University of Wisconsin–Madison

MA Program Requirements

The Master’s curriculum comprises 39 credits. Requirements include: 3 core courses, a minimum of one technology course and one management course, a field experience, and an e-portfolio. Students in the on-campus program should expect to take 2-3 online courses.

Tier One: Required courses for all MA students

All students will take the following three courses:

  • 601 Information: Perspectives and Contexts
  • 602 Information: Organization and Search
  • 603 Research and Assessment for Information Professionals

Tier M (Management)

All MA students must complete at least one Tier M course for a minimum of 3 credits. Taking more management courses is recommended.

  • 654: Information Services Management
  • 712: Public Library Administration
  • 722: College & University Libraries

Tier T (Technology)

All MA students must complete at least one Tier T course for a minimum of 3 credits. Taking more technology courses is recommended.

  • 644: Digital Tools, Trends and Debates
  • 646: Intro to Information Architecture and Interaction Design for the Web
  • 668: Digital Curation and Collections
  • 751: Database Design and Management
  • 768: Digital Humanities Analytics


In addition to the courses listed above, students are required to complete a 120 hour practicum. Most students fulfill the practicum requirement by taking LIS 620, Field Placement in Library and Information Agencies. For more information see the Practicum page and the MA Student Hand Book or Guide appropriate to the year you began your program.


Completion of the e-portfolio is a graduation requirement for all students. Portfolios will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. There is more information about the e-portfolio in the MA Student Handbook, and students will find instruction on how to complete the e-portfolio, and example portfolios at the e-portfolio websites:


All other courses needed to meet the 39-credit minimum for the MA program are considered electives. Students may take up to 9 credits of electives outside of the iSchool. All non-LIS electives must be approved by the student’s advisor. It is also possible to apply up to six credits completed at another school toward the iSchool MA degree. More information is in the MA Student Handbook.

For students who began prior to 2016

Students who began the program in Fall 2015 or earlier, and who did not switch to the new curriculum requirements, should refer to earlier program requirements provided in the 2015 SLIS MA Program Planning Guide. Program Planning Guides back to 2012 are available online; if you need an earlier guide please see your advisor.