New SILS MSLS and MSIS Curriculum (effective spring 2022)

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: 

New curriculum video

New curriculum guide (pdf)

Specialization options

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.

Course Bins: 

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. 

Information Services and Organizations Technology People and Communities
All students take at least two (2)

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

take at least one (1)
take at least two (2)

All students take at least one (1)
      INLS 490: Social Problems in an Information Society

INLS 509: Information Retrieval

INLS 501: Information Resources and Services

INLS 465: Understanding Information Technology for Managing Digital Collections

INLS 500: Human Information Interactions

INLS 513: Resource Selection and Evaluation INLS 525: Electronic Records Management INLS 512: Applications of Natural Language Processing INLS 660: Social Media and Society: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview
      INLS 690: Philosophy and Ethics of AI

INLS 515: Consumer Health Information

INLS 554: Cultural Institutions

INLS 523: Introduction to Database Concepts and Applications

INLS 690: Community Archiving

INLS 520: Organization of Information 

INLS 556: Introduction to Archives and Records Management

INLS 534: Youth and Technology in Libraries 

INLS 690: Social Informatics

INLS 530: Young Adult Literature and Related Materials INLS 558: Principles and Techniques of Storytelling INLS 541: Information Visualization INLS 690: Information Professionals in the Makerspace

INLS 609: Experimental Information Retrieval

INLS 582: Systems Analysis

INLS 560: Programming for Information Professionals

INLS 690: Disability Information and Informatics

INLS 620: Web Information Organization

INLS 585: Management for Information Professionals 

INLS 561: Digital Forensics for Curation of Digital Collections

INLS 735:Youth Services in a Diverse Society

INLS 625: Information Analytics

INLS 624: Policy-Based Data Management

INLS 570: Fundamentals of Programming Information Applications

INLS 737: Inclusive Information Services for Diverse Populations

  INLS 685: Project Management    

INLS 690: Data Criticism

INLS 700: Scholarly Communication (1.5 credits)

INLS 572: Web Development 

INLS 739: Information Services for Specific Populations

INLS 690: Misinformation and Society INLS 711: Disaster Planning for Libraries INLS 613: Text Mining INLS 754: Access, Outreach, and Public Service in Cultural Heritage Repositories

INLS 701: Information Retrieval Search Strategies

INLS 719: Usability Evaluation and Testing

INLS 623: Database Systems II: Intermediate Databases

INLS 758: International and Cross Cultural Perspectives for Information Management

INLS 707: Government Information INLS 721: Cataloging Theory and Practice INLS 626: Introduction to Big Data and NoSQL (1.5 credits) INLS 890: Networks of Racial Capitalism 
INLS 708: Law Libraries and Legal Information INLS 733: Administration of Public Library Work with Children and Young Adults INLS 641: Visual Analytics  
INLS 709: Business Information INLS 740: Digital Libraries: Principals and Applications INLS 672: Web Development II  
INLS 714: Introduction to Information Analytics INLS 747: Special Libraries and Knowledge Management INLS 690: Data Mining Methods and Applications  
INLS 720: Metadata Architectures and Applications INLS 782: Library Assessment INLS 718: User Interface Design  
INLS 732: Children’s Literature and Related Materials INLS 783: Library Instruction and Pedagogy INLS 750: Introduction to Digital Curation  

INLS 749: Art and Visual Information Management  

INLS 786: Marketing of Information Services

INLS 751: Advanced Digital Curation


INLS 755: Archival Appraisal

INLS 841: Seminar in Academic Libraries

INLS 752: Digital Preservation and Access


INLS 757: Principles and Practices of Archival Description

INLS 843: Seminar in Public Libraries

INLS 753: Preservation of Library and Archive Materials


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