Library and Information Science: Information Science and Technology Concentration

The Library and Information Science (MS): Information Science and Technology Concentration is a flexible, highly-inclusive program that combines theory, hands-on competencies, and understanding of industry- and professional practices to expose students to the kinds of knowledge they’ll be expected to know as a Master of Science.

Student working at a computer

Technology is increasingly an integral part of the Library and Information Science profession. Our program is designed for students who are interested in developing skills and knowledge in information technology, while maintaining a strong grounding in human information behavior and the service orientation of Library and Information Science.

Students who graduate with this concentration will have an understanding of major theories in information science and be able to apply them to specific research or professional contexts; fundamental programming knowledge and skills; skill in database design and application; and proficiency in one or more areas in information science and technology within the user-system continuum ⁠— all with an eye to creating or working in socio-technical environments that appreciate the diversity and complexity of today’s information settings.

The skills and knowledge gained in this concentration prepare graduates for careers in libraries, museums, archives, management of information systems and also for data-rich business and research settings.

The SLIS Master of Science/Information Science and Technology Concentration is a 36-credit program that imparts the concepts and competencies needed for positions in a variety of information settings. In addition to three core courses in library and information science, IS&T students take three core courses in the areas of programming, database management and theories in information science. They also complete two electives focused on information science and technology and 4 electives that can serve to bridge across other areas within library and information science.

LIS Core Courses: 9 credits

  • LIS 415 Information Organization 
  • LIS 407 Reference/Information Services  
  • LIS 488 Technology for Information Professionals

Students are required to take LIS 407, LIS 415, and LIS 488 within their first 12 credits. 

Three Core IS&T Requirements: 9 credits

  • LIS 484 Theories of Information Science
  • LIS 485 Introduction to Programming
  • LIS 458 Database Management    

Two Electives: 6 credits 

Select any two from the list below

Systems-oriented:

  • LIS 487 Data Interoperability
  • LIS 467 Web Development & Information  Architecture
  • LIS 486 Systems Analysis in Information Services

User-oriented:

  • LIS 465 Knowledge Management
  • LIS 455 Usability & User Experience Research
  • LIS 421 Social Informatics
  • LIS 462 Digital Libraries
  • LIS 475 Org/Info Ethics
  • LIS 500 Independent study / Special Project with IST focus

Four Electives: 12 credits

Select any four courses across the LIS curriculum. This list below includes recommended electives.

  • LIS 403 Evaluation of Information Services
  • LIS 466 Information Retrieval 
  • LIS 473 Information Visualization
  • LIS 445 Metadata

For more details, see our course descriptions.

Students may complete the master of science degree program in library and information science fully online. Students may choose the DYO (Design Your Own) option, and customize their degree program to reflect their professional goal. They may choose to concentrate their studies in information science and technology or archives management.

The Information Science and Technology concentration follows the same requirements of the on-campus program. All class modalities are open to students in our program (online, face to face, blended). Excepting mode of delivery, online courses are identical to face to face courses in content and learning objectives. Online courses are asynchronous, meaning that teaching and learning in the online course environment is not bound to time or place. Just as face-to-face students must meet assignment deadlines set by their instructors and actively engage in learning in the classroom space, online students are similarly obligated to complete assignments on time and participate in learning activities. The difference between the online and face-to-face experience: online students may access and engage with organized learning materials anytime and anywhere they are connected to the Internet.

Because all MS students may register for and participate in online classes, the SLIS online classrooms have become spaces for local and distant students to learn and network.

SLIS has attained an outstanding reputation for first-rate internships — essential for success in the field. We strongly encourage all students to gain experience in the field, and we help students connect with the best sites for their career goals. Our location in Boston opens up opportunities for partnerships with a range of information technology companies, IT start-ups, libraries, archives, and historical sites, but our contacts also extend across the country.  We work with you to obtain a challenging internship in your area and offer continued support to ensure that your experience meets your professional goals. 

The winning combination of a degree plus work experience puts SLIS graduates in a strong position to find employment after finishing their program. SLIS graduates report that their pre-professional work experience helped them to identify which environments and jobs were right for them, while also building their networks. 

Students will leave the program qualified for a range of positions such as systems analysts, systems librarians, knowledge managers, web developers, web content designers and managers, information architects, usability specialists, user experience (UX) designers, information behavior researchers, interaction designers, IT managers, requirement analysts, IT support specialists, database developers, social media managers, to digital collection managers, and more.

While all students enter the LIS program with different talents, skills, and abilities, LIS instructors expect all students to possess a baseline of knowledge, skill, and familiarity with technology. Read about the SLIS Tech Competencies and the Technology Requirements for students. 

Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

Apply to the on-campus or online program.

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