School of Information & Library Science

The School of Information and Library Science , also known as the iSchool at Carolina, offers an undergraduate major and minor, master’s degrees and a Ph.D. We are consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top schools by U.S. News & World Report.

Two students working and looking at a computer.

Educating information leaders

The school educates innovative and responsible thinkers who will lead the information professions; discovers principles and impacts of information; creates systems, techniques and policies to advance information processes and services; and advances information creation, access, use, management and stewardship to improve the quality of life for diverse local, national and global communities.

Our students learn the principles for information creation, management and use that will serve them for a lifetime of continued learning. They also acquire the practical knowledge and skills to help them obtain rewarding jobs and develop novel information systems and services.

Our faculty are world-renowned leaders with a variety of expertise and interests that combine to make SILS a transformational leader in four specific areas: digital curation, health informatics, information interaction and librarianship for the 21st Century.

Program Offerings

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Science
  • Master of Science in Library Science
  • Master of Science in Information Science
  • Professional Science Master’s in Digital Curation and Management
  • Ph.D. in Information and Library Science
  • Manning Hall 216 Lenoir Dr. Chapel Hill 27516

Facts & Figures

  • No. 2 Best Library and Information Management Program on the QS World University Rankings (2022)
  • +90 % of graduates work or continue their education within six months of graduation
  • Top 10 in all specialty areas ranked by U.S. News & World Report
  • No. 1 Library and Information Management Program by QS World University Rankings
  • 1 st Master's Degree in the U.S. focused on digital curation

Around Campus

Gary Marchionini stands behind podium in commencement robes with the University logo in front of him.

SILS dean returns to faculty

Gary Marchionini’s 13 years at the helm of the School of Information and Library Science brought record growth.

Memorial graphic featuring a photo of a man, Eric Montross, and text reading:

Eric Montross dies of cancer at 52

The Tar Heel hoops legend and broadcaster fought the disease with his signature determination and grace.

Wilson Library covered in snow.

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Information and Library Science

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School of Information and Library Science (GRAD)

Information and Library Science MSIS MSLS PhD

The programs of the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) are designed to prepare students for professional employment and advanced study in the fields of information and library science. The school offers graduate instruction leading to the degrees of master of science in information science (M.S.I.S.), master of science in library science (M.S.L.S.), professional science master's degrees (P.S.M.) in digital curation and biomedical and health informatics, doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in information and library science, and a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D) in health informatics. The school also offers an undergraduate major in information science (B.S.I.S.) and an undergraduate minor in information systems. Within these degree programs, students complete a core set of courses and build their own specialized program of studies on this foundation.

The goal of the M.S.I.S. program is to enable students to contribute to the design, development, and maintenance of information systems and networks; lead the development of new technologies and new applications relating to the delivery of information; and demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of information science, including the theory of information storage and retrieval, systems science, and social, political, and ethical implications of information systems.

With an M.S.I.S. degree, students find jobs in areas that include (among others) information system analysis design, development, and support; database design and administration; user experience design (including interface design and usability testing); website design and management; social media; information resource and knowledge management; information security; and competitive intelligence.

The goal of the M.S.L.S. program is to help students become leaders in the dynamic world of libraries and information organizations as they change to address 1) the needs of communities that are becoming more diverse, 2) an increasing multiplicity of information formats and technologies, and 3) a global perspective toward knowledge barriers and access. Students should be proficient in the theories and practices used in libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions, including effective communication across differing ethical, cultural, political, social, and emotional perspectives.

Typical job titles for graduates include library director, archives manager, records manager, digital librarian, documents librarian, cataloger, public and reference services librarian, school librarian, acquisitions and collection manager, youth librarian, community engagement/outreach librarian, database administrator, special collections librarian, academic library subject specialist, and systems librarian.

The 48 credit hours of coursework is selected, in consultation with the student's faculty advisor, from the information and library science curriculum or, as appropriate, from related subject fields in other schools and departments of the University or at neighboring universities. A capstone course, INLS 992, offers students the opportunity to write a research paper or complete a group practicum project. A theme within the curriculum for both master's degrees is evidence-based practice, which requires students to interpret and apply existing research to their professional situations, as well as to design and conduct their own research where necessary data is not otherwise available.

Graduate certificates within either the M.S.L.S. or the M.S.I.S. are available in the areas of: applied data science, biomedical imaging science, bioinformatics,  computational linguistics, digital curation, digital humanities, and public health informatics. A program leading to a certificate as a school library media coordinator is also available as part of the M.S.L.S.

The School of Information and Library Science participates in several dual or cooperative degree programs. These include dual-degree programs with

  • the Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, which combines the master of health administration (M.H.A.) or the masters of science in public health (MSPH) degree with either the M.S.L.S. or M.S.I.S.
  • the Department of Art, which combines the master of arts in art history (M.A.) with either the M.S.I.S. or M.S.L.S. degree
  • the School of Government, which combines the master of public administration (M.P.A.) with either the M.S.I.S. or M.S.L.S. degree
  • the School of Law, which combines the juris doctor (J.D.) degree with either the M.S.L.S. or the M.S.I.S degree
  • A cooperative program allows students to combine the master of arts (M.A.) in public history at North Carolina State University with either the M.S.L.S. or the M.S.I.S. Participation in any dual-degree program requires separate admission to both degree programs.
  • A fast track B.S.I.S to M.S.I.S or M.S.L.S degree
  • A fast track B.S. in Environmental Science or B.A. in Environmental Studies to M.S.I.S

The basic requirement for admission to the master's programs is a bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university. The student's undergraduate work should demonstrate a strong foundation in liberal arts and sciences. Each master's student is expected to enter the program with a foundation in the basic technological tools (e.g., HTML, CSS, databases) employed in the field. Applicants must meet the requirements for The Graduate School. For details about the entrance requirements and the curriculum for the master's programs, see the program descriptions available on the school's website .

The professional science master's (P.S.M.) in biomedical and health informatics is an interdisciplinary program that prepares the next generation of health informatics leaders. The degree consists of 35 credits and requires about 1.5 academic years (17 months) of full-time study or 2(+) years of part-time study to complete. There are two tracks: public health informatics and clinical informatics. Students in each program track complete a practicum consisting of an internship in a health care, public health, health research, or health information technology organization that includes a project synthesizing knowledge gleaned from the entire program curriculum.

The professional science master's (P.S.M.) in digital curation is a 30-credit-hour, online degree that focuses on digital curation. A comprehensive, project-oriented curriculum allows students to develop the core skills, knowledge, and competencies for ensuring the longevity, authenticity, discoverability, and usability of digital assets.

The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in health informatics is a 55-credit, interdisciplinary program that emphasizes advanced database management, analytics methods and evaluation, and human-computer interactions in health informatics.

The doctor of philosophy in information and library science (Ph.D.) is a research degree. Thus, the purpose of the doctoral program in SILS is to educate scholars who are capable of addressing problems of scholarly consequence in the field of information and library science. Each student will develop a program of studies that is tailored to individual interests and career goals. Required classes include a one semester seminar on research issues and questions (INLS 881) and completion of a course in statistics. Additional courses in research methods and theory development are recommended, as are research experience and substantive content courses that are related to a student's research interests. There are also opportunities for students to develop teaching skills through both coursework and teaching experience.

The school is located in Manning Hall, which houses classrooms as well as the administrative and faculty offices; , one of the most popular Web sites on the Internet; Center for Information, Technology and Public Life (CITAP) is a bold initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill dedicated to researching, understanding, and responding to the growing impact of the internet, social media, and other forms of digital information sharing; The Center for Technology Policy  (CTP) seeks to craft public policy for a better internet. Utilizing an interdisciplinary academic framework, CTP works to identify knowledge gaps and develop actionable policy frameworks that will enable us to realize the potential benefits of technology while minimizing its harms and the Information and Technology Resource Center (ITRC). The ITRC includes the Information and Library Science Library, which holds more than 100,000 volumes. Those interested in any of the SILS degree programs should consult the SILS website or request information from the School of Information and Library Science, CB #3360, 100 Manning Hall, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-3360. E-mail: [email protected].

Jaime Arguello Robert Capra David Gotz,  McColl Term Professor Melanie Feinberg Sandra Hughes-Hassell Christopher (Cal) Lee Gary Marchionini,  Dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor Javed Mostafa Arcot Rajasekar Brian Sturm, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Helen R. Tibbo, Alumni Distinguished Professor

Associate Professors

Tressie McMillan Cottom Bradley M. Hemminger Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi Lukasz Mazur Ryan Shaw

Assistant Professors

Marijel (Maggie) Melo Francesca Tripodi Yue (Ray) Wang

Professor of the Practice

Matt Perault

Research Assistant Professor

Anita Crescenzi

Teaching Associate Professor

Ronald Bergquist

Teaching Assistant Professors

Elliott Kuecker Casey H. Rawson Megan A. Winget

Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses

Graduate-level courses.

NOTE: The prefix, or subject code, for all School of Information and Library Science courses is INLS. When a prerequisite is listed for a course, it may be assumed that an equivalent course taken elsewhere or permission of the instructor also fulfills the prerequisite or corequisite. The course instructor must approve the equivalency of the substitute course. Although graduate students may take courses numbered below 400, they will not receive credit toward a graduate degree for those courses.

Design, implementation, and evaluation of interfaces for computer systems. User-based techniques, usability issues, and human factors.

Prepares students to be conversant with information technologies that underlie digital collections in order to evaluate the work of developers, delegate tasks, write requests for proposals, and establish policies and procedures. Teaches students how to think about information technology systems and recognize and manage interdependencies between parts of the systems.

Students will learn about many of the current issues facing businesses as well as how to prevent and discuss these issues and controls in depth. Focus will be placed upon preventing loss of information and protecting networks. Students should be able to understand any security control, describe its usage and rationale, as well as test and verify these controls are working as expected.

Exploration of an introductory-level special topic not otherwise covered in the curriculum. Previous offerings of these courses do not predict their future availability; new courses may replace these.

Second field experience course to be offered to coincide with the student's information science project in a local organization. Enrollment restricted to IS majors and minors; Instructor permission required.

The behavioral and cognitive activities of those who interact with information, with emphasis on the role of information mediators. How information needs are recognized and resolved; use and dissemination of information.

Analysis, use, and evaluation of information and reference systems, services, and tools for both printed and electronic delivery. Provides a foundation in electronic information search techniques, question negotiation, interviewing, and instruction.

Study of information retrieval and question answering techniques, including document classification, retrieval and evaluation techniques, handling of large data collections, and the use of feedback.

Students with graduate standing in SILS may take the course without the prerequisite. Explores current and future uses of natural language technologies. Topics vary and may include translation, generation, deception, health informatics, ethics and evaluation, and student-selected areas of interest.

Identification, provision, and evaluation of resources to meet primary needs of clientele in different institutional environments.

Examines concepts of health, health conditions, policy, and information collections and services from social and cultural perspectives. Analysis and design for provision and access to consumer health information services.

Introduction to the problems and methods of organizing information, including information structures, knowledge schemata, data structures, terminological control, index language functions, and implications for searching.

Design and implementation of basic database systems. Semantic modeling, relational database theory, including normalization, indexing, and query construction, SQL.

Explores relationships between new information and communication technologies and organizational efforts to define, identify, control, manage, and preserve records. Considers the importance of organizational, institutional and technological factors in determining appropriate recordkeeping strategies.

A survey of print and nonprint library materials particularly suited to the needs of adolescents.

This course encourages students to explore the array of technologies available to children and adolescents, the issues surrounding the use of technology, the role of care givers, and potential impacts on development.

In this course we investigate the special challenges of providing information services to marginalized populations in an increasingly digital world.

Students will implement a personal digital LifeTime Library. Topics include creation of a personal digital library, organization of the material, creation of descriptive metadata, management, and sharing of the collection.

An introduction to information visualization through reading current literature and studying exemplars. The course reviews information visualization techniques, provides a framework for identifying the need for information visualization, and emphasizes interactive electronic visualizations that use freely available tools. Students will construct several visualizations. No programming skills are required.

The history of the origin and development of the book in all its formats: clay tablets to electronic. Coverage includes scientific and other scholarly publications, religious works, popular literature, periodicals, and newspapers.

The history of cultural institutions related to information from earliest times to the present day. Includes specific institutions, trends in service and facilities, and individuals important in the development of these institutions.

This course will explore cultural institutions--libraries, museums, parks, zoological and botanical gardens, reconstructions and other settings--as lifelong educational environments.

Survey of the principles, techniques, and issues in the acquisition, management, and administration of records, manuscripts, archives, and other cultural and documentary resources in paper, electronic, and other media formats.

An overview of storytelling, its historical development, and the presentation and administration of storytelling programs. The class focuses on performance skills merged with theoretical issues.

Introduction to programming and computational concepts. Students will learn to write programs using constructs such as iteration, flow control, variables, functions, and error handling. No programming experience required.

Students will learn about hardware, software, principles, and methods for capturing and curating digital data that have been stored on removable media (i.e., hard drives, floppy disks, USB memory sticks).

Intermediate programming concepts in information processing and data analysis. Students will learn object-oriented programming, data structures, data analysis methods, and information processing techniques in the context of information science topics.

Introduction to current technologies, standards, and best practices for front-end web development using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Includes coverage of responsive design techniques for the development of websites that render and perform well on various devices.

An introduction to techniques and technologies for the development of mobile Web sites and their applications.

Distributed and client/server-based computing. Includes operating system basics, security concerns, and issues and trends in network administration.

Network protocols and protocol stacks. Included are discussions of protocol classes, packet filtering, address filtering, network management, and hardware such as protocol analyzers, repeaters, routers, and bridges.

An introduction to research methods used in information and library science, exploring the design, interpretation, analysis, and application of published research.

Introduction to the systems approach to the design and development of information systems. Methods and tools for the analysis and modeling of system functionality (e.g., structured analysis) and data represented in the system (e.g., object-oriented analysis) are studied.

An overview of ethical reasoning, followed by discussion of issues most salient to information professionals, e.g., intellectual property, privacy, access/censorship, effects of computerization, and ethical codes of conduct.

Introduction to management principles and practices for information professionals working in all types of organizations. Topics include planning, budgeting, organizational theory, staffing, leadership, organizational change and evaluation, and decision making.

Strategies and skills needed to effectively manage projects, integrating project management theory with best practices in different organizational perspectives. Individual and team assignments include readings and case studies.

This course takes an in-depth look at experimental information retrieval systems that focus on different search tasks and are evaluated in community-wide evaluation forums such as TREC and INEX.

This course will allow the student to develop a general understanding of knowledge discovery and gain a specific understanding of text mining. Students will become familiar with both the theoretical and practical aspects of text mining and develop a proficiency with data modeling text.

Similar programming background needed. Understand the Web as a platform for information organizing systems. Learn how the Web has been designed to be a service platform, data publishing platform, and application platform.

This course focuses on issues in personal information management research and practice, including information organization, human cognition and memory, task continuity across devices, preservation, and the role of technology in personal information management.

Intermediate-level design and implementation of database systems, building on topics studied in INLS 523 . Additional topics include MySQL, indexing, XML, and nontext databases.

Students will develop policies for managing digital repositories and persistent archives. The rules will be implemented in the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS), which organizes and distributes data into shareable collections.

This course introduces analytical techniques to deal with very large data sets. Students will become familiar with predictive modeling, clustering, data mining, and paradigms such as map resource.

This project-based course provides an overview of visual analytics. Material includes foundational concepts and theories, seminal and recent research in the field, and hands-on experience with commonly used technologies. Programming experience strongly recommended.

An introduction to the management of audio, film, and video archives with an emphasis on the history of recording, best practices for preservation and access, and copyright. Through selected readings, lecture, class discussion, assignment, and hands-on demonstration, students will gain an understanding of the history of recording, format identification, storage and handling, philosophy of media preservation, and copyright.

Explores the evolution, implications, and complications of social media in multiple spheres of life including sociality, community, politics, power and inequality, education, and information from theoretical and empirical perspectives.

Study of design and implementation of applications using both client and server side configuration and programming. Example topics include PHP, ruby on Rails, and Javascript.

This course is a broad introduction to project management principles, tools, and strategies intended for use in a variety of applications. Key topics include project planning tools, project process groups, risk assessment, budgeting/cost estimation, and team management. Through the use of readings, videos, assignments, and forum discussions, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the strategy behind successful project management and problem resolution.

Exploration of a special topic not otherwise covered in the curriculum, at an intermediate level. Previous offering of this course does not predict future availability; new courses may replace these. Topic varies by instructor.

Senior standing and permission of the instructor. Restricted to information science majors. An introduction to research methods used in information science. Includes the writing of a research proposal.

Senior standing and permission of the instructor. Students in the SILS undergraduate honors program engage in independent research and write an honors thesis reporting the research under the supervision of a faculty member. Restricted to information science majors.

Study by an individual student on a special topic under the direction of a specific faculty member. Six credit maximum for master's students. Graduate faculty.

Senior standing required. Information science major or minor. Contemporary topics of information science, information systems, information technology, information design, and information management. Assessment of future impact of new developments.

Addresses how scholars approach academic work; social relationships within academia; external stakeholders in the scholarly communication system; and emerging technologies' impact upon work practices. Intended for students interested in academic libraries or digital collections of scholarly materials, and/or conducting research on scholarly communication.

Investigates information retrieval techniques and strategies from the world of electronic information sources, including commercial and Internet databases and search engines. Data analysis, marketing, and end-user products and services are explored.

Survey of information and its needs in the social sciences, with an emphasis on information use and search strategies and on information resources.

Survey of the communication of scientific information and the information sources in the physical and biological sciences; emphasis on major bibliographic and fact sources, including online reference services.

Survey of information and its needs in the humanities, with an emphasis on information use and search strategies and on reference and other information resources.

A survey of information used in the health sciences disciplines and professions. The organization of sources, current techniques, and tools for its control, including online databases.

Develops understanding of information/library science research issues related to biomedical and health informatics through the review of journal articles, invited talks, and critical group discussions.

A survey of information and data sources from all levels of U.S. government, and international bodies. Primary focus on strategies for finding information; secondary, collection management, role of librarians, etc.

An introduction to the legal system and the development of law libraries, their unique objectives, characteristics, and functions. The literature of Anglo-American jurisprudence and computerized legal research are emphasized, as well as research techniques.

Combines an introduction to basic business concepts and vocabulary with consideration of current issues in business librarianship and of key print and electronic information sources.

An introduction to the process of evidence-based medicine (EBM) including question building, searching, and critical appraisal of studies and to the supporting roles and opportunities for medical librarians.

Disasters can come in a variety of forms (e.g. hurricanes, floods, fires, tornadoes, etc.) and strike at any time. Preparedness, prevention, and planning are all critical components of effective disaster responsiveness. In this course, students will learn about disaster prevention, recovery, training, and outreach as they apply to the library setting.

Changes in technology and publishing practices have eased the task of recording and sharing textual information electronically. This increased quantity of information has spurred the development of a new field called text mining. The overarching goal of this new field is to use computers to automatically learn new things from textual data. Throughout the course, a strong emphasis will be placed on evaluation. Students will develop an understanding of one method through a course project.

The data explosion experienced by computerization of every aspect of our lives from social media to internet of things requires a deeper look at information analytics. The course introduces proven and emerging analytical techniques that can be used to deal with mountains of mostly unstructured data. We will look at several analytical paradigms from Predictive Modeling to Data Mining, Text Analytics to Web Analytics, Statistical Analysis to novel paradigms in Map Reduce and Storm.

Basic principles for designing the human interface to information systems, emphasizing computer-assisted systems. Major topics: users' conceptual models of systems, human information processing capabilities, styles of interfaces, evaluation methods.

This course will introduce central concepts in usability engineering, testing and evaluation including: UX lifecycle, contextual inquiry, formal and informal evaluation techniques, measures, metrics, qualitative and qualitative analysis, evaluation reporting.

Examines metadata in digital environment. Emphasizes the development and implementation of metadata schemas in distinct information communities and the standards and technological applications used to create machine understandable metadata.

Covers principles, practices, and future trends for cataloging library resources. Topics include RDA/AACR2, MARC, authority control, subject analysis, classification, and cataloging of print, nonprint, and digital resources.

Examines fundamental concepts central to structured metadata implementations and surveys the many types of standards that attempt to harmonize description and enable interoperable systems. The course situates the challenge of implementing standards for interoperable data within the messy reality of persistent interpretive diversity. Students cannot receive credit for both INLS 722 and INLS 720 .

Advanced study of database systems. Topics include database design, administration, current issues in development and use, optimization, indexing, transactions, and database programming.

We explore the management and preservation of electronic records for maintaining institutional accountability; protecting rights of citizens, employees and customers; supporting efficient operations; perpetuating social memory; and helping individuals to integrate the past into their sense of identity. We begin by considering the messy recordkeeping environment that surrounds us and then build up a set of concepts, tools and strategies that information professionals can use to help shape more appropriate, valuable and sustainable recordkeeping systems.

This class will introduce students to current and emerging practices for dealing with big data and large-scale database systems used by many social networking and ecommerce services. These applications are highly data intensive and use novel algorithms and NoSQL databases that are mainly open source, non-schema oriented, having weak consistency properties and heavily distributed over large and evolving clusters of off-the-shelf server systems. We will look at several such systems in this course.

Explores theoretical foundations, historical approaches, and current practices for organizing knowledge. Covers general terminological and classificatory systems, domain semantic systems, and research.

Survey of literature and related materials for children with emphasis on 20th-century authors and illustrators.

Objectives and organization of public library services for children and young adults; designed for those who may work directly with young people or who intend to work in public libraries.

The purpose of this course is to prepare students to work as youth services librarians in today's increasingly diverse society. The course includes a 30-hour service learning component.

This course will prepare students to work as ILS professionals in today's increasingly diverse society. Students will develop a theoretical base in critical race theory (CRT) and other cross-disciplinary theories.

Service, professional, and administrative issues related to information access by nontraditional information service users. The course examines trends, public policy, ethical issues, programming, and evaluation of services.

Research and development issues in digital libraries including: collection development and digitization, mixed mode holdings; access strategies and interfaces, metadata and interoperability, economic and social policies, and management and evaluation.

Survey of the history and practice of music librarianship, with an emphasis on administration, collection development, and public service in academic and large public libraries.

Professional competencies required to work as a special librarian or knowledge manager in a corporate or nonprofit setting. Strategic planning. Organizational dynamics. Tailoring services. Intranet design. Value-added measures. Intellectual capital.

Trends in health care delivery, biomedical research and health sciences education, with emphasis on the impact and use of information. Includes observation of clinical and research settings.

A survey of the history and practice of art and visual resources librarianship/curatorship, with an emphasis on administration, collection development, copyright practices, digital resource management, and public service.

Introduces students to digital curation; focusing best practices for the creation, selection, storage, provision, and long-term preservation of digital entities. Discusses the digital/data curation life cycles and identifies the activities associated with each stage and their social, legal, ethical, and policy implications.

This course explores best practices, standards, new tools, and workflows for the full range of data lifecycle activities including: FAIR data; the ethics of data collection, analysis, and storage; data sharing and reuse for the academic, government, and business sectors; key data curation standards; data quality; document and content management; data maturity models; and organizational change management. The second half of the class focuses on data governance.

Focuses on best practices for the creation, provision, and long-term preservation of digital entities. Topics include digitization technologies; standards and quality control; digital asset management; grant writing; and metadata.

An introduction to current practices, issues, and trends in the preservation of materials for libraries and archives, with an emphasis on integrating preservation throughout an institution's operations.

Explores user needs, information seeking behaviors, and provision of access to primary source materials in archives, manuscript repositories, and museums. User education and outreach are major foci.

Explores history, theories, techniques, and methods that archivists use to identify documents and other materials of enduring value for lone-term preservation.

Recommended preparation, INLS 520 . Explores the history, principles, development, and use of archival description with a focus on EAD and MARC structures. Presents authority and subject analysis work and description for special formats.

Examines information in society for selected nations/cultures. Compares institutions, processes, and trends in the globalization of information management in the face of barriers of language and culture.

Programming experience required. Explores concepts and practice surrounding the implementation and delivery of Web-enabled databases. Students will gain experience with and evaluate PC and Unix Web database platforms.

This course provides fundamental skills for developing software for the analysis of structured data sets. Students will learn data analysis techniques using numeric, textual, and tabular data in the context of data science topics such as information retrieval, textual analysis, and basic machine learning. The course combines conceptual understanding of data structures and algorithms with practical techniques for implementation and debugging. Course concepts are taught using Python. For Certificate in Applied Data Science students.

Prepares students to be conversant with information technologies that underlie digital collections in order to evaluate the work of developers, delegate tasks, write requests for proposals, and establish policies and procedures.

This course will address international standards for repository design and audit; risk assessment and mitigation; repository audit and certification tools and processes; criteria for trustworthiness; and the development of specific workflows to support trustworthy digital curation functions. It is also the first step in preparing for repository self-audits and the Trustworthy Digital Repository Auditor's credential to become an auditor of trustworthy digital repositories (ISO 16363).

Information assurance is a broader concept than (computerized) information security. It deals with aspects of data integrity, privacy, paper and human security issues, and security from several perspectives: legal issues, technical tools and methods, social and ethical concerns, and organization's policies and procedures, and standards. Previously offered as INLS 566.

An applied course introducing computational statistical analysis, machine learning, data exploration and communication with a focus on applied concepts as encountered within common data science applications.

This course will introduce the basic concepts and implementations of relational database management systems suited for data science applications. Topics include user requirements and specifications, ER models, database programming including SQL, data quality, and applications.

This course will introduce students to ethical issues faced by data scientists in creation, collection, curation, and use of data. It addresses issues at multiple scales. Students begin with an overview of ethical frameworks and apply them to cases through the course. Readings and class discussions will be drawn from current events. The course is heavily discussion and participation-based, and students are expected to bring examples of ethical scenarios to class sessions.

Introduce to digital and data curation in a wide array of environments including business, government, and academia. Topics include: the Data Curation Lifecycle; research data management; data sharing; challenges and benefits of big data, good data, open data, and FAIR data; the ethics of data collection, analysis, and storage; data sharing and reuse for the academic, government, and business sectors; and the roles of data management plans in all data venues.

This course explores ethical issues related to information, data, knowledge, and technology in various individual, community, and societal contexts.

Examines the relationships between information, technology, and people from an array of disciplinary, professional, cultural, and other orientations. Survey from historical and future viewpoints. Explores the application of diverse perspective to understand current matters of concern.

During this course each student will prepare a proposal for the work to be completed during the following semester for their masters paper/project ( INLS 992 ). Students will also receive an introduction to research methods used in information and library science, exploring the design, interpretation, analysis and application of published research.

This course will prepare students to conduct their capstone practicum. It includes a broad introduction to project management principles, tools, and strategies intended for use in a variety of applications.

Development of a proposal for the master's paper/project/portfolio.

Addresses evaluation and assessment activities in libraries. Existing tools for evaluation library operations will be considered. Students will design and conduct their own evaluation of one or more library operations.

Examines the role of school, public, and academic librarians in providing instruction. Pedagogy, learning theories, information literacy standards and curricula, and assessment methods are addressed.

This course examines values and ethics and their application to information, data, knowledge, and technology in various contexts. Will include some formal frameworks for ethical reasoning and examination of current and recent issues.

An in-depth look at the management of human resources in libraries and other information agencies. Includes topics such as recruitment, hiring, job analysis, performance appraisal, training, and compensation.

Application of marketing theory to libraries and other information settings. Includes consumer behavior, market research, segmentation, targeting and positioning, public relations, product design, and sales promotion.

Students will learn to read/analyze legal materials, identify major legal issues and legal regulations governing librarians, and use legal information to create policies and guide best practice in particular institutions.

This course examines the effect of big data on politics and the public sphere, how social media affects social movements, and the privacy and security vulnerabilities exposed by the coming Internet of Things. There can be potential negative societal consequences of social media and big data; this course studies the realities of the intersection of big data, algorithmic manipulation of data, and societal understanding of them.

The Applied Data Science Practicum course is designed to build upon the formal classroom instruction in data science concepts and technologies through a "hands-on" project experience within an industry, non-profit or other work environment that relates to the student's primary field of study/practice. The aim is to provide students with a practical learning opportunity to apply data science techniques on real-world problems. Permission of Instructor required for this course.

Permission of Instructor. PSM Internship in Digital Curation is a planned, individualized, mentored, evaluated, experiential learning opportunity that serves as a bridge between academic training and non-academic practice.

Required preparation, completion of 18 semester hours. Permission of the instructor. Supervised observation and practice in an information service agency or library. The student will work a required amount of time under the supervision of an information/library professional and participate in faculty-led discussions for ongoing evaluation of the practical experience.

Required preparation, completion of at least 21 semester hours, including INLS 744 and INLS 754 . Permission of the instructor. Supervised observation and practice in a school library media center. Faculty-led seminars, reflection journals, and on-site faculty observations enhance the experience.

Second Field Experience course to be offered to coincide with graduate students information or library science project in an organization. Department consent required.

This course will provide brief introductions to materials that do not otherwise fit into the 31 credit format of the PSM in Digital Curation degree. This course will cover established topics but also late-breaking developments so as to keep students up-to-date with changes in tools, practices, and standards. A lecture or interview with a digital curation expert will be posted biweekly.

Research and development in design and evaluation of user interfaces that support information seeking. Major topics: interactivity, needs assessment, query and browser interactions, interactive design and maintenance, usability testing.

Study of problems in the organization and administration of college and university libraries with emphasis on current issues in personnel, finance, governance, and services.

Selected topics relating to the roles of various types of libraries in the provision and preservation of popular materials (light romances, science fiction, comic books, etc.) existing in various forms (print, recorded sound, etc.).

Required preparation, completion of 12 semester hours. Selected topics in public library services, systems, networks, and their management. Current issues are emphasized, along with the interests of the participants.

A study of the nature and importance of rare book collections; problems of acquisition, organization, and service.

Doctoral students will work on faculty-sponsored or off-site research projects to gain foundational research skills. Students may be involved in research design, data collection, data analysis, or other research-related activities.

Doctoral standing or permission of the instructor. Intensive and systematic investigation of the fundamental ideas in information and library science. Exploration and discussion in seminar format. Must be taken in fall semester followed by INLS 882 in spring.

Doctoral standing or permission of the instructor. Intensive and systematic investigation of the fundamental ideas in information and library science. Exploration and discussion in seminar format. Must be taken in the spring semester immediately after INLS 881 (offered fall only).

Doctoral standing required. Presentation and discussion of research issues, questions, methods, analytical approaches by students, faculty, or visitors.

Required preparation, doctoral standing or INLS 780 for Master's students. Permission of the instructor for students lacking this preparation. Exploration of topics related to research design and methodology in information and library science.

Permission of the instructor. Doctoral students will observe and work with faculty in the classroom to gain foundational teaching skills. Students may practice designing a class session or exercise, leading a class, and/or grading.

Doctoral or advanced master's standing required. Discussion and critique of the structural components and processes utilized in theory development. Seminar provides knowledge relating to the various stages of theory building.

Doctoral student or advanced master's standing required. Examines teaching, research, publication, and service responsibilities. Provides perspective on professional graduate education and LIS educational programs. Explores changing curricula and discusses ethics, rewards, and problems of academic life.

Doctoral standing required. For doctoral students currently involved in teaching activities, these regular seminar meetings are designed to discuss relevant literature and aspects of the teaching experience.

Exploration of an advanced special topic not otherwise covered in the curriculum. Previous offering of these courses does not predict their future availability; new courses may replace these.

Permission of the instructor. Supports individual and small group research undertaken by doctoral students in information and library science intended to produce research results of publishable quality.

Provides a culminating experience for master's degree students, under the supervision of a faculty member, to engage in: 1) independent research with a final research paper, or 2) a practicum experience with a final presentation or poster.

In this course, students will be introduced to patient engagement, population health, digital therapies; learn about interoperability standards driving data sharing; review the regulatory bodies defining standards of care, along with understanding the privacy and security laws governing the use of health care data. The course includes a project prototyping and pitching a digital health solution. We will hear from industry experts who will participate as guest lecturers with opportunities for students to ask questions.

Study by an individual student on a special topic under the direction of a specific faculty member. Six credits maximum for master's students. Graduate faculty. Permission of the instructor.

Focuses on EHR data standards with emphasis on data management requirements, applications, and services. Course includes HL7, CCHIT, and CDISC standards. For data management specialists, administrators, and health data analysts.

This series explores key areas in Health Informatics and includes research results, overview of programs of research, and evaluative projects. Speakers with extensive informatics experiences and knowledge from both academia and industry are invited to present.

The health informatics internship is a course designed to expand classroom learning to include "hands-on" experience with an industry partner in health care or health information technology. The main aim of the course is to provide the students a practical learning opportunity in Health IT deployment, data collection and management, and data analysis.

Individual work on the doctoral dissertation under the guidance of the student's dissertation advisor. Graduate students must have completed their pillar and elective coursework requirements. A doctoral degree check with program coordinator must be completed before a student can be enrolled in CHIP 994 . Doctoral student standing and permission of instructor required.

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Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS)

The Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) degree at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) prepares students for prestigious careers in library and information science. The program guides students toward expertise in collecting, organizing, storing, and retrieving the world’s recorded knowledge, with an emphasis on developing superior, evidence-based practices for the dynamic and changing arena of information management. Students acquire a strong theoretical knowledge of information science, and learn how those theories apply in real-world situations through jobs, assistantships, original research, and community service.

Graduates of the MSLS program are ready to lead the development of new services and technologies to improve access for information users. They find exciting careers around the world in a variety of settings including academic institutions, government agencies, archives, public and special libraries, school library media centers, non-profits and cultural institutions, and other information agencies. They often specialize in areas such as archive and records management, youth librarianship in schools or public libraries, database administration, reference services and information access, data curation, digital archives, cataloging, and special collection development. 

If you have questions regarding the MSLS program, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]


Top photo: A tech-infused book created by Ally Fiets for SILS Assistant Professor Maggie Melo 's fall 2019 special topics course Information Professionals in the Makerspace. Fiets used 3D printing, laser cutting, and augmented reality to create her book. Through the HP Reveal app, viewers can watch a dance recital in the tiny theater by pointing their smart phones at the ballerina.

Field Experience

MSLS 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 see our Financial Information page. 

Student retention and graduation rates

For information about student retention, average time to degree completion, and post-graduate success rates, please click visit our Student Achievement Data page.

unc phd library science

  • Online application and nonrefundable $95.00 application fee.
  • Three letters of recommendation solicited by entering recommenders email addresses into online application.
  • International applicants must send scores on the TOEFL. 
  • 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 .

unc phd library science

Job titles of recent MSLS graduates:

  • Digital Assets Librarian, Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Garden, Washington, D.C.
  • Electronic Resources Management Librarian, Duke University
  • STEM Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries
  • Teen Services Librarian, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Community Engagement Librarian, NC Live
  • Natural Science and Mathematics Librarian, University of Houston
  • Research Librarian for Music and Performing Arts at University of Virginia
  • Web Application Developer, Wildfire
  • Emerging Technologies Librarian, Appalachian State University
  • North Carolina Collection Librarian, Durham County Library
  • School Librarian, Mount Vernon Middle School, Wake County, NC
  • User Experience Resident Librarian, University of Chicago Library
  • Associate Registrar, Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, Va.
  • Senior Developer, Analytics at Hearful
  • Health Sciences Librarian, IUPUI
  • Access and Outreach Services Librarian, Randolph College
  • Digital Collections Specialist in Learning Sciences, Vanderbilt University
  • Humanities and Fine Arts Librarian, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • Chatham Community Library Youth Services Librarian
  • First Year Instruction and Social Sciences Librarian, UNC-Greensboro
  • Digital Scholarship Librarian, University of Delaware
  • Programming Librarian, Santa Barbara Public Library
  • Member Relations Manager, Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC)
  • Undergraduate Engagement Librarian, Virginia Tech
  • Management Fellow, San Mateo County Libraries
  • Archives Technician, National Archives and Records Administration
  • Instructional Services Coordinator, Binghamton University Libraries
  • Metadata Specialist, Digital Indy Grant
  • Design Assistant/Asset Management, Glen Raven
  • Library Specialist, Boulder Public Library

Visit our alumni profiles page for professional and personal stories from other SILS graduates.

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School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 216 Lenoir Drive • CB #3360 100 Manning Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360 Visiting & Directions

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  1. Doctor of Philosophy in Information and Library Science (PhD)

    The Doctoral Program at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) provides an environment that enables creative and energetic students to become innovative thinkers and leaders.

  2. Information & Library Science

    The School of Information and Library Science, also known as the iSchool at Carolina, offers an undergraduate major and minor, master’s degrees and a Ph.D. We are consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top schools by U.S. News & World Report.

  3. Information and Library Science

    MSIS Program Coordinator: Dr. Brad Hemminger ([email protected]. MSLS Program Coordinator: Dr. Casey Rawson ([email protected]) PHD Program Coordinator: Robert Capra [email protected]: Address: School of Information & Library Science CB# 3360, 100 Manning Hall University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC 27599: Website: Phone: 919 ...

  4. School of Information and Library Science (GRAD)

    The school offers graduate instruction leading to the degrees of master of science in information science (M.S.I.S.), master of science in library science (M.S.L.S.), professional science master's degrees (P.S.M.) in digital curation and biomedical and health informatics, doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in information and library science, and a doc...

  5. Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS)

    The Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) degree at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) prepares students for prestigious careers in library and information science.