Dual Degrees Overview

The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) partners with several other UNC-Chapel Hill schools, as well as North Carolina State University, to offer students the opportunity to pursue two degrees simultaneously. Many students find this approach offers the knowledge, skills, and integrated perspective needed to become competitive candidates and leading professionals in their targeted field.

The goal of the dual degree program is to maximize learning, minimize course and content overlap, and provide students with a means to earn two degrees as efficiently as possible while maintaining the integrity and high standards of each degree. Students can expect to complete both degrees in three academic years.

Master’s degrees (MSLS or MSLS) from SILS can be combined with degrees in the following areas:

Requirements for all dual degrees:

  • Students must apply, be admitted, and accept admission to each graduate program at the same time and abide by all program requirements. It's best that individuals identify their interest in a dual degree program prior to applying to UNC. Students who decide they want to pursue dual degrees after enrolling in their first semester at SILS should apply for admission to the other program, informing the registrar and the coordinators of both programs at the time of application.
  • Once students are accepted and admitted, they may enroll both programs. Students will be “term-activated” each semester for the program in which they take the majority of their classes, and their tuition will be based on the department or school in which they are “term-activated.”
  • Dual degree students can “double count” a certain percentage of their classes from one program to the other. The number of credit hours can vary from program to program, but all programs are designed to enable students to finish both degrees in three years.  

Dual Degree Options

Art History
MSLS or MSIS from SILS
MAH (Master in Art History) from the UNC Department of Art
This program draws on the shared interests of librarians and art historians in areas such as the preservation and documentation of works, the management and development of art collections, and the indexing, abstracting, and classification of these collections. As museums and galleries move toward digital repositories and expanded online access, art institutions are also looking for individuals who are cognizant of the correct use of newly emerging technologies in information and library science, while also understanding the peculiar challenges and opportunities offered by working in the field of art and art history.

Business Administration
MSIS from SILS
MBA (Master of Business Administration) from the UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School
This dual degree responds to the marketplace needs for high-tech managers with well-rounded, leading-edge business skills. The program uniquely prepares information entrepreneurs of the future and those seeking to take advantage of brand new career opportunities.

Government
MSLS or MSIS from SILS
MPA (Master in Public Administration) from the UNC School of Government
The stewardship of public information is a fundamental responsibility of a democratic society. Public information (e.g. agency records, government publications, datasets) serves as evidence of governmental activities, decisions, and responsibilities as well as of legal contracts at the local, county, state, and federal levels. Providing appropriate access to public information promotes accountability, rights of citizens, effective administration of policy, and social memory.

Archivists, records managers, librarians and other information professionals are often directly charged with ensuring that public information is accessible and meaningful over time. However, the distributed nature of both government and modern information systems places responsibility for the stewardship of public information into the hands of many other professionals, including those who develop, implement, and interpret public policies.

The MSIS/MSLS and MPA dual degree program integrates policy development, issues of legal compliance, and extensive knowledge of government structures and information with principles, values, methods, and technologies of the information professions.

Health Policy
MSLS or MSIS from SILS
MHA (Master in Health Policy and Administration) from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health
SILS has teamed with the Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM) at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health to offer dual programs of study reflecting changes in the field of public health and in society at large.

Professionals who understand the implications and potential for personal health information collection, electronics health records management, and other health informatics applications, as well as the needs of various patient and practitioner populations, will be eminently qualified to help humanity achieve high quality, accessible, and affordable health systems.

Law
MSLS or MSIS from SILS
JD (Juris Doctorate) from the UNC School of Law
Issues such as public access to information, ownership of information, an individual's control over personal information, or an institution's reliance on information systems to accurately gather and analyze data all require critical legal analysis and knowledge of information systems and usage. Professionals with degrees in law and library science are employed in law schools, law firms, federal, state, and local courts, government agencies, and corporations.

Possession of both the law degree and the library science degree is a common requirement for entry-level positions in academic law libraries and both degrees are essential for advancement in the profession. Larger law firms are increasingly requiring that their librarians have a law degree plus an MSLS.

Nursing
MSLS or MSIS from SILS
MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) from the UNC School of Nursing
Increasingly, employers believe an understanding and mastery of information technology and management is of paramount important for success in the health care field. SILS and the UNC School of Nursing (SON) offer a dual degree program that will prepare students with technical backgrounds in information system development and management, information networks, decision support systems, web applications, and more.

Public History
MSLS or MSIS from SILS
MA (Master of Arts in Public History) from the NCSU Department of History
Today's marketplace frequently demands that archivists, manuscript curators, and records managers have both historical knowledge and advanced information management skills. Neither a master's degree in history nor one in information and library science is ideal, by itself, to prepare the new archival workforce that must be able to appraise and describe historical records, create websites, and preserve electronic documents. To meet the needs of the archival profession, SILS, in conjunction with the Public History program at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) have established the cooperative archival program.