The Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) degree at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) prepares students to become leaders in the design, implementation, evaluation, and administration of information systems. The program guides students toward expertise in analyzing, organizing, representing, and retrieving information, with an emphasis on developing information systems and processes to meet the information needs of the future.
Students in the MSIS program find exciting careers in a variety of settings: businesses and corporations including the health-care and financial industries, non-profit organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, as well as entrepreneural enterprises. Within these settings, they may focus on systems analysis and design, database administration, information retrieval and data mining, knowledge management systems, web design, instructional technologies, social media, user interface design, user experience, and emerging technologies.
The information industry is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S. economy. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by 2024 there will be over four million jobs available in the information industry – a growth of 488,500 jobs from 2014 levels. Students in the MSIS program are often recruited by businesses and institutions even before they graduate.
MSIS graduates are prepared to apply critical thinking to specific challenges faced in professional settings. They will be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of solutions, and use concrete examples to clarify the challenge and its possible solutions.
MSIS graduates are prepared to apply standard professional tools to problem definition and solution. They are aware of the classic and current tools and technologies available to information professionals, and will be able to select and apply those tools and technologies to information problems.
MSIS graduates are prepared to apply ideas, theories, and empirical evidence to solve problems that information professionals face in the workplace.
MSIS graduates can demonstrate a nuanced understanding of a particular information setting or context, including the needs of the users, the types of materials being collected, and the realities of budget, management, and organizational structure.
MSIS graduates can determine how new research findings, current social and political trends, and evolving measures of quality can be defined, assessed, and applied within a particular information setting or context.
MSIS graduates can express their ideas clearly and describe challenges, situations, and solutions in understandable ways. They can synthesize ideas from multiple sources, engage with ideas in depth, and develop arguments in a coherent and logical manner.
MSIS students may gain professional experience in an information organization, while receiving class credit through the Field Experience Program. Students are mentored by a supervising professional in the organization, as well as by a SILS professor.
For information on tuition, fees, and other financial information, please refer to the Financial Information page.
Graduation rate for SILS master's students
- Matriculated Fall 2015: 73
- Graduated in two years: 69%
- Left program: 4%
- Planning on graduating beyond two years: 27%
- Online application and nonrefundable $87.50 application fee.
- Three letters of recommendation solicited by entering recommenders email addresses into online application.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from test taken within the past five years. The Graduate School requires a minimum score of 50% in both the verbal and quantitative sections and at least a four on the writing section.
- International applicants must send scores on the TOEFL. The Graduate School TOEFL minimum requirement for admission is 90. For the IELTS the minimum is 7.
- Unofficial copies of transcripts for each school attended.
- Resume including work experience, special abilities, and skills.
- Statement of purpose.
For more details, visit our Graduate Admissions Page.
Job titles of recent MSIS graduates:
- Software Development Engineer, EBSCO Information Services
- Computer Network Defense Deputy Team Chief, Army National Guard
- Data and Policy Analyst, Acumen LLC
- User Experience Designer, SAS
- Staff Software Engineer, IBM
- User Experience Resident Librarian, University of Chicago
- Analyst, Credit Suisse
- Executive Assistant to the President, Aerotropolis Institute China
- UX Designer, IBM
- Metadata Librarian, University of Tennessee
- Data Analyst II, Poudre School District
- Data Analyst, Lenovo
- Data Scientist, IBM
- Software Developer, IBM
- Full Stack Developer, Fidelity Investments
- Freelance UX and IT Consultant
- Software Engineer, Deutsche Bank Technology
- Software Development Engineer, Amazon
- UX Librarian, University of Houston
- Machine Learning Lead, Semantic Enrichment Team, EBSCO Information Services
- Systems Librarian, Savannah College of Art and Design
- Back-end Web Developer, NetApp
- Database Engineer II, S&P Global