Completing your degree
Any student may elect to complete the requirements for the Master of Arts in Library and Information Science with either of the following research culminations:
- Option A: Capstone Portfolio
- Option B: Master's Thesis on a research interest of the student's choosing
The Capstone Portfolio is completed throughout your time in the program and finalized and submitted before graduation. Detailed Capstone Portfolio instructions and resources are found on the SLIS program and Capstone Portfolio ICON site.
- For students graduating Fall 2023, visit here.
- For students graduating Spring 2024 and onward, visit here.
A graduating student may opt to write a thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Master of Arts in Library and Information Science. Preparation of a thesis (SLIS:6580) carries 6 semester hours of credit and has the following prerequisites:
- Libraries, Culture, and Society (SLIS:5010)
- Foundations of Computing (SLIS:5020) OR SLIS:6140 Digital Environments OR SLIS:6335 Metadata Theories and Applications OR SLIS:6040 Media Production Workshop
- Information Organization (SLIS:5030)
- Management, Teams, and Leadership (SLIS:6170))
- Information and Inquiry (SLIS: 6115)
Students who decide to write a Master’s Thesis are required to follow the format and style guidelines as set forth in the Graduate College Thesis Manual. at https://grad.uiowa.edu/academics/thesis-and-dissertation
The thesis option requires the following:
- The student identifies a thesis advisor and two thesis committee members. It is recommended that this step take place no later than two semesters prior to the thesis defense. The committee must be approved by the program director and the Graduate College. One committee member may come from a relevant department outside of SLIS. Two members must be tenure track faculty from within the SLIS department, including the thesis advisor.
- The student develops the research problem, completes a comprehensive literature review, and proposes a method for study with advice and counsel from the thesis advisor, and in consultation with the other committee members. The proposal is to be written using the following format (headings): Research Problem, Literature Review, Proposed Methodology.
- Upon recommendation of the thesis advisor, the student arranges a meeting of the thesis committee to review the proposal. Copies of the proposal are to be delivered to the committee members no less than one (1) week before the proposal meeting.
- The purpose of the proposal meeting is for the committee to make suggestions and recommendations to the student for the study. The student is responsible for recording the suggestions and recommendations of committee members.
- After the proposal meeting, the student and thesis advisor confer and review the outcome of the proposal meeting.
- The student carries out the study, conferring with the thesis advisor and other committee members as they deem necessary.
- Once the major portion of the research has been completed (for example, the data has been collected), the student composes the thesis document, including the information written for the proposal, as well as the results and conclusions of the study.
- The advisor reviews the thesis and determines its readiness for defense.
- Once the thesis has been approved for submission, the student delivers the thesis to all members of the committee no less than five (5) working days before the defense.
- The student is responsible for convening the defense meeting with their thesis committee.
- After the defense, the student makes any necessary corrections. The student’s thesis advisor is responsible for ensuring that any required revisions are completed.
- Once the thesis has been corrected and signatures are obtained from all committee members, the student deposits the finished work in the Graduate College Office.
Dates for preliminary and final deposit of a thesis are a part of the University’s Official Calendar and must be adhered to. The student is responsible to meet all thesis deadlines outlined by the University’s Official Calendar.