Master of Science
The master’s program prepares information professionals for work in a variety of roles and application settings, including all types of libraries and other information agencies. The program rests on a broad conceptual framework that explores the nature of information, its organization and retrieval, and its access and use from the user’s viewpoint. In addition, the program prepares individuals who wish to pursue doctoral studies in information science theory, research and practice.
Goal and objectives
The master’s program goal is to prepare students for careers as information professionals in a variety of roles and settings. The master’s program objectives are for students to demonstrate knowledge and skills related to:
- The roles and impacts of information policies, practices, and information itself on diverse populations, including underserved groups, in a rapidly changing technological and global information society.
- The design and implementation of conceptual and technological systems and services to facilitate the discovery, identification, selection, acquisition, organization and description, storage and retrieval, preservation, dissemination, management, and use of recordable information and knowledge in any format for effective access.
- Human information behavior in order to develop and implement information systems and services that meet user needs related to information and knowledge creation, communication, discovery, identification, selection, retrieval, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, management, and use.
- Communication and networking for personal and professional growth, leadership, collaboration, policy development, and change management.
- Teaching, research, and service, including interdisciplinary activities, that contribute to the advancement of the field.
- The philosophy, principles, and legal and ethical responsibilities of the field.
Master’s courses are delivered in both on-site and online formats and in blended combinations of these formats. On-site or face-to-face courses are offered in Denton and Houston, Texas, and in several other states. Most students choose the blended web institute format for the three required core courses, attending one nine-day on-site institute or two four-day on-site institutes held in Denton, Houston or elsewhere, and then completing the courses online using web-based courseware. Beyond the required core courses, students may pursue the remainder of their studies entirely online or take a combination of online and on-site courses. Regardless of delivery mode, the master’s program and all courses are governed by the same policies.
Students may enter the master’s degree program in the fall, spring or summer term/semester. Prospective students must apply to both the Toulouse Graduate School and the Department of Library and Information Sciences and must meet all of the requirements listed below.
- Completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.8 (4.0 scale) or at least 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work; or completed master’s degree or other post-baccalaureate degree with GPA of at least 3.4.
- For international students, a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or successful completion of the UNT Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) through level 6.
- Two recommendations from former professors, employers or others who can give evidence of personal aptitude for, as well as interest in, a career in the information field.
- Personal statement (300–500 words) of career objectives, which may cover professional areas of special interest and how the UNT program will help meet career objectives. Background information may help demonstrate motivation, commitment and potential for leadership in a dynamic and multicultural environment, such as relevant educational, work and community experiences and accomplishments (publications, presentations, awards); communication skills including multilingual proficiency; and information technology skills.
- Interview (optional). Prospective students are invited to visit the department and schedule a meeting with an academic advisor. Applications are due by the deadline set by the Toulouse Graduate School for the semester in which admission is sought. Applications will be considered only if all required materials have been received. Admissions are competitive; applicants who meet the criteria are not guaranteed admission. If additional information is needed to evaluate the admissibility of an applicant, an interview may be requested.
Application materials and instructions are available from the Toulouse Graduate School (gradschool.unt.edu) and the Department of Library and Information Sciences (lis.unt.edu).
The program may be completed in one calendar year of full-time study, although many students extend their work over a longer period. Students must complete all planned course work with a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better, successfully complete a capstone experience and file an application for the degree. At the time of graduation, all course work used to satisfy degree requirements may be no more than six years old.
Additional course requirements
At least 27 additional hours of guided and general electives, planned in consultation with a faculty advisor, are required.
Up to 9 advisor-approved hours from any institution (including other programs at UNT) may be transferred in to the master’s program. (The core cannot be transferred in.) At least 24 of the 36 hours in the master’s program must be from organized SLIS courses (excludes transfer courses, practicums and independent study).
Students in all master’s level programs are required to demonstrate general computer proficiency before starting the program. To demonstrate proficiency, students are expected to take the Information Technology Knowledge and Skills Assessment (ITKS) (see www.lis.unt.edu/main/ITKS). If self-test results indicate a need for improvement in any category, contact the department for suggestions.
Master’s students must present evidence of relevant work experience by meeting a field experience requirement. This requirement may be satisfied through appropriate prior experience as approved by the faculty or through a practicum or internship. Students without prior experience are required to take SLIS 5090 - Practicum and Field Study . SLIS 5090 does not count toward the 36 hours of graduate credit required for the degree.
Further information concerning these requirements may be obtained through the department.
Programs of study
The programs of study are intended to prepare graduates to succeed in a wide range of positions and information settings in both private and public organizations. They serve as advising guides for students. Each student works with a faculty advisor to create an individualized program reflecting the student’s career goals. Information describing typical careers in the information profession and recommended courses for each program are listed below and in more detail at lis.unt.edu/programs-study.
Archival studies and imaging technology
Provides graduates with the skills needed for production, archival and preservation of records, appraisal, and acquisitions. Also prepares students to work with imaging for archives, museums and libraries.
Prepares graduates to work with health and medical applications, electronic medical records, clinical research data, health education, and e-science, as well as legal and ethical issues concerning health information.
Provides graduates with the necessary skills to organize information for a wide variety of information formats, resources, systems and environments. Graduates may be responsible for library cataloging, classification, metadata development and use.
Provides graduates with the basic skills and competencies that will enable them to support their organization to gain strategic and tactical competitive advantage. Also prepares students for positions that require technical knowledge and technical skills.
General program of study
Prepares graduates to succeed in a wide range of positions in both private and public organizations. Also provides leadership and demonstrates theoretical knowledge of library and information science and their applications in different fields.
Progress toward degree
Minimum academic standards: The Toulouse Graduate School requires that master’s students make satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements to remain in good standing within a specific degree program. Students whose progress is unsatisfactory may be dismissed from the program.
Satisfactory Progress: Within the Department of Library and Information Sciences, satisfactory progress toward the master’s degree is defined as maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) on all course work in the degree program. In addition,
- all core courses must be completed with a grade of A or B;
- no more than two C’s in the non-core program requirements will count toward the degree; and
- no course with a grade below C will count toward the degree.
Probation: Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation.
Students on probation who do not achieve at least a 3.0 on all SLIS graduate courses taken in any term/semester and a 3.0 GPA for all courses taken in any term/semester will be dismissed from the program.
Students on probation must remove their probationary status within one calendar year following the term/semester in which their grades initiated probationary status. Failure to remove the probationary status within this time period will result in dismissal from the program.
Dismissal: Students who have been dismissed from the program are not eligible for readmission.