|THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG|
|Table of Contents > College of Communication and Information Sciences|
8.5 SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND
INFORMATION STUDIES (LS)
Director: Dr. Ann E. Prentice, Office: 513 Gorgas Library
Through excellence in teaching, research, and service, SLIS is committed to educate socially responsible information professionals prepared to empower diverse populations in a multitude of contexts, communities, and cultures.
To advance the theory, art, and practice of professions specializing in the use and creation of information in traditional and emergent forms.
Since its beginnings more than forty years ago, SLIS has developed a unique interdisciplinary personality that blends the arts, humanities, and social sciences. We support a mutual belief in and respect for those we serve. This is evident in our strong support of intellectual freedom, access to all, and the tenets of social justice.
The educational objectives of these graduate programs are as follows:
Facilities. The School classrooms, faculty offices and shared spaces are housed on the fifth floor of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library in the heart of the campus. Student spaces provide desktop computing, printing, laptop workstations, individual and group work spaces, professional resources and a collection of children and youth literature. A student lounge is conveniently located for relaxation and refreshment.
Academic Common Market (ACM). The School of Library and Information Studies participates in the ACM, an agreement among selected Southern states to share academic programs at in-state tuition rates. Residents of the states of Arkansas, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia may make an ACM application to attend the MLIS program. If accepted, The University of Alabama will pay the out-of-state portion of the student’s tuition. Residents of Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee may apply to the ACM to attend the MFA in book arts program, also with UA’s paying the out-of-state portion of tuition. Background information on the ACM, a list with the contact information for each state’s ACM Coordinator, and an online application to the UA Academic Common Market.
A number of departmental assistantships (which not only pay a stipend but also cover some out-of-state fees), as well as a number of scholarships, are available each academic year. For information Contact the Director of the School of Library and Information Studies.
MASTER OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (MLIS) PROGRAM
An applicant whose credentials meet the following minimum requirements may be considered for regular admission:
Not every student whose credentials meet the stated quantitative standards is admitted.
Information about the GRE is available from the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540. The MAT is given by the testing service of most colleges and universities and may be taken by appointment. Applicants should plan well in advance so that examination results are available when needed to support an application for admission. Braille editions of the GRE and the MAT can be obtained from The University of Alabama, Test Service, Box 870108, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0108.
Application instructions may be obtained from the Graduate School's website.
Conditional Admission Requirements
An applicant whose credentials do not meet the stated requirements may be considered for conditional admission if the following minimum requirement is satisfied:
A graduate student admitted conditionally removes the condition by earning an average of "B" or better for the first 12 semester hours of graduate-level work completed and by satisfying any other conditions specified by the School at the time of admission. If the 12 hours are completed in a term in which the total credits exceed 12, the evaluation is made on the basis of all graduate-level work completed at the end of that term of enrollment. Failure to remove the condition within the first 12 hours of graduate work will result in the student's being dropped from the program. A student who satisfies the condition automatically assumes the status of a regularly admitted graduate student.
Nondegree Admission Requirements
A student may be admitted as a nondegree student if that person has either a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or an acceptable test score: 50th percentile on the MAT or 300 on the GRE general test. No more than 12 hours may be taken as a nondegree student and applied to a degree.
See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information on admission to all programs.
Candidates for the MLIS degree must earn a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit, completing all work with a grade average of "B" or better. A thesis is not required. All MLIS students must complete, as part of the minimum 36 hours, the following 18 hours of required courses:
Thesis and Coursework Plans
Two plans are offered for the master’s degree:
Plan I: Thesis.
Candidates for the master’s degree under the thesis plan must earn a minimum of thirty-six hours of credit, including fifteen hours of required courses, a three-hour required management and administration course, and six hours of thesis credit (LS 599); no more than six hours of thesis credit may be counted toward the degree.
Intent to elect the thesis option must be formally declared within the first nine hours of enrollment in graduate LIS courses. The declaration of intent must indicate the subject area of the research and the faculty member who has agreed to direct the thesis.
The student must identify a three-person thesis committee, to consist of at least two full-time SLIS faculty members, at least one of whom must be must be a full member of the graduate faculty; a third committee member may be a faculty member from another department of the University, a faculty member from another institution, or a well-qualified practitioner. All committee members must hold appropriate Graduate Faculty status.
The student must obtain committee approval for a prospectus for the thesis project prior to enrolling in thesis credit; a formal defense of the prospectus will constitute the final examination for the MLIS degree.
The student must complete and successfully defend a thesis that meets the requirements established by the Graduate School. The thesis defense shall be made orally before the student’s thesis committee and will be open to the public.
Plan II: Coursework.
Candidates for the master’s degree under the coursework plan must earn a minimum of thirty-six hours of credit, including fifteen hours of required courses and a three-hour required management and administration course.
Transfer of Credit and Credit for Non-Letter Graded Courses
Graduate credit may be transferred from another regionally accredited university or may be elected from the offerings of other departments. Thesis credit cannot be transferred from another university. No more than nine hours of credit can be applied toward the MLIS for any combination of graduate courses taken outside SLIS, directed research courses, internships, and thesis credit. These hours may be combined as follows:
Plan I: Thesis.
Six hours of thesis credit and three hours of credit for directed research course or internship; or:
Six hours of thesis credit and three hours of approved credit for graduate work taken outside SLIS.
Plan II: Coursework.
Six hours of approved credit for graduate work taken outside SLIS and three hours of credit for a directed research course or internship; or:
Six hours of credit for any combination of directed research courses and internships and three hours of approved credit for graduate work taken outside SLIS.
All requirements for the master's degree must be completed during the six years (18 consecutive semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded.
A thesis evidencing research capacity, independent thought, and the ability to interpret materials is required of all master's degree candidates who pursue Plan I: Thesis. The subject chosen must be related to library and information studies and must be approved by the student’s thesis director, the student’s thesis committee, and the SLIS Director.
The thesis committee must include three individuals, including at least two full-time SLIS faculty members, at least one of whom must be must be a full member of the graduate faculty; a third committee member may be a faculty member from another department of the University, a faculty member from another institution, or a well-qualified practitioner. All committee members must hold appropriate Graduate Faculty status.
The candidate must give members of the examining committee a minimum of two weeks to read the thesis before the date of the final oral examination. A final oral examination is required of all students completing a thesis. All members of the thesis committee must be members of the UA graduate faculty and must attend the final oral examination unless there are extraordinary circumstances warranting the graduate dean's approval of the absence prior to the defense meeting.
Theses must comply with the regulations set out in A Student Guide to Preparing Electronic Theses and Dissertations, available on the Graduate School's website. Approval of the thesis by the graduate dean is necessary before graduation.
The thesis should be completed, if possible, while the student is in residence at the University. To request permission to complete a thesis in absentia, the student must, before leaving the University, submit a satisfactory outline of the thesis, as well as evidence that adequate facilities are available where the work will be done, to the head of the student's major department.
Protection of Human Subjects for Research
Scientific research involving human subjects has produced substantial benefits for society, but it also has posed troubling ethical questions. The mission of the University's Institutional Review Board for Protection of Human Subjects is to ensure that research involving human subjects is conducted ethically. University and federal policies require that review and approval to use human subjects in research precede the research. In the case of thesis research that involves the use of human subjects, the principal investigator – normally the student – is responsible for contacting the college Human Research Review Committee to obtain approval for the planned research. Both the student and the thesis chair are responsible for completing Institutional Review Board training; guidelines for training can be found at http://osp.ua.edu/site/irb_training.html.
The request form for IRB approval can be accessed from http://osp.ua.edu/
Application for Graduation
Each candidate for a master's degree must apply for graduation through the Office of the Graduate School during the first week of the term in which requirements for the degree are to be completed. The form "Application for Degree" is required for this purpose, and must be completed online.
Teaching. Upon completing the SLIS MLIS program, all students should:
Research and Creative Activities. The SLIS faculty:
Service. The SLIS faculty and staff provide advice and assistance to libraries and information centers that help them to enhance the services they provide.
Class A Library-Media Certification
A candidate for the MLIS degree who seeks an Alabama Class A Library-Media Certificate must first have fulfilled the requirements for a teaching certificate at the baccalaureate level. Two years of successful teaching must also have been completed prior to receiving Class A certification as a library-media specialist. Certification may also be granted by the Alabama State Department of Education to a person who holds an MLIS degree, completes two years of successful teaching as a school library media specialist, and is recommended by the principal or superintendent who supervised the two years of work.
In addition to completing an approved program of studies, the candidate is required to earn a satisfactory score on a comprehensive examination administered by the School of Library and Information Studies. The approved program of studies for certification is as follows:
If courses equivalent to any of these required courses have been taken previously, substitutions may be made, with the approval of a faculty advisor.
The program leading to the MFA in the book arts degree is a 60-credit-hour program of study comprised of four areas: printing and publishing, bookbinding, papermaking, and the history of the book, with a program emphasis on the book as an integrated unit. Students may pursue one of three concentrations: printing and publishing; bookbinding; or a fusion of the two, focusing on the whole book. Emphasis is placed on developing craft skills based on historical principles and techniques, as well as artistic expression. The MFA in the book arts program develops professional-level book artists who have well-honed technical knowledge of the various facets of contemporary bookmaking, an intimate personal involvement with their specific areas of interest, and an understanding of the role of the book in society.
Applicants may submit a score for either the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test in support of the application for admission. Admission requirements for the MFA program in the book arts are consistent with those for the MLIS degree program. A portfolio is not required; however, students are encouraged to submit one. Additional information is in the Admission Criteria section of this catalog.
Candidates for the MFA degree in the book arts must earn a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit, including at least 6 hours in the history of the book and 3 hours in a historical/theoretical course appropriate to the goals of the individual student; at least 33 hours in the book arts studio; and 12–18 hours of electives within or outside the book arts program. All coursework must be completed with a grade average of "B" or better. All students enter the program in the fall and spend four semesters in residence.
All MFA students must complete, as part of the 60 hours, the following required courses:
NOTE: No more than 20 percent of courses required for a degree may be taken on a pass/fail basis, and as with all graduate programs at the University, at least 75% of courses must be completed with a letter grade of either A or B.
Those students concentrating in printing and publishing also must complete the following:
Those students concentrating in bookbinding must also complete the following:
Those students concentrating on the whole book must also complete advanced coursework in both printing and binding. The configurations of advanced courses will be determined through discussion with the book arts faculty. Students who are not enrolled in the MFA program and who wish to take book arts classes must obtain permission from the instructor before enrolling.
THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG