May 28, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 
    
Graduate Catalog

Information Science, M.S.


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This program is offered both in-person and as a 100% online degree program through UA Little Rock Online.

Deriving useful insights from data is more challenging than ever thanks to the ever-increasing volumes, varieties, and velocities of available data. The Master of Science in Information Science is designed for post-baccalaureate students, including working professionals, who are interested in helping organizations harness the power of data by moving into advanced data solutions and analyst developer and leadership roles.

Admission Requirements

Regular Admission

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Candidates with a background in computer programming, database concepts, and applied statistics, or who have professional experience in an information analytics role, will be the most prepared to enter the program.
  • Cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test section or other standard test scores are recommended for applicants in foreign countries and for domestic applicants whose applications would be significantly strengthened. The program may recommend an applicant submit such scores.
  • Completion of any remedial coursework that may be specified by the department. Students seeking regular admission to the program without needing remedial coursework will have completed (with a grade of B or better in each course) undergraduate coursework equivalent to the following UA Little Rock undergraduate courses:
    • IFSC 2300 Object-oriented Software
    • IFSC 3320 Database Concepts
    • STAT 2350 Introduction to Statistical Methods

Students with approved graduate certificates from UA Little Rock will be permitted to apply any courses taken as part of their graduate certificate towards the completion of the MSIS program, providing both programs allow the courses to be used.

Conditional Admission

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree who do not meet one or more of the other requirements for regular admission may be granted conditional admission. For conditionally accepted students, regular admission status would be granted once the student has satisfied the stipulations mentioned in the admission letter.

Early Entry Program Admission

The Early Entry B.S. to M.S. Program is intended for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in information science following completion of an undergraduate degree, condensing what would normally be six years of study into five years. The B.S. in Information Science (IFSC) is 120 credits. The M.S. in Information Science (MSIS) is 33 credits. Under the Early Entry program, students are allowed to double count 12 credits of graduate courses so they can complete both their B.S. and desired M.S. program in 5 years. These 12 credits would satisfy their IFSC undergraduate elective requirements as well as satisfying course requirements in their MSIS graduate degree. Students are strongly encouraged to apply to the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program before the end of their junior year to help ensure that they have the full subsequent year to begin taking appropriate courses for graduate credit, lessening the course load they will need to carry in their fifth year. Faculty advisors for undergraduate students will help promote the program and identify eligible students who show good potential for the program.

  • Undergraduate students may apply and be accepted anytime after completing 75 hours or more of undergraduate coursework. Students must have completed MATH 1451 Calculus I (or acceptable transfer work) with a C or better.
  • Applicants must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5. Students who have transferred can participate in the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program provided their relevant transfer course work (i.e. courses taken at other institutions that are being used to meet our IFSC degree requirements) also meet the 3.5 minimum GPA criteria. The GRE requirement for the M.S. program is waived for students with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher.
    • Note: The master’s programs in Information Quality and Information Science do require the GRE. However, the graduate certificates in Information Quality and Information Science do not. Moreover, students completing the graduate certificates are eligible to waive the GRE requirement and continue to their master’s. Because the courses in the graduate certificate are an embedded subset of their respective master’s and because the Early Entry students will be completing the certificate courses first, they will be eligible to apply for the M.S. based on successful performance in their first four graduate courses.
  • Students with an overall GPA between 3.2 and 3.5 may be admitted to the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program provided they take the GRE and demonstrate they can score in the 50th percentile or higher in the Verbal and Quantitative sections. Applicants with an overall GPA lower than 3.2 are not eligible to participate in the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program.

     To apply, students must submit the following:

  • Completed UA Little Rock Graduate School application
  • Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program form
  • Transcript including transferred courses. (Note: GPA must be recalculated to include all relevant transfer work being applied towards the completion of the B.S. in Information Science.)
  • A written statement of career goals and reasons for applying to the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required, one of which must be from a university faculty member (letters are to be submitted directly by recommenders).

Applications should be submitted to the Early Entry B.S. to the M.S. program coordinator. Currently, the coordinator is Dr. Elizabeth Pierce, Information Science Chair, 550 EIT Building, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, AR, 72204. Applications may be submitted by email to expierce@ualr.edu as a single MS Word or PDF document.

Once a completed application has been received by the Information Science department, the student will be notified quickly, generally within 30 days, of whether they have been accepted into the MSIQ or MSIS Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program. The program admits a limited number of students each year, and applicants will be considered for admission on a competitive basis. Acceptance into the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program indicates a commitment by the student to pursue the M.S. degree (either MSIS or MSIQ) after the completion of the B.S. in Information Science.

     After applying:

  • The application for the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program must be approved by the Information Science Graduate Coordinator and the Graduate School before the student begins graduate coursework. Failure to obtain prior approval negates the ability to count affected courses in both programs.
  • Once accepted into the program, students need to maintain at least a 3.0 overall GPA in their undergraduate coursework and, per UA Little Rock Graduate School guidelines, a 3.0 overall GPA in their graduate courses. If, at the end of his/her baccalaureate degree, an Early Entry B.S. to M.S. student has failed to meet the Graduate School admission requirement of at least a 3.0 overall GPA in their course work, she/he will be dismissed from the graduate program.
  • To ensure that they follow the proper degree plan for completing both degrees, students must meet with the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. Program Coordinator upon acceptance to the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program to map out the graduate courses they will take. Students accepted to the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program will be allowed to enroll in four graduate courses in the MSIS program and “double count” these courses towards both their information science undergraduate degree’s major electives and their MSIS degree. We particularly encourage students to complete the four courses that make up the Graduate Certificate in Data Science during their senior year.
  • Students may request a break of up to two semesters between the completion of their B.S. and the start of their MSIS courses per the UA Little Rock Graduate Student Leave of Absence Policy (Policy #509.12). However, if a student does not resume their graduate studies after their approved leave time expires, the student will then be released from the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. Program. The student is then welcome to apply to the MSIS program using the regular admission process and to be advised accordingly.

Note: The IS graduate program also offers the option of a graduate certificate in Information Science (four courses). Students will be encouraged to complete these four courses in their desired area first. While any four courses of the M.S. could be taken by the student while they are an undergraduate, taking the four courses that make up the certificate allows the student to at least complete a graduate certificate in conjunction with the B.S. if they choose not to finish the M.S.

Note: Students interested in earning the graduate certificate in addition to the M.S. degree will need to request admission to both programs.

Note: The IS is offered using distance technologies so it is possible for students to complete these degrees remotely.

     Program restrictions:

  • To ensure that they follow the proper degree plan, students must meet with the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. Program Coordinator upon acceptance into the program to map out the graduate courses they will take.
  • Accepted students will have provisional status in the graduate program, pending the award of their baccalaureate degree.
  • If, at the end of his/her baccalaureate degree, an Early Entry B.S. to M.S. student has failed to meet the Graduate School admission requirement of a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA with no grades below a B, he/she will be dismissed from the graduate program.
  • Students will be advised to review the Scholastic Standards of the UA Little Rock Graduate School (Policy #509.15) so they will be aware that if they are academically dismissed from the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program then they will not be eligible to pursue any other graduate study options at UA Little Rock.
  • Students accepted into the Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program will be subject to the same policies as traditionally matriculated graduate students.
  • The Early Entry B.S. to M.S. program may not be used in conjunction with the credit reservation program; therefore, no graduate courses taken before admission to the program may be applied to a graduate degree.

Program Requirements

The Information Science M.S. degree requires the completion of 33 credit hours, as described below.

Additional Program Requirements


Six credits of either master’s thesis, master’s project, or coursework are needed to complete the 33 credits for the MS in Information Science, as specified next. 

  •  Option 1:  Six credits of master’s thesis-students can use any combination of IFSC 7198 IFSC 7298 IFSC 7398 IFSC 7498 IFSC 7598 , or IFSC 7698  over consecutive semesters to complete the required six credits of graduate thesis coursework.
  • Option 2:  Six credits of master’s project-students can use any combination of IFSC 7186 IFSC 7286 IFSC 7386 IFSC 7486 IFSC 7586 , or IFSC 7686   over consecutive semesters to complete the required six credits of graduate project coursework.  As an alternative option, students  can elect to combine 3 credits of cooperative education experience (INFQ 7391 ) with 3 credits of a project (ex. INFQ 7386  taken once or any combination of IFSC 7186  and/or IFSC 7286  totaling at least 3 credits)
  • Option 3: Six credits of advisor-approved coursework needed to meet the course requirements of the Information Science Track of the Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science. Dissertation course hours are excluded. 

Graduate Assistantships


A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. Contact the program coordinator for more information.

Distance Education Option


The program offers a distance education option that permits students to participate in classes via a broadband Internet connection. Students attending class online will be able to see the course materials presented in the on-campus classroom and participate in discussions with the other students on-campus and online. Classes are also recorded so that students can replay previous class meetings. The transcripts of students completing the program through the distance education option will appear the same as those completing the program on campus. Students on campus may also take advantage of the webcasting of classes. F-1 and J-1 international students must fulfill the physical presence requirement of their visa type as defined by the course load requirements for international students previously addressed within the Graduate Catalog. 

Graduation Requirements


Successful completion of the program of study outlined above with a GPA of at least 3.0 is required for graduation.

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