Communication Policies at The School of Information

Many individuals and groups make up the School of Information community—faculty, staff, students, alums and other librarians and friends of The School of Information. Strong communication, fostering the vigorous flow of information and founded in trust and respect, is the lifeblood of any healthy community and certainly of an information-oriented one like ours. Use of any of the communication media sponsored by School of Information implies understanding of and agreement to abide by these policies for communication at School of Information.

Although more and more communication takes place through electronic communication media, face-to-face and telephone communication may be, under certain circumstances, both more enjoyable and more effective. This document covers primarily electronic communication media, but it’s important to remember that the School of Information community interacts constantly through a myriad of formal and informal interactions face-to-face and by phone. Community members are encouraged to seek each other out for these kinds of communications.

Required Student Communication

School of Information students are required to participate in several communication vehicles in order to ensure that they receive information essential to their progress through their School of Information program.

  • University-Assigned Email (email.arizona.edu)
    Students are required to have a university-assigned email account and are responsible for all information sent to them through that account and should check it regularly. Students need to set up a NetID and UA email account. Students may wish to forward mail from their UA email to another account, perhaps one that they already check frequently, but please note that doing so may cause problems in receiving important information, especially in receiving messages from listservs. All official UA and School of Information communications will go to the student's UA account; therefore, students are strongly advised to use their UA accounts and to check them regularly.
  • The School’s Listserv: si_AllStudents
    si_AllStudents listserv is the School of Information’s method for communicating official information to graduate students. Students are responsible for providing the School of Information office with their email.arizona.edu account address. Students are responsible for all information posted on this listserv, so continued subscription to this listserv while in a School of Information program is required, but, in addition, it is only common sense to remain connected to the official source of information about your program.
  • Virtual Course Participation 
    The School of Information provides a range of virtual courses through the Internet using Desire2Learn (D2L) software. To take virtual courses, students must have graphical web access and maintain a university-assigned email account. See Desire2Learn for more information.
  • Class Listservs 
    Students may also be required to join class listservs. See subscribing to listservs for instructions.

Voluntary Student Communication

There are numerous other communication vehicles which connect students to the School of Information community and the profession beyond. Participation in these is voluntary but strongly recommended.

  • UA-LSO
    This list is owned and managed by the Library Student Organization, LSO, and is a forum for students only. Students subscribe themselves to this listserv, and they are strongly urged to do so. See instructions on subscribing to listservs.
  • Graduate Student Forum
    The Graduate Student Forum serves:
    • As the School of Information graduate student governance board to represent student needs and wants in regards to funding, course workload, and other forms of academic participation.
    • To facilitate fellowship among students — with a special emphasis on fostering community for both "live" and "virtual" students — and between students and faculty.
    • For more information, join the forum on Facebook. This group includes all School of Information graduate students and has no fees.
  • PhD Students 
    This listserv is for PhD students. Contact the front office to be added to this listserv.
  • Social Media

Issues and Concerns

Any healthy community needs multiple ways for all members to interact over issues and concerns in ways that maintain and foster trust, respect, and understanding. Diversity of opinion, expressed in respectful ways, strengthens our community. At School of Information, students have numerous options for discussing issues and expressing concerns.

  • Direct communication with the involved people
    Many issues can be resolved by direct interaction with the people involved. Particularly when issues and concerns involve particular courses, students are urged to start with the professor of the course. For issues in particular courses, the course evaluation offers a protected way of raising issues and expressing opinions. Course evaluations are read carefully and taken seriously at School of Information.

School of Information Appropriate Behavior Policy

All policies and codes of the University of Arizona apply to students in this school. See: http://deanofstudents.arizona.edu/policies-codes for a list of policies. Additionally, the School of Information has behavioral policies. In a class or in communicating with other students, faculty and staff it is perfectly acceptable to disagree with opinions expressed in the posts of your instructor or fellow students, but you are expected to demonstrate professionalism and respect at all times. Personal attacks, bullying, flames, rants or lack of respect will not be tolerated in email,  discussion boards or in person. Repeated violations in the school community in or outside of the classroom will be reviewed by the faculty and may result in a recommendation for disqualification from the program or other sanctions to correct the behavior.

The following procedures are to be followed if faculty or staff believe that this policy has been violated:

  • Students are expected to follow the appropriate behavior policy in all their activities as a School of Information student. This includes interactions with fellow students, faculty, staff, administration, and community partners. Community partners are encouraged to report any behavior issues to School of Information.  Before a student can be referred to the Dean of Students and Graduate College for involuntarily removal from a class or from the program for inappropriate behavior, the following procedures should be followed. The Director of Undergraduate/Graduate Studies and the student's Advisor should be informed whenever any of the following steps are taken.  For serious disruptions, the staff or faculty may start at Step 2 or Step 3 as appropriate.
  • Step 1. Staff or faculty member should communicate with the student as soon as possible after the first incident of inappropriate behavior to identify the behavior, review the classroom rules (if applicable) and School of Information Appropriate Behavior Policy, and instruct the student on the behavior that is required in the future. 
  • Step 2. If the inappropriate behavior continues, as soon as practical the faculty or staff member should provide a written warning to the student identifying the prohibited behavior that occurred, the rules that were violated and the behavior that is required in the future. The warning should also include notice that any subsequent violation of the classroom rules and/or the School of Information Appropriate Behavior Policy will result in the faculty/staff member filing a complaint with the School of Information Director of Graduate Studies or Director of Undergraduate Studies. A copy of the warning will be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Advisor (or Undergraduate Studies, if an undergraduate) and may be placed in the student’s file. If the violation involves classroom behavior the faculty member will also file a Student Code of Conduct Complaint with the Dean of Students Office. [See Policy on Disruptive Behavior for instructions: http://policy.arizona.edu/disruptive-behavior-instructional and Student Code of Conduct Online Complaint Form]
  • Step 3. If the inappropriate behavior is serious or continues after a written warning, the faculty or staff member should document the disruptive behavior in writing and file a School of Information code of conduct complaint with the School of Information Director. If appropriate, a faculty member may at the same time file Student Code of Conduct Complaint with the Dean of Students Office [see http://policy.arizona.edu/disruptive-behavior-instructional and Student Code of Conduct Online Complaint Form]. The complaint should also include a copy of any written warning provided to the student, as well as any documentation related to prior incidents and the names of any witnesses. The Director of School of Information will report the incident to Graduate College and/or Dean of Students and bring the case before the Faculty for a decision on recommendations for any sanctions that should be applied, which may include involuntary academic withdrawal from the program.  
Additional Resources for Faculty/Staff:  The Dean of Students Office Dean on Call Program provides faculty and staff with a 24/7 contact to assist with urgent concerns, or emergency and crisis situations impacting the student community. [https://deanofstudents.arizona.edu/emergency/need-help-now]

Course Policies

Information relating to School of Information courses is collected below.

Note that each program has an Academic Advising Coordinator.  The Academic Advising Coordinator is the final authority, especially if students want to go outside the normal course of study.

Courses: Comprehensive Information

See Courses for comprehensive links to information about courses at School of Information.

Course Add/Drops and Withdrawals

To add a class after the semester starts, students need the approval of the instructor. After the second day of class, a $50 late fee is charged. Students may drop a class themselves through UAccess up to the 20th day of the semester, after which they need to complete a Change of Schedule Form (pdf) and submit it directly to the School of Information' Program Coordinator. Forms never go directly to the Graduate College. An email from the instructor, with permission to drop the class, should be forwarded to the Program Coordinator, si-info@email.arizona.edu.  Office staff will gather signatures for the student and, if possible, submit the form to the Graduate College.The Graduate College requires that local students deliver their own forms to the Administration Building after the form is processed by School of Information. 

Students may withdraw from a class with approval from the instructor within the first four weeks after registration. After the fourth week and through the end of the tenth week of classes, the grade of W may be awarded to students earning a passing grade at the time of the withdrawal. A withdrawal from all classes must be initiated before the last day of classes of any semester, and must be completed before the beginning of the final exam period. Please check the Graduate College website for the financial implications of withdrawing from either classes or the University. Students who wish to drop all classes should contact the Program Coordinator for information.


Students may take an incomplete only for compelling reasons and only at the end of the semester when all but a minor portion of the coursework has been satisfactorily completed. Students must obtain the approval of the instructor and make arrangements with this instructor to make up the incomplete. Students must use the Incomplete form to document the approval. Granting an incomplete is entirely at the instructor's discretion, and some have policies against granting incompletes. Other instructors may grant incompletes and set their own deadlines for completion of the work. In the absence of an instructor-set deadline, students have one year to make up an incomplete. If the instructor's deadline is missed or if the incomplete is not addressed within one year, the incomplete automatically changes to a grade of "E." The grade to replace an incomplete grade is due at the UA Registrar on the last day of the semester. The grade will change to an "E" if the grade is submitted after the end of the semester (last day of final exams.) 

Please see the Graduate College website for more information.

Grade Appeals

Students may appeal a grade during the first regular semester after the semester or Summer or Winter Session in which the grade was awarded. Students considering a grade appeal must first speak with their instructor; if the issue is not resolved after this discussion, then the student must follow a formal process, determined by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, with deadlines. Follow instructions (pdf) provided by SBS.

"C" Grades and Minimum GPA

  1. One grade of C. Students may present one grade of C for graduation in their program, but it may not be in a required course (for the MA program, this includes core courses and courses presented to fulfill the distributed elective requirements; for the MS program, this includes core courses). A C  in a required course must be repeated in the next semester the course is scheduled. Students may not register for additional courses until the student has registered or met with the academic advisor to plan for retaking the required course.
  2. Grades below C. A grade of D or E may not be presented for graduation. Any course in which a student receives a grade of D or E must be retaken at the first possible opportunity. If the course is not a required course and is not scheduled often enough, the student may take an alternative course subject to the approval of the academic advisor. Students may not take additional courses until a plan for retaking or substituting a course has been approved by the academic advisor.
  3. Two or more grades of C. If a student receives two or more  grades of C, the courses must be retaken at the first opportunity unitl the number of grades of C is reduced to at most one. For courses that are not required courses and are not scheduled often enough, the student may take alternative courses subject to the approval of the academic advisor. Students may not take additional courses until a plan for retaking or substituting courses has been approved by the academic advisor.
  4. Minimum GPA required for graduation is 3.0.



Minimum and Maximum Enrollment

The normal enrollment for School of Information graduate students in the fall and spring semesters is six to nine credits per semester; prior approval is required to take more than nine credits. No more than three credits are allowed for Winter Session; no more than 3 credits are allowed in the summer Pre-session; and no more than two classes each are allowed for Summer Session I and Summer Session II, but not to exceed 3 classes in total combined between Summer Session I and Summer Session II.

The minimum enrollment allowed per semester (fall and spring) is three graduate credits, but note that many financial aid recipients must take at least 5 or more units to maintain eligibility; check with your program or lender. There are some exceptions that must be reviewed and approved by the Advisor.  If it is not possible to take the minimum, a student must apply for a Leave of Absence.

Out of Department Classes

Out-of-department courses must be at the graduate level (course number 500 or higher), taken for a grade, and support a student's program of study. Any out-of-department classes chosen counts as part of their curricular options. The Academic Advising Coordinator must give written (email) approval for an out-of-department class before it begins.  There are exceptions, such as MENAS or Law courses, that have been pre-approved as out-of-department courses.  For questions, please check with your Academic Advising Coordinator.

Individual Studies: 
Independent Studies, Internships, Practica

  • Masters Program

Independent Studies, Internships, and Practica are a type of "Individual Study" and may be taken for up to three credits per semester. A student cannot take more than six credits of Individual Study. Students must have taken at least 12 credits and be in good academic standing to apply for an individual study. An application and a detailed proposal must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor, the Individual Study site supervisor, and the Internship Coordinator by specific deadlines for each semester. Deadlines are typically two months prior to the semester of the Internship. Instructions and the application form are on our website.

  • DigIn Certificate

The required DigIn capstone course (IRLS 676) is a practicum.  (It is administered separately from the internship or independent study courses for the Masters program.) Please email the MA Advisor for more information, si-graduate-advisor@email.arizona.edu.

Transfer Credits

  • Masters Program

Effective December 2008, School of Information does not allow transfer credits from another institution to be applied to the master's degree. There is one exception: School of Information students can apply up to six transfer credits in which a letter grade of A or B was earned from another ALA-accredited library and information science program, with the approval of the student's advisor. In addition to advisor approval, these credits must not be more than six years old relative to the semester of graduation.  Course work more than six years old is not acceptable toward a degree.  Additionally, transfer credits cannot be used to take the place of any of the four core courses.

Students are limited to six credits of other options and so the use of UA out-of-department credit of all kinds needs to be carefully balanced with the student's interest in other forms of independent study.

Students who are not yet admitted to School of Information will be considered continuing education students (non-degree-seeking status)and will enroll through the Outreach College. Continuing education (non-degree status) students who intend to apply for a School of Information MA must follow the requirements for entry course and course sequencing, in order not to be disadvantaged with respect to matriculated students. See Continuing Education (Outreach) for more information about these options.

  • Archives Certificate

The Archives Certificate allows up to 6 transfer credits from other accredited institutions with the approval of the Academic Advising Coordinator.  Click here for more information.

  • DigIn Certificate

The DigIn Certificate allows up to 6 transfer credits from the Scholarly Publishing certificate program at ASU with the approval of the Academic Advising Coordinator.


Degree Policies

Academic Probation

School of Information follows closely the Graduate College policy on academic probation:

1. Students are required to maintain a GPA of at least 3.00. If students’ GPA falls below 3.00, they are immediately placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation must meet with the Academic Advising Coordinator to plan a course of action.

2. Students on academic probation for two consecutive semesters are removed from the program by the Graduate College. Such students must re-apply to both the Graduate College and School of Information either as non-degree seeking students or for full admission to their School of Information program.

3. Students may count only one class with a "C" grade towards their graduation requirement of 36 credits, or 12 classes (please carefully read, "C" Grades and Minimum GPA, #1). In other words, students may list only one "C" grade in their paperwork for graduation, but not in a core course or a course used to fulfill a distributed elective area.
See "C" Grades and Minimum GPA.

Leaves of Absence

Academic, Medical, and Personal Leaves of Absence (LOA) are granted for either one semester or one year with the approval of the Academic Advising Coordinator and the Graduate College. Only when the LOA is approved prior to the beginning of the semester for which the LOA is being sought will students be exempted from fees for that semester. Instructions and form are on the Graduate College website. Contact the leave coordinator, si-info@email.arizona.edufor more information.

Non-Degree Seeking Status

The School of Information follows the Graduate College policy on non-degree seeking status.

The Graduate College allows students who are not admitted to a degree program to take classes in a degree program subject to the policies of that program. Students wishing to take School of Information classes as Non-Degree Seeking students (NDS) must apply to the Graduate College. A fee is assessed by the Graduate College for this application. Students must also apply to School of Information as a Continuing Education Student. Contact the School of Information Office, for more information.

School of Information accepts non-degree seeking students according to the following policies:

  • In general, non-degree seeking students planning to matriculate into the Masters program should take LIS 504 as their first class. Exceptions may be discussed with the Academic Advising Coordinator.
  • NDS looking to increase their GPA to meet the Graduate College requirement of 3.0 in order to matriculate to a degree seeking status are required to take a minimum of 6 graded units. A maximum of 12 NDS units may be transferred toward the program. 
  • If a non-degree student receives a grade of "C" or lower, this performance is considered in the admission process and may result in failure to be admitted into the program. Courses in which students receive a grade of "C" or lower cannot be transferred into the program.
  • Non-degree students must be "continuously enrolled" to maintain their non-degree seeking status with the Graduate College. If a non-degree student does not enroll for at least one class in a regular semester, that student must re-apply to the Graduate College as a non-degree student.

Time Limitation

Course work more than six years old is not acceptable toward a degree. The "age" of a course is relative to the semester of graduation. 

University of Arizona Policies

School of Information students are expected to follow these standard university policies.


“Netiquette” is a word for etiquette in on-line communication, basically the do’s and don’ts of email and online communication. Following netiquette is essential to healthy online communication. The Netiquette Homepage is a good netiquette site.

International Students

For policies regarding international students, please visit our International Applicants webpage or the University of Arizona International Student Services webpage. 


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