This is a named option within the Master of Science Information.

The master's degree at the Information School (iSchool) prepares graduates to develop, provide, and assess information and data services that create, collect, organize, store, analyze, find, distribute, and use information and data in a diverse, technological, and global society. The program prepares information professionals to work in three broad, overlapping areas of the information professions.

User Experience Design: Graduates obtain employment in user experience design, interaction design, usability testing, systems analysis and project management, IT training, educational technology support, digital asset management and curation, and content management.

Data Analytics: Graduates obtain employment as data analysts in a variety of fields with expertise in analyzing data to support organizational decision-making, planning and managing data-driven projects, visualization and communication of analysis and results, data policy issues, and ensuring that organizational data practices support analysis activities.

Data and Information Management: Graduates obtain employment specializing in management of data and information in a variety of organizations with expertise in in knowledge management, digital asset management, data and information governance, prospect research, systems analysis, records management and compliance, research data management and project management, and database development and management.

Full-time students generally complete the program in two academic years with summer work; part-time students complete it in three to four years. Students gain hands-on experience as part of their degree through the school’s required internship. Students may choose internship settings based on their career goals.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline June 1
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 2

The MS Information admits students to its on campus and online master's programs once a  year for a start in the fall semester.  Fall admissions deadlines are as follows:

  • The deadline for full consideration for iSchool MS Information scholarships is February 15.
  • The deadline for full consideration for admission is March 1. 
  • Applications submitted after March 1 are considered on a space available basis. 

The UW Madison Graduate School requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution. A minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in the last 60 earned credit hours is required.

Application evaluation criteria include academic abilities, professional promise, leadership and community engagement. An undergraduate program that includes breadth in liberal arts and sciences is required. Any major is acceptable. Prior work experience related to information and computing professions is useful, but is not required. The GRE is not required.

International students: TOEFL or equivalent scores are required if English is not the native language, or if the undergraduate instruction was not in English. The Information School follows UW Graduate School rules regarding English proficiency exams. See the Graduate School website for updated information. 

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Information

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements

Mode of Instruction

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
No No Yes No No


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Within the student's total program, one grade of BC or C is allowable in either a required or elective course if it is balanced by a grade of A or AB earned either prior to or concurrently with the unsatisfactory grade. Students receiving a BC or C move into probationary status. A second grade of BC or C or any grade of D or F will normally result in the student being dropped from the program. In addition, a student's graduate-program cumulative grade point average must be maintained at 3.00 or above.
Assessments and Examinations No formal examination is required.
Language Requirements None.

Required COURSES

Core Required Courses (take all)

Core Required Courses (take all)
L I S 615 Systems Analysis and Project Management for Information Professionals3
L I S 751 Database Design for Information Professionals3
L I S/​COM ARTS  705 Introductory Analytics for Decision Making3
L I S/​CURRIC  620 Field Project in Library and Information Agencies3
L I S 732 Strategic Information Services3
Breadth Requirement in Ethics
All students must complete at least three credits in ethics from the list below.3
Data and Algorithms: Ethics and Policy (recommended)
Information Ethics and Policy
At least 9 credits must be taken from among the following approved courses organized by concentration area. Students may mix and match approved courses from across the two different areas.9+
Concentration Area: User Experience/Interaction Design 1
User Experience Design 1
User Experience Design 2
User Experience Design 3
User Experience Design Capstone
Concentration Area: Analytics and Data Management 1
Data Mining Planning and Management
Data Visualization and Communication for Decision Making
Data Management for Information Professionals
Up to 3 credits of electives may be taken from the below approved online course list. 0-3
Code and Power
Digital Health: Information and Technologies Supporting Consumers and Patients
Records Management
Metadata Standards and XML
Intellectual Freedom
Introduction to Info Architecture and Interaction Design for the Web
Publishing, Knowledge Institutions and Society: E-Revolutions?
Total Credits30

These tracks are internal to the program and represent different pathways a student can follow to earn this degree. Track names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

Contingent on advisor approval, up to 6 credits of coursework from outside the MS Information approved course list can be taken from other UW-Madison departments while the student is matriculated in the MS Information program. 

MA Library and Information Studies Transfers

The program would accept up to 10 credits (1 semester) from students who begin the MA program but then seek to change to the MS Information program.  Courses from outside the MS Information approved course list are subject to approval by the advisor and must not exceed the 9 elective credits allowed within the program.

Students switching between the MS Information degree and the MA Library and Information Studies degree must switch by the end of their first semester (for part time students = 10 credits). Students moving from a lower cost program to the MS program will be required to pay the difference in tuition in order to have the courses count toward the MS degree.  In the case of a move from a higher to a lower cost program, the difference in tuition will not be refunded. 

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies


Graduate Work from Other Institutions

The program will not accept credits taken outside of UW-Madison to be used toward the degree.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

The program will allow up to 3 credits of approved MS Information or computer science coursework taken as an undergraduate to be counted toward the degree.  The coursework must be from the approved MS curriculum, or approved by an Information School advisor.

UW-Madison University Special

The program will accept up to 10 credits from the iSchool capstone certificate in Digital User Experience Design (UX) or Analytics for Decision Making Capstone Certficate programs, if those credits were earned within 5 years of admission to the MS degree.  All credits must be part of the UX or Analytics certificates.

In cases where students move from a lower cost program to the MS program, students will be required to pay the difference in tuition in order to have the lower cost earned credits count toward the MS degree. 

The program will allow a maximum of 3 LIS credits from the approved MS Information course list, to be completed as a non-matriculated special student before entry into the program.  Special students entering the MS Information must pay the tuition differential on the 3 credits in order for the course to count toward their MS Information degree requirements.


Registration is not a guarantee of enrollment under conditions of unsatisfactory progress. Students who fall into unsatisfactory progress will have an academic hold placed on their record; they should discuss clearing the hold with their adviser.

  1. Good standing: progressing according to standards.
  2. Probation: not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; potential loss of scholarships.
  3. Unsatisfactory progress: not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence.

A student may be placed on probation or suspended from the Graduate School for low grades or for failing to resolve incompletes in a timely fashion. In special cases the Graduate School permits students who do not meet these minimum standards to continue on probation upon recommendation and support of their advisor.   See iSchool Student Handbook.


All continuing students are required to meet with the staff advisor prior to registering for each semester in order to remove registration holds and ensure timely progress towards degree completion.  Students may switch advisors at any time by completing a change of advisor form.


15 credits (however, 12 credits are highly encouraged)

Time Constraints

The maximum period for completion of the M.S. (under special circumstances) is seven calendar years. Contact the department for more information.

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.


MS Information program students are not permitted to accept appointments that would result in a tuition waiver (TA, RA, PA). Also, students in this program cannot enroll in other graduate programs, nor take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without permission of the advisor.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

For a complete faculty/staff directory see this website.