Master of Information Studies FAQ

Advising & supervision

Q: I am considering applying to the program and have questions. Who do I contact?

A: Prospective students: after carefully reviewing the main MISt program information and FAQs, if you still have outstanding questions, please direct general program questions to the gpdm.sis [at] mcgill.ca (MISt Program Director). For admissions-related questions, please contact kathryn.hubbard [at] mcgill.ca (Kathryn Hubbard), Administrative & Student Affairs Coordinator.

Q: I have been accepted to the program. When do I have access to an academic advisor?

A: After acceptance to the MISt program, incoming students are assigned academic advisors during the first week of classes in September.

Q: What is the difference between an advisor and research supervisor?

A: An advisor assists students with developing a program of study and provides advising support throughout the duration of the program.

Students who desire to undertake research project courses are required to seek a prospective research supervisor from among the School's faculty members; the supervision is mutually agreed upon by the student and supervisor.

Librarianship & MLIS equivalencies

Q: I'm planning a career as a librarian. Will this program meet my needs for librarianship training?

A: The general MISt program does not differ significantly from the School's former Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program in terms of depth and range of available library studies-related courses. Students interested in librarianships will design their program with their advisor to reflect career and/or research goals, with a focus on courses in the library studies interest area. Like the MLIS, the MISt is also designed to give all students a fundamental base of knowledge which may be applied across information professions.

Q: With the MISt, will I be able to apply for positions which require an ALA-accredited MLIS (or similar) degree, in Canada or abroad?

A: The American Library Association (ALA) accredits library and information studies programs, and does not approve individual degree names. The MISt program at the School of Information Studies is an ALA-accredited library and information studies program, which enables graduates to apply for positions calling for an ALA-accredited MLIS or similar degrees. However, it is up to the individual employer to determine if applicants' educational and career backgrounds are suitable. Please see the ALA Accredited Programs FAQ page for more information about degree names and equivalencies.

Practicum

Q: Does the MISt program offer a practicum program or internship?

A: Yes, the program offers a popular practicum. The optional, 3-credit Practicum program (GLIS 699) is open to students in the second year of the MISt program. As the terms "practicum" and "internship" are sometimes used interchangeably in university settings, it is important to note that the GLIS 699 Practicum is a credit course offered within the academic timetable and is comprised of required course assignments in addition to a set number of hours of supervised field practice at an approved practicum site. For more information, please visit the Practicum section of our website.

Program & course options

Q: Can I complete the Master of Information Studies (MISt) degree online?

A: No. The MISt degrees are campus-based programs with face-to-face teaching and learning at McGill University in downtown Montreal.

Q: I am enrolling in the MISt program. Can I take courses from another McGill department or institution related to my field of study?

A: With approval (see required permission form here) and following School guidelines, students may take up to 4 courses (12 credits) of graduate-level courses outside of SIS.

Q: I want to transfer credits from another degree into the MISt. Is this possible?

A: In special cases, credit for appropriate courses previously taken outside the School at another ALA-accredited masters program in the area of library and information studies may be transferred to the MISt programs, but only with the approval of the MISt Program Director, and only if negotiated at the time of admission to the program. As a rule, no more than one-third of the McGill program course work (not thesis or project) can be credited with courses from another university.

Prior to admission to the program, transfer credits must be approved by the MISt Program Director (gpdm.sis [at] mcgill.ca). Requests for transfer credits will only be considered at the time of admission to the MISt program.

Q: I'm a student in another McGill program/at another institution. Can I take one or more courses from the School of Information Studies without being enrolled in the MISt program?

A: Graduate and post-graduate students from other programs or institutions may be eligible to take MISt courses at the School of Information Studies. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that credits are transferable to their home program. Please note that courses are delivered on campus at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. For more information, contact Kathryn Hubbard, Administrative & Student Affairs Coordinator: admissions.sis [at] mcgill.ca

Q: What are "areas of interest"? Do I need to declare this before or during the program? Is it listed on my transcript?

In the MISt program, "areas of interest" refer to area of specialization such as Library Studies, Knowledge Management, Archival Studies, and Information and Communication Technology. Read more about areas of interest and recommended related courses here.

During the first semester, all full-time MISt students entering the program will take the four required MISt courses. Students will then develop a customized course of studies to support professional, personal, and academic goals. The MISt program offers flexibility for students to focus in one primary area or to combine courses from across areas.

Areas of interest are not declared and do not show up on transcripts.

Research & research funding

Q: Is there a thesis option in the MISt program?

A: No. Like the MLIS, the MISt program is a non-thesis program. However, the MISt program has been expanded to include a MISt - Project degree allowing students to conduct in-depth individual research projects on topics of interest. Note: students in the general MISt degree also have the opportunity to take a number of research project courses.

Q: What is the MISt Project degree, and who might be interested in taking this degree?

A: The MISt Project degree is similar to the general MISt degree but includes a greater number of course credits for supervised individual research project courses. While both degrees prepare students for careers in the information professions, this degree is ideal for students with strong research interests and/or who are interested in pursuing further degree work after the Masters level and wish to have a strong research portfolio.

Q: I want to undertake the Project degree. Will I be eligible to apply for research funding?

Yes. Full-time students opting for the MISt - Project degree will be eligible to apply for research-related internal and external fellowships. Prospective students and students planning to apply for external research funding: please contact the kathryn.hubbard [at] mcgill.ca (Graduate Program Coordinator )for more information.

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