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The MLIS Information Organization (IO) Concentration prepares students for careers as catalogers, indexers, metadata specialists, or archival specialists in a wide variety of settings including libraries, museums, archives, private corporations, government agencies, and other organizations.

Program Type


Program Format

Hybrid, Online

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The Information Organization (IO) Concentration provides a way for you to formally focus your studies on information organization within the context of your MLIS degree program and its requirements. The Concentration includes a mixture of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills and will be posted on your transcript upon degree conferral.

Things to know…

The Information Organization Concentration is a credential that appears on your transcript and is completed within the context of the MLIS program.

Declaration of Intent

You may declare a concentration at the time of your application to the program or you may use the link below to add or remove the concentration after admission.

Program Requirements

Students pursuing the Information Organization Concentration must take 15 credits of coursework from the list of qualifying courses as electives within the overall Master of Library & Information Science (MLIS) program.

To pursue the Information Organization Concentration students must be admitted into the MLIS program and complete all MLIS program requirements. Please visit the MLIS Program page for complete details:

Required Concentration Courses & Electives

Before declaring the concentration, we recommend that you take INFOST 511: Organization of Information. INFOST 511 is the prerequisite for all qualifying courses. Note: INFOST 511 is one of the required courses for the MLIS program and does not count toward the 15 credits required for the concentration.

For a complete list of required courses and electives for the Information Organization Concentration, please visit the UWM Graduate School Catalog:


A fieldwork experience of 1-3 credits with a focus on information organization is strongly recommended for students without practical experience. A maximum of 3 credits of fieldwork may be applied toward the concentration.


Practical experience is a critical component of preparation for a professional career. Such experience in the form of fieldwork will count for a great deal when applying for jobs. 1-3 credits of fieldwork with a focus on information organization are strongly recommended but not absolutely required for students without practical experience in IO.

  • Students may ask any SOIS IO faculty member to be their fieldwork faculty advisor.
  • Students must have their fieldwork placement approved by the IO Concentration Coordinator in advance (regardless of the faculty advisor).
  • Fieldwork should generally be done later in a student’s program after relevant elective courses have been completed (e.g., completion of 711 before beginning a fieldwork in cataloging.)
  • Fieldwork may be taken for 1, 2, or 3 credits during any one semester.
  • A maximum of 3 credits of fieldwork may be included as part of the 15 credits of electives for the concentration (an additional 3 credits may count toward the MLIS, but not toward the concentration).
  • Waiving fieldwork does not reduce the required 15 elective credits for the concentration.

Related Courses

Recommended Courses (not counted toward the concentration)

  • INFOST 682 – Digital Libraries
  • INFOST 787 – Library Automation
  • INFOST 788 – Information Systems: Analysis and Design