Plan Your Program

Our students are given the unique opportunity to customize their programs according to their own academic and professional goals and interests. Students have the flexibility of personalizing their programs in a variety of ways, through coursework and in several focus areas, concentrations, or practical experiences.

In conjunction with an advisor, CAS students select a suite of courses and develop a plan to complete IS 593, a culminating program project. These projects take on a variety of forms and fulfill 8 of the 40 required credit hours.

Customize your program

The CAS requires the completion of 40 credit hours.  Eight of these credit hours are spent on developing a final degree project in conjunction with the student's CAS advisor.  Course selection and project planning are dependent upon the student’s professional and academic interests and goals. 

Students also have the option to pursue a CAS concentration in Digital Libraries. The CAS-DL requires the completion of 40 credit hours, including 4 required CAS-DL core courses, 4 courses from the CAS-DL electives, and the CAS project (IS 593). The project must entail a digital libraries-related project defined and monitored in consultation with the student's CAS advisor and comprising 8 credit hours. A student who completes any of the 4 required CAS-DL core courses as part of a prior MS degree will need to substitute additional elective courses in the CAS-DL degree in order to ensure they have completed 40 credit hours. CAS-DL core courses and possible electives include the following:

Core

Electives

Each student must work with his/her CAS advisor(s) to craft a coherent course of study that meets the student's interests, integrates courses across categories, and satisfies the CAS-DL program's requirements. 

Other Course Options

Practicum (IS 591)

The Practicum is a professional field experience program designed to provide the student with the opportunity to work in a professional environment under the supervision of an experienced librarian or information professional with the guidance of a faculty member. This opportunity allows students to integrate the theory and knowledge of course content with the application of principles and practices in a work environment, including these specific objectives:

  • Gain practical experience based on the understanding and application of theoretical knowledge
  • Observe the analysis of and solutions to problems arising in professional work settings
  • Interact with colleagues in a professional work environment
  • Participate in a representative range of professional activities in the work setting
  • Develop a professional self-awareness

Identify Practicum Opportunities:

  • Search Handshake (University of Illinois job board) using the keyword “Practicum”
  • Make an appointment with Rebecca Hodson, Practicum Coordinator, to create a unique opportunity that fits your needs
To Register for Practicum:
  1. Enroll in Practicum Registration space and complete steps 1-5 outlined in Assignment 1 – Practicum Contract.
  2. Once Assignment 1 is received and approved by the Practicum Coordinator, Admissions and Records staff will email the student registration information to allow enrollment in the course.

Contracts take up to 10 business days to process.

Independent Study (IS 592)

Independent Study enables the intermediate or advanced student opportunity to:

  • undertake the study of a topic not otherwise offered in the curriculum.
  • pursue a topic beyond or in greater depth than is possible within the context of a regular course.

Independent Study should be a rigorous investigation of a highly specific topic, calling for student initiative, and requiring the formal structure of:

  • a written proposal including scope and purpose;
  • a reasonable specific statement outlining the method to be used; and
  • a description of the form in which the final product will be presented (e.g., written report, mediated presentation).

Independent Study is not available as an alternative version of a course otherwise offered on a regular basis by the School.

To Register for Independent Study:
  1. Complete all sections of the Independent Study form except for signatures.
  2. Attach the completed proposal to this form.
  3. Have the supervisory iSchool instructor member sign the form. 
  4. Have your iSchool advisor sign the form and submit the form to the Admissions and Records staff. 
  5. Once the form is processed, Admissions and Records staff will email the student registration information to allow enrollment in the course.

If a student prefers to complete the form electronically, the student will need to submit all documentation by e-mail to their iSchool advisor. Once the iSchool advisor signs and approves the form, the iSchool advisor will submit the form for processing. 
Forms take up to 10 business days to process.

IS Practice (IS 594)

The IS Practice course provides a mechanism for full-time or part-time practice of information science in an off-campus library or information science environment. This course is for 0 credit hours and is graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis. Students are fully responsible for the coordination of the pre-professional practice arrangements (applications, employer contact, contract negotiations, etc.). At the completion of the practice students must submit a written reflection of their work and their experience. A grade will be submitted by the student’s advisor upon receipt of the reflection.

*If using IS 594 for CPT requirements, please refer to the CPT registration requirements.  If you are NOT using IS 594 for CPT, please proceed to registration instructions below:

To Register for IS Practice:
  1. Complete the IS594 Practice webform
  2. Once the webform is received and approved, Admissions and Records staff will email the student registration information to allow enrollment in the course.

WISE Courses

  • The iSchool participates in online course sharing through the WISE (Web-based Information Science) consortium. Each semester we select courses from WISE offerings to complement our courses.

Non-iSchool Courses

  • You may transfer up to 16 hours of graduate credit hours from several other departments at Illinois that can be applied to the 40 required graduate credit hours for the CAS degree. Enrollment in other courses is subject to department approval.  

Supplemental Degree Programs

Graduate Minors 

  • On-campus students may be interested in pursuing one of the graduate minors offered at Illinois. 

Questions? I can help.

Meg Edwards
Meg Edwards, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs