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UT Austin
Grad Catalog 01-03


Graduate Study

Admission and


of Study

Members of
Graduate Studies




Library and Information Science

Degrees Offered
Master of Science in Information Studies
Doctor of Philosophy


The University's program for the degree of Master of Science in Information Studies is accredited by the American Library Association. (The ALA does not concern itself with accrediting programs at levels other than the master's degree.) The programs for the certification of learning resources personnel are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the State Board for Educator Certification. In the area of information science, no accrediting body has been established.

Facilities for Graduate Work

Facilities for students in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) include an exceptionally strong collection of books, periodicals, online databases, and other material related to library and information studies, as well as a fully networked Information Technology Laboratory, a computer classroom, and a Conservation Laboratory.

The outstanding University library system is a laboratory for library and information science students. Other laboratory facilities in Austin include the public library; learning resources centers in elementary and secondary schools and a community college; archival repositories focused on international, national, state, and local levels; and many special libraries and information centers in state government agencies and in fields such as law, medicine, and theology.

Academic Computing provides advanced computer equipment and software for instructional and research use, supplementing the school's own network and computer facilities. Students receive a full Unix Internet account and have access to other computer operating systems, such as Macintosh, Windows, NT, and Linux.

Areas of Study

The curriculum emphasizes the four functional areas described below, which reflect the elements of the GSLIS strategic plan--information content, information connections, information consumers, and information context--as well as the information life cycle and activities outlined by the American Library Association accreditation guidelines.

Creating and selecting information (information content). This area includes study of the generation, acquisition and destruction, life-extension, and evaluation and appraisal of information.

Organizing and providing access to information (information connections). This area includes study of the description, classification, storage, retrieval, and saving of information.

Understanding and serving users (information consumers). This area includes study of the dissemination, repackaging, and use of information.

Implementing information services in organizations (information context). This area includes study of the management of information services and personnel, research about information services and products, institutional development, the marketing of information services, and information policy.

The curriculum is designed to give students general core competences upon which they can build specializations in librarianship, information technology, information science, school librarianship, archival and records enterprise, and preservation and conservation studies.

All students must register for Library and Information Science 180J, Introduction to Information Studies, during their first semester in the program; this primarily Web-based course introduces students to the basic concepts and historical trends within library and information science, serves as a foundation to the other required courses, and gives students the basic vocabulary of information studies. Students must read required background material and participate in Web-based discussions before the class begins.

Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring semester 2000-2001.

Hsin-liang (Oliver) Chen
Donald G. Davis Jr.
Philip Doty
Sanda Erdelez
Patricia K. Galloway
David B. Gracy II
Julie Hallmark
E. Glynn Harmon
Barbara Immroth
     W. Bernard Lukenbill
Francis L. Miksa
Irene Owens
Ruth A. Palmquist
Loriene Roy
Roberta I. Shaffer
Ronald E. Wyllys
Emilio Zamora

Admission and Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Information Studies

A student seeking to enter the program must submit an application for admission to the Graduate and International Admissions Center. He or she must also supply the Graduate School of Library and Information Science with satisfactory letters of reference from three persons attesting to the applicant's character, scholarly ability, and professional promise.

Facility in the use of computers and networked communication is essential in professional work in information studies. This facility may be acquired through coursework in the school, but prior knowledge of computer applications is important to success in the program. Computer and Internet application tutorials are available at A working knowledge of statistics and applied psychology is a practical necessity for positions involving administrative responsibilities in information service organizations.

Although it is not required for admission or graduation, a reading knowledge of one or more modern foreign languages is usually essential in positions involving work of a scholarly nature in university, public, and special libraries. French, Spanish, German, and Russian have been the languages most commonly needed, but other major foreign languages may be equally useful.

The master's degree program entails forty semester hours of graduate and upper-division coursework (not more than nine hours of the latter). At least twenty-eight hours must be in graduate library and information science courses, including certain required courses. Up to twelve hours, depending on the student's background and objectives, may be in closely related courses in other subject areas. These courses must augment professional preparation; they do not ordinarily constitute a minor field in the degree program. A student's choice of courses must have the approval of the student's adviser.

Students conclude their studies with a capstone experience designed to enable them to integrate their professional education with the intellectual and institutional vocations toward which they are striving. Most students fulfill this requirement by engaging in experiences that result in completion of one of three options: the professional experience and project, Library and Information Science 388L; a master's report, Library and Information Science 398R; or a thesis, Library and Information Science 698. Students in the learning resources and preservation and conservation studies programs are generally exempt from the coursework requirement, since other requirements of their programs provide the capstone experience.

Applicants for degree candidacy are required to have an overall grade point average of at least 3.00 in their MSInfoStds study. Within the overall grade point average, applicants must have an average of at least 3.00 in all library and information science courses, including those not listed on the Application for Degree Candidacy. High grades in courses outside library and information science do not serve to offset an average of less than 3.00 in library and information science. On the other hand, high grades in library and information science may raise the overall average. Library and information science courses that are to be listed on the Application for Degree Candidacy may not be taken on the credit/no credit basis.

Doctor of Philosophy

To be admitted to the doctoral degree program, an applicant ordinarily must have either a master's degree from a school of library and information science accredited by the American Library Association, or a master's degree in a related field, or an equivalent degree from an institution outside the United States. Often, applicants have had a substantial period of appropriate work experience after completion of the master's degree. Information about additional requirements is available from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

To earn the doctoral degree, the student must complete at least thirty-six semester hours of coursework approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. Each student's program is planned around a fifteen-semester-hour core in accordance with his or her background and objectives. The doctoral program is interdisciplinary, and courses from other fields supplement those in library and information science, as required by the student's professional objectives.

The student must also fulfill the research tool requirement by demonstrating competence in two of the following: (1) a foreign language appropriate to the student's area of research; (2) descriptive, inferential, or nonparametric statistics; (3) qualitative data analysis; (4) historical methods; (5) programming languages; and (6) policy research.. The fulfillment of the research tool requirement is usually demonstrated by completion of nine semester hours of coursework in each tool area.

Before admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the student must pass a qualifying examination in library and information science and related areas. After admission to candidacy, the student must engage in a program of research culminating in a dissertation and a final oral examination in defense of it.

Detailed information is available from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Post-Master's Degree Advanced Study

A certificate of advanced study is available to meet the individual needs of experienced professionals who wish to prepare for specialized positions in such fields as administration, archives, information science, school media supervision, particular subjects (such as competitive intelligence), and work with special groups. The student must have a clearly defined objective. Admission to the certificate program requires a master's degree in information studies or a related field, and ordinarily at least two years of successful professional-level experience. Other admission requirements include letters of recommendation and an interview with the dean. Completion of thirty semester hours of planned study beyond the master's degree entitles the student to a certificate showing this accomplishment. The plan of study must be approved by the graduate adviser.

An Endorsement of Specialization to the Master of Science in Information Studies, requiring twelve semester hours of planned study, may be earned without professional experience.

Detailed information is available from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Preservation and Conservation Studies

Preservation and conservation studies comprise concentrations in preservation administration and conservator studies for libraries and archives. The preservation administration specialization requires at least forty-eight semester hours of study, including the basic courses required for the MSInfoStds. A student who already holds a master's degree in information studies may pursue the post-master's degree Advanced Certificate in Preservation Administration, which requires thirty semester hours of coursework.

Three years of full-time study are required for the concentration in conservator studies. Additional admission procedures and deadlines have been established for this concentration: admission to the MSInfoStds program does not guarantee or imply admission to conservator studies.

Further information about these concentrations is available from the director of the Center for the Cultural Record.

Other Programs of Graduate Work

Professional certification as a learning resources specialist may be earned concurrently with the master's degree; all the courses required for certification except Library and Information Science 388P (Topic 2: Practicum in School Libraries) may also be applied to the Master of Science in Information Studies degree program if the student is enrolled in the Graduate School when he or she takes them.

Students in graduate programs in other subject areas of the University may minor in library and information science, with the approval of the officially designated adviser in their major field.

Detailed information about these programs is available from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

With the consent of the instructor, students in other University graduate programs may enroll in library and information science courses.

Joint Degree Program

Master of Science in Information Studies/Master of Arts with a Major in Middle Eastern Studies

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science offer a joint program leading to the Master of Arts with a major in Middle Eastern studies and the Master of Science in Information Studies. The program combines training in library and information science and study of the cultures and societies of the Middle East and North Africa.

Students seeking admission to the joint degree program must apply through the Graduate and International Admissions Center. Students must be accepted by each individual program in order to be admitted to the joint program. Like all other graduate applicants, the student is responsible for submitting any additional information required by the Graduate Studies Committee for each program.

Students must complete sixty-nine semester hours of coursework, including a professional report co-supervised by a faculty member from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science and a faculty member from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Students must also demonstrate proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish equal to that shown by completion of two years of coursework.

Details are available from the graduate adviser of either program.

For More Information

Campus address: George I. Sanchez Building (SZB) 564, phone (512) 471-2742, fax (512) 471-3971; campus mail code: D7000

Mailing address: Graduate School of Library and Information Science, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712-1276



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Library and Information Science Courses: LIS



Graduate Catalog
Chapter 1 - Graduate Study
Chapter 2 - Admission and Registration
Chapter 3 - Degree Requirements
Chapter 4 - Fields of Study
Chapter 5 - Members of Graduate Studies Committees
Appendix - Course Abbreviations

Related Information
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Office of Admissions

Office of the Registrar
University of Texas at Austin

26 July 2001. Registrar's Web Team

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