Admission and Degree Requirements

Graduate handbook information is updated and maintained by each program. Graduate handbooks are available within each program's office and online at https://utexas.box.com/v/UTAustinGraduateHandbooks. Please contact the program with concerns or questions.

Master of Science in Information Studies

All applicants to the School of Information's graduate programs must complete the general application procedures for the UT Graduate School. For full details, refer to the Graduate School’s Admissions page. Please allow plenty of time to process your application. Find more information on admissions procedures here: https://ischool.utexas.edu/programs/admissions

The master's degree program entails 36 semester hours of coursework. All students must take three credit hours of core coursework during their first year of studies. Thirty credit hours of electives are to be taken from the range of courses offered by the School of Information and/or a mix of courses within the School of Information and elsewhere at UT Austin. Finally, each student must complete the Capstone Experience under one of the Capstone Experience Courses.

The Master of Science in Information Studies curriculum includes three elements:

  1. Core Course - Required course that all School of Information students must take early in their program (three semester credit hours)
  2. Electives - Elective courses (30 semester credit hours)
  3. Capstone Experience - Capstone experience course (three semester credit hours)

Endorsement of Specialization

The School of Information offers MSIS students the option to pursue an Endorsement of Specialization (EoS). The Endorsement of Specialization recognizes that a student has created a program of concentrated study within the 36 credit hours required for the Master of Science in Information Studies. The MSIS curriculum offers any number of options for students to craft a concentration or specialization once they have completed their required courses. Suggested areas of study and curriculum requirements can be located at: https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/programs/endorsement

Capstone Experience (including E-portfolio)

In the final semester of their academic studies, all MSIS students must complete a "capping" experience, which enables them to integrate their professional education and the intellectual and institutional vocations toward which they are striving. This is to be a culminating experience that synthesizes a variety of skills, knowledge, and expertise while demonstrating that the student can lead an independent project. When considering a Capstone experience, students are strongly encouraged to review the Capstone student manual and consult with their individual academic advisor as well as the iSchool's Career Development Director.

Capstone Options

Students must complete one of the following options as an exit course only in their final semester:

Information Studies 388L, Professional Experience and Project: The PEP is intended to allow you to apply the knowledge you gleaned from your coursework to a real-world problem in a real-world setting. In a single semester, you will complete a fieldwork-based project under the primary guidance of a field supervisor from the organization sponsoring your project.

Information Studies 398R, Master's Report: - The master's report is a substantive, publishable-quality paper synthesizing a domain or area of investigation that demonstrates familiarity with major concepts and issues in a theoretical and rigorous manner. Working with the guidance of a faculty advisor and a second faculty reader, you will write a publishable-quality paper on a topic of your choice in a single semester.

Information Studies 698A/Information Studies 698B, Thesis: A master's thesis is a research project resulting in a substantive paper that involves original collection or treatment of data and/or results. Working with the guidance of a faculty advisor and a second faculty reader, you will write a publishable-quality paper on a topic of your choice across two semesters. Since the master’s thesis requires two consecutive semesters of course work, students who would like pursue the thesis option must make that decision before the end of the second semester in the program (if attending full-time).

Integrated Program with Computer Science (BSCS/MSIS)

Admission to the integrated Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Master of Science in Information Studies (BSCS/MSIS) program is open only to undergraduate students within the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin. It results in the simultaneous awarding of a BSCS degree and an MSIS degree. The integrated program requires completion of a total of 150 credit: 120 hours for the Option IV BSCS degree program and 30 hours of graduate coursework offered by the School of Information for the MSIS degree program. Students can complete the integrated program in five academic years of full-time study. The two degrees are awarded when the requirements for both degree programs, including the iSchool capstone, are completed.

Doctor of Philosophy

The objective of the doctoral program is to prepare graduates to contribute to the discipline through research and creative leadership. Emphasizing research, the program allows students to pursue advanced studies in the information discipline and in related subject areas, to study appropriate method and theory, and to learn to engage in advanced research by carrying out a guided and supervised dissertation project. The program is interdisciplinary; students must take courses from other University offerings to supplement those in the School of Information.

Students must complete at least 39 semester hours of coursework prior to entering candidacy, consisting of nine hours of core courses, nine hours of methods courses, 21 hours of electives in the student’s major area within and/or beyond the School of Information.

Students must also pass a qualifying examination before being admitted to candidacy. Finally, students must complete and defend a dissertation representing an original contribution to knowledge in the discipline.

Detailed information is available at the School of Information's website.

Dual Degree Programs

The School of Information offers the following dual degree programs in cooperation with other divisions of the University. 

Field(s) of Study Degree(s)
EnglishMaster of Arts
Global policy studiesMaster of Global Policy Studies
Latin American studiesMaster of Arts
LawDoctor of Jurisprudence
Middle Eastern studiesMaster of Arts
Public affairsMaster of Public Affairs
Women’s and gender studiesMaster of Arts