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Post Master’s Certificate of Specialization

The Post Master’s Certificate of Specialization adds focused, state-of-the-art professional and research skills to the foundation of a prior master’s degree.

Students can specialize in a range of areas in Information Studies, including, but not limited to public libraries, academic libraries, children’s and youth services, library management, archival studies, digital preservation, digital curatorship, digital libraries, metadata development and management, and systems design. A minimum of nine courses (100, 200, 400 and 500 series) for a minimum of 36 units must be completed, selected from those available in the Department of Information Studies and other departments of the University. This does not preclude students from taking more units to attain greater depth in their area of specialization.


1. Prior to entering the program, students must identify a primary faculty member with whom they wish to work.   This faculty member will become the student’s advisor and will be responsible for working with the student to develop an appropriate course of study, for approving the topic for the specialization paper or project, and for grading the final version of the paper or project.   Where appropriate, an additional faculty member may serve as a co-advisor.

2. A substantial scholarly or applied research paper or project, bibliographical study, or literature study, appropriate for publication or presentation in a professional or scholarly journal or conference, must be completed by the final quarter of study. Usually students will complete this requirement through enrollment in course 596 and working closely with their faculty advisor. The specialization paper or project is required even if the student already has an advanced degree in which a thesis or dissertation was a requirement.

3. The proposal will be approved by the advisor(s) only after the student has successfully completed six courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.

4. As necessary, any questionnaires or interview forms to be used in the research must be approved by the appropriate Human Subjects Protection Committee (HSPC) at UCLA (at the same time as the proposal is finalized, or shortly thereafter).

5. The specialization paper required substantial coursework. In most cases, it will involve 8 to 12 units of directed study 596, or the student’s advisor(s) may recommend an additional four units in a course from a cognate department related to the topic of the paper or project.

6. The student must obtain the appropriate Information Studies departmental forms and instructions from the Student Affairs Office (207 GSE&IS Building).

7. To complete the program and receive the certificate, the student must receive a satisfactory grade for the specialization paper or project and must also make a public presentation of his or her work within the Department.   The student will work with his or her advisor(s) and the convenor of the Information Studies colloquia to identify an appropriate date for the presentation.

8. Upon completion of the certificate requirements, the student is responsible for submitting the signed Specialization Completion Form to the Student Affairs Office and for filing a copy of the specialization paper or project in the MIT Lab.