You are reading the 2024/25 Academic Calendar. The 2023/24 version remains in effect until August 31, 2024 and is available here.

Degree Requirements

The M.A.S. is awarded on the completion of 48 credits of work approved by the School, including an optional thesis and optional, but recommended, professional experience.

The required courses are ARST 500, 510, 515, 516, 555, 573 (collectively, the “Core”) and 520.

Students must begin the program in September of a year. It normally takes two years for students to complete the program. In the first term of the program, students will take the first four ‘Core’ courses: ARST 500, 510, 515 and 573. In the second term of the program, students will take the remaining two ‘Core’ courses (ARST 516 and 555), plus two or more elective courses. ARST 520 can be taken in the second term, or in a subsequent term. To complete the requirements of the degree, students can take up to 12 credits other than those designated “ARST” at UBC.

Academic Regulations

The general academic regulations of the University and of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies apply. The following regulations are specific to the School:

  1. A student may continue in the M.A.S. program if an overall average of 70% is obtained in the ARST Core courses (ARST 500, 510, 515, 516, 555, 573), and if no individual course among them is failed (grade below 60%), and if no more than two of these courses have marks below 70%. A student who fails to meet any of these requirements must withdraw from the program.
  2. A student must maintain an overall average of 70% throughout the M.A.S. program. A student who fails to meet this requirement will be required to withdraw from the program.
  3. A student must obtain at least 60% in any course to pass that course. However, only 6 credits graded under 70% can be credited toward the degree.
  4. If a student fails a course outside the Core courses of the M.A.S. program, the student may repeat that course if the School so recommends and the Dean approves. A course in which a grade of less than 70% was obtained may be repeated for a higher standing if recommended by the School.
  5. Field trips are integral parts of the program; satisfactory participation in them is required of all students.
  6. A one-time fee will be charged at the start of the program for materials and services provided by the School. The fee is subject to change.
  7. Written work may be refused a passing mark if it is, in the opinion of the faculty, deficient in English.

Experiential Learning

Field experience in an information-based centre is highly desirable for students, even those with experience in the work of the practising information professional. This may be in the form of ARST 596: Professional Experience (3 credits), ARST 595: Internship (3 credits) or an iSchool Co-op paid work placement.

Co-operative Work Program

M.L.I.S., M.A.S., and Dual M.A.S./M.L.I.S. students who have completed 24 credits of coursework are eligible to apply to the School's co-op work program. Applications are submitted in October for the work period that begins in January of the following year. Applications are submitted in January for the work period that begins in May. Depending on their individual needs, students may elect to take a term of work lasting either four months (January to April, May to August, or September to December), or eight months (January to August, May to December, or September to April), or do two consecutive four-month terms. Students are paid for their work according to industry standards, which will vary depending on the type of library or information agency. Students do not receive academic credit for their work term, but participation in the co-op is noted on transcripts.


A student with research interests may elect to write a thesis. Consultation on this with the student's advisor should begin by the end of the term in which 24 credits have been completed.

First Nations Concentration

The First Nations Curriculum Concentration (F.N.C.C.) in the M.L.I.S., M.A.S., or Dual M.A.S./M.L.I.S. programs offers students the opportunity to build a deep appreciation for the influence of the information professions on Indigenous histories and ongoing Indigenous initiatives. As an integral part of the concentration, students are supported in gaining experience working in Indigenous-oriented information organizations. As part of the F.N.C.C., students must complete, in addition to the requirements of the M.A.S. program, 12 credits of First Nations coursework and the equivalent of 120 hours of experiential learning (e.g. professional experience, co-op) with an Indigenous community or Indigenous-oriented organization. Satisfactory completion of the concentration will be noted on the student's transcript.

Program Overview

Methods of Instruction

The School employs a wide variety of instructional methods, including lectures, web-delivered courses, laboratories, discussions, seminars, directed studies, colloquia, field trips, and field work. Each student has an individual faculty advisor available for consultation and specific assistance.


Regular attendance is expected. A student who cannot attend a class, field trip, etc., must notify the instructor concerned by telephone or email, preferably in advance if the absence is foreseen.

Part-Time Work

The School's programs are time-consuming, particularly during the first term of familiarization with new vocabulary, concepts, and professional issues. Most students find it unwise to consider more than four to six hours per week of outside work during the first term. Enquiries for part-time work at the University should be directed to Career Services in Brock Hall.

Field Trips

Field trips occur throughout the school session. For the most part, these are visits of observation of a few hours in libraries or archives in the Vancouver area, but day-long or even two-day trips may be required. The student is responsible for most expenses incurred in conjunction with such field trips and with off-campus activities in the practicum/internship/professional experience courses.

Admission to Courses

A student not registered in one of the School's programs who wishes to enrol in or audit any of its courses should apply to the School of Information Graduate Advisor.

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