Master of Information Studies Courses and Outlines

Please note we are currently transitioning our course codes from GLIS to INFS. As such, some courses may still appear under the GLIS coding in Minerva and the eCalendar.

The course outlines found on this page are a selection from previous terms. These outlines are made available for reference purposes only. Official syllabi are made available at the beginning of each term in McGill's myCourses to students registered in the course.

For reference only. Read important disclaimer and copyright notice, at bottom of the page.

Core Courses

Courses Course Outlines
INFS 601 Foundations of Info Studies 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 601 Course Syllabus
INFS 607 Organization of Information 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 607 Course Syllabus
INFS 611 Research Principles & Analysis 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 611 Course Syllabus
INFS 617 Information System Design 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 617 Course Syllabus
INFS 619 Info Behaviour and Resources 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 619 Course Syllabus
INFS 620 Managing Info. Organizations 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 620 Course Syllabus

*Prior to Fall 2021, the core courses were INFS 601, INFS 607, INFS 617 and INFS 619.

Lecture Courses and Areas of Interest

In the Master of Information Studies (MISt) degrees at SIS, an area of interest corresponds to a set of courses in which students gain specific skills and knowledge in areas relevant to their career, academic, and personal goals. Students in the MISt programs build their own curriculum in consultation with an academic advisor. The curriculum may be based on one or more areas of interest or a personalized combination of courses.

The areas of interest described below are suggestions based on current course offerings. As the field of information studies is constantly evolving, course offerings may change to address changing professional requirements.

Personalized Focus

Students with broad or general interests may tailor their program of studies by selecting a variety of complementary courses in consultation with academic advisors.

INFS 689 - Selected Topics (for students in the general MISt degree program)

In addition to study in specific areas of interest, students in the general MISt degree program may want to focus on a topic not currently covered in the existing program. To that end, INFS 689 - Selected Topics may be of interest. This course selection must first be discussed with the academic advisor and a suitable supervisor for the course must be found. A proposal must then be submitted to the potential supervisor. It is not advised to take this course in the first year of studies.

Library Studies

The School of Information Studies has offered courses in library studies for more than a century, making it the oldest school in Canada offering library education. The area of library studies remains an important component of the MISt program. Library studies courses relate to the identification, organization, preservation, retrieval, and dissemination of library and information resources in all formats. Among the following courses, INFS 608 - Classification & Cataloguing and INFS 615 - Reference & Information Services provide the foundations for cataloguing and reference services.

Courses Course Outlines
INFS 608 Classification and Cataloguing 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 608 Course Syllabus
INFS 612 History of Books and Printing 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 614 Public Libraries 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 614 Course Syllabus
INFS 615 Reference & Inform Services 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 636 Government Information 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 636 Course Syllabus Fall 2022
INFS 656 Abstracting and Indexing 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 671 Health Sciences Information 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 672 Law Information 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 673 Bioinformatics Resources 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 673 Course Syllabus
INFS 679 Information Literacy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 679 Course Syllabus

Other Suggested Courses

  • INFS 613 Course not available
  • INFS 637 Course not available
  • INFS 638 Course not available
  • INFS 651 Course not available

Careers in Library Studies

Practice Settings

Librarians work in many settings, from academic institutions and public environments to the private sector.

Primary responsibilities

Librarians mediate access to the vast amount of available information in order to respond to the needs of their clients or users. Responsibilities comprise the management (identification, retrieval, organization, and dissemination) of information in all formats (electronic/digital, audio/video, print). Specific job responsibilities include organizing resources through cataloguing and classification processes, conducting reference interviews, and offering training sessions.

Example of Job Titles

  • Academic librarian
  • Business information specialist
  • Cataloguer
  • Health sciences librarian
  • Indexer/abstracter
  • Information architects
  • Law librarian
  • Public librarian
  • Special librarian
  • Youth services public librarians

Potential Employers

  • Universities
  • Municipal libraries
  • School boards
  • Government agencies (e.g., Business Development Bank of Canada, National Film Board of Canada, Library and Archives Canada)
  • Government departments (e.g., Fisheries and Ocean Canada, Justice Canada)
  • The business sector (e.g., Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Alcan, SNC Lavalin, KPMG)
  • ...and more!

Knowledge Management

SIS was among the first schools in North America to introduce a knowledge management (KM) focus in a professional master's program. KM seeks to identify useful and relevant knowledge in a given organization and to organize, merge, and synthesize knowledge in order to foster efficiency through reuse of knowledge and/or to facilitate creativity and innovation. Competitive intelligence (CI) is a related domain enabling organizations to develop knowledge of their competitive environment and to integrate such knowledge into innovative strategies.

More information about KM can be found in the Knowledge Management Fact Sheet ‎[.pdf]

Courses Course Outlines
INFS 661 Knowledge Management 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 661 Course Syllabus
INFS 662 Intellectual Capital 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 662 Course Syllabus
INFS 663 Knowledge Taxonomies 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 664 Managing Knowledge Communities 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 664 Course Syllabus
INFS 665 Competitive Intelligence 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 

Other Suggested Courses

  • INFS 693 Special Topics 3 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

Careers in Knowledge Management

Practice Settings

Knowledge Management (KM) is the systematic management of an organization’s knowledge ‎resources – those found in people and those found in documents, databases, and other repositories ‎of valuable content. KM specialists work in a wide variety of settings, from consulting, ‎pharmaceutical, and financial institutions in the private sector to government agencies and departments, as well as arts and volunteer organizations in the non-profit sector. Higher education institutions have ‎also started to employ KM specialists in the areas of knowledge taxonomies and ‎communities of practice. ‎

Primary responsibilities

Knowledge managers are involved in both the human resources and information technology required to help share and preserve knowledge. Responsibilities may involve:

  • Succession planning, in which knowledge managers ensure that knowledge is transferred to new employees and input into the organizational memory system
  • Design and management of KM systems
  • Knowledge asset management, in order to support organizational goals and to gain and maintain competitive advantage
  • Design of corporate information and KM policies on ‎access and quality control
  • Maintenance of proprietary information
  • Mapping of intellectual ‎assets
  • Training/coaching/mentoring
  • Establishing and supporting communities of practice
  • Incorporating feedback, such as best practices and ‎lessons learned, into training content
  • Helping users to gather, evaluate, analyze, synthesize, and ‎summarize knowledge sources
  • Managing the competitive intelligence cycle and related assignments

Example of Job Titles

  • Knowledge manager
  • Knowledge journalist
  • Knowledge taxonomist
  • Ontologist
  • Content editor/manager
  • Portal manager
  • Community of practice (CoP) librarian
  • Knowledge support officer (KSO)
  • Competitive intelligence specialist

Potential Employers

  • Publishers
  • Database creators and providers
  • Press/mass media
  • Information collectors (e.g. Reuters)
  • Database vendors (e.g. DIALOG)
  • Networks
  • Service providers
  • Consulting firms
  • IT companies
  • Information organizations
  • Access and preservation units (e.g. corporate libraries, research libraries, hospital libraries)
  • Research and information-gathering units
  • Competitive intelligence units
  • Governmental agencies
  • Intelligence community
  • Law firms,
  • Medical and pharmaceutical companies
  • Large scientific agencies

Archival Studies

Archival studies (AS) is increasingly connected to library education and knowledge management (KM) initiatives. The focus is on the management of records in paper and electronic formats through the use of recordkeeping systems for facilitating institutional recordkeeping, legal compliance, and decision making. The AS area includes the management of historical records in archives through the process of acquisition, appraisal, arrangement, description, and preservation, as well as the handling of active organizational records through records management (inventory, classification, and retention).

courses course outlines
INFS 633 Digital Media 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 633 Course Syllabus
INFS 641 Archival Description & Access 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 642 Preservation Management 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 642 Course Syllabus Fall 2022
INFS 645 Archival Principles & Practice 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 645 Course Syllabus
INFS 649 Digital Curation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 649 Course Syllabus
INFS 660 Enterprise Content Management 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 660 Course Syllabus

Careers in Archival Studies/Records Management

Practice Settings

Archivists and records managers work in various settings, ‎including cultural heritage institutions (archives, museums, historical societies, and special ‎libraries), records and information centers in government agencies, corporations, colleges and ‎universities, religious organizations, and non-profit organizations.

Primary responsibilities

Archivists and records managers manage records in both paper and electronic formats as ‎organizational memory and information assets through several activities. Archivists mainly deal ‎with historical records, and their activities include acquisition, appraisal, selection, arrangement, ‎description, conservation, and preservation. Records managers play their roles in the management ‎of forms, reports, correspondence, email and electronic records, workflow analysis, records center ‎operations, inventory, classification, filing, retention, and disposition. Archivists and records ‎managers develop and manage recordkeeping systems and provide access to records used for ‎organizational memory, strategic management, decision-making, research and development, and ‎legal compliance.

Example of Job Titles

  • Archivists
  • Preservation librarians
  • Special collections librarians
  • Manuscript curators
  • Records managers
  • Records analysts
  • Document managers
  • Forms managers
  • Reports managers
  • Computer system managers
  • Information managers
  • Records center supervisors
  • Digital resources managers

Potential Employers

  • Archives
  • Museums
  • Historical societies
  • Special libraries
  • University archives
  • Special collections or rare books division in university libraries
  • Records centers or records management department in government agencies (e.g., Library and Archives of Canada, Canadian Heritage Information Network, Treasury Board of Canada)
  • IT companies
  • Financial institutions (e.g., banks, insurance companies)
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Law firms
  • School boards
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Religious organizations

User Experience

The field of information studies has evolved in relation to the development of information and communication technology (ICT). Libraries, archives, and many other types of organisations have all adopted technologies for managing, accessing, and disseminating information. It is increasingly important for any information professional to understand ICT and master technical skills. The following courses provide the foundations for designing databases, websites, and interfaces, managing data and systems, and addressing information retrieval and security issues.

courses course outlines
INFS 611 Research Principles & Analysis 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 611 Course Syllabus
INFS 625 Information Architecture 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 625 Course Syllabus
INFS 626 Usability Analysis & Assess 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 626 Course Syllabus
INFS 627 User-Centered Design 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 627 Course Syllabus
INFS 629 Information Security 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 629 Course Syllabus
INFS 630 Data Mining 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 630 Course Syllabus
INFS 634 Web System Design & Management 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PDF iconINFS 634 Course Syllabus
INFS 657 Database Design & Development 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 

Other Suggested Courses

  • INFS 634 Web System Design & Management 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

Careers in User Experience

Practice Settings

User experience (UX) design is the systematic study of users, and their tasks and settings, to elicit and test new design and design requirements. UX specialists work in a wide variety of settings, from consulting and design firms that provide UX expertise for hire, to IT companies, financial institutions, and online companies that require in-house expertise. Increasingly institutions (including libraries and museums) will hire UX professionals to manage user experience design, across both physical and digital interactions.

Primary responsibilities

UX professionals are involved in both the study of user interaction with products and services as well as the design of new systems and technologies. Responsibilities may involve:

  • Planning and conducting user research
  • Analyzing and interpreting quantitative and qualitative user data and feedback
  • Creating user stories, personas, and storyboards
  • Determining information architecture and create sitemaps
  • Creating prototypes, wireframes, sitemaps, and screen flows
  • Conducting usability testing
  • Presenting and communicating insights to key stakeholders

Example of Job Titles

  • UX designers
  • UI designers

Data Science

Data science (DS) is an interdisciplinary field that utilizes algorithms and methods to transform large volumes of complex data into interpretable knowledge and actionable insights. The success of the data-to-knowledge transformation process relies on the efficiency of bringing the appropriate information to the right person via intelligent information systems. This specialization lies in the intersection of information, systems, and people. The courses will prepare the students a solid foundation of understanding the innerworkings of intelligent information system with the considerations of technical, policy, and societal issues. Specifically, the courses cover data science programming, database design, web systems, data warehousing, data mining, and information security. Students may further deepen their knowledge by taking other machine learning and text mining courses from other departments.

Courses course outlines
INFS 629 Information Security 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 630 Data Mining 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 634 Web System Design & Management 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 657 Database Design & Development 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
INFS 691 Special Topics 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Computer Programming for Information Professionals
 
INFS 692 Special Topics 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Data Science
 

Careers in Data Science

Practice Settings

As the complexity and quantity of digital data continue to grow in every aspect of our society, there is a high demand of data scientists, analysts, and engineers in every sector, from IT to finance, from healthcare to manufacturing, in both private to public sectors. Thus, data scientists and analysts can be found in every sector.

Primary responsibilities

The responsibilities of data scientists and analysts vary depending on their roles and functionalities in an organization. Data scientists and engineers are responsible to design and implement the process of transforming raw data from databases to insightful knowledge for C-level management. Data scientists need to ensure the validity of the results. Business analysts designs reports and redesign the business processes to achieve the goals set by the management. Solution architect is responsible to transform the clients’ objectives to feasible software development milestones and tasks that can be implemented by software engineers and machine learning engineers.

Example of Job Titles

  • Data scientist
  • Data analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Data engineer
  • Business reporting specialist
  • Data integration specialist
  • Solution architect

Potential Employers

  • Canadian Centre for Cyber Security
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Service Canada
  • Law enforcements
  • IT companies
  • Telecommunication companies
  • Cybersecurity companies
  • Financial institutions (e.g., banks, insurance companies)
  • News media
  • Social media
  • Online stores
  • Hospitals
  • Health agencies
  • Transportation sector
  • Energy sector

Research Courses

  • INFS 603 Research Project 1 6 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • INFS 604 Research Project 2 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • INFS 605 Research Project 3 6 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • INFS 689 Selected Topics 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

Practicum

  • INFS 699 Practicum 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • See more: Practicum main page

External Electives

Students may take 0-12 credits from other 500-, 600-, or 700-level courses; up to 6 credits may be from other Quebec universities.

Without exception, external elective courses (courses outside of the School) must receive prior approved by the student's advisor and the Graduate Program Director with submission of a required form. External electives policy and required application form is available here.

See more: External electives policy

Transfer Credits

In exceptional cases, students may request a course waiver.  The request should be made to the MISt GPD prior to the first week of classes.  The MISt GPD, in consultation with the course instructor, will assess the student’s educational and professional background in order to decide whether or not a waiver can be granted

Information on transfer credit policy is found in the Admissions FAQ page.

Disclaimer and copyright notice

Outlines are provided here for reference purposes only; content and assignments may change before the start of the course and may differ between course sections, years, or official versions of syllabi.

Copyright notice: These course outlines are covered by copyright. Reproduction or reuse is by express permission of the author unless otherwise indicated


Reference versions of course outlines are made available at the discretion of the instructor; students interested in information about courses not listed here are invited to contact instructors directly.

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