Frequently asked questions about the Information Quality Graduate Program at UALR.
Q. What degrees are offered in the program?
Answer: The UALR Information Quality Graduate program offers the following three programs of study:
- Graduate Certificate in Information Quality (on-campus and online)
- Master of Science in Information Quality (on-campus and online)
- Information Quality Track in the Computer and Information Sciences PhD Program (on-campus and online)
Q. What is Information Quality?
Answer: Information Quality is an emerging discipline concerned with maximizing the value of an organization’s information asset and assuring that the information products produced by an organization meet the needs and expectations of the people and system that use those products.
Q. Is Information Quality the same as Data Quality?
Answer: Depends upon whom you ask. Although many experts use the terms information quality and data quality interchangeably, they are used to denote different concepts in the UALR program. Information quality is used as the title of the program because it encompasses the entire discipline and in addition to technical issues, information quality addresses important management aspects such as, quantifying the business impact or poor quality data, making the business case for improving the quality of information, creating strategies for sustainable quality and governance of information, and building an environment and culture of quality information in an organization. Data quality is a critical part of the information quality discipline that is focused on assuring that data in an information system conforms to particular requirements and specifications. At a high-level, information quality is about maximizing the value of information for both the enterprise and the consumers of the information, while data quality is measuring the degree to which data conform to data requirements.
Q. Are the courses available online?
Answer: Yes, but it is important to understand that there are two types of online classes, Synchronous Online and Asynchronous Online. The students in synchronous online classes are required to attend (online) the live classes at the scheduled class times and participate in class discussions. They may also be required to appear in-person and directed by the instructor for examinations, team presentations, and other activities. Student enrolled in asynchronous online classes are not subject to any attendance requirements and can participate simply by viewing recorded class lectures, homework assignements, and online examinations. The asynchronous classes are offered and administered through as a separate program. The asynchronous online program is intended for students who are not able to regularly participate in on-campus activities because of geography or work activities. Note that International Students are eligible for enrollment in the asynchronous online programs. Both synchronous and asynchronous classes are webcast live thought the Internet using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra technology. Live webcast schedules coincide with the days and times listed for the on-campus course. Most courses are scheduled to meet either one time per week starting at 2300 UTC (6:00 pm US Central Time) and lasting for 2 hours and 40 minutes, or two times per week starting at 2230 UTC (4:30 pm US Central Time) and lasting for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Some classes may be scheduled at other times. Lectures for all courses are recorded and can be downloaded and viewed by all students at a later time. The fall semester usually starts on the third Monday in August and ends on the first Monday in December. The spring semester usually starts on the second Monday in January and ends on the first Monday in May. The exact dates for each semester vary and can be found on the calendar on the UALR homepage.
Q. Are the courses offered on a regular basis?
Answer: Yes, to help students plan their program of study, the courses supporting the Graduate Certificate, Master of Science, and PhD programs are offered in regular cycle
Fall Semester Only
- INFQ 7367, Information Quality Policy and Strategy
- At least one Information Quality Elective (INFQ Prefix), usually INFQ 7348, Entity Resolution and Information Quality, and at least one non-IQ Elective (IFSC, MGMT, or other Prefix)
- BINS 7307 Systems Analysis and Design (Can be counted for IFSC 7310 Information Systems Analysis)
Spring Semester Only
- INFQ 7337, Project and Change Management
- INFQ 7322, Information Quality Theory (Required for PhD, Elective for MSIQ)
- IFSC 7321, Information Science: Principles and Theory (Required for PhD, Elective for MSIQ)
- IFSC 7310, Information Systems Analysis
- At least one Information Quality Elective (INFQ Prefix) and at least one non-IQ Elective (IFSC, MGMT, or other Prefix)
- BINS 7305 Advanced Database Design (Can be counted for IFSC 7320)
Fall and Spring Semester
- INFQ 7303, Principles of Information Quality
- IFSC 5345, Information Visualization
- IFSC 7320, Database Systems and Information Architecture
- INFQ 7342, Information Quality Tools and Industry Landscape
Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters
- INFQ 7386 and INFQ 7686, Graduate Project
- INFQ 7391, Cooperative Education in Information Quality
- IFSC 9×00, Dissertation/Research where x can be 1 to 9 for the number of hours credit, e.g., IFSC 9500 is for 5 hours credit.
Q. Is there any distinction on the student’s transcript between degrees earned in-residence and those earned by remote students in the IQ program?
Answer: No, because our degrees are tied directly to our on-campus program. There are not separate sections for on-campus and online. Each course offered in the program is assigned a specific meeting time and location on the UALR campus, and each class meeting is webcast. Students whether local or remote can attend the class in-person, by webcast, or later by recorded archives. In addition, all major examinations in the course must be taken in-person, either with the instructor on campus or with an approved testing service/proctor service in the case of remote students. All students whether local or remote work at the same pace and cover the same material. Unlike traditional online classes, the assignments and exams in the IQ classes are not offered on demand. They are released to all students both local and remote on the same schedule, and all course work must be completed within the semester that the course is offered.
Q. Will I need special equipment or software to participate online?
Answer: No, students should be able to access the lecture broadcasts anywhere there is a computer with a browser and high-speed Internet connection. A headset with microphone and earphones is recommended for students who want to participate via audio interaction with the instructor and other class members.
Q. Are remote online students graded differently than local on-campus students?
Answer: Grading in each course will be different depending upon the instructor but in all cases local and remote students complete the same assignments and exams and are graded in the same way. The only difference is that remote students will be responsible for finding an acceptable university-based or commercial proctoring service convenient to their locations. Students residing within 25 miles of the UALR campus are required to take their examinations on campus at the time and date designated by the course instructor.
Q. What are the requirements for an exam proctor?
Answer: If you are a remote student living more than 25 miles from campus you are responsible for finding your own proctor at a library, community college, or university in your area. However, the proctor must be able to receive and transmit examinations in electronic format. Nominations for proctors must be reviewed by the department before they can be approved. Acceptable proctors include:
- A librarian at an academic or public library
- Testing centers at 2 or 4 year colleges and universities
- Commercial learning/tutoring centers
- A Military Learning Center or officer of higher rank than the student if in the military
- Corporate education centers
For more information on proctor requirements see the distance learning link.
Q. How do I apply for admission to the program?
All applications are taken online at https://ualr.edu/gradschool/graduate-application/
To learn more about applying to UALR, just visit the UALR’s Admissions website (https://ualr.edu/admissions/).
Please note that the UALR Graduate School will not accept transcripts sent directly from students. You must request your previous school to send official copies of your transcripts directly to the UALR Graduate School. This process is explained in more detail in the application instructions online.
Q. Do I have to take the GRE or GMAT before I apply?
Answer: It depends on the program. The GRE and GMAT are not required for the Graduate Certificate Program. In the case of the Master of Science program, either the GRE or GMAT is generally required, but will be waived for student who have completed the UALR Graduate Certificate Program in IQ or Graduate Certificate in Data Science with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. The GRE or GMAT is always required for PhD applicants unless waived by the program coordinator.
Q. What factors are considered for admission?
In addition to overall academic performance, applicants should also have had coursework or professional experience in computer programming, database systems, and applied statistics. Good communication skills, both oral and written, are also critical as demonstrated by scores on the verbal and analytical writing section of the GRE exam, and for international students, the TOEFL exam. Although not required, professional work experience adds weight to the application.
Q. How much does it cost to complete the program?
Answer: For student enrolled in program on the Main campus, see the UALR Bursar’s webpage for the most current graduate tuition and fee information. For student enrolled in program in the Online campus, see the Online Campus website.
Q. What are the job opportunities for graduates of the program?
Overall the demand for information quality and information technology skills is strong, and the graduates from the program are finding jobs in data and information quality roles in industry and government. Several large organizations are actively involved in the program and have offered scholarships, internships, and employment opportunities to our students.