New SILS MSLS and MSIS Curriculum:
Over the past few years, SILS faculty, staff, students, and community partners have worked on a major revision to the master’s curriculum. All master’s students entering SILS in Spring 2022 and later will be subject to this new curriculum, while students entering in Fall 2021 will be able to choose to remain with our current curriculum or opt into the new curriculum. This page contains information about the new curriculum, and we will use this space to post additional curriculum materials as they become available. Please watch the brief introduction video below, then read the attached Student Guide and review the course bins table for a more in-depth review of the new curriculum. If you have questions about the new curriculum, please contact your advisor, the SILS MSLS Program Coordinator (Casey Rawson, crawson at email dot unc dot edu) or the SILS MSIS Coordinator (Brad Hemminger, bmh at ils dot unc dot edu).
New Curriculum Resources:
The New Core (6 hours):
All MSLS and MSIS students will take the following 2 core courses:
INLS 776: Ethics, Values and Society (spring semester):
This course explores ethical issues related to information, data, knowledge, and technology
in various individual, community, and societal contexts.
INLS 777: Perspectives on Information, Technology, and People (fall semester):
Examines the relationships between information, technology, and people from an array of
disciplinary, professional, cultural, and other orientations. Explores the application of diverse
perspectives to understand current matters of concern.
Students admitted for the spring term will start with the Ethics class in the spring and students admitted for the summer or the fall terms will start with the Perspectives course in the fall.
The course bin system consits of four bins for a total of six (6) courses (18 hours) that will 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.
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):
There are now two options for your capstone experience at SILS which includes either a research-based master's paper or a practicum project.
Option 1: The Research-Based Master's Paper
Opportunity to conduct individual research and write a substantive research report under guidance of a single faculty advisor who also evaluates the work. The SILS library has many prior examples of master's papers to help you see what types of research SILS students have done in the past.
The master's paper option might be a good choice for you if:
- You are considering applying for a PHD program in the future
- You already have a strong foundation of practical elements in your chosen field such as significant work experience or have already completed multiple field experiences in your chosen area
- You enjoy working alone and excel at self-directed learning
If you chose the research paper option, you would need to take the following two courses:
- INLS 778: Research Methods and Proposal Development (3rd semester)
- As part of INLS 778 you will develop at comprehensive research proposal as the final assignment in INLS 778. You will need to secure a faculty advisor who will supervise your master's paper and evaluate your final report
- INLS 992: Master Paper (4th semester)
During your final semester you will carry out your proposed study, evaluate your findings and wirte your final paper.
Additional information on what the Master's Paper involves can be found here.
Option 2: The Practicum Project
Opportunity to apply professional skills in a team-based environment with an external or internal supervisor; evaluated by supervisor, faculty 992 instructor, peers, and faculty reviewers at culmination event. For this option you woud work with a small team of students to develop and implement a real-world application of the knowledge and skills you have obtained at SILS.
The practicum project option might be a good choice for you if:
- You are interested in directly going into a professional practice after graduation. The project option is intended to help you demonstrate and build practical skills that are transferrable to LIS work environments.
- You want an opportunity to address a real-world need and work with organizations and people outside of SILS
- You do not want to write a lengthy paper
- You want some structure to your 992 experience. Student teams will be advised by the same faculty member. Project sections of 992 will meet several times through the semester to address any issues of concern and to ensure all teams remain on track.
If you choose the practicum option you will need to take:
- INLS 779: Practicum Project Development (3rd semester)
- You will form a team and choose from an existing list of approved projects or develop your own and will develop a comprehensive project charter as the final assignment in INLS 779.
- INLS 992: Practicum Project (4th semester)
Visit our practicum project page for more information on what the practicum involves