MSIS Program Policies

Academic Advising/Plan of Study

Each student is assigned an academic advisor at the time of admission to graduate study. These assignments are made primarily on the basis of the student's background and interests as shown in the application. The student may at any time elect to change advisors: any such change requires the consent of the new advisor and must be reported to the Program. Forms for changing advisors are available in the Program office.

At the time of initial registration or before the completion of the first term, the student is encouraged, but not required to, fill out and discuss the plan of study with their advisor.

A Plan of Study is a series of courses designed to meet the minimum exit competencies judged by the faculty to be necessary for employment as an information professional. Students coming into the program without prior course work or work experience in the areas covered by the Plan of Studies should adhere fairly closely to the suggested plan. If there has been course work or experience in one or more of the content areas of the program, students are permitted to substitute and take courses in an area in which additional background is needed.

All Plans of Study must have the approval of the advisor. Each student must insure that the Plan of Study meets all of the program requirements for graduation. At the completion of the program, the advisor will sign the Plan of Study signifying recommendation of the student for graduation. If the courses completed on the student's transcript do not correspond with the Plan of Study as filed, there may be a delay in approval for graduation.

The Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) degree is conferred upon students who have:

  1. acquired proficiency in the core areas of information science;
  2. obtained a substantial understanding of the larger problems, particularly the use, non-use, and misuse of information, and the function of information in a global society;
  3. completed a minimum of 36 credits that may include a practicum or thesis;
  4. satisfied the general University requirements relating to graduate degrees.

With the possible exception of six credits of advanced standing, all course work must be completed in residence in the Graduate Information and Technology Program (i.e., registering with an INFSCI program code) at the University of Pittsburgh.

The student’s advisor may approve certain exceptions to this policy:

  1. Up to six credits taken at other member institutions in the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE).
  2. Up to six credits of independent study course work may be applied toward a graduate degree in information science and will be counted as meeting one of the area (foundations, etc.) requirements.
  3. Up to six credits of upper-division (1000-1999) undergraduate course work may be applied toward a graduate degree in information science.  These will normally be very specialized courses that meet some particular need.  Prerequisite programming course work is explicitly excluded from this condition. Other credits (including the practicum or thesis) must be at the graduate level (2000 or 3000 course numbers). No University of Pittsburgh courses numbered below 1000 may be applied toward master's degree requirements. 
  4. Up to six credits of Practicum experience.  Practicum credits are counted as electives.

No combination of such exceptions will exceed 9 credits. All requirements for a specialization or general degree requirements (i.e. 2 Foundation courses, 2 Cognitive courses, and 6 Systems and Technology courses) must still be met.

Grade requirements/grading policy