Master of Science in Information


Through a highly interdisciplinary curriculum, community interaction opportunities, and an emphasis on information engagement, the Master of Science in Information degree aims to produce generations of information professionals and researchers who have the knowledge, skill, and ability to collaborate across disciplines to solve real-world information problems and address grand information challenges of today and the future. The program emphasizes the development of a set of social and technological skills so that students can graduate with hands-on experience that blends behavioral, psychological, cultural, and philosophical perspectives.

Special scholarships available for Spring 2019 applications! Female and minority applicants are especially encouraged to apply! 

Admission to the M.S. in Information

Due to the program’s inherent interdisciplinary nature, the MS-I program recruits and admits applicants from a variety of different backgrounds, including sciences and engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities. Admitted students must hold an earned baccalaureate that prepares them to apply basic principles of mathematics, probability and statistics, and programming methodology. Students without adequate math and computing training may be accepted provisionally and will be required to obtain necessary training before for admission. This likely will increase the number of semesters needed for graduation.
The School of Information currently offers undergraduate courses that can be used to remediate identified deficiencies. Where available, courses from other departments may be also be used to remediate deficiencies. Good candidate departments include Computer Science, Mathematics, Eller Business School, the UA South Informatics programs and others. However, should those courses fill or be otherwise unavailable, the School of Information will offer courses as necessary to fill deficiencies or may accept coursework from other approved institutions. Undergraduate courses taken for remediation purposes may not be applied for graduate credit.
Admission and financial support will be based on an evaluation of the applicant’s potential to become qualified information professionals or effective researchers in Information.  The input to this process will include prior coursework and grades, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation; and research/artistic/professional products such as papers, substantive works, or significant contributions to software systems. GRE will be waived for applicants who have, in recent years, taken 2 or more college-level math courses, and 2 or more college-level computer programming courses with grades of a B or better in those courses. GRE may be waived on a case-by-case basis for applicants who have significant recent math and programming experience in the industry; such applicants should make the case for why their GRE should be waived in their statement of introduction and interest. 
In addition, students interested in certain emphasis areas will need additional preparation in computer programming and mathematics. For example, many courses in the data science track will assume undergraduate preparation in calculus (2 courses), linear algebra, and probability and statistics, as well as programming competence equivalent to three undergraduate programming courses. The specific requirements can be inferred from the courses listed.  
Graduate credit earned at other approved institutions may be counted toward the requirements of the MS-I degree if approved by the Graduate Academic Advisor. For the MS-I degree, the total number of units of coursework taken in graduate non-degree status or transferred from other institutions can be no more than 6.  A grade of A or B must have been earned to receive credit.
Students having completed the MS-I degree and returning to the School of Information for a Ph.D. will not be required to repeat the Foundations of Information course or the Information Research Methods course.

Minimum Admission Requirements

UA Graduate College and the School of Information

  • A bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona or from an accredited college or university recognized by the University of Arizona.
  • A grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
  • Completed undergraduate-level mathematics coursework and computer programming experience. (For more information, please see 'Admission to the Master of Science in Information.)

Domestic Admission Deadlines:

  • Fall Semester: February 15
  • Spring Semester: October 15
  • Summer Semester: March 15

International Admission Deadlines:

  • Fall Semester: February 15
  • Spring Semester: September 1
  • Summer Semester: March 1

**International Applicants: Per immigration regulations, students admitted to a graduate program must enroll in a total of 9 units, of which 6 of those units must be courses taught in-person and only 3 online units may be used toward full-time enrollment. For questions regarding enrollment, please contact the School of Information ( for assistance.

Please contact the Admissions Manager, at or 520-621-3567 for assistance.

Applicants are required to apply online to the Graduate College selecting the MS in Information for the semester of interest.

Please complete this online application for admission to the Graduate College and pay the application fee.

As part of the online application, you are required to submit the following materials.  Please do not email or mail these materials to the School of Information or Graduate College.  These materials are inputted into your online application:

  • Upload unofficial transcripts from ALL higher education institutions attended in ‘Supplemental Questions’ section.  Undergraduate preparatory courses should include basic principles of mathematics, probability and statistics, and programming methodology;
  • Upload unofficial GRE scores in ‘Supplemental Questions’ section;
  • Upload unofficial TOEFL scores in ‘Supplemental Questions’ section (international students only);
  • Upload a current resumé or curriculum vitae (CV) in the ‘Supplemental Questions’ section;
  • Write a 750-1000 word written statement of introduction and interest in the program in the ‘Supplemental Questions’ section;
  • Provide email addresses and contact information for two (2) recommenders in the ‘Letters of Recommendation’ section.

The University of Arizona’s Institution Code is 4832 and is chosen upon registration for tests such as the TOEFL or GRE.  Typically within two weeks of the test date, score results are sent electronically to the university and will appear in your GradApp.

Please email official e-Transcripts to directly from the institution or mail one (1) official transcript to the following address (do not send to the Graduate College).  Official transcripts from ALL higher education institutions attended are required.

School of Information
The University of Arizona
Harvill, Room 409
1103 E. 2nd St.
Tucson, AZ 85721

Applications are considered complete by the School of Information when all the above elements are received. An application will not be processed by the School of Information until all required information is received.

Other required forms must also be submitted:

  • Domestic applicants must also complete a domicile affidavit if they wish to have in-state (Arizona) statusMail or FAX the form directly to the Residency Classification Office. All students are considered out-of-state residents until domicile affidavits are processed. For more information about the requirements to be considered an Arizona resident, please review the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) information.

  • All students should review the information about Proposition 300. This is the student's responsibility.

  • International applicants must complete a financial guarantee form (Graduate College website) and submit TOEFL scores.

  • An immunization form to be sent directly to Campus Health. Students will not be allowed to register for classes until they have met the University's immunization requirements. For more information, see the Campus Health Service's immunization requirements.

[back to top of the page]


School of Information offers a variety of financial aid. See Graduate Student Aid page for a list of available opportunities. 

Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Many graduate students receive financial assistance in the form of Graduate Assistantships, Fellowships, or Teaching Assistantships. Students should recognize that financial support from the School is a privilege and is not guaranteed.

Financial Aid Application Priority Deadlines

  • February 15 for Fall semester.
  • October 15 for Spring semester.
  • SI Financial Aid for Summer is not available.

Financial aid applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a funds available basis. Students and applicants may still apply for financial aid after the deadline is passed, but the chance of an award and award amount will be much reduced. For any questions or concerns, please contact Admissions ( or 520-621-3565.


Click to go to the Google Form Financial Aid application.  Google accounts are not required for completion.


Graduate Assistantship Application Priority Deadline

  • February 15 for Fall semester.
  • October 15 for Spring semester.
  • SI Financial Aid for Summer is not available.


Click to go to the Google Form Graduate Assistantship application.  Google accounts are not required for completion.

In order to receive need-based financial aid, the School requires  

  • complete financial need forms, including FAFSA,;
  • full-time graduate status at the level of at least 6 registered units each semester, if applicable; and
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher while enrolled in the MA program, if applicable.

Merit-based tuition aids are also available for students with strong academic records. 

All students are encouraged to seek out funding from a variety of sources, for example, the Graduate College has online resources which can facilitate this effort, see

Note: Graduate Certificate students are not eligible for financial assistance unless concurrently enrolled in a separate MS or PhD program at the University of Arizona.

Student Competencies and Outcomes

C1: Computational and analytic thinking and doing: Students will establish the ability to exercise the four key techniques of computational thinking: decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, and algorithms in solving information and data challenges, in addition to analytically. 
C1.A: Decomposition: Students will be able to break down a complex problem or system into smaller, more solvable problems. 
C1.B: Pattern recognition: Students will be trained to look for similarities among and within problems. 
C1.C: Abstraction: Students will gain the ability of recognizing and focusing on the essential components of a problem/issue while ignoring distracting peripheral factors in order to develop one solution that works for a class of problems.
C1.D: Algorithms: Students will be able to design and implement a step-by-step solution to a problem, including design and implement a computer algorithm using a computer language to solve a problem. 
C1.E: Students will demonstrate fluency in at least one programming language. 
C2: Data manipulation, analysis, and interpretation: Students will obtain the skills of collecting, manipulating, and analyzing different types of data at different scales, and interpreting the results properly.     
C2:A: Students will be able to identify specific types of data for different analytical methods 
C2:B: Students will be able to use/develop efficient computational methods to clean, format, transfer, and store data. 
C2:C: Students will be able to apply appropriate statistical, machine learning, visual analytics, and other techniques to identify patterns and make sound predictions with given data. 
C2:D: Students will be able to develop methods to align and integrate data from multiple sources. 
C2:E: Students will understand the ethical and legal requirements of data privacy and security. 
C3: Communication and teamwork: Students will acquire skills to work with others within and across disciplines and be effective communicators. 
C3.A: Students will acquire experience working in an interdisciplinary team, either as a productive team member or a team leader.  Students will become effective project managers. 
C3:B: Students will be able to effectively articulate various evidence supporting a solution and to communicate the results of their work, using appropriate graphics, visualizations, multi-media vehicles, or artistic performance. 
C4: Creative contributions:  Through experiential learning, students will know how to conduct original and innovative work, involving computational thinking, data-intensive methodologies, and/or human-centered designs that will extend the body of knowledge in the field of Information. 
C5: Ethics and Values: Students will demonstrate an understanding of information/data ethics, and the values of the information fields to serve diverse user groups. 

[back to top of the page]

Degree Requirements

Master’s Degree Credit Hours

The master’s degree is designed for students who wish to develop advanced skills in applying information methods and become competitive information professionals. This degree requires 30 credit hours. Of these, there will be 3 core courses (9 units), 5 elective courses (15 units – up to 6 of these units can be taken from other units on campus, outside of the School), 3 units that count as experiential coursework, and a required 3-unit capstone project.
The standard time to degree for full-time students is 1.5 years.
Areas of Emphasis
Students are encouraged to select one or two emphasis areas or develop their own in collaboration with their faculty advisor. The current areas of emphasis represents some anticipated areas of interest and specialization based on known faculty and student interest and expertise. Most of the suggested courses in other departments have historically had open seats. Where certain courses may have filled or been closed to out-of-department students but we are working on reserving seats if there is demand.
Additional Requirements
In collaboration with the Faculty Advisor or the student’s chosen faculty mentor, each student is responsible for developing a Master’s Plan of Study during her or his first few months in the program to be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies in the School. It may be helpful to consult the typical schedule of course offerings when creating the plan. The Plan of Study should be submitted to the Graduate College no later than the second semester in the program.
The Master’s Plan of Study identifies 1) courses the student intends to transfer from other institutions; 2) courses already completed at The University of Arizona which the student intends to apply toward the graduate degree, and 3) additional coursework to be completed to fulfill degree requirements.  The Plan of Study must have the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies before it can be submitted to the Graduate College.
Core Courses (9 units total)
  • INFO 505 Foundations of Information – 3 units
  • INFO 507 Information Research Methods – 3 units
  • INFO 515 Organization of Information – 3 units

Elective Courses (15 units total – up to 6 of these units can be taken from other units on campus, outside of the School). MS students will choose their elective coursework in coordination with their advisor and based on their interests. Any non-core course with INFO prefix is considered elective. In addition, the following out-of-department courses are pre-approved for electives:

  • ART 596F Design, Art and the Environment
  • ART 696D Digital Art Studio Seminar
  • BME/SIE 578 Artificial Intelligence for Health and Medicine
  • LING/CSC 539 Statistical Natural Language Processing
  • NURS/LIS 634 Database Management in Healthcare Systems
  • NURS/LIS 646 Healthcare Informatics: Theory and Practice
  • NURS 650 Theories of Leadership & Organizational Management
  • NURS 736 Technology for Expanding Health-care Capacity
Experiential Courses (3 units total)
  • INFO 693 Internship – 1-3 units 
  • INFO 692 Directed Research – 1-3 units

More information on experiential courses is available on the Graduate Internships and Individual Studies page.

Capstone Project: The capstone (INFO 698) evaluates student competencies for graduation. This course may be repeated once if students failed to obtain a satisfactory score the first time. A successful capstone project will evaluate all competencies required for the MS program and must have a software development component with code deposited in GitHub or another source code repository. The student will be supervised by one or two faculty members, at least one of the supervisors must be a School of Information faculty. The Director of Graduate Studies and the faculty supervisor approve student's capstone project proposal (see attached template at the bottom of this page) and makes sure the project covers all the competencies. Upon completing the capstone project, the student will submit a report (5000-6000 words in length) in the form of an academic paper, documenting what has been accomplished and explain how the competencies have been demonstrated. The supervisor(s) will complete the competencies evaluation form attached to the end of this page. The Graduate Committee (or its subcommittee), plus the supervisors, will evaluate the project and competencies and assign a pass/fail grade. 

Emphasis Areas:
Students interested in one of the following areas may consider taking the courses listed for each area. The list is not comprehensive.

Data Science

  • INFO 510 Bayesian Modeling and Inference
  • INFO 514 Computational Social Science 
  • INFO 515 Organization of Information
  • INFO 521 Introduction to Machine Learning
  • INFO 522 Applied Cyberinfrastructure Concepts
  • INFO 523 Mining Data for Information 
  • INFO 550 Artificial Intelligence
  • INFO 555 AppliedNatural Language Processing
  • INFO 556 Text Retrieval and Web Search
  • INFO 557 Neural Network
  • INFO 565 Information Architecture and Controlled Vocabularies
  • INFO 570 Database Management and Development

Information Systems

  • INFO 515 Organization of Information
  • INFO 519 Knowledge in a Digital World
  • INFO 570 Database Management and Development
  • INFO 575 User Interface and Website Design
  • INFO 580 Data Standards for the Semantic Web
  • INFO 672 Introduction to Applied [Web] Technology (LAMP)
  • INFO 675 Advanced Digital Collections

Human Information Interaction

  • INFO 516 Human-Computer Interaction
  • INFO 524 Virtual Reality
  • INFO 551 Game Development
  • INFO 555 Applied Natural Language Processing
  • INFO 575 User Interface and Website Design
  • INFO 671 Introduction to Digital Collection

Healthcare Informatics

  • INFO 515 Organization of Information
  • INFO 533 Medical Online Searching
  • NURS/LIS 634 Database Management in Healthcare Systems
  • INFO 646 Healthcare informatics: theory and practice
  • NURS 650 Theories of Leadership & Organizational Management
  • NURS 736 Technology for Expanding Health-care Capacity

Biodiversity/Ecological Informatics 

  • INFO 515 Information Organization
  • INFO 522 Applied Cyberinfrastructure Concepts
  • INFO 554 Informatics in Biology
  • INFO 557 Neural Network
  • INFO 578 Science Information and its Presentation
  • INFO 580 Data Standards for the Semantic Web
  • GIST 601 Intro to Geographic Information Systems & Technology I 

Computational Arts

  • INFO 501 Multimedia Installation
  • INFO 516 Human Computer Interaction
  • INFO 524 Virtual Reality
  • INFO 525 Algorithms for Games
  • INFO 551 Game Development
  • ART 596F Design, Art and the Environment (scheduled in Spring terms)
  • ART 696D Digital Art Studio Seminor (schedules in Spring and Summer terms)

[back to top of the page]

Career Opportunites

Potential career paths for MS graduates include: Information Architect, Database Administrator, Data Scientists/Engineer, Digital Artists, Software Programmer/Engineer, Web Programmer, Application/System Analyst, Digital Repository Specialist 

[back to top of the page]

Other Useful Information

  • Progress to the Ph.D program

MA graduates with strong research interests are encouraged to apply.  Admission requirements for MS graduates are the same as the other candidates, but MS graduates may enjoy the benefit of the waiver of certain courses. For more information, please see the  Ph.D in Information page.

Please see the graduate advising page for full informaiton. 

Send all graduate academic appeals to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS).  See the contact page for the current contact information of the DGS.

It is School of Information policy that the student holds final responsibility for being aware of and responding to all School of Information and Graduate College policies, requirements, formats, and deadlines as they pertain to progression towards and completion of their degree. 

Academic Policies of the School relevant to the MA program can be found on this page and on the Policies page. Additional policies can be found at the Graduate College website. 

Information about the faculty can be found on the faculty page.

See the contact page.


File attachments: 

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences