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University of Michigan School of Information


Areas of interest

The MSI program allows students to tailor course selections to support a wide range of information-related careers, but it has particular curricular strengths in three areas (listed below). Students may design their own custom path to a degree and a career with the help of UMSI student affairs and career development professionals. Click on each heading for more information about coursework and career outcomes.

Data Analytics
MSI student Rohit Mogalayapalli founded the Michigan Sports Analytics Society and is using data collection and analytics to bring new insights to Michigan Athletics programs.

Data is everywhere and growing. Organizations are eager to hire professionals who know how to manage, process and analyze large amounts of quantitative information. MSI students who focus on data science, data analytics and/or computational social science learn a range of advanced computational skills along with the means to apply those skills toward understanding complex phenomena. 

Coursework addresses computational, cognitive and social aspects of data science: data manipulation, data analysis, information retrieval, data mining, applied machine learning, database design, information visualization, natural language processing, information economics and game theory. The corresponding mastery course is Big Data Analytics

Career outcomes:

  • Data scientist/analyst
  • Database/systems analyst
  • Business analyst, IT analyst
  • ICT and development consultant, non-profit ICT specialist, civic technologist
  • IT consultant, management consultant
  • IT policy analyst
  • Software engineer

Read more about one UMSI student’s work in data science.

Preservation lab
MSI student Christina Min works on preserving data stored on obsolete media in the University of Michigan Library Digital Preservation Lab.

Knowledge institutions of all kinds — archives, libraries, museums and online databases among them — are evolving rapidly as they incorporate new technologies and engage new audiences. MSI students who focus on digital archives, library science and/or preservation gain a forward-looking foundation to managing collections of all kinds and making them accessible to users.

The MSI prepares cultural heritage and information professionals to work in diverse institutional and organizational settings, including libraries, archives, museums, and data repositories. The curriculum is organized around three streams and each student will develop expertise in one:

Managing and Sustaining Collections
Develop specific expertise in acquiring, shaping, preserving, and managing physical and digital collections and data. This stream prepares students for careers in academic libraries and archives.Typical job titles for graduates include collection development librarian, assessment librarian, reference librarian, scholarly communication librarian, field archivist, university archives and records archivist.

Representing & Sharing Information
Develop specific expertise in implementing metadata standards and creating access systems and tools that facilitate the discovery, access, and use of data, collections, and information. This stream prepares students for careers working with digital records/archives and libraries in a variety of organizational settings. Typical job titles for graduates include digital collections manager, data curation librarian, metadata librarian, digital archivist, technical services librarian, digital assets manager, processing archivist, electronic records archivist, systems librarian or archivist.

Connecting Information and Communities
Develop specific expertise in creating and facilitating programs and projects that serve the needs of diverse audiences and communities, advance institutional mission, and promote the collections in their care and through public programming, advocacy, education, and outreach activities. This stream prepares students for careers in public libraries. Typical job titles for graduates include public services librarian, reference archivist, community liaison, programming and outreach librarian, education librarian or archivist.

Corresponding mastery courses include:

Capstone Projects in Librarianship and Archival Practice
Students following the Connecting Information and Communities and some following the Managing and Sustaining Collections threads will choose this mastery course.

Digital Curation
Students following the Representing and Sharing Information and some following the Managing and Sustaining Collections thread will choose this mastery course

Career outcomes:

  • Academic librarian
  • Archivist
  • Assessment librarian
  • Data librarian
  • Digital curator
  • Digital preservation manager
  • Digital projects librarian, digital projects archivist
  • Health sciences librarian, health informationist
  • Information and records manager, electronic records manager
  • Instructional librarian, archivist
  • Knowledge management specialist/consultant 
  • Learning technology specialist
  • Metadata specialist 
  • Public librarian

Read more about one UMSI student’s work in archives.

Hope Tambala
MSI student Hope Tambala, who is studying UX research and design. Hope also works as a data visualization consultant for the Clark Library, where he creates interactive data visualizations and experiments with AR/VR technology.

Modern life requires ubiquitous and continual interaction with computers, in our cars, our homes, our jobs and our recreation. The fields of human computer interaction (HCI), user experience (UX) and social computing all consider the reality and the parameters of these interactions. MSI students who focus on this area can learn qualitative and quantitative research skills to understand HCI/UX, as well as design skills to improve interfaces. 

Coursework combines the theories of social and behavioral sciences, informatics, computer science and design with engaged learning through internships and other hands-on projects.

Relevant course content includes contextual inquiry, interaction design, theories of human behavior, usability testing, survey methodology and so on with applications to website design, product design, mobile applications, social media and augmented or virtual reality systems. 

Mastery courses offered every academic year:

Career outcomes:

  • User experience designer, interaction designer
  • User experience researcher, usability specialist. usability engineer
  • Application designer and developer, web developer, mobile developer
  • Information architect
  • Product strategy, marketing manager, program manager, product management
  • ICT and development consultant, non-profit ICT specialist, civic technologist  

Read more about one UMSI student’s work in HCI.