Arts

New Dual Master’s Degree in Information Studies and Latin American Studies Offered

Tue, Nov 29, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — The School of Information and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) at The University of Texas at Austin are offering a three-year dual degree program leading to a master of science in information studies and a master of arts in Latin American studies.

The program will provide structures for faculty members, students and staff to collaborate on research projects that will merge Latin American studies and the field of information studies. Graduates will gain a richer education experience than they would receive through obtaining one degree, and they will be able to complete both degrees in three academic years, which is one year less than to complete both degrees individually.

The professional skills earned in the program will qualify graduates to work in new career paths both as information specialists in cultural repositories such as archives, museums and libraries, as well as designers, analysts and managers of information resources in the public and commercial sectors.

“The proliferation of information and its supporting technologies is impacting society on many levels,” said Andrew Dillon, dean of the School of Information. “The joint degree will support not only the curation and use of the rich cultural records of Latin America but provide opportunities to study the impact of information technology on work, education and policy across the region.”

Information Studies seeks to understand people and their interactions with information. Research involves concerns about how people use information, how access to information can be improved, how information is organized and stored and how relationships develop between information and identity.

Latin American Studies focuses on improving knowledge and understanding of Latin America, its characteristics and how they manifest through education, research and exchange. Both disciplines place emphasis on learning, understanding and serving.

Examples of research topics currently being studied by students in both areas include development of a Cuban library system, preservation of Mayan identity and culture, documenting indigenous land rights, creation of mobile e-banking resources in remote regions, art history and visual culture of racial politics in Brazil and social, cultural and economic implications of historic preservation in Latin American cities.

For information about the new dual degree, contact Dr. Carla Criner, assistant dean for student affairs at the School of Information, or the School of Information Dual Degree Programs website.

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