How do I apply?
What undergraduate major is required?
There is no specific undergraduate major that is required for the ILS program.
What is the minimum undergraduate GPA that is required?
Students must have received a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better by the intended beginning semester. Applicants with lower GPAs may still be considered and granted a “conditional admission.”
What is conditional admission?
Students may be admitted conditionally to this program when all admission requirements have not been met (most often because of an undergraduate GPA below 3.0), but other application materials demonstrate potential for success. After a conditionally admitted student has completed nine credit hours, academic standing will be reviewed by departmental staff. At the time of the review, if the student meets all the conditions of good academic standing and has no incomplete or unsatisfactory grades, conditional status is automatically lifted.
Are there additional or different ILS program application requirements for international students?
Yes, there are three additional requirements for international applicants:
For more information, see the Application Requirements section on the Information and Library Science MS program page or the Admissions Frequently Asked Questions: International Students.
How many letters of reference are required?
The application requires three letters of reference that attest to your ability to be successful in graduate school and/or the field of information science. The faculty review committee prefers receiving at least one academic letter of reference. If you cannot obtain three letters of reference, please contact our admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options.
Will I be able to transfer coursework? If so, how many credits may I transfer?
Yes, you can transfer appropriate graduate-level coursework into the program to be used toward your master’s degree. According to UB policy, no more than 20 percent of a master's program may be comprised of credits from another graduate degree program. Up to eight credit hours completed in another graduate program can be considered for transfer upon review and approval of the student's faculty advisor. However, we cannot transfer partial credit hours from a course. Therefore, if all of your previous courses are three credit hours, only two courses (six hours) can be considered.
When are applications reviewed?
Completed applications are typically reviewed after the May 1 and November 1 priority deadlines.
When can I expect to receive an offer of admission?
Offers are generally extended within 6-8 weeks after applying. However, admission decisions may require more or less time depending on when applications are submitted.
If accepted, how do I decide which courses to take? When am I assigned an academic advisor? How do I contact my advisor?
Per ILS academic regulations, LIS 507 Information Life Cycle and LIS 508 Information Users and Use should be the first two courses you take. You can also take other courses if you decide to take more than two courses in your first semester. Please keep in mind that GSE’s policy prohibits students from taking more than four courses in any given semester. A faculty advisor is assigned at the time you are admitted into the program. Email is commonly used for communications between students and their faculty advisors, although most faculty are also open to other methods, including phone calls and Zoom meetings.
Can the ILS program be taken part-time?
Yes. This program is flexible and offers both part-time and full-time enrollment options.
Are all the courses available online? Are they offered asynchronously?
Yes, this program is fully online and offered asynchronously. Students in this program will not be asked to come to campus.
How do asynchronous courses in this program work? Can I do the coursework whenever I want?
Most of our courses progress on a weekly basis. At the beginning of each week, lectures and other course materials are posted on UB’s Blackboard system, UBLearns. Each week, students typically have the flexibility to study at their convenience. However, please keep in mind that all coursework items (assignments, weekly online discussions, team projects, etc.) have clearly defined deadlines.
What concentrations are available in this program?
Students have the option to pursue any of the following concentrations:
Are summer courses offered?
A limited number of courses are offered during summer sessions. More information is available on our Courses for UB Students webpage.
Can I start this program in the summer?
Admission to the ILS program is limited to fall and spring. However, you can take summer courses as a non-matriculated student, and your earned credit hours can be counted toward your degree.
How long does it take to complete the degree?
Students can complete the program in four semesters when enrolled full-time.
How long do I have to complete the program?
All program coursework must be completed within five years from the beginning of the student's first semester in the program. A student may petition for an extension of the time limit.
Is a practicum required for the program?
A practicum is not required in the program, although many students choose to do one. Students arrange their practicum experiences. A direct on-site supervisor must have an MLIS or equivalent, and an IS faculty member needs to be the overall supervisor.
Where can I find information on graduate placement, retention rates and employers’ evaluation of the ILS program?
The Department of Information Science regularly conducts various surveys in an effort to assess the effectiveness of the programs and student services. The results of these surveys, including placement rates for graduates, program retention rates, employer feedback, student exit feedback, course-level learning outcome assessments, and graduation portfolio assessments, can all be found on our Program Performance webpage.
May I take courses in the program as a non-matriculated student?
Yes. A limited number of courses are available to non-matriculated students with instructor permission. You must first obtain non-matriculated student status. More information is available on our Courses for Non-UB Students webpage.
Which courses are available to non-matriculated students?
Generally speaking, all lectured courses in the Department of Information Science can be taken by non-matriculated students. However, since many of these courses require basic computer competencies and information literacy as well as familiarity with at least some of the topics covered in LIS 507 Information Life Cycle and LIS 508 Information Users and Use (two of the three required core courses), the instructor’s permission is needed for non-matriculated students to take our MS courses. For the list of courses offered by the department, please view our Course Rotation Schedule PDF. Please visit our Class Schedule page to learn more about current or upcoming courses, including course descriptions and instructors.
Is there a limit to how many courses I can take as a non-matriculated student?
Yes. The maximum number of credits that may be taken as a non-matriculated student is six credits per semester and 12 credits per lifetime at UB.
How much do graduate courses cost?
The most up-to-date costs for tuition and fees are available on UB’s Student Accounts website. Be sure to view the “graduate” tuition rates, which vary according to residency and full-time or part-time enrollment. Students in this program will pay either the resident online rate or the non-resident online rate.
What about financial aid and scholarships?
Most ILS students complete their program using funds from financial aid and/or working part-time during their programs. However, there are several scholarships available for students in this program.
Are graduate assistantships available?
At this time, there are not any graduate assistantships available.
Where can I find support for academic writing?
Support for academic writing is provided by the Center for Excellent in Writing.
What other supports are there for ILS students?
A comprehensive list of the services available to Graduate School of Education students can be found on our Information for Current Students webpage.