MIM - Curriculum
The Master of Information Management (MIM) is a unique cross-disciplinary degree program that gives you both a solid foundation in information management and the flexibility to pursue your own interests and needs. The required core courses provide you with grounding in the technical, design, and managerial aspects of information management.To ensure that you can make the most of your MIM coursework, you must take these core courses during your first 18 credits. You can then build on this foundation by selecting one of the nine specializations.
Successful completion of the MIM degree requires you to complete 36 credit hours of academic work with at least a B average (3.0 GPA). Full-time students typically complete the program in 18 or 24 months, depending on whether they take an internship. Part-time students typically complete the program in two to three years. You may take courses in daytime and evening and may switch between part-time to full-time enrollment. However, all coursework must be finished within five calendar years of the first registration.
MIM Required Courses
All MIM students must complete the core courses, along with the requirements for a MIM specialization.
The following courses comprise the academic core of the MIM program:
- INFM 600 Information Environments - Role and function of information in organizations; organizational environment and its influence on internal and external communication, organizational structure and management, organizational culture, information flow, organizational identity. Shared mental models and group decision ma king. Differences among types of organizations. Information policy.
- INFM 603 Information Technology and Organizational Context - Application of communication and information technologies to support work processes, including technology-enhanced communication networks, computer-supported collaborative work, decision-support systems, interactive systems, and systems analysis. Acquisition of information systems and their integration into the organization.
- INFM 605 Users and Use Context - Use of information by individuals. Nature of information. Information behavior and mental models. Characteristics of problems, task analysis, problem solving, and decision making. Methods for determining information behavior and user needs. Information access. Information technology as a tool in information use.
- INFM 612 Management of Information Programs and Services - Administration of information programs, services, and projects, including the role of leadership in management; developing mission, vision, and goals; providing effective management for results; managing professionals; financial management; and professional conduct and ethical issues.
These courses provide a foundation of skills and knowledge related to information, technology, user analysis, and management. They are also opportunities for you to determine which aspects of information management you find most interesting and useful.
All MIM students are required to take one advanced technology course. This course ensures that you have the skills and knowledge to work with the current technologies which are most relevant to your interests and career goals.
You should plan on enrolling in these project courses during your last two semesters in the program.
Students who have successfully completed coursework and/or have work experience that provides a comparable, systematic coverage of the skills, knowledge, and issues discussed in INFM 603, 605, or 612 core courses, may be able to waive the course. Exemption Criteria can be found here.
Information on the waiver process can be found here.
**Please note that as of Fall 2013, students must receive a B or better in each of their required specialization courses. Students who receive a B- or lower will be required to retake the course.
In addition to the required courses, you will also select one of the following specializations. They provide you with the opportunity to develop greater depth of knowledge and skill in a particular aspect of information management.
- Curation and Management of Digital Assets (CMDA) - The Curation and Management of Digital Assets specialization focuses you on skills to create, manage, and preserve access to digital assets in a variety of sectors of the economy. It prepares you for positions such as digital asset manager, digital content specialist, or director of digital curation services.
- User Interface/User Experience - The UI/UX specialization focuses you on the design and implementation of user interfaces. It prepares you for positions such as: UI/UX designer, usability analyst, and website developer.
- Organizational and Process Analysis - The OPA specialization focuses on developing your ability to diagnose and solve information management problems associated with critical organizational activities. It prepares you for positions such as: business analyst, systems analyst, and process consultant.
- Data Analytics - The DA specialization focuses you on the skills needed to manipulate and mobilize data in order to support decision-making and organizational goals in a variety of sectors. This specialization prepares you for a variety of positions, such as: data scientist, data analyst, or information analyst.
- Project Management - The PML specialization focuses you on skills to plan, lead, and execute projects in a variety of organizational settings. It prepares you for positions such as: project manager, program manager, and consulting lead.
- Strategic Management of Information - The SMI specialization focuses you on the managerial, administrative, and organizational aspects of information management.
- Technology Development and Deployment - The TDD specialization focuses you on the development, implementation, and maintenance of systems in support of information management.
- Information Management Research - The MIM research specialization focuses you on conducting research which advances the state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice in information technology and management. It prepares you for advanced study in information science doctoral programs and careers in cutting-edge corporate or entrepreneurial environments.
- Individualized Program Plan - An individualized program plan gives you the opportunity to combine technical and managerial coursework to create a program of study customized to your interests and needs.
A student may choose to earn the MIM with a thesis by completing 36 credits of course work, including 3 credits of a Research Methods class, as well as 6 credits of INST 799 Thesis Research or, with the thesis advisor’s approval, 3 credits of Master’s Thesis Research in another department of the University.
Students completing this thesis option are NOT required to complete the internship and capstone requirements that normally apply.
The College of Information Studies and the University of Maryland Graduate School have developed separate, yet complementary, requirements for theses. Students should review the Graduate School’s “Academic Policies: Master's Degrees” document and choose those sections relating to the thesis.
A thesis is a major undertaking that involves a significant commitment by the student and the faculty members that support the student. In order to successfully meet all the requirements, the student must work closely with his or her advisor and Thesis Committee Chair to design an appropriate research plan and course schedule. Students considering the thesis option should consult their advisor and the Student Services Office as early in the program as possible to ensure that all requirements are met.
Selecting a Thesis Committee
Before beginning the thesis, the student must select a Thesis Committee Chair who is interested in working with the student and who meets the criteria specified in the Graduate School Policies. Students should carefully choose their Committee Chair, selecting someone who is willing to work with them and who ideally has expertise in the area the student wishes to study. The Chair works closely with the student on the design, implementation, data analysis, and the writing of the thesis. Upon submission of the Thesis Committee nomination form, the Chair becomes the student’s Thesis Advisor. It is technically possible to have a co-Chair, but unless there is a compelling reason, it is discouraged because of the added complexity for the student and faculty members. Students may want to talk with several faculty members about potential thesis topics at the early stages to get new ideas, refine existing ideas, and consider who may be the most effective Chair.
The student and the Chair will work to identify and refine the problem to be studied and how the study will be conducted. As a thesis is a research study, the problem selected and methods chosen should reflect a rigorous approach to a valid research problem in the area of Library and Information Studies. Any method or combination of methods appropriate to research in the field—quantitative, qualitative, analytical, historical, evaluation—may be used.
Early in the process, the student and Chair assemble a Thesis Committee. In addition to the Chair, the Thesis Committee must include at least two other members who meet the criteria specified in the Graduate School Policies. Three Committee members are typically recommended. The Thesis Committee nomination form should be submitted as soon as the Committee has been determined, but it must be submitted by the dates published by the Graduate School. Committee members are responsible for approving a proposal and evaluating the Thesis itself (see below for a discussion of each of these).
Proposal & IRB Approval
Under the direction of the Chair, the student must develop a proposal that describes the work to be accomplished as part of the thesis. The Thesis Committee must approve the proposal before the student can register for LBSC 799 Master’s Thesis Research or INST 799 Thesis Research. The proposal can be helpful in determining the specific research questions, methods, timelines, and scope of the project, as well as providing an opportunity for Committee members to provide early input into the thesis.
Before research on the thesis can begin, any relevant Research Assurances, including the use of human subjects in the research, must be submitted to and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) following their established procedures. This process can take many weeks or even months, depending upon the nature of the research, so students are encouraged to submit their IRB applications as early as possible.
The Master’s Thesis option requires a commitment of 9 credit hours spread over at least 2 semesters. 3 of these 9 credit hours must be completed before beginning the thesis: the 3-credit hour INST 701 Introduction to Research Methods, or, with the advisor’s approval, another appropriate research methods course that may be offered by another department on campus (e.g., Education, Psychology). The student may consult their Thesis Chair for recommendations about which methods courses are appropriate. After completion of the methods course and approval of the Thesis Proposal by the Thesis Committee, the student must take 6 credits of INST 799 Thesis Research, which may be completed spread over multiple semesters. Students are not able to register for INST 799 over the summer semester.
Students must have a grade point average in the MIM program of 3.5 at the point of registration for INST 799. They also may not have more than 3 credits of Independent Study (INFM 719).
After completing their research, the student will draft a thesis document and share it with their Chair. Once the Chair has reviewed the document and any necessary revisions have been made, the student will schedule an oral defense. This will be scheduled so that all Committee members can attend (see Graduate School Policies for details on emergency cancellations, remote attendance, and related issues). The oral defense typically occurs within the College of Information Studies. Thesis defenses are open to the entire University community and are announced, including student and Committee member names, time, location, title and abstract, to the University via the College’s electronic lists.
Prior to the defense, the Chair of the Committee will secure the Report of the Thesis Examining Committee created by the Graduate School. This document is used to record the outcome of the defense after its completion.
During the oral exam, the student presents the research questions, methods, and findings to attendees. He or she also typically fields questions from attendees and Committee members. After the oral examination is complete, the Thesis Committee meets together without the student and decides on the outcome. Once decided upon, they share the outcome with the student, and, when appropriate, those still in attendance.
The Committee has a number of options in determining the outcome of the thesis and defense. These options are laid out in the Graduate School Policies and read as follows:
- To accept the thesis without any recommended changes and sign the Report of Examining Committee.
- To accept the thesis with recommendations for changes and, except for the chair, sign the Report of Examining Committee. The chair will check the thesis and, upon his or her approval, sign the Report of Examining Committee.
- To recommend revisions to the thesis and not sign the Report of Examining Committee until the student has made the changes and submitted the revised thesis for the Thesis Examining Committee's approval. The Thesis Examining Committee members sign the Report of Examining Committee when they approve the revised thesis.
- To recommend revisions and convene a second meeting of the Thesis Examining Committee to review the thesis and complete the student's examination.
- To rule the thesis (including its examination) unsatisfactory. In that circumstance, the student fails.
To pass, a student must receive passing votes from all Committee members. One vote of failure means that the student does not pass. The Committee may call a second examination as a result of a failed defense. If the student fails the second defense, or if no second defense is called, the student loses standing as a graduate student at the University of Maryland (see Graduate School Policies for details).
Publishing and Final Submission
Following the completion of the Report of the Thesis Examining Committee, the student must submit that form and the Thesis and Dissertation Electronic Publishing Form signed by the student and the Chair to the Office of the Registrar (see Graduate School Policies for details).
To be successfully submitted, a thesis must conform to the electronic thesis guidelines and style guide. To facilitate the submission of the thesis, the student should consult these resources early in the process of writing the thesis and follow the requirements accordingly.
The thesis and accompanying forms must be submitted by the deadlines posted by the Graduate School.
Taking Courses in Other MIM Programs
As a MIM student you are enrolled in one of the MIM programs as your home program, either at College Park or Shady Grove. You may take any Information Management (INFM), Library Science (LBSC), or Information Studies (INST) course that meet the requirements and schedule of your home program.
You also have the opportunity to take INFM, LBSC, or INST courses offered in the other MIM programs (ie. College Park or Shady Grove) subject to University fees, program specific enrollment constraints, and capacity limitations.
Taking Courses from other Schools and Universities
One of the strengths of the MIM program is that it gives you the opportunity to take courses from other schools on the University of Maryland campus, including but not limited to, the Robert H. Smith School of Business, Department of Computer Science, Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, and School of Public Policy. Up to 12 credits of the 36 credits may be taken from other University of Maryland departments or at other University System of Maryland (USM) institutions. You may also take courses through the 14-member Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area if there are no equivalent courses offered at the University of Maryland. If you choose to take a course through the Consortium, you will pay UMCP rates and the grade will be posted to your UMCP transcript.
In addition, up to six credits of coursework may be transferred from other accredited graduate programs and from Advanced Special Student status at UMCP.
See the iSchool’s Petitions and Waivers page for further instructions for transferring credits or taking courses in another departments, at other University System of Maryland institutions, or at other Washington Metropolitan Area consortium institutions.
For more information about the MIM curriculum, assistance scheduling courses, or help selecting a specialization contact student advising.