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MSLS and MSIS Curriculum


The M.S. in Library Science (MSLS) and M.S. in Information Science degrees require:

  • 48 semester hours of graduate-level course work
  • Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination
  • Satisfactory completion of a master’s paper or practicum project

Review the curriculum guide for complete program details.

If you have questions about the curriculum, please contact your advisor, MSLS Program Coordinator Casey Rawson ( or the MSIS Coordinator Brad Hemminger (

Core Courses (6 hours):

All MSLS and MSIS students will take the following 2 core courses:

  • INLS 776Ethics, Values and Society (spring semester)
  • INLS 777Perspectives on Information, Technology, and People (fall semester)

Course Bins

The course bin system consists of four bins for a total of six courses (18 hours) that ensure your exposure to a broad range of professional competencies. The four bins are: Information, Services & Organizations, Technology, and People & Communities. We have selected courses from our existing list of courses that fulfill each of the bins and those are categorized below. Do note that Special topic courses such as INLS 490, 690 and 890 could possibly fulfill bin requirements. Please see visit our courses page for special topic courses being offered for a specific semester. Students interested in following a specific track can consult the advising grids.


All students take at least two (2)

  • INLS 509: Information Retrieval
  • INLS 513: Resource Selection and Evaluation
  • INLS 515: Consumer Health Information
  • INLS 520: Organization of Information
  • INLS 530: Young Adult Literature and Related Materials
  • INLS 609: Experimental Information Retrieval
  • INLS 620: Web Information Organization
  • INLS 625: Information Analytics
  • INLS 690: Open Access for Information Professionals
  • INLS 690: Data Criticism
  • INLS 690: Misinformation and Society
  • INLS 707: Government Information
  • INLS 708: Law Libraries and Legal Information
  • INLS 714: Introduction to Information Analytics
  • INLS 720: Metadata Architectures and Applications
  • INLS 732: Children’s Literature and Related Materials
  • INLS 749: Art and Visual Information Management
  • INLS 755: Archival Appraisal
  • INLS 757: Principles and Practices of Archival Description
  • INLS 842: Seminar in Popular Materials
  • INLS 857: Seminar in Rare Book Collections
Services and Organizations

MSLS – take at least two (2)
MSIS  – take at least one (1)

  • INLS 490: Storytelling: Designing Your Professional Narrative
  • INLS 501: Information Resources and Services
  • INLS 525: Electronic Records Management
  • INLS 556: Introduction to Archives and Records Management
  • INLS 558: Principles and Techniques of Storytelling
  • INLS 582: Systems Analysis
  • INLS 585: Management for Information Professionals
  • INLS 624: Policy-Based Data Management
  • INLS 685: Project Management
  • INLS 700: Scholarly Communication
  • INLS 711: Crisis Management for Libraries
  • INLS 719: Usability Evaluation and Testing
  • INLS 721: Cataloging Theory and Practice
  • INLS 733: Administration of Public Library Work with Children and Young Adults
  • INLS 740: Digital Libraries: Principals and Applications
  • INLS 782: Library Assessment
  • INLS 783: Library Instruction and Pedagogy
  • INLS 841: Seminar in Academic Libraries
  • INLS 843: Seminar in Public Libraries

MSLS – take at least one (1)
MSIS  – take at least two (2)

  • INLS 465: Understanding Information Technology for Managing Digital Collections
  • INLS 490: Real-time Data Science in the Makerspace
  • INLS 512: Applications of Natural Language Processing
  • INLS 523: Introduction to Database Concepts and Applications
  • INLS 534: Youth and Technology in Libraries
  • INLS 541: Information Visualization
  • INLS 560: Programming for Information Professionals
  • INLS 561: Digital Forensics for Curation of Digital Collections
  • INLS 570: Fundamentals of Programming Information Applications
  • INLS 572: Web Development
  • INLS 613: Text Mining
  • INLS 623: Database Systems II: Intermediate Databases
  • INLS 626: Introduction to Big Data and NoSQL (1.5 credits)
  • INLS 641: Visual Analytics
  • INLS 672: Web Development II
  • INLS 690: Data Mining Methods and Applications
  • INLS 718: User Interface Design
  • INLS 750: Introduction to Digital Curation
  • INLS 751: Data Governance
  • INLS 752: Digital Preservation and Access
  • INLS 753: Preservation of Library and Archive Materials
People and Communities

All students take at least one (1)

  • INLS 490: Social Problems in an Information Society
  • INLS 490: The Idea of AI
  • INLS 500: Human Information Interactions
  • INLS 660: Social Media and Society: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview
  • INLS 690: Philosophy and Ethics of AI
  • INLS 690-323: Community Archives
  • INLS 690: Social Informatics
  • INLS 690: Information Professionals in the Makerspace
  • INLS 690: Disability Information and Informatics
  • INLS 690-313: Humanistic Theories for LIS Inquiry
  • INLS 690-324: Design for Accessibility
  • INLS 735: Youth Services in a Diverse Society
  • INLS 737: Inclusive Information Services for Diverse Populations
  • INLS 739: Information Services for Specific Populations
  • INLS 754: Access, Outreach, and Public Service in Cultural Heritage Repositories
  • INLS 758: International and Cross-Cultural Perspectives for Information Management
  • INLS 890: Networks of Racial Capitalism

Elective courses (18 hours):

The remaining degree hours are electives and can be chosen from the above bins, the advising grids for the students chosen specialization (if applicable), or courses outside of SILS including other departments on campus, inter-institutional registration, or WISE courses. Students should consult with their advisor on their elective choices. Courses outside of SILS must be considered graduate level in order to count toward the degree.

The Capstone Experience (6 hours):

Your capstone experience includes either a research-based master’s paper or a practicum project.  

 The Research-Based Master’s Paper 

This is a good choice for students who are interested in applying for a Ph.D. in the future or who already have work experience. You’ll write a substantive research report under the guidance of a faculty member.   

 The Practicum Project 

This option is a great choice for students who want to develop hands-on experience dealing with a real-world need, and are interested in going into a professional practice directly after graduation. The project option is intended to help you demonstrate and build practical skills that are transferable to library and information science work environments, such as communication, collaboration, and project management. You’ll work with a team to provide a solution for a local organization. 

Customizing Your Experience

Concentration Option

The Concentration of Study in Archives and Record Management provides students with the knowledge and skills required to work in archives, special collections, historical societies, records management units within organizations, and various other curatorial environments. 

Specialization Options

These are informal course plans designed to help guide students. Completing them will not result in an endorsement on a student’s transcript. Students select courses in consultation with their faculty advisor and may specialize their programs of study according to their interests and career objectives. The specialization grids below include suggested courses that fulfill the course bin requirements for the following areas.  

Certificate Options

These certificates allow currently enrolled graduate students to develop strength in predefined areas of concentration. Completion of the requirements for a certificate results in an endorsement on the student’s transcript.

These certificates are either offered by SILS or have been popular choices for SILS students.

For a full list of currently available graduate certificates, visit the UNC Graduate School’s Certificate Programs page.

SILS also offers a Diversity Advocate Certificate, offering formal recognition (but no transcript endorsement) to SILS students who are active participants in making the school and the field of information and library science a more diversity-friendly learning environment.

Lara BaileyQuestions?

Contact Lara Bailey
Graduate Programs Assistant Director or 919-962-7601