Preparing students for careers in cataloging, indexing, metadata work, or archival organization in a wide variety of settings, including libraries, archives, museums, private corporations, government agencies, and other organizations, 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.

Career Opportunities

Cataloger Metadata Librarian
Indexer Metadata Specialist
Digital Asset Manager Taxonomist
Ontologist Information Architect


To pursue the Information Organization Concentration you must complete and submit the Information Organization Concentration Declaration of Intent form. This will allow the program to track your progress, and communicate with you via the email list.

Things to know…

  • You may not earn a concentration and a certificate based on identical coursework.
  • Online and onsite availability of electives vary each semester.
  • Upon completion of your coursework, your concentration program will be reviewed and approved by the coordinator of the Information Studies Concentration.
Program Requirements

The Information Organization Concentration requires a minimum of 15 credits of coursework taken from the list of qualifying courses below. Your concentration program must be approved by the SOIS Information Organization Curriculum Coordinator. 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 towards the concentration.

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.




  • INFOST 511 Organization of Information (required for the MLIS and for all IO elective courses; does not count as one of the required 15 credits of IO electives).

Students must take 15 credits (typically 5 courses) of the following qualifying electives

  • INFOST 582 Introduction to Data Science (Graduate only)
  • INFOST 619 Topics in Information Organization: (Subtitled). (Effective 01/22/2013)  1-3 credits. Undergraduate/Graduate. Study of particular topics in Information Organization. Specific topics announced in Schedule of Classes each time course is offered. May be repeated with change in topic to 9 credits maximum.
  • INFOST 691 Topics in Information Science: (Subtitled) (1-3 credits) (with an IO related topic)
  • INFOST 710 Comparative Bibliography
  • INFOST 711 Introduction to Cataloging and Classification (Effective 11/11/2016. This course is being replaced by 712 and 713. Students who have already completed 711 may continue to use it for the concentration.)
  • INFOST 712 Resource Description for Library Catalogs
  • INFOST 713 Subject Analysis in Library Catalogs
  • INFOST 714 Metadata
  • INFOST 715 Music Cataloging
  • INFOST 716 Thesaurus Construction
  • INFOST 717 Information Architecture
  • INFOST 750 Arrangement and Description in Archives (Prerequisite: INFOST 650)
  • INFOST 719 Advanced Topics in Information Organization: (Subtitled).  [Formerly INFOST 791]  Advanced study of a particular topic in Information Organization. May be repeated with change in topic to 9 credits maximum.
  • INFOST 780 XML for Libraries
  • INFOST 785 Database Management Systems for Information Professionals
  • INFOST 898 Master’s Thesis (on an IO topic, directed by an IO faculty member)
  • INFOST 990 Fieldwork in Library and Information Science Services (with a focus on information organization) (Prerequisites: all MLIS core courses and relevant IO elective courses)
    INFOST 759 Fieldwork in Archives and Manuscripts (with a focus on information organization)



Practical experience is an critical component of preparation for a professional career. Such experience in the form of a 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

Related Courses

Recommended Courses (not counted toward the concentration)

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