Tailor Your MSI Degree

Tailored MSI

For students whose needs and interests are not met by the MSI specialization framework, the Tailored MSI can be a good option. The Tailored MSI is a planned course of study for which you develop a curriculum to support your academic and career goals.

What can I do with a tailored MSI?

Learn more about Priya Kumar (MSI '14), who developed her own curriculum in data storytelling.

Tailored MSI students pursue a wide range of career directions. Career goals of past Tailored students include using the Internet as a tool to increase or establish community relationships, understanding how information resources can contribute to economic development, and preparing for a career in health informatics. The School of Information encourages students to blaze new career paths. What is your dream?

Career Industry Areas of Tailored MSI graduates include: Consulting, healthcare, IT, computer hardware/software, libraries and cultural institutions, entertainment/media, government, education and nonprofit, and more

Career Titles of Tailored MSI graduates include: Open education specialist, consultant, production librarian, senior network administrator, audio digitization specialist, clinical software consultant, information architecture manager, web marketing manager, and more

Tailored MSI internships

Students gain valuable experience in southeast Michigan and around the globe. Recent internship sites of Tailored MSI students include:

  • Stanford University
  • Nokia
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Citibank
  • University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer
  • Altarum Institute
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • American Planning Association
  • University of Michigan Institute for Social Research
  • Center for Economic Progress
  • Phonagle/RPM Ventures
  • Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Tailored MSI employment outcomes

Organizations employing Tailored MSI graduates include:

  • General Electric
  • Cielo Med Solutions
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Enlighten
  • TES Consulting
  • Ann Arbor Hands On Museum
  • Syracuse University
  • HUGE
  • Quicken Loans
  • University of Michigan
  • Disney Internet Group

Tailored MSI requirements

In addition to the requirements below, Tailored MSI students must meet all of the degree requirements of the 48-credit MSI program, including foundations, distributions, internship, and cognate. It is expected that Tailored MSI students will be in the program for four semesters or more unless approved in advance by the the Tailored specialization coordinator and MSI academic advisor.

To pursue a Tailored MSI, follow these steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment with MSI Academic Advisor Sarah Argiero to help determine if the Tailored MSI is a good fit
  2. Meet with one or more faculty advisor for input as you develop your Tailored MSI plan
  3. Prepare your initial Tailored MSI statement, referring to the information and sample statements provided on the Tailored MSI CTools site
  4. Submit your initial Tailored MSI statement to the Tailored faculty coordinator (and copy umsi.registrar@umich.edu) in your first year of study
  5. Submit updates to your Tailored MSI statement to umsi.registrar@umich.edu by midterm of each subsequent term
  6. Submit your final Tailored MSI statement to umsi.registrar@umich.edu in the term of graduation

Students changing their specialization to Tailored must do so no later than the semester before the one in which they plan to graduate.

The initial Tailored MSI statement should be 1-3 pages and should describe:

  • Your academic and professional career goals
  • A framework of types of courses that will assist you in realizing these goals
  • Specific SI courses and cognate courses you have taken or expect to take
  • Approval of faculty advisor

Students should submit updates to their Tailored statement in each subsequent term, including:

  • A list of completed courses
  • Proposed changes to the Tailored MSI plan
  • Approval of faculty advisor

Official status for a Tailored MSI is not complete until the statement has been approved by the Tailored faculty coordinator. Your statement and updates to the statement become part of your graduation audit. 

Advice for preparing your Tailored MSI statement

The purpose of the Tailored MSI Statement requirement is to encourage you to reflect on your educational choices by maintaining an up to date account of your goals, experiences, and plans. The Tailored MSI is not a means to avoid a specialization requirement and should meet your needs in ways existing specializations do not.

Your Tailored MSI statement should convey your interests and goals. If your career interests and goals are not yet clear, indicate your current thinking about career possibilities or ideal jobs. The statement should describe how courses you have taken and plan to take relate to your interests and goals. Finally, describe relevant internships, projects, or other educational experiences and how they connect with your academic plan and career goals.

In the final version of your statement, record your accomplishments and reflect on how they relate to your original plans and goals.

For initial academic advising regarding the Tailored MSI, schedule an advising appointment with MSI Academic Advisor Sarah Argiero.