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MLIS Curriculum

MLIS Courses

UCLA General Catalog : Information Studies courses

IS Class Schedules

UCLA Schedule of Classes

Fall 2021 Schedule

Winter 2022 Schedule

Spring 2022 Schedule



The MLIS core curriculum provides a coherent program of study for all MLIS students. Each core course is taught face-to-face by a member of regular faculty; each includes the needs and perspectives of every MLIS specialization, and each addresses issues relating to ethics and values. Every core course is offered every year. Full-time MLIS students are normally expected to complete all of the core courses during their first year.

After completing the MLIS core, students will be able to articulate key concepts, advocate fundamental values, formulate policies, and demonstrate the advanced intellectual, technological, and managerial skills needed to practice, lead, and innovate in the information professions. They will also be able to apply the highest ethical standards in their professional information practice. They will appreciate the needs of diverse communities and be able to design and provide systems and services that are appropriate in a multicultural society.

Students are required to take four core courses:


IS 211 Artifacts and Cultures. (4) Lecture, two hours; discussion, two hours. Exploration of social, cultural, and technical practices through which meanings, memories, ideas, and knowledge-claims are generated. Concepts are recorded, reproduced, mediated, collected, and appropriated; they are sometimes forged, stolen, or subverted and are often shared, juxtaposed, exhibited, communicated, interpreted, remixed, or repurposed. Their formats may be oral and written, verbal and pictorial, aural and visual, and inscriptive and performative. Artifacts are single-medium and multimedia, static and dynamic, numerical and narrative, scholarly and popular, and analog and digital. They constitute documents, records, data sets, and cultural objects through which information and evidence are authored, published, collocated, exchanged, preserved, and accessed. Examination of these artifacts and their properties, types, and relationships: media, formats, genres, materials, states, contents, components, subjects, structures, functions, aesthetic qualities, roles, costs, affordances, and use values. Letter grading.


IS 212 Values and Communities. (4) Lecture, two hours; discussion, two hours. Forum to discuss, understand, and critique value systems and power structures embedded in information and work in diverse societies. Exploration of importance of thinking locally, from grassroots, in design, evaluation, and engagement with information institutions and technologies, ranging from archives and libraries to Internet. Aspects of information society that shape and are shaped by cultural, societal, professional, community, and individual values, including exploration of impact of such values on professional practice, decision making, and public policy. Letter grading.


IS 260 Description and Access. (4) Lecture, three and one half hours. Social, cultural, and technical practices — formal and informal, institutional and personal — through which documents, records, and other forms of information are organized and represented. Design, development, and evaluation of techniques and tools, including data models, metadata schemata, search engines, and management systems in support of curatorship, stewardship, discovery, and use. Letter grading.


IS 270 Systems and Infrastructures. (4) Lecture, four hours. Social, cultural, and technical practices through which information and media infrastructures — networks, systems, technologies, algorithms, interfaces, standards, institutions, bureaucracies, markets — are designed, built, maintained, and evaluated. Ways in which information infrastructures both shape and are shaped by governmental policy, institutional decision making, socioeconomic trends, labor movements, technical advances, and professional and personal value systems, at levels ranging from local to global. S/U or letter grading.