Information Science

Admissions | Program Requirements | Graduation

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Master of Science in Information Science

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 and working professionals who are interested in helping organizations harness the power of data by moving into advanced data solution developer and data analyst 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 and successfully complete the program.
  • Cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test section or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores. Preferred scores are in the 50th percentile or higher for Verbal Reasoning, 50th percentile or higher for Quantitative Reasoning, and 4.0 or higher for Analytical Writing.
  • Completion of any remedial course work that may be specified by the department. Students seeking regular admission to the program are expected to have completed (with a grade of B or better in each course) undergraduate course work equivalent to the following UALR undergraduate courses:
    • IFSC 2300 Object-oriented Software
    • IFSC 3320 Database Concepts
    • STAT 2350 Introduction to Statistical Methods
  • The GRE/GMAT requirement may be waived if the student fulfills one of the following requirements:
    • Applicant has completed a Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. university with an over GPA of 3.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale or
    • Applicant has completed a Master’s degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
    • Applicant has completed one of the following graduate certificates from UALR with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher:
      • Graduate certificate in Data Science
      • Graduate certificate in Information Technology
      • Graduate certificate in Technology Innovation

Note: In all of these cases, students are advised that all other admission criteria to the MSIS program apply, including deficiency work. Students with approved graduate certificates 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 fail to 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.

Accelerated Program Admission

The Accelerated BS to MS Program is intended for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Information Science following completion of an undergraduate degree in Information Science, condensing what would normally be about six years of study into five years. The BS in Information Science (IFSC) is 120 credits. The MS in Information Science (MSIS) is 33 credits. Under the Accelerated Program, students are allowed to double count 12 credits of graduate courses so they can complete both their BS and desired MS 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 Accelerated 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 to identify eligible students who show good potential for the program.

      • Undergraduate students may apply and be accepted any time after completing 75 hours or more of undergraduate course work. Students must have completed MATH 1451 Calculus I (or acceptable transfer work) with a C or better.
      • All applicants must have at least an overall GPA of 3.5. Students who have transferred to our program can participate in the Accelerated 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 meets 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 the Information Quality and Information Science do not. Moreover, students successfully completely the graduate certificates are eligible to waive the GRE requirement and continue on for their master’s. Because the courses in the graduate certificate are an embedded subset of their respective master’s and because the Accelerated 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 Accelerated 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 Accelerated B.S. to M.S. program.
To apply, students must submit the following:
      • Completed UALR Graduate School application
      • Accelerated 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 Accelerated 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 Accelerated B.S. to 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 as a single 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 Accelerated 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 Accelerated 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 Accelerated 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 “double count” courses.
      • Once accepted into the program, students need to maintain at least a 3.0 overall average in their undergraduate course work and, per UALR Graduate School guidelines, a 3.0 overall average in their graduate course work. If, at the end of his/her baccalaureate degree, an Accelerated BS to MS student has failed to meet the Graduate School admission requirement of at least a 0 overall average 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 Accelerated BS to MS Program Coordinator upon acceptance to the Accelerated BS to MS program to map out the graduate courses they will take. Students accepted in the Accelerated 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 BS and the start of their MSIS courses per the UALR 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 Accelerated BS to MS Program.  The student is then welcome to apply to the MSIS program using the regular admission process and to be advised accordingly.

Note: Both the IQ and IS graduate programs also offer the option of a graduate certificate in Information Quality (4 courses) or a graduate certificate in Information Science (4 courses). Students will be encouraged to complete the four courses that make up the graduate certificate 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: Both the MSIS and MSIQ are 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 Accelerated B.S. to M.S. Program Coordinator upon acceptance into the program to map our 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 Accelerated 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 UALR Graduate School (Policy #509.15) so they will be aware that if they are academically dismissed from the Accelerated B.S. to M.S. program then they will not be eligible to pursue any other graduate study options at UALR.
  • Students accepted into the Accelerated B.S. to M.S. program will be subject to the same policies as traditionally matriculated graduate students.
  • The Accelerated 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, and either a master’s thesis or project.

Core Courses (12 credits)

IFSC 5346 Information Visualization
IFSC 7320 Database Systems or CPSC 7351 Database Design
IFSC 7360 Data Protection and Privacy
IFSC 7370 Data Science and Technologies

Elective Courses (15 credit hours required), possible choices include:

IFSC 7321 Information Science and Theory (required for students wishing to pursue the Ph.D.)
CPSC 7382 Systems Analysis and Design or IFSC 7310 Information Systems Analysis or CPSC 7311 Software Engineering (required for students wishing to pursue the Ph.D.)
IFSC 5325 Data Mining
IFSC 5330 Database Security
IFSC 5339 Network Security
IFSC 5360 Social Computing
IFSC 7325 Advanced Data Mining
IFSC 7330 Information Systems Security
IFSC 7331 Network Sciences
IFSC 7350 E-Commerce
CPSC 7352 Advanced Database Issues
CPSC 7373 Artificial Intelligence
CPSC 7374 Image Processing
CPSC 7375 Machine Learning
CPSC 7383 Modeling and Simulation
CPSC 7385 Analysis of Algorithms

No more than two course chosen with an INFQ prefix

      • INFQ 7303 Principles of Information Quality
      • INFQ 7318 Information Quality TQM and SPC
      • INFQ 7322 Information Quality Theory
      • INFQ 7337 Information Quality Project Management
      • INFQ 7342 Information Quality Tools and Landscape
      • INFQ 7367 IQ Strategy and Policy
      • INFQ 7348 Entity Resolution and IQ

Graduate Special Topics

Additional Program Requirements

Six credits of either Master’s Thesis or Project

      • Six credits of Master’s Thesis: students may register with advisor approval in any of the following thesis courses: IFSC 7198, 7298, 7398, 7498, 7598, or 7698 over one or more semesters to complete the required six credits of IFSC graduate thesis course work.
      • Six credits of Master’s Project: students may elect to complete a graduate project in one semester (IFSC 7686) or to spread the graduate project over two semesters (IFSC 7386 taken twice) to complete the required six credits of IFSC graduate project course work. As a third option, students can also elect to coordinate three credits of cooperative education experience (IFSC 7391) with the graduate project (IFSC 7386 taken once).
Substitution of Core Requirements

The Information Science Graduate Committee may substitute other graduate-level courses for up to six hours of the core requirements if in the Committee’s opinion, an entering student has already completed the same level of work prescribed for that core course or courses through previous academic work or professional experience. Overall course substitution for previous work is limited to a total of 12 hours.


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 broad-band 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 recorded so that students can replay previous class meetings. The transcript of students completing the program through the distance education option will appear the same as those completing the program on-campus. Many students in the program may take advantage of the webcasting of classes; the distance education option is primarily for remote students, i.e., students who, because of distance or other circumstances, cannot attend on-campus classes on a regular basis. However, 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.Notwithstanding, all major examinations must be taken in person. Examinations for local students are administered in the campus classroom by the instructor. Examinations for remote students must be administered by an approved proctor. Because all students must present their final theses or project reports in person to the Information Science Graduate Committee as a requirement for graduation from the program, remote students must be prepared to make at least one visit to the UALR campus in order to complete their degree requirements.


Graduation Requirements


Successful completion of the program of study outlined above with a GPA of at least 3.0.