Information Science Graduate Degrees

The Department of Information Science offers a Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS), a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Library and Information Science, and a Ph.D. in Information Science. The MSIS also offers a combined undergraduate/MSIS program, dual degree programs with English and History and a School Library Media teacher certification program. With concentrations in Information Systems and Technology, Library and Information Services, School Library Media, and Archives and Records Administration, graduates of the ALA accredited MSIS are prepared for a variety of Information Science occupations. Graduates with the Information Science doctorate are well positioned for rewarding, challenging careers in either research or information-dependent roles in business, government, education, or the nonprofit sector.

M.S. in Information Science

The M.S.I.S. program is one of 50 nationally to be accredited by the American Library Association, which has more than 66,000 members in public, state, school, academic and special libraries in every sector of the economy. Graduates are prepared for careers as librarians, archivists, technology specialists, school library media specialists, network or database administrators, and much more!

The M.S. in Information Science prepares students for jobs where the generation, management, and use of information is the dominant or essential requisite. It involves successful completion of 42 credits and provides five areas of concentration:

•    Archives/Records Administration
•    Library & Information Services
•    Library & Information Services/School Library Media Specialist
•    Information Management & Policy
•    Information Systems & Technology

Two programs combine the M.S.I.S. and the M.A. in either English or History. The Department of Information Studies also offers a Certificate of Advanced Study, a post-master’s degree that allows students to pursue individualized programs related to information.

The program also provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to enter a doctoral program in information science.

Detailed information about program requirements can be found on the M.S.I.S. page.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a college or university of recognized standing. Applications may be submitted for admission to the M.S.I.S. program or for non-degree study.

All applicants except those with a graduate degree in another field must submit scores on the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination (G.R.E.). The G.R.E. Admission Standard for the M.S.I.S. are: 300 total combined score on the verbal and quantitative sections of the G.R.E. plus a score of 4.0 or above on the analytical writing section. Note: You must submit G.R.E. scores unless you have a previous graduate degree. Candidates with a previous graduate degree may be admitted with advanced standing, permitting the transfer of up to six hours of previous graduate course work. Three letters of recommendation and official transcripts of all academic study are also required.

Information and application packets can be requested by telephone, mail, e-mail, or the graduate admissions Web site.

  • Call: 518-442-3980
  • Write to: The Office of Graduate Admissions, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave. Albany, NY 12222
  • E-mail to:

For specific MSIS or CAS program and admission questions, contact the Information Studies office: 518-442-5110,

About the Program

The degree requires completion of at least 42 credits. There are five areas of concentration:

  • Archives/Records Administration - to prepare students who wish to pursue a career in archives, or as paper or electronic records managers
  • Library & Information Services - to prepare students for professional positions in academic, special, or public libraries
  • Library & Information Services/ School Library Media Specialist - to prepare students seeking certification to work in public school libraries throughout New York State
  • Information Management & Policy - to prepare students pursuing careers as information managers in corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations
  • Information Systems & Technology - to prepare students for professional employment as systems and technology experts in a wide range of government, library, corporate and nonprofit organizations

Combined M.A. and M.S.I.S Programs

Two programs combine the M.S.I.S. and the M.A. in either English or History. By applying six credits in information studies and seven from English or history, a student can reduce the number of credits needed to 59 credits for the history program and 61 credits for the English program. However, additional coursework may be required by faculty members.

  • Note: Students in the dual degree program who choose to do the M.A. in History with a concentration in Public History must complete a total of six internship credits to satisfy the requirements of the two degrees. Due to the additional six-credit internship requirement, students with a concentration in Public History are required to complete a minimum of 65 credits for both degrees. Consultation with advisors in both programs is necessary for determining how to satisfy the internship requirements.

    Students may be admitted to a dual master's degree program at the beginning of their graduate studies, but no later than after completing 20 applicable graduate credits. Work done for an awarded master's or doctoral degree may not be used for this program. You must be admitted to graduate study in both the M.A. and M.S.I.S. degree programs for the dual program.

    For more information please check the M.A.M.S.I.S. Information Sheet.

    Combined B.A./M.S.I.S. or B.S./M.S.I.S.Programs

    The combined B.A./M.S.I.S. or B.S./M.S.I.S. program in information studies provides a unique opportunity for capable, highly motivated students to pursue any undergraduate liberal arts major while at the same time beginning their professional preparation for a career in information science. The emphasis of the program is on the planning, provision and administration of information systems and services.  M.S.I.S. concentrations include Archives and Records Administration, Information Management and Policy, Information Systems and Technology, Library and Information Services, and Library and Information Services/School Media (leads to NYS certification for School Library Media Specialist).
    For more information please check the Combined B.A./M.S.I.S. or B.S./M.S.I.S. Information Sheet.

    Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) in Library and Information Science

    The certificate is offered to students who wish to specialize in a particular area of interest beyond the master’s degree. The program includes a minimum of 30 semester credits of graduate study beyond the master's degree. An adviser helps each student design a program using courses within the Department and from other disciplines, such as the schools of Business and of Education, the Graduate School of Public Affairs, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

    For more information please check the CAS Information Sheet.

    Additional Information for Graduate Students

  • View the Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

    Program Name: Certificate of Advanced Study in Library and Information Science

  • Program costs

    For New York State Residents For full-time students, this 30-credit program may be completed in one calendar year (2 full semesters + summer). Costs below are based on two semesters of 12 credits each with 6 additional credits in summer or a following semester. For part-time students, the tuition + fee cost is $544.81 for 1 credit.

    • Tuition and fees $15,406.10
    • Books and supplies $1,500
  • The 2016-17 costs for in-state, out-of-state, and international students, as well as financial aid opportunities for M.S.I.S. candidates, can be found here: Costs & Financial Aid Information Sheet.

    The above costs are subject to change. See more costs information at:

    International Students & Online Coursework

    University at Albany policy: Undergraduate and graduate students need to be registered for a minimum of 12 credits to retain "full-time" status. Under certain circumstances, if you have a teaching or graduate assistantship or are a research student pursuing only research credits, you may be allowed to register for fewer credits to be in full-time status. Please confirm with ISSS office if you need any clarifications.

    Note: No more than one course or 3 credits of online/distance education per academic term may counted toward the full time enrollment requirement. This means that students in their last semester cannot only take an online course, and students taking more than the required course load may be eligible for more online courses (so if a student is taking 15 credits rather than 12 credits, 6 credits may be fully online). This only applies to fully online courses, not hybrids.

  • Graduation Rates

  • As the number of students who completed the program during the most recent award year was less than 10, for privacy reasons, this information is not disclosed to the public.

    Job placement rate of graduates: Reported if aligned with the requirements of the accreditor or State.

    Median loan debt of graduates: As the number of students who completed the program during the most recent award year was less than 10, for privacy reasons, this information is not disclosed to the public.

    GE Disclosure Link:

  • Ph.D. in Information Science

    Detailed information on the Ph.D. program in Information Science can be obtained from the 2017-2018 INF Ph.D. Manual.

    This interdisciplinary program is designed for persons interested in:

    • Advanced study and applied research in the nature of information as a phenomenon.
    • The character of the information transfer process, including the creation of new knowledge, the utilization of what is known.
    • The dissemination of knowledge in both conventional and electronic formats.

    Emphasizing research, teaching, and the application of research to practice, the program is built on the model of the scientist-practitioner. It prepares graduates for both academic and research careers in information science or related disciplines and for higher-level management and policy positions in private and public sector organizations.

    At Albany, the Information Science Ph.D. Program is a collaborative effort of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, the School of Education, and research faculty from several disciplines and centers across the University.

    Admissions Requirements

    Applicants to the INF Ph.D. Program must satisfy the general University requirements for admission to doctoral study described in the Graduate Bulletin. Admission to this program is highly selective and is based on an assessment of the applicant’s potential to make a major contribution to theory and practice in Information Science.

    New doctoral students are typically admitted only for the fall semester. Candidates should have a substantial background of previous academic work, preferably at the graduate level, in a discipline concerned with perception, evaluation and manipulation of information, and should possess appropriate analytic skills.

    The doctoral Admissions Committee seeks evidence of motivation, energy and commitment to the discipline, academic achievement sufficient to promise success at the doctoral level, strong oral and written communication skills, and an adequate level of technical ability.

    While the program is open to those who hold the baccalaureate degree, preference is given to candidates who have completed a master’s degree in information science, computer science, communication, geography and planning, public administration, business, management information systems, information management, accounting, criminal justice, library science, or a related field.

    Applicants must submit official transcripts for all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework and scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), or the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination. Three letters of recommendation are required, at least one of which should speak to the candidate’s academic abilities. For candidates with substantial work experience in the information field, one or more letters from current or former supervisors or co-workers are appropriate.

    Candidates are encouraged to submit additional documentation, such as a curriculum vitae, a portfolio of previous work, publications, reports, research papers, or examples of such work as computer systems, programs or other materials that might be helpful to the Admissions Committee in assessing capacity for doctoral study and independent research.

    Admission Timetable

    Application for doctoral admission must be received by January 15 for the fall semester. In addition to coordinating the review and decision-making process for each applicant, services are available at the Office of Graduate Admissions to assist students who desire clarification or more detailed information about programs and admission standards. Individual counseling sessions with faculty from any of the program’s schools can also be arranged.

    Information concerning admissions policies and processes can be found at the University’s Office of Graduate Admissions. For further information or an application packet, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions.

    Program of Study

    The INF Ph.D. Program consists of five major components: (1) Core interdisciplinary courses, (2) Research sequence, (3) Technology competencies, (4) Primary and secondary specialization areas, and (5) Doctoral dissertation.

    The university requires a minimum of 60 credits beyond the baccalaureate, plus at least one additional year devoted to researching and writing a dissertation. Applicants who have completed graduate courses or programs may be admitted with advanced standing and be allowed a maximum of thirty credits for courses applicable to the Ph.D.

    Courses and research requirements are designed to provide the successful candidate with a firm grounding in the social and technical impacts of information creation, use, dissemination and storage. Development of an appreciation and understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of information research is also emphasized.

    Each student will develop an individualized program of study to meet these requirements under the advisement of the Program Director and the student’s Program Guidance Committee.

    Requirements for Admission to Candidacy

    Formal admission to degree candidacy occurs after successful completion of all prerequisites and core courses with at least a B average, primary and secondary specialization requirements, literature review requirement, comprehensive examination, and residency requirement. Admission to degree candidacy occurs only with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies acting on recommendations of the Graduate Academic Council, the Program Director, and Program faculty. Only upon admission to candidacy can a student register for doctoral dissertation load credit (IINF 899). The following requirements are necessary for students to be admitted to candidacy and begin dissertation work.

    1. Program Plan of Study
    2. Full-Time Study in Residence
    3. Qualifying Requirements
    4. Technology Competencies
    5. Core Course Work
    6. Research Sequence
    7. Primary Specialization Course Work
    8. Secondary Specialization Course Work
    9. General Comprehensive Examination
    10. Literature Review
    11. Primary Specialization Publishable Paper

    Doctoral Dissertation

    The completion of a dissertation is expected to demonstrate that the candidate is capable of doing independent scholarly work and is able to formulate conclusions which may in some respects modify or enlarge what has previously been known.

    Detailed guidelines and procedures governing the Ph.D. dissertation at the University at Albany are contained in a publication called “General Regulations Governing the Submission of a Dissertation in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for a Doctoral Degree.” Each student entering the dissertation process should obtain a copy from the Office of Graduate Studies.

    It is important to remember that dissertations that include research involving human subjects must be approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board. Copies of University guidelines for such approval are available from the Office of Regulatory Research Compliance.

    The doctoral dissertation is subject to the general regulations outlined in the current Graduate Bulletin of the University.


    Students must complete two individualized sequences of courses, practicum, and supervised research in primary and secondary areas of specialization. Currently approved areas of specialization are:

    • Data Analytics (DA)
    • Geographic Information Science (GIS)
    • Information Assurance (IA)
    • Information, Government, and Democratic Society (IGDS)
    • Information in Organizational Environments (IOE)
    • Knowledge Organization and Management (KOM)
    • Self Designed Specialization (subject to program approval)
    • Business Information and Decision Systems (BIDS)--May not be offered
    • Information Technology and Learning (ITL)--May not be offered