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 to understand the principles, analyze the problems, and design and implement practices related to recordable information, including its creation, communication, identification, selection, acquisition, organization, description, storage, retrieval, preservation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination and management.
The objectives are for students to
- understand the critical impact of electronic technology and networks on information practices;
- remain flexible and able to manage change in a technology-driven and knowledge-based environment;
- plan, manage, and implement information systems in the networked environment for the creation, organization and dissemination of information;
- develop and implement conceptual and technological systems and structures for the organization of information in any format for effective access;
- understand human information behavior in order to design and implement information systems and services that meet user needs;
- evaluate, synthesize and present information for client use;
- demonstrate communication skills necessary for personal and professional growth, leadership, interaction and collaboration in appropriate professional contexts;
- manifest a commitment to the philosophy, principles, and legal and ethical responsibilities of the field;
- recognize the impacts of information policies, practices, and information itself on diverse populations in a technological and global society;
- demonstrate additional knowledge and competencies appropriate to their individual interests, specializations and career goals;
- understand the importance of professional development, continuing education and participation in professional organizations; and
- relate the methodologies and content of other disciplines to the information field and understand the contribution of the information field to other disciplines.
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.
- Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Miller Analogies Test (MAT) Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Law School Admission Test (LSAT) must be on file at the time the application is reviewed.
- 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.
- Three 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 (graduateschool.unt.edu) and the Department of Library and Information Sciences (www.lis.unt.edu).
Programs of Study
Majors and Advising
Students may choose a major in either library science or information science at the time they apply to the Toulouse Graduate School.
Elective courses beyond the 9 hours of required core courses are determined in consultation with the academic advisor. All course selections must be made under the guidance of an academic advisor. Descriptions of programs of study are available at www.lis.unt.edu.
General Program of Study
The general program of study is intended to prepare graduates to succeed in a wide range of library and information science positions in any type of library. Students should take at least one course in each of the following areas: Human Information Behavior (Cognitive, Organizational and Societal Issues); Organization of Information; Retrieval and Access; Information Technologies; and Management and Administration.
Digital Image Management
The digital image management program of study is intended to prepare graduates who will assume leadership roles. Graduates will be able to manage all aspects of digital images from production and organization to copyright and network design. The program includes the production of digital images, digital information database creation, and management of digital information, which are important skill sets for current and future library and museum information professionals. In addition, the program prepares individuals to assume positions as experts in the broader markets of libraries, archives and information centers.
Distributed Learning Librarianship
The goals of this program are to provide a grounding in information and telecommunication technologies that underpin distributed learning, an understanding of copyright and intellectual property issues, and a knowledge of the issues facing those providing library services to students in a distributed learning environment.
Health Informatics Specialist
Opportunities for health sciences librarians as well as others interested in health information management are diverse and challenging, ranging from very specialized kinds of positions in large medical research or teaching institutions to personalized service roles in small hospital libraries and extensive information services in pharmaceutical companies or interacting with other health care providers through medical informatics. The program focuses on the fundamental concepts and activities in health information processing, including health information storage and retrieval systems, clinical decision support, clinical research and issues in health care financing, consumer health advocacy, and legal, ethical, and philosophical concerns in health informatics.
In the information organization program of study, students learn how to organize information for a wide variety of information formats, resources, systems and environments. Graduates may be responsible for cataloging, indexing and abstracting in libraries or bibliographic utilities; organizing networked resources, web sites and images in digital libraries; or organizing special materials in museums and archives. They are expected to understand issues of data representation and management and the need to respond actively to change.
The work performed by a graduate of this program is likely to involve extensive human contact. Moreover, this work is also directed toward the synthesis of intellectual skills such as classification and metadata description with web administration and web site design. In essence, graduates will create systems that will be used to answer questions that are unforeseen. These are the processes of knowledge management and knowledge discovery.
Law Librarian and Legal Informatics Specialist
The law librarianship and legal informatics program of study will prepare graduates for careers in law libraries, information organizations using legal information resources and information publishers. Law librarians play key roles as information professionals in the management of information, training, and information organization in many diverse settings including law schools, courts, private law firms, corporations, government departments and agencies, or in correctional institutions.
This program of study focuses on the foundations of library and information science professional preparation with a specialization in library and information services and programming for children and young adults in the school setting. It prepares students to pass the appropriate state competency exam to receive the school library certificate.
A national shortage of youth librarians has created many opportunities for service in metropolitan, suburban and rural public libraries as well as other settings where a specialization in the information needs of children and young adults is desired. The information professional serving youth is first of all fully knowledgeable in the theories, practices and emerging trends of library and information sciences but also must have specialized knowledge of the particular information needs of young people. This program of study focuses on developing the competencies in the following areas specific to youth: the history of youth information services/systems; knowledge of the client group; administrative and managerial skills; communication skills; materials and collection development; reference services; programming skills; technology applications; advocacy, public relations and networking; and professionalism and professional development.
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.