School of Library and Information Sciences

Main Office
Information Sciences Building, 205
P.O. Box 311068
Denton, TX 76203-1068
(940) 565-2445
Fax: (940) 565-3101
Web site:

Philip M. Turner, Dean

Herman L. Totten, Associate Dean

Graduate Faculty: Chandler, A. Cleveland, D. Cleveland, Copeland, Hastings, Moen, O'Connor, Rorvig, Schamber, Shin, Simpson, Stein, Totten, Turner.

The School of Library and Information Sciences prepares graduates for dynamic roles in the information 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:

The school offers programs 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.

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.

Prospective applicants for admission should contact the School of Library and Information Sciences office to receive 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 and southwestern states.

The Master of Science degree program is accredited by the American Library Association [50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611; (312) 280-2432].


Faculty pursue research in diverse areas of the library and information science fields, including the implementation and management of automated library systems; 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 and sonification; distribution patterns of human judgements of relevancy and nonrelevancy 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 services and user needs.

Joint student/faculty research projects include cognitive models of producers and users in distance education; dissemination of communication of airline flight safety information; telecommunication policy in global economics; MARC records enhancement; assessing the quality and usability of metadata; the relationship of bandwidth and distance on the perception of nonverbal emotions in videoconferencing; linear classifiers applied to document feature sectors; Web searching; interactive information retrieval; use and perception of the World Wide Web by international physicians.

Faculty members (and doctoral students) have published the results of their research in a variety of national and international journals, including, Acquisitions Librarian; Advances in Digital Libraries; Annual Review of Information Science and Technology; Australian Academic and Research Libraries Journal; Australian Library Journal; Collection Development; Communications of the ACM; Electronic Networking; Government Information Quarterly; Information Processing and Management; Information Resources Management Journal; Information Standards Quarterly; Information Technology and Libraries; Interacting with Computer: The International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction; Journal of the American Society for Information Science; Journal of Education for Library and Information Science; Journal of Library Administration; Library and Information Science Research; Library Trends; Libri: The International Journal; Medical Reference Services Quarterly; Nuclear Medicine; Planning for Higher Education; Principal; Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science; Proceeding of the Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care; Online and CD-ROM Review; Research, Application, and Policy; School Library Journal; School Library Media Quarterly; Spectra; Standard View; Technology Connection; Texas Library Association Journal; Topics in Health Information Management; and Visual Resources.

Degree ProgramsMaster of Science

The master's degree program provides the basic graduate preparation required for the first professional degree. The Master of Science is one of the 56 degree programs in the United States and Canada that are accredited by the American Library Association [50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611; (312) 280-2432].

The master's degree is offered through both on-campus and distance education degree programs. The current distance education sites are Texas Tech University in Lubbock, the University of Houston, and sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The Learning Resources Endorsement (LRE) can be obtained through web-based instruction, requiring a total of three days on campus. The on-campus and distance education degree programs are governed by the same policies and procedures for admission, retention and graduation. The programs are supervised by the dean of the school with central coordination under the vice president for academic affairs. The programs function under the same governance structures for ensuring that curriculum and instructional mechanisms are in keeping with the mission and educational outcomes of the school. All policies and procedures related to admission, satisfactory academic progress, courses of study for degree requirements, course objectives, and grading criteria for courses are clearly stated and published as appropriate in the school's bulletin, student handbook, course outlines, or printed program guides.

The master's program prepares information professionals for work in a variety of roles and application settings, including various information agencies and all types of libraries. In addition, the program prepares at a master's level individuals who wish to pursue study in the theoretical development of information science.

To provide this education, the program rests on a broad conceptual framework that is covered in the core courses, and the program is elaborated in courses that educate information professionals for a number of different client settings. The unique nature of this program, and what sets it apart from other programs in the university that may deal in some way with the topic of information, is the approach to the study of information, its behavior and its use from the point of view of the user.


The master's program objective 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.

Specifically, students should:

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

2. be 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 and interaction 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.

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) on prior academic work (special consideration is given to the student's grade point average in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and to the average earned in any post-baccalaureate study completed by the applicant);

3. acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (applicants will be considered for regular admission only if satisfactory GRE scores are on file at the time the admission application is considered by the school); contact 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 Graduate Record 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. 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 Graduate Record 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. information summary for the School of Library and Information Sciences;

b. three letters of recommendation; and

c. statement of purposes and goals.

School of Library and Information Sciences information summary and recommendation forms are available on the school's web site:, or may be requested from the School of Library and Information Sciences.

Program Requirements

Students may pursue degree concentrations in library science or information science. The program may be completed in one calendar year of full-time study, although many students extend their work over a longer period.

Students in all graduate programs are required to demonstrate general computer proficiency before graduation. This requirement, which should be met before the end of the first 12 hours of credit, may be satisfied by taking SLIS 5710, Information Technology, 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 must 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.

The faculty may approve a program of study for a specific geographical area as part of a cooperative program with other schools.

Students must complete all planned course work with an average grade of B (3.0) or better, pass a final written comprehensive examination and file an application for the degree.

Core Courses

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

Up to 9 adviser-approved hours from any institution (including other programs at UNT) may be transferred in to be used in the master's program. No more than 6 of these may be from other ALA-accredited programs. (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).


Students may choose a concentration in either library science or information science. All course selections must be made under the guidance of a student's faculty adviser and approved by the associate dean.

Elective courses beyond the 9 hours of required core courses are determined in consultation with the student's faculty adviser. To assist in the advising process, the faculty have approved three programs of study.

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 addition to the core, the student should take one of the courses in each of the following categories: Human Information Behavior (Cognitive, Organizational and Societal Issues) ­ SLIS 5020, 5080 or 5960; Organization of Information ­ SLIS 5205, 5210, 5220 or 5400; Retrieval and Access ­ SLIS 5206, 5610 or 5615; Information Technologies ­ SLIS 5711, 5713, 5714, 5730, and 5750; and Management and Administration ­ SLIS 5300, 5302, 5303, 5305, 5306 or 5712.

School Librarianship and Learning Resources

Students who hold or obtain a valid Texas teaching certificate may qualify for an all-level learning resources endorsement (for positions in school libraries and learning resources centers) by completing a program of 16 semester hours plus practicum (which also may be applied to the master's degree) and by subsequently passing the appropriate state competency examination.

The program, which must be planned under advisement and be approved by the School of Library and Information Sciences and by the Student Advising Office of the College of Education, normally includes SLIS 5000, 5090, 5340, 5420, 5430, 5720 and 5960 (or their equivalents) with some substitution possible depending on prior study and experience.

At least 12 of the required hours must be completed at UNT, and all the required hours must be eligible for master's degree credit at UNT.

Health Informatics

Students who plan to specialize in health informatics normally will include in the program of study the SLIS core courses, SLIS 5205, Information Indexing, Abstracting and Retrieval; SLIS 5365, Health Sciences Information Management; SLIS 5615, Electronic Databases and Information Services; SLIS 5637, Medical Informatics; and SLIS 5713, Telecommunications for Information Professionals.

In addition, students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship in a healthcare environment.

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. The student will be allowed to register for courses in subsequent semesters, so long as a minimum 3.0 GPA is achieved on all graduate work attempted during any given semester, even though the overall GPA is below 3.0. Such students will remain on probation until the GPA is 3.0 or higher on all graduate work taken.

If a student on probation does not achieve a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher in graduate courses taken in a semester (fall, spring or summer terms), the student will be placed on academic suspension for one semester (fall, spring or summer) and will be so notified by the School of Graduate Studies. Any student on suspension who enrolls in courses will be administratively withdrawn.

Any student on probation who has previously been placed on suspension and fails to make a GPA of 3.0 or higher on all graduate work taken during a semester (fall, spring or summer) will be withdrawn from the master's program and will be so notified by the School of Graduate Studies. A student who has been withdrawn may reapply for the master's degree program three years after the date of withdrawal.

Any student receiving grades below C in more than two courses (6 hours) will be dropped from the program. A course in which a grade of C or less has been earned may be repeated one time only to earn a grade of B or more.

Graduation Requirements

Joint Master's Degree Program

The School of Library and Information Sciences offers joint master's degrees with the Department of History; a Master of Science with an emphasis in library science and a Master of Science in history with an emphasis in applied history. Each is a 36-hour degree, but the two together require a total of 60 hours. Six hours of history and 30 hours of library and information science are included in the master's degree program in the School of Library and Information Sciences; 12 hours of library and information science courses, 15 hours of applied history (exclusive of the 6 hours of history included in the other master's degree) and 9 hours of traditional history are included in the master's degree in the Department of History.

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 aptitude 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 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 adviser 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.

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science

The interdisciplinary doctoral program 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 revolutionary 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 requires the focusing of resources, courses and faculties from a broad range of academic units.

At UNT, five 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 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 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. Possession of a master's degree in an information related field from an accredited institution.

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 adviser. Requirements approved by the major adviser 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 adviser.

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 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 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 semester; 3 hours toward degree).

Methods Core, 9 Hours

Design, 3 Hours

Statistics, 3 Hours

Elective, 3 Hours

Subject Core, 9 Hours

Areas of Concentration, 18 Hours in Two Areas

Information Theory and Design, 9 Hours

Information and Behavior, 9 Hours

Information Policy and Management, 9 Hours

Electives, 9 Hours

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

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 adviser and the program committee. Deficiencies can be met by enrollment in a variety of courses as determined by the student's major adviser 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, Fundamentals of 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 grade average of B 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 adviser 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 format of the written examination is normally an in-house, closed-book examination, handwritten or produced on a word processor, given in four sections of four hours duration. 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: 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.

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