Graduate Catalog

2008-09 Academic Year

School of Library and Information Sciences

Students study in the library.

Main Office
Information Sciences Building, Room 205
1155 Union Circle #311068
Denton, TX 76203-1068
940-565-2445
Fax: 940-565-3101

E-mail: slis@unt.edu

Web site: www.unt.edu/slis

Herman L. Totten, Dean

Linda Schamber, Associate Dean

Graduate Faculty: Chandler, Chen, Cleveland, Du, Figa, Miksa, Moen, O'Connor, Oyarce, Ruz, Schamber, Schultz-Jones, Simpson, Stein Martin, Totten, Turner, Wheeler.

The School of Library and Information Sciences prepares graduates for dynamic roles in the knowledge age. The school's mission is to provide resources, research and service for education; provide leadership to the library and information community; and prepare information professionals of the highest quality to serve the state, the region and the global community.

The goals of the school are to:

The school offers a graduate program leading to the following degrees:

In addition, the school administers an interdisciplinary doctoral program leading to the following degree:

The school also offers a certificate (non-degree) program in advanced study and graduate academic certificates in youth services in libraries and information settings, storytelling, and advanced management in libraries and information agencies.

Graduates are prepared for diverse professional positions in both the public and private sectors and practice in a variety of libraries and information service agencies, including academic, public and school libraries, information analysis centers and information utilities.

Students may take elective courses in library and information science, or they may complete minor programs of study at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Students who are not pursuing degree programs may enroll for individual courses, workshops, seminars and institutes with non-degree status. (For undergraduate programs, see the Undergraduate Catalog.)

Graduate students may study full-time or part-time. They may begin their course of study in the fall, spring or summer term/semester.

Prospective applicants for admission should visit the School of Library and Information Sciences web site at www.unt.edu/slis to access application forms and current information on the school's programs.

The school's graduate degree programs are available through the Academic Common Market at in-state tuition rates for qualified out-of-state students in the southeastern states who pursue studies on campus.

The Master of Science degree program is accredited by the American Library Association [50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611; 800-545-2433].

Research

Faculty pursue research in diverse areas of the library and information science fields, including the implementation and management of automated library systems; information policy, digital image retrieval, access and organization of 3D images; storytelling, ethnography of information systems, digital libraries and preservation of multimedia; technology and facility design; the use of technical report literature by scientists and engineers; metadata and organization of networked resources; standards development and application; competency-based learning in the information professions; computerized indexing and abstracting methods; bibliometrics; the relationship of cognitive learning style patterns to information processing; information, communication, and cognitive theories related to human behavior in information seeking, searching, evaluation and use; impacts of electronic publishing on scholarly communication; retrieval of visual images; technical services and bibliographic control; computer-based bibliographic networks and online information services; feedback; the school library media specialist as instructional consultant; information resources and services relating to principal groups (minorities, children and young adults); copyright application in libraries; scientific visualization; distribution patterns of human judgments of relevancy and non-relevancy on documents and images; choice theory; medical informatics; information resources and services in business, biomedical, legal and government fields; evaluation of authority of Internet sources and information; ethics in use of technology; and evaluation of information system services and user needs.

Faculty members and doctoral students engage in joint research projects and publish the results of their research in a variety of national and international journals.

Degree Programs
Master of Science

The master's program prepares information professionals for work in a variety of roles and application settings, including all types of libraries and other information agencies. The program rests on a broad conceptual framework that explores the nature of information, its organization and retrieval, and its access and use from the user's viewpoint. In addition, the program prepares individuals who wish to pursue doctoral studies in information science theory, research and practice.

Goals and Objectives

The master's program goal is to prepare students to understand the principles, analyze the problems, and design and implement practices related to recordable information, including its creation, communication, identification, selection, acquisition, organization, description, storage, retrieval, preservation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination and management.

The objectives are for students to:

1. understand the critical impact of electronic technology and networks on information practices;

2. remain flexible and able to manage change in a technology-driven and knowledge-based environment;

3. plan, manage, and implement information systems in the networked environment for the creation, organization and dissemination of information;

4. develop and implement conceptual and technological systems and structures for the organization of information in any format for effective access;

5. understand human information behavior in order to design and implement information systems and services that meet user needs;

6. evaluate, synthesize and present information for client use;

7. demonstrate communication skills necessary for personal and professional growth, leadership, interaction and collaboration in appropriate professional contexts;

8. manifest a commitment to the philosophy, principles, and legal and ethical responsibilities of the field;

9. recognize the impacts of information policies, practices, and information itself on diverse populations in a technological and global society;

10. demonstrate additional knowledge and competencies appropriate to their individual interests, specializations and career goals;

11. understand the importance of professional development, continuing education and participation in professional organizations; and

12. relate the methodologies and content of other disciplines to the information field and understand the contribution of the information field to other disciplines.

Course Delivery

Master's courses are delivered in both on-site and online formats and in blended combinations of these formats. On-site or face-to-face courses are offered in Denton, Houston, Las Vegas, and other locations. Most students choose the blended web institute format for the three required core courses, attending one nine-day on-site institute or two four-day on-site institutes held in Denton, Houston or elsewhere, and then completing the courses online using web-based courseware. Beyond the core courses, students may pursue the remainder of their studies entirely online or take a combination of online and on-site courses. Regardless of delivery mode, the master's program and all courses are governed by the same policies.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to degree status and candidacy in the master's program must meet the following requirements:

1. a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution that includes a strong concentration in at least one area;

2. an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.8 (4.0 scale) or at least 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work;

3. acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) (applicants will be considered for regular admission only if satisfactory entrance exam scores are on file at the time the admission application is considered by the school); contact the School of Library and Information Sciences or the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies for information concerning acceptable standardized admission test scores;

4. three satisfactory letters of recommendation from former professors, employers or others who can give evidence of personal aptitude for, as well as interest in, a career in the information field; and

5. a personal statement of career objectives providing additional information concerning motivation for professional service and areas of special interest.

Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking English is expected of all students; if English is not a native language, a satisfactory score of at least 550 is required on the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

Applicants meeting the stated minimum grade point average and entrance examination scores are not guaranteed admission. Should additional information be needed to evaluate the admissibility of an applicant, an interview may be required. Prospective students are invited to visit the campus and the school and are encouraged to schedule an appointment to meet with a member of the faculty.

In exceptional cases, applicants who are judged by the faculty to show promise for successful graduate study may be granted provisional admission, even though they do not meet all admission requirements.

Procedure for Applying

Students may enter the master's degree program in the fall, spring or summer term/semester. Applicants should complete the requirements listed below and meet the admission deadlines listed in the Academic Calendar section of this catalog.

1. Obtain admission to the university and the School of Graduate Studies by filing the following items with the School of Graduate Studies:

a. complete official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended;

b. application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies;

c. official scores on the entrance examination;

d. the application fee; and

e. any other forms or materials required by the School of Graduate Studies.

School of Graduate Studies application forms, instructions and other materials should be requested from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

2. File with the School of Library and Information Sciences the following items:

a. School of Library and Information Sciences application, available in .pdf format;

b. three letters of recommendation; and

c. statement of purposes and goals.

All application materials and a description of the application procedures are available on the school's web site (www.unt.edu/slis), or may be requested from the School of Library and Information Sciences.

Program Requirements

The program may be completed in one calendar year of full-time study, although many students extend their work over a longer period. At the time of graduation, all course work used to satisfy degree requirements may be no more than six years old.

Students in all graduate programs are required to demonstrate general computer proficiency before starting the program. This requirement may be satisfied by taking SLIS 5710, Information Technology, by taking the Information Technology Knowledge and Skills Assessment (see www.unt.edu/slis for this assessment), by passing a computer proficiency examination designed by the school or through faculty approval of prior course work or experience. This proficiency will include knowledge of computing terminology and concepts, as well as minimal competency in the use of specific types of applications software.

Master's students also must present evidence of relevant experience by meeting a field experience requirement. This requirement may be satisfied through appropriate prior experience as approved by the faculty or through a practicum or internship. Students without prior experience may be required to take SLIS 5090, Practicum and Field Study.

Further information concerning these requirements may be obtained through the school.

Neither SLIS 5710 nor SLIS 5090 counts toward fulfilling the 36 hours of graduate credit required for the degree.

Students must complete all planned course work with an average grade of B (3.0) or better, successfully complete a capstone experience, and file an application for the degree.

Core Courses

At least 27 additional hours of other course work, planned in consultation with a faculty advisor, are required.

Up to 9 advisor-approved hours from any institution (including other programs at UNT) may be transferred in to be used in the master's program. (The core cannot be transferred in.) At least 24 of the 36 hours in the master's program must be from organized SLIS courses (excludes transfer courses, practicums and independent study).

Programs of Study

Majors

Students may choose a major in either library science or information science upon completion of their core courses.

Elective courses beyond the 9 hours of required core courses are determined in consultation with the student's faculty advisor. To assist in the advising process, the faculty have approved several programs of study. All course selections must be made under the guidance of a student's faculty advisor and approved by the associate dean. See www.unt.edu/slis for a description of each program of study.

Master's Programs of Study/Advising Guides

The faculty of the School of Library and Information Sciences has created programs of study that serve as advising guides for students majoring in either library science or information science. The student, working with a faculty advisor, creates an individualized program reflecting the student's career goals.

General Program of Study

The general program of study is intended to prepare graduates to succeed in a wide range of library and information science positions in any type of library. Students should take at least one course in each of the following areas: Human Information Behavior (Cognitive, Organizational and Societal Issues); Organization of Information; Retrieval and Access; Information Technologies; and Management and Administration.

Digital Image Management

The digital image management program of study is intended to prepare graduates who will assume leadership roles. Graduates will be able to manage all aspects of digital images from production and organization to copyright and network design. The program includes the production of digital images, digital information database creation, and management of digital information, which are important skill sets for current and future library and museum information professionals. In addition, the program prepares individuals to assume positions as experts in the broader markets of libraries, archives and information centers. An integral part of the educational experience for the students enrolled in the program is the opportunity to work as interns at area museums, archives and information centers.

Distributed Learning Librarianship

The goals of this program are to provide a grounding in information and telecommunication technologies that underpin distributed learning, an understanding of copyright and intellectual property issues, and a knowledge of the issues facing those providing library services to students in a distributed learning environment.

Health Informatics Specialist

Opportunities for health sciences librarians as well as others interested in health information management are diverse and challenging, ranging from very specialized kinds of positions in large medical research or teaching institutions to personalized service roles in small hospital libraries and extensive information services in pharmaceutical companies or interacting with other health care providers through medical informatics. The program focuses on the fundamental concepts and activities in health information processing, including health information storage and retrieval systems, clinical decision support, clinical research and issues in health care financing, consumer health advocacy, and legal, ethical, and philosophical concerns in health informatics.

Information Organization

In the information organization program of study, students learn how to organize information for a wide variety of information formats, resources, systems and environments. Graduates may be responsible for cataloging, indexing and abstracting in libraries or bibliographic utilities; organizing networked resources, web sites and images in digital libraries; or organizing special materials in museums and archives. They are expected to understand issues of data representation and management and the need to respond actively to change.

Information Systems

The work performed by a graduate of this program is likely to involve extensive human contact. Moreover, this work is also directed toward the synthesis of intellectual skills such as classification and metadata description with web administration and web site design. In essence, graduates will create systems that will be used to answer questions that are unforeseen. These are the processes of knowledge management and knowledge discovery.

Law Librarian and Legal Informatics Specialist

The law librarianship and legal informatics program of study will prepare graduates for careers in law libraries, information organizations using legal information resources and information publishers. Law librarians play key roles as information professionals in the management of information, training, and information organization in many diverse settings including law schools, courts, private law firms, corporations, government departments and agencies, or in correctional institutions.

School Librarianship

This program of study focuses on the foundations of library and information science professional preparation with a specialization in library and information services and programming for children and young adults in the school setting. It prepares students to pass the appropriate state competency exam to receive the school library certificate.

Youth Librarianship

A national shortage of youth librarians has created many opportunities for service in metropolitan, suburban and rural public libraries as well as other settings where a specialization in the information needs of children and young adults is desired. The information professional serving youth is first of all fully knowledgeable in the theories, practices and emerging trends of library and information sciences but also must have specialized knowledge of the particular information needs of young people. This program of study focuses on developing the competencies in the following areas specific to youth: the history of youth information services/systems; knowledge of the client group; administrative and managerial skills; communication skills; materials and collection development; reference services; programming skills; technology applications; advocacy, public relations and networking; and professionalism and professional development.

Minimum Academic Standards

The School of Graduate Studies requires that master's students make satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements to remain in good standing within a specific degree program. Students whose progress is unsatisfactory may be removed from the program.

Satisfactory Progress

Within the School of Library and Information Sciences, satisfactory progress toward the master's degree is defined as maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B).

Should the academic performance fall below a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all work attempted, the student will be placed on academic probation and will be so notified by the School of Graduate Studies.

Probation

Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation.

Students on probation who do not achieve at least a 3.0 on all SLIS graduate courses taken in any term/semester and a 3.0 GPA for all courses taken in any term/semester will be dismissed from the program.

Students on probation must remove their probationary status within one calendar year following the term/semester in which their grades initiated probationary status. Failure to remove the probationary status within this time period will result in dismissal from the program.

Dismissal

Students who have been dismissed from the program are not eligible for readmission.

Graduation Requirements

Post-Master's Certificate

The post-master's (sixth-year) program leading to a Certificate of Advanced Study is offered for those who seek further specialization in a particular aspect of library or information science. Those entering the program prepare for a level of competency beyond that provided by the master's degree. The program enables the professional to satisfy continuing education goals or requirements and enables individuals to update their knowledge and skills in the field of library or information science.

Admission requirements include those specified for the master's program. In evaluating applications, consideration is given to prior study and academic record, Graduate Record Examination general test scores, letters of recommendation, and career interests and objectives, as well as any prior professional experience. A satisfactory interview with members of the school's advanced studies committee or with a representative of the school as designated by the dean also is required normally either before or at the time of first enrollment for course work.

The program may be completed in two terms/semesters of full-time study or extended over a longer period.

The student must earn a minimum of 24 to 30 hours of graduate credit, which may include up to 12 hours in other disciplines, chosen or specified according to prior study and individual interests and objectives. Transfer credit may be approved for 3 to 6 hours, and at least half of the hours must be completed within the school.

The program of study, which is tailored to individual needs, must be planned with a faculty advisor and approved in advance by the dean of the school. No comprehensive examination or special research requirements are specified. Students must be admitted to candidacy to continue beyond 12 hours. Students must complete all planned course work with an average grade of B or better, and then file an application for the certificate.

Graduate Academic Certificates

The School of Library and Information Sciences offers graduate academic certificates in advanced management in libraries and information agencies, storytelling, and youth services in libraries and information settings.

The graduate academic certificate program is intended for two audiences:

1. master's degreed library and information science professionals who want to develop expertise in specific areas in libraries or other settings and receive a graduate academic certificate; and

2. bachelor's or master's degreed individuals who want to develop or enhance their knowledge of specific areas in libraries or other settings by taking master's-level courses and receiving a graduate academic certificate.

These graduate academic certificates consist of three or four courses.

Admission Information

Students must be admitted to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and are required to submit a graduate school application for admission and official transcripts from all prior colleges or universities attended. Graduate academic certificate applicants do not need to submit standardized tests scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), letters of recommendation, or statement of purpose for admission. Students who are awarded graduate academic certificates and later apply for admission to the master's program will be required to submit these materials.

Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Information Science

The interdisciplinary doctoral program with a major in information science responds to the varied and changing needs of an information age. There is increasing recognition of the central role of information in individual, social, economic and cultural affairs, and the widespread application and influence of the information and communication technologies. Graduates of the program will be prepared to contribute materially to the advancement and evolution of the information society. Such individuals will work in a variety of roles and application settings in information agencies as administrators, researchers and educators.

The multifaceted nature of information science requires the focusing of resources, courses and faculties from a broad range of academic units. At UNT, nine units participate in the doctoral program. These units are:

The program emphasizes the interrelationship of the economic, social, cultural and technological aspects of an evolving information society. The goal is to unify knowledge systems, problem-solving approaches and research methodologies regardless of their disciplinary roots, and to produce graduates who will be leaders in the information age.

Although technology is a vital part of the program, computers and communication systems are but one dimension of information science. Thus, the program is directed toward human information and communication capabilities that rest on a broad range of biological and behavioral attributes and the employment of technology.

The mission of the interdisciplinary doctoral program is to provide a center of excellence in graduate education and research in three related areas:

Admission Requirements

Admission to the PhD program with a major in information science is highly competitive. To maintain a student/faculty ratio necessary for program excellence, not all qualified applicants can be accepted. Prospective applicants must obtain all application forms for the program from the program offices located in the School of Library and Information Sciences. All required materials must be filed by February 1 preceding the fall term/semester for which the student is applying and by September 1 for spring admission. In addition to the admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, the following are required for admission to the interdisciplinary PhD program in information science.

1. Completed master's degree from an accredited institution preferred.

2. Completion of an application form for admission to the program.

3. Resume.

4. An example of formal writing (published paper, major term paper, etc.).

5. A personal statement giving the applicant's career objectives, research interests and specific qualifications to pursue doctoral work.

6. Three letters of recommendation.

7. A superior academic record in prior study.

8. An acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination; contact the School of Library and Information Sciences or the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies for standardized admission test requirements.

9. For international students, a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or evidence of successful completion of a non-credit intensive course in English from the North Texas Intensive English Language Institute.

10. An interview may be required with members of the program committee of the interdisciplinary doctoral program in information science.

Program Requirements

The course work for the program can be completed in two years of full-time study or extended over a longer period. Typically, the dissertation requires an additional year.

General Course of Study

A student must earn a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the master's degree in organized course work, directed study and research, and the dissertation. A research tool requirement also must be completed in addition to the minimum 60-hour program. Additional courses above the 60 hours also may be stipulated as needed, such as leveling courses. Students entering the program with a bachelor's degree must take at least 90 credit hours.

The number of graduate credit hours required for graduation, the distribution of credits, as well as the selection of the research tool requirement must be planned and approved under the direction of the student's major advisor. Requirements approved by the major advisor also must receive the concurrence of the student's doctoral advisory committee and be approved by the Interdisciplinary PhD Program Committee and the dean of the School of Graduate Studies. In all cases, courses counted toward the doctorate must be numbered 5000 or above.

The 60 hours (minimum), plus research tool, required for the degree are distributed among core courses, concentration, electives and dissertation research.

Core Areas, 21 Hours

Areas of Concentration, 18 Hours in Two Areas

Electives, 9 Hours

Electives, which must number 5000 or above, must be chosen with the approval of the student's major advisor.

Dissertation, 12 Hours

The student must complete a minimum of 12 hours in Doctoral Dissertation, INFO 6950.

Doctoral students must maintain continuous enrollment in the colloquium during each term/semester in which they are registered for courses prior to passing the qualifying examination for admission to candidacy. Only 3 hours of credit earned in the colloquia may be included in the degree plan. Students also must maintain continuous enrollment in INFO 6950 after advancement to candidacy until the dissertation is complete.

All students will be required to choose two concentrations from the three available.

1. Information theory and design. Seminars and research in this area explore ways to structure information and knowledge for a multitude of information systems and uses. Students and faculty develop measures and methods for the evaluation and study of information systems, related communications processes, and subsequent systems application and design or redesign.

2. Information and behavior. Studies relate to human information and communication behavior and the systematic response to these behaviors by using information technologies to advance communication and learning.

3. Information policy and management. Inquiries focus on organizational behavior in respect to information and the management of information, and of the organizations and systems that handle information.

With permission of the program committee, as well as the student's doctoral advisory committee, a special concentration may be created to provide a framework of learning for a student with special research interests that do not fall into one of the three listed areas.

Degree Requirements

Core Areas, 21 Hours

Interdisciplinary Colloquium, 3 Hours

SLIS 6945, Doctoral Seminar in Information Issues (Colloquium) (1 hour required each term/semester; 3 hours toward degree).

Methods Core, 9 Hours

Subject Core, 9 Hours

Areas of Concentration, 18 Hours in Two Areas

Electives, 9 Hours

Electives, which must number 5000 or above, must be chosen with the approval of the student's major advisor.

Dissertation, 12 Hours

The student must complete a minimum of 12 hours in INFO 6950, Doctoral Dissertation.

Multidisciplinary Requirement

An objective of the PhD program is to provide students with a variety of approaches to solving information problems from a number of disciplines. Therefore, no more than 18 graduate credit hours may be taken from any one academic unit in areas of concentration and electives.

Computer Tool Requirement

A student entering the program is expected to have basic computer knowledge consisting of computer usage in society and uses of micro-packages for productivity, including word processing, databases and spread sheets. In addition, students should have programming experience in one of a variety of computer languages.

Satisfactory attainment of these background requirements will be determined by the student's advisor and the program committee. Deficiencies can be met by enrollment in a variety of courses as determined by the student's major advisor and the program committee.

Research Requirement

Students are expected to have completed the equivalent of one of the following research methods or statistics classes upon admission to the program. If this requirement has not been met, the student will be expected to take one of the following courses as a deficiency.

Information Organization Requirement

Students are required to have completed basic course work in the organization of information equivalent to SLIS 5200, Introduction to Information Organization. If this requirement has not been met, the student will be expected to take SLIS 5200 as a deficiency.

Review of Progress

The program committee will review annually the programs of all PhD students.

The first review for a student will be before the end of his or her first year of study, or upon completion of 18 hours of study. The review will include information made available from the student's professors and the student's grades. The student must maintain a minimum grade average of B (3.0) on all course work on the degree plan.

The program committee will vote either to let the student continue his or her studies, or to recommend to the executive committee that the student's program be discontinued. The program committee will consult with the student's major advisor and doctoral advisory committee as required. A majority vote of the program committee is required in either case.

The decision of the program committee may be appealed. Statements of procedures to be followed are available in the office of the graduate dean.

Admission to Candidacy

General qualifying examinations may be scheduled by the student's advisory committee when all course work as presented in the degree plan has been completed with a minimum B average, the research tool requirement has been satisfied, any deficiencies have been removed and the records have been cleared of any incomplete grades.

The examination is given in two parts: written and oral. The written part covers the subject core, methods core and each of the two areas of concentration. The oral part includes questions regarding the written examination and the presentation and defense of a preliminary dissertation proposal. A formal dissertation proposal must be presented later and defended before the student's doctoral advisory committee in an open forum.

When the student has passed the qualifying examinations and a dissertation topic is approved, the advisory committee and program committee may then recommend the student for admission to candidacy for the doctorate.

Research and Dissertation

The student must submit a dissertation reflecting original and independent research and representing a significant contribution to the field. The dissertation must be based on an approved proposal. When the major professor and other members of the advisory committee have reviewed the dissertation, the final examination, which normally will be primarily a defense of the dissertation, may be scheduled. The student must perform satisfactorily on the final examination and then file an application for the degree.

Further Information

For further information about any degree or certificate program, write or call the School of Library and Information Sciences or visit the school's web site: www.unt.edu/slis. Personal interviews and counseling may be arranged through the school office.

The School of Library and Information Sciences does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of its programs and activities, as specified by federal laws and regulations. Copies of the school's ADA compliance policy are available in the school office. Problems may be reported to the school's ADA liaison, Information Sciences Building, Room 205; 940-565-2445.

Courses of Instruction

All Courses of Instruction are located in one section at the back of this catalog.

Course and Subject Guide

The “Course and Subject Guide,” found in the Courses of Instruction section of this book, serves as a table of contents and provides quick access to subject areas and prefixes.

Graduate Admissions

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