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Graduate Catalog | 2005-2007
School of Information

Information Studies

to courses in INF Information Studies »

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.

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Facilities for Graduate Work

Facilities for students in the School of Information include a fully networked Information Technology Laboratory, a computer classroom, a Conservation Laboratory, a video-editing suite, multimedia teaching stations in all classrooms, and access to a usability and accessibility laboratory. The school is also home to the Kilgatlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record, where students may engage in a number of research activities related to information preservation.

Students have access to advanced computer equipment and software for instructional and research use, supplementing the school's physical and wireless network and computer facilities. Students receive a full-service Internet account and have access to various computer operating systems, such as Macintosh, Windows, and Linux.

The school has developed ongoing, competitive student positions with the University Libraries, the Tarlton Law Library, and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center to provide students with work and study opportunities.

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Areas of Study

The School of Information offers the following broad areas of study. Students may select coursework from any area to best suit their career plans.

Information architecture and design. This area is designed for students with an interest in creating and managing digital information resources. Students study usability, user behavior, information architecture, and digital media design. Graduates develop skills to work in software companies, consultancies, and multiuser organizations to help design and implement useful and acceptable information systems.

Librarianship. The school's program in librarianship develops students' competencies for practice in academic, public, corporate, or special libraries. Students interested in public school librarianship can earn the Standard School Librarian Certificate as approved by the State of Texas Board of Education. The master's degree is fully accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).

Preservation of the cultural record. The preservation area combines courses in archives and manuscripts with courses in records management and digital preservation. The school's advanced certificate programs in preservation administration and conservation studies prepare professionals to respond to the preservation and conservation needs of libraries, archives, and historical societies.

All students must register for Information Studies 180J, Introduction to Information Studies, during their first semester in the program. An orientation to the breadth and depth of the dynamic realm of information studies, this course introduces students to established and emerging areas within the field.

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Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring semester 2004-2005.

Randolph Bias
Hsin-liang (Oliver) Chen
Donald G. Davis Jr.
Andrew Dillon
Philip Doty
Miles J. Efron
Patricia K. Galloway
David B. Gracy II
E. Glynn Harmon
Barbara Immroth
W. Bernard Lukenbill
Francis L. Miksa
Irene Owens
Loriene Roy
Don Turnbull
Jo L. Westbrook
Emilio Zamora
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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 School of Information with satisfactory letters of reference from three persons attesting to the applicant's character, scholarly ability, and professional promise. For more information on admission procedures, visit the School of Information Web site.

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 online. A working knowledge of statistics and applied psychology is a practical necessity for positions involving administrative responsibilities in information service organizations.

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 information studies 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, Information Studies 388L; a master's report, Information Studies 398R; or a thesis, Information Studies 698.

Applicants for degree candidacy are required to have an overall grade point average of at least 3.00 in their MSInfoStds coursework. Within the overall grade point average, applicants must have an average of at least 3.00 in all information studies courses, including those not listed on the Application for Degree Candidacy. High grades in courses outside information studies do not serve to offset an average of less than 3.00 in information studies. However, high grades in information studies may raise the overall average. With the exception of Information Studies 180J, 388L, 698, and 398R, information studies 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 should possess either a master's degree from a school of information studies 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. Admission without an appropriate master's degree is possible in exceptional circumstances. Information about additional requirements is available from the School of Information.

The objective of the doctoral program is to prepare graduates to contribute to the discipline through research and creative leadership. Emphasizing research, the program allows students to pursue advanced studies in the information discipline and in related subject areas, to study appropriate method and theory, and to learn to engage in advanced research by carrying out a guided and supervised dissertation project. The program is interdisciplinary; students may take courses from a variety of University offerings to supplement those in the School of Information.

Students must complete at least thirty-nine semester hours of coursework, consisting of six hours of required theory seminars, twelve hours of methods courses, twelve hours of required electives in the student's major area within the school, and nine hours of elective courses from outside the school.

Students must also pass a qualifying examination before being admitted to candidacy. Finally, students must complete and defend a dissertation representing an original contribution to knowledge in the discipline.

Detailed information is available from the School of Information.

Certificate Programs

The school offers a general certificate of advanced study, and specialized certificates of advanced study in preservation administration, conservation studies, and school librarianship. Admission to the certificate of advanced study program ordinarily requires a master's degree in information studies or a related field, and at least two years of successful professional-level experience. Other admission requirements include letters of recommendation and an interview. Certificates may be completed while studying for the MSInfoStds. Students interested in pursuing a certificate program must have their plan of study approved by the graduate adviser.

Specific course requirement for all certificates are available from the School of Information.

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Dual 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 School of Information offer a dual 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 information studies and study of the cultures and societies of the Middle East and North Africa.

Students seeking admission to the dual 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 dual 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 at least seventy-three semester hours of coursework, including a professional report co-supervised by a faculty member from the School of Information 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; students who are native speakers of one of these languages must demonstrate proficiency in a second Middle Eastern language.

Details are available from the graduate adviser of either program.

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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: The University of Texas at Austin, School of Information, 1 University Station D7000, Austin TX 78712



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Graduate Catalog | 2005-2007 Information Studies program | courses

Fields of Study

    Office of the Registrar     University of Texas at Austin copyright 2005
    Official Publications 16 Aug 2005