Advising FAQS

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See also Advising Overview.


  1. Q. Is your school accredited by the American Library Association?
    A. Yes, we are. Our MLIS program has been continuously accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1969, and was accorded its most recent accreditation update in 2014 – for the maximum term, a seven-year, full and unconditional re-accreditation. We invite you to find out more about our school’s ALA accreditation by reading reports from our most recent re-accreditation process.

    See MLIS Program Performance for details regarding our MLIS program performance.


Online Learning

  1. Q. Can I complete your graduate degree entirely online? Do I ever have to come to campus for an orientation or anything else?
    A. Both our Master’s of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Master's of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) degrees are fully online -- you do not come to our campus for any reason. Our orientations are delivered online via the Internet.


  2. Q. I am a little nervous about taking classes totally online - what are your online classes like? How do they work?
    A. Many of our students are nervous about distance learning at first. See Discover Online Learning for a description of how our online learning classes work and for a sample online class. We use sophisticated online class delivery and we train you your first semester to interact with peers and instructors through web conferencing, social networking platforms, a web-based learning management system, and immersive environments (see LIBR 203).


  3. Q. Because the degree is totally online, should I take a computer course beforehand to get myself ready for your classes?
    A. First check to see if you can meet our Technology Literacy Requirements. If you do not, you may need to do some independent training beforehand.


  4. Q. Do employers hire students who take face-to-face classes more then they hire online learning students?
    A. Employers are much more interested in what a student knows and can do than they are about how the student learned these things. In fact, distance learning may be an advantage in today's hiring world because online students are much more likely to be competent in the technology used by today's information professionals, and gain the skills needed to serve clients that may be in diverse locations. SJSU MLIS students become very sophisticated in understanding how technology may facilitate the ways in which information is organized, searched, shared and created.


  5. Q. Do I have to be online at any specific times and dates?
    A. Some faculty require some synchronous all-class meetings. Other faculty prefer to run their classes asynchronously (24/7, with no mandatory all-class meetings). You will have the opportunity during Advance Registration each semester to choose which type of class you want to register for. Any required dates for mandatory all-class meetings (on the Internet via Blackboard Collaborate) will be listed in the fifth column of each class section in our iSchool Class Schedules.
    Assignments do have due dates to keep the class cohesive and learning together. You will need to check your class syllabus for the schedule of assignments and their due dates. Online courses follow the same semester calendar as on-campus courses. Attendance policies, assignments, textbooks, tests, papers, lectures, discussions, group projects, etc. are present in an online environment just as they are in a traditional class.


  6. Q. How much interaction is there in online classes?
    A. Our online program is sophisticated and interactive. It creates an important community of learners with expected interaction between students and the instructor. In most cases you will have a great deal of interaction with your instructor and your classmates, sometimes more than you would in a traditional classroom setting. You interact with peers and instructors through web conferencing, social networking platforms, a web-based learning management system and immersive environments, participating in weekly discussion posts, online meetings and group work. This allows everyone an opportunity to get to know each another in an open and honest way. Since these interactions are not face-to-face, however, it allows shy individuals to participate in a non-threatening environment.
    Some online courses have required “log-on” times for live whole-class meetings. This helps to create a sense of community in the online class environment. Personal instructor attention also exists; actually, students say there is more personal attention since professors log on daily and respond quickly. Remember you can most likely still call your instructor on the phone, and many professors create “virtual office hours” with established prescribed times to log on and interact.


  7. Q. Will the college provide me with a computer?
    A. We will not provide you with a computer. You must have access to your own computer and you must have your own Internet access as well.


  8. Q. Are online classes easier than face-to-face classes?
    A. Online courses are not easier than traditional courses; they are just presented in a different format. Because of the nature of online courses, they are more demanding and take more time. Extensive reading and time management skills are required for student success. Try to find someone who has already taken an online class and ask them about it. Do not under-estimate the time commitment, pace and demands of an online course. Online learners need to be independent, motivated and self-starters, able to manage the flexibility of an online course, set their own schedules and stick to them, since there is no one enforcing what is due when.
    Procrastination is not OK in online classes -- that can cause more problems than procrastination in a traditional course would. Also, it is difficult to be successful in a course when you only log in once every week or two. First, most students learn best when they have an opportunity to learn smaller amounts of material and then have a chance to reflect on it before attempting to learn more. Second, many instructors require regular participation in online discussion to help students understand new concepts and they award grade points for regular class participation.


  9. Q. If my computer breaks, is that an acceptable excuse for not turning in my assignment on time?
    A. No, this is not acceptable to most online instructors. With computer accessibility on the rise, students have many options available to them for a back-up plan. A motivated and committed student can always find a computer to turn in assignments on time -- for example, the college computer lab and public library are both locations where a computer is generally available. Upfront planning and critical thinking is required in an online class, and that extends to making sure you have access to a working computer and internet connection when it is time to complete your assignments.


Prospective Students - General Questions

  1. Q. Can I talk to an advisor? I would like to ask some questions about applying.
    A. We know it's important that prospective students have extensive information about our programs before making a decision to apply. With that in mind, please feel free to contact our office at 408-924-2490 or by email with any questions you may have.


  2. Q. Do you offer an Open House for prospective students?
    A. Yes, we do. We invite you to attend a live online or view an archived Open House to learn more about our degree programs, how they can prepare you for career advancement, and what it's like to be a student in our 100% online programs.


  3. Q. What undergraduate courses should I take to prepare for your degree?
    A. The wonderful thing about knowing you plan to go for an MLS degree is that you don’t have to worry about how practical your undergraduate degree is; you can do what you love, knowing that you can build a career in it with the MLIS degree. We suggest that you go with what is personally appealing, not what is “safest”. What matters most is your GPA (grade point average). Other recommendations:
    (a) Take a variety of undergraduate classes: i.e., human resources, business, management, leadership skills, communications, technology, web design, Web 2.0, how to thrive in changing environments, service orientation, teaching ability - these all relate to a future in librarianship.
    (b) Learn as much as you can about our profession; join a professional librarian organization, talk to local librarians about the career and what they do like and don’t like about it, try out a part-time job or volunteer somewhere in the library/information science field, read librarian job ads via a Google search.
    (c) Think widely, read widely, live widely - don’t cut off opportunities in work and non-work areas, relationships, friendships, family, or hobbies.


  4. Q. How long does it take to obtain my degree? How fast can I complete the degree?
    A. The MLIS degree requires completion of 43 credits – usually fourteen 3-credit classes and the introductory 1-credit class. You have a maximum of 7 years to complete the program from when you start it, and you can take classes in the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.
    One of our program’s strengths is its flexibility. Students can take 1 to 4 classes a semester, and how long it takes to obtain your degree depends on how many classes you take each semester. Most of our students take 2 to 3 classes a semester, and at that rate they obtain their degree in 2 to 3 years. Our students estimate that one 3-credit class takes them an average of 12 to 15 study hours a week. If you work full-time (as 30% of our students do) and take just 1 class a semester, you can obtain your degree in 5 years; if you work part-time (as 40% of our students do) and take 2 to 3 classes a semester, you can obtain your degree in 2 to 3 years. If you don't work at all (as 30% of our students do), and take 3 to 4 classes a semester, you can obtain your degree in a little over a year. Taking 3 graduate classes per semester is considered full-time.
    The courses in this program are difficult and require substantial work and time, so carefully consider your work and family obligations when determining your study time work load, then balance that with how fast you want to go through our program, the cost of classes, and whether you want part-time or full-time financial aid.
    Here are some full time scenarios. This can be reconfigured for a Spring semester start. Also, students may choose to take 3 classes rather than 2 in summer - thus reducing the number in a Fall or Spring semester.
    • Taking 43 units (15 classes) in one year:
      – Fall - 10 units (LIBR 200, 202, 203, 204)
      – Winter -3 units (1 class) from outside iSchool and transfer in. See transfer policy
      – Spring 12 units (4 classes)
      – Summer 6 units (3 classes)
      – Fall 9 units (3 classes)

    • Taking 43 units (15 classes) in a year and a half.
      – Fall - 10 units (LIBR 200, 202, 203, 204)
      – Spring - 9 units (3 classes)
      – Summer - 6 units (2 classes)
      – Fall - 9 units (3 classes)
      – Spring - 6 units (2 classes)
      – Summer - 3 units (1 class)

    • Taking 43 units (15 classes) in two years. 
      – Fall - 7 units (LIBR 200, 202, 203)
      – Spring - 9 units (3 classes to include LIBR 204)
      – Summer - 3 units (1 class)
      – Fall - 9 units (3 classes)
      – Spring - 6 units (2 classes)
      – Summer - 3 units (1 class)
      – Fall - 6 units (2 classes)

  5. Q. I am admitted for Fall. Can I take classes before that?
    A. No, students cannot take classes until the semester they applied for and were accepted into. In your case, you must wait until the Fall semester to begin your classes.


  6. Q. I am admitted for the Fall semester. Can I wait until the Spring semester after that to actually begin taking classes?
    A. No, you cannot defer initial enrollment. SJSU's Graduate Admissions requires that all new students register for at least one class for the semester indicated on their application. New students who do not enroll but wish to return for a later semester must reapply.


  7. Q. How do I transfer in classes from other institutions?
    A. See Transferring Units.


  8. Q. How can I contact students / alumni to discuss the MLIS program with them?
    A. See Social Media for contact information. We also invite you to learn more about our graduate students, including their diversity of interests, accomplishments, and career objectives, at Meet Our Students.


  9. Q: I'm Canadian and living in Canada. As a iSchool student, would I qualify for post-secondary education credits when I file my income tax return?
    A: Yes. For Canadian tax information, see the Canada Revenue Agency's Student and Income Tax pamphlet. The allowable amounts vary from person to person depending on your province of residence, your full- or part-time status as student and any other individual circumstances falling under Canada Revenue Agency's guidelines. For more information, see the CRA's Students and Income Tax sheet.



Admissions – Admission Requirements, How to Apply

  1. Q. What are your requirements for admission?
    A. See iSchool admission requirements.


  2. Q. How do I apply?
    A. See our three-step application process.


  3. Q. When is the application deadline?
    A. See application deadlines.


  4. Q. What is the difference between regular and special session?
    A. The classes themselves are the same and are delivered totally online. The difference is based on a student's geographic residence. Anyone who lives within the geographic catchment area of San José (zip codes 936xx-958xx) uses a regular session tuition fee structure which is partly state-supported. Anyone living outside the San José geographic catchment area (i.e., Southern California and the rest of the world) uses a "self-support" special session tuition fee structure. See Fees for more information.


  5. Q. Are a GRE, letters of reference/recommendation, or a statement of purpose required?
    A. No, they are never needed and are not looked at.


  6. Q. I don't quite have a 3.0 GPA. Is there a probationary status?
    A. Unfortunately, no. The 3.0 minimum GPA as stated in our admissions requirements is a solid requirement.


  7. Q. I don't quite meet your 3.0 minimum GPA requirement. How can I raise my GPA?
    A. Take additional upper undergraduate, academic courses at a regionally accredited institution. The courses need to be used in a degree program at said institution, not used in professional or personal development certificates. Your last 60 semester (90 quarter) units will be used in the GPA calculation. Once you have raised your GPA to 3.0 or above, reapply. Note: we do not pre-evaluate transcripts; you must actually apply in order for us to look at any transcripts.


  8. Q. What are your computer requirements? How well do I need to know how to use a computer? Is it ok for me to use a Mac?
    A. See technology literacy requirements and home computing requirements. In addition, several weeks before your first semester starts we will automatically enroll you in LIBR 203, a one-credit course that deals with the how-to of our distance learning. It introduces you to and gives you practice in a variety of new and emerging technologies used in our distance learning classes – various social networking platforms, content and learning management tools, web conferencing, immersive environments, and other trends in social computing. It can be finished in 3 weeks, so you can also take LIBR 200, 202 and/or 204 in your first semester.


  9. Q. I am an international student. Do I need to take a TOEFL test?
    A. A TOEFL is required for all students who graduated from a higher education institution in a country where English is not the first language. See our admissions requirements. All TOEFL test scores must be less than 2 years old, and test scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service office to SJSU. If you would like to discuss this further with SJSU's Graduate Admissions and Evaluations department, contact them at 408-924-2480 or by e-mail.


  10. Q. I never received information about how to get into MySJSU (or) I lost that information. I didn't print out the confirm notice and now I need MySJSU password, how do I get it?
    A. Contact the University's CMS Help Desk at 408-924-1530 or by e-mail.


  11. Q. I'm having trouble filling out the CSU Mentor application, can you help me out?
    A. See our CSUMentor Tutorial.


  12. Q. I submitted an incorrect GPA on the CSU Mentor application. How can I amend what I wrote?
    A. That is not necessary. Graduate Admissions and Evaluations calculates your GPA from your actual transcripts and uses that calculation to determine your eligibility for our program.


  13. Q. My undergraduate school did not give grades - will that be a problem? What do I do where it asks for GPA on the CSU mentor application?
    A. On the CSU Mentor application, just put in your best guess about your GPA. Graduate Admissions and Evaluations will evaluate transcripts that do not give grades. Be sure to include all the documentation (including any paragraph descriptions) when you send in your transcripts.


  14. Q. If I want just the Teacher Librarian credential, do I apply for the MLIS degree or for just the credential?
    A. You must apply for the MLIS degree program, and then by the end of your first semester at the iSchool, send an email notification of your intent to earn a teacher librarian credential to Mary Ann Harlan, the Teacher Librarianship Coordinator. You then take 37 units of coursework (see Required Coursework for the Teacher Librarian Credential) and apply for the Teacher Librarian credential. You can stop taking classes at that point, but we strongly encourage Teacher Librarian students to continue with the additional 6 units required for the Master's in Library and Information Science degree, as this will greatly expand their overall career opportunities.


  15. Q. Where do I send the application fee?
    A. See Application Procedures, #2.


  16. Q. The CSU Mentor application mentioned a possible $55 application fee waiver; how do I get that?
    A. SJSU is not offering an application fee waiver at this time.


  17. Q. I am a CSU employee. How do I apply for a CSU employee tuition fee waiver?
    A. See MLIS Application Process.


  18. Q. Where do I send my transcripts?
    A. See Application Procedures, #3.


  19. Q. I went to more than one school for my undergraduate degree. Do I have to send in transcripts from my community college(s), or just the transcript from where I graduated?
    A. If you have taken at least 60 semester units or 90 quarter units from the university where you obtained your Bachelor's degree, you do not have to send transcripts from the junior college(s).


  20. Q. I am an overseas student but I am presently in the United States. Can I apply for your degree? Can I take your classes?
    A. This depends on what type of visa you have. Our MLIS degree is totally online, but current U.S. government policy does not allow international students in some visa categories living in the U.S. to take a program that has only online classes. Contact SJSU's International and Extended Studies department to find out if your visa status will allow you to participate in our totally online degree program. Note: it is possible to take our special session classes and obtain your MLIS degree while continuing to reside in your own country.


  21. Q. I am in the military overseas. What application form do I fill out, the domestic one or the international one? Do I get any tuition breaks for being in the military?
    A. If you want to apply to our totally online MLIS program while you are in the U.S. military overseas and you are a U.S. citizen, you should use the domestic Graduate Admission Application and say you are interested in "Library and Information Science (MLIS Special Session)." Do not use the International admission application. The MLIS application process is outlined in our application procedures. You can find more information about military admissions and benefits at veteran services.


  22. Q. I already have an MLIS degree. Now I want a Teacher Librarian/School Library Media Specialist credential. Who do I contact to find out the details about obtaining this?
    A. Please contact the Teacher-Librarianship Coordinator, Mary Ann Harlan. Make sure to tell her:
    (a) where and when you got your MLIS degree, and
    (b) if you currently hold a valid single or multiple subject clear credential issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.


  23. Q. I live in another state. If I am accepted into your credential program, can I obtain a teacher-librarian credential and can I do it without having to fly to California for anything?
    A. Yes, our teacher librarian credential is accredited by the National Commission of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and it should be valid in any state of the United States. We do strongly recommend that you check with your state's Department of Education for their school librarian requirements before undertaking this program to ensure that our Teacher Libriarian credential courses are accepted by that state. However, if you would like to be a teacher librarian in California, you must hold a valid single or multiple subject teaching credential issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).


  24. Q. Is there an onsite orientation on the SJSU campus for new students?
    A. No, our new student orientation is done online. About a month before your first semester starts, we will email you about how to access your online new student orientation.


  25. Q. Have you received my transcripts yet? How can I find out if you have?
    A. Application transcripts are sent to Graduate Admissions and Evaluations (GAPE). If you would like to contact GAPE directly, their main phone number is 408-924-2480, or you can contact them by e-mail.


  26. Q. What is the status of my application?
    A. You can check your application status by logging on to your MySJSU account and scrolling to the bottom of your Student Center web page. Your application status will be listed there. If you have a problem with logging on to MySJSU, contact SJSU's CMS Help Desk at 408-024-2530 or by email.


  27. Q. How long until I hear whether I have been admitted?
    A. Normally, evaluation takes 4 to 8 weeks, but the iSchool has no control over this. It is handled by another SJSU department, Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation.


  28. Q. I applied a long time ago and sent everything in, but my MySJSU status still says "Incomplete." What is still missing?
    A. This is handled by SJSU’s Graduate Admissions, and you can contact Geeta Patel at 408-924-2482 or at the email address of It might help to know what the SJSU Application status indicators mean on MySJSU:
    • Incomplete - As soon as the CSU Mentor application is received, GAPE will enter your status as "Incomplete" on your MySJSU Student Center web page. "Incomplete" does not necessarily mean that anything is missing; it is just the initial status.
    • Incomplete–Verified or Complete - About a month or more later, GAPE will actually look at your file to see if everything has arrived. They will then change your MySJSU Student Center web page status to say either "Incomplete-Verified" (which means they either don't have all the transcripts or the application fee is missing) or "Complete" (which means all your paperwork is in). If something is missing, GAPE will post a message on your MySJSU “To Do” list.
    • Accepted or Denied - GAPE will then begin evaluating your application. They may do this quickly or it may take some time. When they have completed the evaluation, they will post a new status on your MySJSU Student Center web page that says either "Accepted" or "Denied." They will also send you a letter stating their final determination.
  29. Q. If my status still says "Incomplete" after the application deadline, will I be automatically denied?
    A. No. Your documentation is date-stamped when it arrives at SJSU.  If it is date-stamped before the application deadline, your paperwork will not be considered late even if the paperwork is only evaluated after the deadline date.


  30. Q. I've been checking my status on MySJSU and it has been saying "Complete" for the last three weeks. When I checked today, however, it now says my status is "Withdrawn/University Limits". I don't understand what this means. What are my options?
    A. Our applications are processed on a first come, first served basis. If our enrollment capacity limits are reached before the application period’s deadline, SJSU’s Graduate Admissions and Evaluations withdraws any outstanding applications and will no longer consider them. This is true whether or not the outstanding applications would have met our admission requirements. However, students with this Withdrawn/University Limits status can apply again in a future semester if they would like. See Reapplication.


  31. Q. I have a MySJSU message that says I should call Admissions. What is their phone number?
    A. Their main phone number is 408-924-2480 and their email address is


  32. Q. I've just been accepted. I just got a letter and it says to contact my advisor immediately. Who is my advisor? What else do I do now that I’ve been accepted?
    A. The Graduate Admissions letter that you received is a generic letter that goes to all SJSU students. Unlike in some University departments, there is no rule at the iSchool that says you must meet with your academic advisor prior to registering for your first semester classes. Instead, you use a “New Student Checklist” that will tell you how get ready for your first semester and which classes to enroll in. We will send you an email letter shortly to welcome you into our program and give you a link to your New Student Checklist. This iSchool letter will come via email so be sure to set your spam filter to accept email from Of course, you can contact your academic advisor at any time if you would like. To find the name of your Academic Advisor:

    (a) Log into MySJSU
    (b) Select "Self Service"
    (c) Click on "Academic Records"
    (d) Select "View My Advisor" (clicking on the advisor's name will bring up the email address.)

  33. Q. I applied last year and was accepted, do I need to reapply? Do I need to resend my transcripts?
    A. You need to take at least one unit of classwork during the first semester you have been accepted into the iSchool. If you do not, you will have to reapply. The University only keeps your transcripts for one year, so if you are reapplying more than a year after you first sent in your transcripts, you will have to send in a new set of transcripts. See Reapplication.


  34. Q. Do I have to reapply for admission each semester?
    A. No. If you have attended classes for at least one semester and you are a graduate student in good standing, you remain an active student for your next semester.


  35. Q. How do I change majors from MARA to MLIS or MLIS to MARA, or from another SJSU graduate program to MLIS or MARA?
    A. Fill out SJSU's Application for a Change of Graduate Major form and send it to our Student Services Coordinator.


Financial Aid and Scholarships

If you are a regular session student and have questions about financial aid, contact the SJSU Financial Aid Office.

If you are a Special Session student and have questions about financial aid, e-mail Carol Garcia or call her at 408-924-6081. Special Session students are eligible for federal financial aid and scholarships.

  1. Q. How do I find out how I can get help paying for my degree with scholarships or grants? What kinds of scholarships do you have?
    A. For information about scholarships, see Scholarship, Award, and Grant Information. Each scholarship defines its own viable candidates. Normally scholarship eligibility is not based on whether a student is regular session or special session.


  2. Q. Can I get a student assistant paid job to help me with my tuition costs?
    A. From time to time our faculty will post paying part-time student assistant jobs on our ischool-share listserv. See iSchool student assistantships.


Career Pathways / Specializations, Job Market, Career Development

  1. Q. Do I need to declare a specialization?
    A. No. All students get an MLIS degree. Neither your transcripts nor your MLIS degree will list any specialization. Our specializations, or career pathways, are presented purely to help you with career planning and course selection when you want to concentrate on a particular career direction. There is no requirement to focus only on one career or topic – you can take classes from any of our iSchool elective classes. Taking classes from a variety of areas is quite common and may make you more marketable.


  2. Q. I want to take an archives program. Do you offer that specialty?
    A. Yes, we do. In fact, students interested in a career in this field have two degree choices at our school, a Master's in Library and Information Science (MLIS) archival career pathway and a Master's in Archives and Records Administration (MARA).


  3. Q. What is the difference between the MLIS degree’s archival career pathway and the MARA degree?
    A. Both degrees are offered totally online. The MLIS degree is American Library Association (ALA) accredited. If you want to work with archives and records within a library environment, then the MLIS degree should be your choice. The MARA degree is not ALA-accredited, but it is WASC-accredited and has proper University rigor. MARA is more heavily focused towards records that hold the evidence that keep people accountable. If you want to work in a position that allows you to manage organizational information, regardless of storage medium, in a manner that ensures regulatory compliance, safeguards vital information, supports management decision making, and preserves corporate memory, the MARA degree is right for you. The MLIS program requires 43 units for graduation; the MARA program requires 42 units for graduation. See MLIS and MARA for more information.


  4. Q. Tell me about the teacher-librarian credential? I'm from another state, do I have to be a teacher first? Is the credential good in other states?
    A. See Teacher-Librarian Credential for more information about this credential. Students residing in the State of California need to have a valid California teaching credential before they can apply for the Teacher-Librarian credential. If you are interested in a Teacher Librarian credential from a state other than California, you should check with that state's Department of Education for their requirements before undertaking this program. We encourage anyone interested in being a teacher librarian to apply for the MLIS and focus on teacher librarianship.


  5. Q. What is the difference between the teacher-librarian credential and Youth Librarianship?
    The Teacher-Librarian (or school media specialist) career pathway focuses on the functions and skills necessary for employment in K-12 schools including teacher collaboration, technology leadership, and program administration. If you obtain the 37-unit teacher-librarian credential and also take the 6 extra units necessary to obtain an MLIS degree, you give yourself a broader range of opportunities than just K-12 schools. The Youth Librarianship career pathway is designed to prepare students for positions as children's or young adult (YA) librarians or library coordinators in public libraries, youth specialists on a regional or state level, collection development librarians specializing in materials for youth, or library generalists serving a public that includes youth. To compare these two career pathways, see Teacher-Librarian Credential and Youth Librarianship.


  6. Q. Do you have a medical librarian specialty?
    A. No. We do have one class which is offered on a rotational basis once a year with a medical librarian focus, "LIBR 220 - Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines." You can find a syllabus for this medical course focus at (Greenberg, Fall 2011). LIBR 220 also has a science reference focus from time to time. Because our MLIS degree does not have a lot of required courses, you can also tailor medical librarian-type classes into the electives you choose. For example, we do offer internship classes and we have a strong internship relationship with the Kaiser group. You can take medical internships for more than one semester so you can sample different medical library-type places.


  7. Q. What is the MLIS job market like?
    A. There ARE jobs out there. The MLIS is a very flexible and valuable degree that enables graduates to work in a variety of environments, not just in libraries but also in various organizations in industry, academia, government and medicine. You often just need to be creative about understanding the reach of these skill sets in the ever evolving nature of information professions. It would also help if you were willing to move to another geographic location. These links might help with general career questions:
  8. Q. What type of salaries do librarians get?
    A. The answer to this question will vary according to date and to student geographic location. A general Google search for "librarian + jobs" will give you the most current information in your local area.


  9. Q. What resources do you have to help students find a job?
    A.  The iSchool provides extensive career resources and coaching. See iSchool Career Development.


  10. Q. What is your graduate student job placement rate?
    A. Please see MLIS Program Performance.


Advising and Advisors

  1. Q. Who are my advisors?
    A. See our Advising Overview.


  2. Q. How do I change my academic advisor?
    A. Follow these steps:
    • Choose another advisor from our Full-Time Faculty Advisor list
    • E-mail our Student Services Coordinator to find out if there is room on the desired full-time faculty member’s advisee roster.
    • If there is room, contact the desired faculty person yourself and request permission to switch to them as an Advisor.
    • If the new Advisor agrees, ask him/her to email our iSchool Student Services Coordinator a confirming agreement to that effect.
    • Once a confirmation is received from the faculty member, we will change your academic advisor.


Class Registration – Enrolling, Canvas, Re-Taking a Class, Intensive Classes, Prerequisites, Waitlists, Canceled Classes, Permission Numbers, Miscellaneous Class Registration Questions


  1. Q. I can't find this upcoming semester's Class Schedule on your website. Where is it?
    A. See iSchool Class Schedules.


  2. Q. Which courses should I take my first semester?
    A. You will be automatically registered for the 1-unit course LIBR 203. For their first semester, most beginning iSchool students register for some combination of our core classes: LIBR 200, 202 and/or 204. These core classes do not have to be taken in order.


  3. Q. When do my online classes start?
    A. Our iSchool online courses start the first day of the semester, except when an instructor has a specific reason for starting on a different date. Look at the instructor syllabus for specific dates.


  4. Q. How will I know when Advance Registration starts for my first semester?
    A. We e-mail this information as well as other important announcements and last-minute administrative changes to current students through our iSchoolAlert notification system. All currently-enrolled students are automatically members of iSchoolAlert and will receive announcements regarding registration. Regular Session and Special Session students have different Advance Registration dates, as follows:
    • Regular Session students: You will be given an appointment time that will appear on MySJSU (see the tutorial How To View Enrollment Appointments [pdf]). You may register for classes any time after your appointment time. For information about priority registration, see SJSU's Priority Registration page. Appointment times are set by the Registrar's Office; the School of Information has no control over them. Contact SJSU’s Office of the Registrar regarding these issues.
    • Special Session Students: We at the iSchool set a date for special session registration. All special session students have the same appointment time and can enroll at any time after special session enrollment opens. Please check the iSchool master calendar often to see when the registration date is each semester.
  5. Q. How do I register for classes? How do I add a class?
    A. You must register for your classes through the university’s MySJSU registration process.


  6. Q. How many classes should I take?
    A. This varies from one individual to the next because some our students work full-time, some work part-time, and some don't work at all. You also need to take into account family and other obligations, the added difficulty of Internet-based classes, and your own background and abilities. Graduate level classes are intensive. Our students estimate that one 3-credit class averages 12-15 study hours a week. Most students take between 2 and 3 courses per semester, and at that rate they obtain their MLIS degree in 2 - 3 years. Please note that for full-time financial aid purposes, you may need to take 9 units (3 classes) a semester.


  7. Q. How many classes do I need to take to be a "part-time" or a "full-time" student? How many classes do I need to take to get financial aid?
    A. Different SJSU departments have different definitions for this. We at the iSchool do not set a full-time or part-time limit. SJSU's Bursar's Office considers graduate students taking four to six units a semester as part time and graduate students taking anything more than six units as full time. According to SJSU's Financial Aid office, a student needs to take at least four units each semester in order to maintain part-time eligibility for financial aid and needs to take at least eight units to maintain full-time eligibility for financial aid.


  8. Q. How do I know which teachers and sections to sign up for?
    A. First, decide if you want to take an asynchronous class (available online 24/7, no class meetings at specific times or dates) or a synchronous class (for students who like live interaction in their classes, with mandatory online meetings at specific times and dates). Then, check our iSchool Class Schedule, 5th column ("Mandatory Collaborate") to find out which classes are asynchronous and which are synchronous (to be sure you don’t have a time/date conflict for a synchronous class or if you only want a 24/7 asynchronous class). On this iSchool Class Schedule page, if you click the instructor's name (4th column), you can learn a bit about them. You can also view the instructor's course syllabi (upcoming, current or previous semester) for course content, assignments, timelines and book pricing.


  9. Q. What will my tuition be? Do I pay for the entire degree up front? How and when do I pay my tuition fees?
    A. See Fees.
    A. You only pay tuition fees for the classes you register for each semester. Once Advance Registration starts, go to MySJSU, add your class(es), then go to the "Finances" section of your MySJSU Student Center web page and use "account inquiry" to find out how much you owe, how to pay, and when your payment deadline is. Payment deadlines may as short as 2 days after or as long as 3 weeks after you register. MySJSU's Financial section also contains a link to installment plans and other payment methods.


  10. Q. How do I find out which classes use Blackboard Collaborate? If a class has mandatory Blackboard Collaborate meetings do I have to attend all the meetings?
    A. Check our iSchool Class Schedules. Look in the fifth column to the right, the “Mandatory Collaborate” column. If dates and times are entered there, that class section uses Blackboard Collaborate to meet. If your class has mandatory Blackboard Collaborate meetings, you have to attend all the meetings unless your instructor indicates otherwise on the iSchool Class Schedules.


  11. Q. Why am I being blocked from registration? Why isn’t MySJSU’s add/drop link working?
    A. Some possible reasons:
    • Current Semester: Make sure you are registering for the upcoming semester, not for the current or a past semester.
    • Regular Session/Special Session: You are trying to register for a class for which you are not eligible — regular session students cannot take special session classes and special session students cannot take regular session classes.
    • Prerequisites: You have not met the prerequisites (see Course Descriptions).
    • Inactive Student: You have not enrolled in classes for more than a semester and have become an "inactive" student.
    • Blackout Period: Once Advance Registration closes, SJSU has a week-long blackout period where you cannot add or drop in MySJSU. You will not be able to register until late registration begins on the first day of classes and then you will need a permission number. To obtain that permission number, you must contact the class instructor and request a permission code. It is at the instructor’s discretion whether he/she will issue a permission number, even if MySJSU shows that the class still has openings.
    • Late Add/Drop Deadline: It is past the first two weeks of the semester and you have missed the Late Add/Drop deadline. At this point, you must obtain a permission number from the instructor if you wish to add, and you must submit a Petition for Course Drop and provide serious and compelling reasons supporting your request if you wish to drop.
    • Hold: Check your MySJSU account to make sure that you have no holds. Some common causes for holds are:
      Cashiering hold: Non-payment of tuition for previous semester.
      Admissions hold: You are unable to register until all final admission documents have been submitted.
      Academic Probation hold: Your GPA falls below 3.0.
      Administrative Probation hold: You do not reach a standard we have set, i.e., if your grade is less than a B (B- or lower) in a core class, or if you receive a "NC" in LIBR 289.
  12. Q. Who do I contact with registration problems?
    A. This depends on what your registration problem is:
  13. Q. I am a new student. Now that I have registered for my classes, what happens next?
    A. Go over your New Student Checklist to be sure you have completed all the steps before classes begin. About six weeks before classes begin, look for posted . Also, look at your class syllabus as soon as it is posted (about 1 month to 3 days before classes begin). Finally, check your MySJSU Student Center web page regularly for messages.


  1. Q. What is Canvas?
    A. Canvas is SJSU’s classroom management platform. This is where faculty organize course content, moderate discussions, receive assignments, and track student progress. In addition, students can use Canvas to construct their electronic portfolio (a culminating experience option for iSchool students). See the first part of Online Learning Technology.


  2. Q. I don't have a Canvas account — how do I get one?
    A. See your New Student Checklist.


  3. Q. I forgot my Canvas login, could you give it to me again?
    A. Please contact Dale David.


  1. Q. MySJSU won't let me re-register for a class I took but failed last semester. What do I do? How can I re-take that class?
    A. This depends on whether you failed a core class or an elective:
    • For our three Core Courses (LIBR 200, LIBR 202 and LIBR 204): students who entered the iSchool in Spring 2009 or later must make at least a B (i.e. not a B- or less) in their core classes. If you make less than a B in a core class, you will be put on Administrative Probation and you must repeat that core class. You cannot re-enroll yourself in that class; contact our Student Services Coordinator instead. If you do not make a B the second time you take the class, you will be disqualified from the MLIS program.
    • For Elective Classes: you must wait until Advance Registration ends, then contact the instructor of the class you want to repeat and request a permission number. It is at the instructor's discretion whether they will consent to give a permission number to you.  If they do, you have to wait until the official first day of class to actually use the permission in MySJSU to enroll in that class.


  1. Q. What is an "intensive" class?
    A. See Intensives. In Spring 2013 we are running a pilot offering some courses in an online intensive mode of delivery (7 weeks). Courses in this 7- week format are subject to the same rigor and requirements as semester long classes. The content of the class is not different from the semester long version of the class and will involve the same ratio of class contact hours to units. You will have to be online and working on class work for several hours each day.


  2. When do I register for an intensive class?
    A. If a class is an intensive class, it is so noted in the iSchool website's Class Schedules (but not in MySJSU) with start and end dates. You register for all classes during Advance Registration no matter whether they are 7-week or 15-week classes, even if they start in the middle of the semester.


  3. When do I pay for it?
    A. You pay for all classes during Advance Registration.


  4. Can I take an intensive class in the same semester as the prerequisite for that class?
    A. No. You must have fulfilled the prerequisites for an intensive class in a preceding semester. Taking the prerequisite in the first 7-week period of the current semester will not enable you take an intensive class that requires that prerequisite in the second 7-week period of the current semester.


  5. Q. What happens if an intensive class is canceled due to insufficient enrollment?A. Any intensive class that does not have sufficient enrollment as of mid-Advance Registration will run not as an intensive but may be rescheduled to run as a semester-long class during the same semester.


  1. Q. How can I find out about prerequisites?
    A. Prerequisites are listed on the Course Descriptions web page.


  2. If a class needs a prerequisite, can I take it concurrently?
    A. No. A prerequisite must be taken "before" its elective, not at the same time or in the same semester.


  3. Q. I haven't met the prerequisites yet to take a third class (or all the classes are full), yet I need three classes to meet my financial aid requirements. What do I do?
    A. Please contact our Associate Director and Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising: Linda Main. Note: You can take a third class in another SJSU department to meet this requirement.


  1. Q. All the class sections are full, what can I do?
    A. You may get in line to add this class by selecting the "wait list" option in MySJSU. You will be notified via MySJSU if a spot in the class becomes available.


  2. Q. Is there a way that students can find out how many students are enrolled in specific courses?
    A. To see how many students are in a class, sign in to MySJSU and click “search” under the Academics section. Search for the specific class(es) you want to know about. When you click on the link for a class (the blue text that states the section number) it lists the class capacity, number enrolled, available seats, and waitlist total under the “Class Availability” heading.


  3. Q. What is a waitlist? How do I get on a waitlist? How do waitlists work? How long will I be on the waitlist before I know if I’ve been enrolled?
    A. A waitlist is just that - a list of people waiting to get into a class. If a class is full, you will be able to get on the waitlist by selecting the "waitlist" option when trying to add. If someone drops and you are the first person on the waitlist, you will automatically get registered for that class, you will receive a message in MySJSU notifying you that you have been let into the course, and everyone else on the waitlist will move up a spot. There is no way to estimate how long you might be on a waitlist or even if you will move up on it. Waitlists are a gamble; they are active until the end of Advance Registration but if you sit too long on a waitlist you may not get another section of the class. It’s better to enroll in another class section that is still open than to sit on a waitlist too long.


  4. Q. How does a student get notified if they are on the waitlist for a class and a spot opens up?
    A. Students who are on a waitlist will be notified through MySJSU when they get bumped up a spot or enrolled in a course. The notification message will be under "View My Messages" and you need to click on the "View Messages" link. The class becomes listed in the “Academics / My Class Schedule” section when you’ve become enrolled, and the tuition charge and payment due date shows up in the “Finances” section. It's your responsibility to check MySJSU often for the notices.


  5. Q. What if I am enrolled in one class section because it is open but I really want another section of the same class – can I waitlist myself in the section I want, and then drop the first section when I get the class section I want?
    A. If you are enrolled in one section of a class and have waitlisted yourself on another section of that same class, you will never get off the waitlisted section. Even if you are #1 on the waitlist, the SJSU computer system will see that you are already enrolled in the first section and it won’t enroll you in a second section of the same class. Instead, it will leapfrog you and register the #2 person on the waitlist. You choice is to either drop the class section you don’t want and take the risk of being on a waitlist, or to just go for the open class that you are already registered for. If you are further down on a long wait list, you should probably stay with the section you are already in.


  1. Q. I’m a bit concerned that the class I’m enrolled in might have low enrollment and get canceled. What’s the magic number to keep a class from being canceled? Where do I find the number of students currently enrolled in my class?
    A. We review enrollment and waitlists about six weeks into Advance Registration. If the class capacity is set at 25 or 30, we need at least 12 students to run that class. If the class capacity is set at 15, then there is both a regular session and a regular session section of the class and we would need 12 students enrolled in both sections added together. If a class is split between regular and special session and all seats are not used in one session, we sometimes move the unused seats over into the other session and the first people on the other section’s waitlist are added in. To find out how many people are enrolled in your class section:
    (a) Sign in to MySJSU and click “search” under the “Academics” section.
    (b) Search for the specific class you want to know about.
    (c) Click on the class link (the blue text that states the class section number).
    (d) Under the “Class Availability” heading, you will see the class capacity, number enrolled, available seats, and waitlist total.
  2. Q. If I am enrolled in a class that has just been canceled, will it automatically drop from my MySJSU?
    A. Yes - in a few days. It takes a while for the requests to make their way through the MySJSU system. You can go ahead and drop yourself now if you want. The system will do it but not immediately.


  3. Q. I already paid for a class that is going to be canceled, will my credit card be reimbursed? Do I get a refund for my canceled class? When?
    A. Yes, you will be reimbursed, but we don’t know when. Contact the Bursar’s Office for that information.


  1. Q. Why am I being asked for a permission number?
    A. Some possible reasons:
    • The class is full. You can add yourself to the waitlist if you would like, or you can enroll in another class or class section.
    • You cannot enroll yourself in LIBR 203; we do that for you. See your New Student Checklist for details about requesting a Canvas account and being automatically enrolled in LIBR 203.
    • You are trying to register for a class for which you are not eligible — regular session students cannot take special session classes and special session students cannot take regular session classes.
    • You are trying to register after Advance Registration closes.
  2. Q. How do I contact a professor so I can request a permission code?
    A. Once Advance Registration ends, you may contact professors directly by using their faculty web page at iSchool faculty list. You can also go to iSchool Class Schedule, look up your specific class, and click on the instructor’s name, which will take you to the instructor’s web page.


  1. Q. I've registered for classes but now they've disappeared.
    A. We don’t handle class registrations, it is centralized in SJSU’s Registrar’s office and they will explain what you need to do to get back in. You can find their contact information on the Registrar’s web page.


  2. Q. I didn't see any deadline in MySJSU for paying tuition and now all my classes have been dropped. I found out that I only had one day to pay, I thought there would be more time than that.
    A. Payment deadlines are listed under the "Finance" section of the Student Center on the MySJSU page. Payment due dates are dependent on when you register. In the future, as soon as you register for a class immediately check the "Finances" section of your MySJSU Student Center web page for your payment due dates. For now, contact the Registrar’s office (see Registrar’s web page for contact information) and they will explain what you need to do to get back in.


  3. Q. Why isn't MySJSU's add/drop link working?
    A. If Advanced Registration has just closed and you are in the week before classes officially start, SJSU is in a blackout period when you cannot add or drop. After classes officially begin, you are in the “Late Add/Drop” period (usually the first two weeks from when classes officially start).
    • Adding a Class - During this Late Add/Drop period, you can only add a class in MySJSU with a permission code. Contact the instructor who teaches the class you want, and request a permission code. Instructors are under no obligation to add you to the class after Advance Registration ends and it does not matter if seats are still available.
    • Dropping a Class - In order to drop during the Late Add/Drop period, you simply use MySJSU to drop. After the Late Add/Drop period, a grade of “W” will be recorded on your transcript for the dropped class, and you must submit a Petition for Course Drop form and provide serious and compelling evidence supporting your reason to drop. "Serious and compelling" reasons include military service, employment, medical, death and personal. In all cases, personal statements must be accompanied by supporting documentation (such as a letter from your employer or a doctor's note, etc.).
  4. Q. I had to drop my class after Advance Registration closed. I’ve already paid for the class. Will there be an automatic reimbursement, or will I need to contact somebody in order to put that in motion?
    A: Our understanding is that the reimbursement is automatic. SJSU’s Bursar’s Office handles money.


  5. Q. I want to change from Special Session to Regular Session because it is cheaper. How do I do that?
    A. You might want to compare Regular Session and Special Session fees -- they are usually quite similar, and Special Session may even be cheaper. You cannot change to regular session unless you move to within the catchment area of San José State University (between San José, Sacramento and Fresno). If you do, email your request to the Student Services Coordinator and you will be placed on a wait list. You will be notified as soon as a space opens up. If you originally lived in the Regular Session catchment area but entered the program Fall 2009 or later as a Special Session student, you cannot switch from Special to Regular Session at all, no matter where you live.


  6. Q. Can I change from Regular Session to Special Session in the summer in order to take advantage of the more classes offered in Special Session?
    A. You cannot change from one session to the other for only one semester. If you wish to change sessions permanently, you must submit your request to do so to the iSchool office and wait for a space to become available.


  7. Q. What if I move to San José and I need to switch sessions?
    A. E-mail the iSchool office with your request to change sessions. We will place you on the Regular Session wait list. If you originally lived in the Regular Session catchment area but entered the program Fall 2009 or later as a Special Session student, you cannot switch from Special to Regular Session at all, no matter where you live.


  8. Q. What is Winter Session? Does the iSchool offer any courses during the Winter Session?
    A. SJSU offers a three-week Winter Session at the end of every year. We at the iSchool do not offer courses over winter as three weeks is just too tight a schedule for a graduate-level class. However, you can perhaps find something else in the Winter Session that might transfer in -- see Transferring Units.


  1. Q. Where can I find information about computer requirements, how to obtain an SJSU email account, courses and books, faculty, student organizations, how to register for classes, and the like?
    A. Go to our Current Students web page.


  2. Q. Where can I find an online orientation for new students?
    A. You can watch Dr. Linda Main's welcome and overview of iSchool for Newly Admitted Students (17 minutes long). About a month before the semester begins, you will also receive an e-mail with a link to an online new student orientation. This orientation will contain a welcome from the iSchool Director and our faculty, an overview of our online technologies, information about how to access King Library resources, etc. We also offer online open houses from time to time.


  3. Q. I have a disability and would like to talk to someone about what special things can be done for me.
    A. See SJSU’s Disability Resource Center web page. You may contact their main office at 408-924-6000, 408-924-6542 for the deaf and hard of hearing, and ATC at 408-808-2123.


  4. Q. How do I contact my instructors?
    A. Each instructors' contact information is on their Canvas course web page, their faculty webpage and the class syllabus. You can also go to the iSchool Class Schedules, find your class listing, and click on their name link.


  5. Q. I didn't know I was enrolling in an Blackboard Collaborate class until too late and now most sections are closed.
    A. There is nothing we can do. Our class registration web page cautions you to check the iSchool schedules for mandatory Collaborate dates/times before actually registering for classes in MySJSU. See: Class Registration Process.


  6. Q. How do I know what the course books are? How can I find out about required or recommended textbooks?
    A. The iSchool provides textbook selection information approximately six weeks before the start of the semester. You can also look at the course syllabus. Syllabi might not be posted until a few days before classes officially begin, although some professors do post their syllabus up to about a month beforehand.


  7. Q. Do I have to buy recommended textbooks?
    A. No, you only have to purchase the required textbooks.


  8. Q. Do I have to go to SJSU to buy my books? Do I have to buy them at
    A. No, iSchool does not endorse any specific book seller. We do link to Amazon in our textbook selection information for the convenience of our students and faculty. As a member of the Associates program, Amazon pays us a small commission for each book you purchase through our referral links and the money earned goes towards student scholarships and events. However, you can purchase your books wherever they are sold.


  9. Q. Is it true that we get a free ALA membership?
    A. Yes, you will automatically get a free one-year ALA membership when you enroll in our Libr 200 class. After that one year, you must renew your ALA membership yourself if you want to keep the membership.


  10. Q. I received a B- in a core class (LIBR 200, 202, 204). Do I have to retake it? How do I retake it?
    A. You will have to retake it if you were a new student in our program for Spring 2009 or later. See B Required in Core Classes.


  11. Q. How do I repeat a class?
    A. Electives do not have to be repeated. However a grade lower than a C (C-, D) means that the class cannot be counted towards your MLIS degree. Since it is an elective you can take another elective to make up the units. If you decide to repeat the class you cannot register for it during open registration. You will have to wait until the first day of the semester and see if an instructor is willing to give you a permission number to add the class.


  12. Q. I didn't realize I needed to pay by a certain deadline and have been dropped from my classes in MySJSU, what do I do now? I have to take LIBR 203 my first semester!
    A. Inform your LIBR 203 professor of your situation and immediately contact our Student Services Coordinator.


  13. Q. Where can I find the Restricted Readings code for classes?
    A. Only the course professor has access to these codes. Please contact your course professor to find out how to access restricted readings.


  14. Q. I re-took a class because I got a low grade on it the first time I took it. I got a good grade the second time I took it. Does the first bad grade disappear from my transcripts? Do I list both class grades on my Candidacy form?
    A. Graduate students are not eligible for grade forgiveness, so both grades will remain on your transcript and will be calculated into your GPA. However, you do not list both classes on your “Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy” form.


  15. Q. I would like to set up a writing tutor appointment for one of my classes. How do I do that? What will I need during the tutoring session?
    A. See Writing Tutor Information.


  16. Q. When does LIBR 203 start?
    A. You may start working on LIBR 203 coursework as early as three weeks before the official start of classes (exact date varies by semester).


  17. Q. How do I enroll in LIBR 203?
    A. You do not self-enroll in LIBR 203. iSchool enrolls you in the course after you request a Canvas account. LIBR 203 is required for all new students. See LIBR 203 information.


  18. Q. Do I have to take LIBR 200, LIBR 202 and LIBR 204 in order? Do I have to take these courses before anything else?
    A. You do not have to take these classes in order but must complete them within the first 16 units. Many electives will list at least one of these classes as a prerequisite, so make sure you have completed them before you try to take a course that requires them.


  19. Q. I am a new student. Will you have enough sections in your core classes so that I can get into all of them that I want to take?
    A. Normally, yes. Look in MySJSU to find out if there are still any open class sections. If there is not, contact our Student Services Coordinator and we add core course sections as necessary.


  20. Q. Do I have to take LIBR 285?
    A. All students who started our MLIS program in Spring 2007 and beyond must complete LIBR 285 (Research Methods) unless they qualify for a LIBR 285 waiver . LIBR 285 will be offered with different areas of focus. Students may select any area of focus.


  21. Q. I have already completed a thesis or research project for another master's degree. Do I still need to take Libr 285?
    A. If a student has taken and passed a graduate level-research methods course AND completed a thesis or dissertation as part of a previous graduate degree (as documented by an official transcript), the student can petition the Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising to waive the LIBR 285 requirement. Please note: The transcript must reflect a thesis (a thesis will have research questions and/or a hypothesis that show(s) a piece of original research as supported via a literature review. This excludes a final project or final paper — it must be a graduate level research thesis). A waiver, if granted, does not reduce the total units required for the MLIS degree. Please send an electronic copy of the transcript (scanned as a PDF file) to Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising.


  22. Q. How do I enroll in LIBR 294 Internships?
    A. To enroll in LIBR 294, you need all the approvals first; both from the internship site and the faculty advisor (Dr. Bill Fisher for place-based non-archives, Lori Lindberg for place-based archives, and Dr. Pat Franks for virtual). Then you will be given a permission number which you use to add the class. There is no limit to the number of students who can take internships, and you can register with your permission number at any time during Advance Registration.


  23. Q. What is Libr 298: Special Studies?
    A. See: LIBR 298 - Special Studies.


  24. Q. Can I take LIBR 285 and LIBR 289 in the same semester?
    A. If you are contemplating taking LIBR 285 and 289 together, the main concern is that you have sufficient time to do the work required for both classes. LIBR 285 does involve a fairly significant amount of time for reading and preparing your various exercises. Given LIBR 289’s amount of contemplation, artifact collection and writing involved, you may want to take LIBR 289 only in one semester so you can really apply yourself to the e-portfolio and nothing else. If you’ve been taking two classes per semester in the past and have adequate time for the work, remembering that LIBR 289 requires plenty of writing and time for thought, then taking both at the same time shouldn’t be a particular problem.


  25. Q. I have changed my name and/or address. How do I get this updated information to you?
    A: You will need to make your changes in four different places:
    • MySJSU: You may update this information in your MySJSU account or by submitting a Change of Name and/or Change of Address form to the Registrar's Office. The “Change of Name” form must be accompanied by photocopies of legal documentation pertaining to your name change such as court documents or marriage certificate and a photocopy of an original identification card with a recent photo to verify new name such as a driver's license, passport or immigration card.
    • iSchoolAlert: Please make sure that your email address in MySJSU is current, as that will be the email address at which you receive information sent via iSchoolAlert.
    • Canvas: In Canvas, only your official name on MySJSU can be used (no nicknames or preferred names). If your Canvas name no longer matches your official name on MySJSU, use our Canvas Technical Support form to submit your official name to us for Canvas.
    • iSchool: Please send an email with your updated information to the iSchool Student Services Coordinator so that we can update your iSchool records.


Adds and Drops, Withdrawals, Cancellations, Transfers, Incompletes

  1. Q. Who should I contact about late adds, late drops or how to withdraw?
    A. Contact our Student Services Coordinator.


  2. Q. I’m new student wanting to register my first semester. The core courses in MySJSU don’t say when they will meet yet, they just say “TBA”. When will those times and dates be posted?
    A. They are posted on our iSchool class schedules “Mandatory Collaborate” column (fifth column on the right side). If that Mandatory Collaborate column has dates/times posted, that class section meets online as a class on those times and dates. If nothing is posted in the Mandatory Collaborate column, the class section is 24/7 (asynchronous) and you don’t as a class have to be online at any specific time or date. See Registration and Enrollment for more information.


  3. Q. I am trying to enroll in a class, but all I get is this error message: "You cannot enroll at this time. You do not have an appointment to enroll and open enrollment has not begun." What does this mean?
    A. As a special session student you cannot enroll in a regular session class - or vice versa. Class sections with -01 thru -09 extensions are regular session; classes with -10 thru -19 extensions are special session. Look up the class section number on the  iSchool class schedules, then go to MySJSU to enroll.


  4. Q. I took an elective class (not a core class) last semester but didn’t obtain a passing grade. I tried to re-enroll in the same class this semester but MySJSU won’t let me. How do I re-enroll in this class?
    A. You cannot re-register for a failed course during advance registration. You must wait until a week before the semester begins and then email the course instructor to request a permission number. Permission numbers are given at the discretion of the instructor so emailing the instructors does NOT ensure a spot in the course. If the instructor does email you a permission number, you must wait until the first day of class to use the permission number on MySJSU. The deadline for adding a class in this manner is the 14th business day of instruction in any semester.


  5. Q. What is the policy on Incompletes?
    A. See Incompletes.


  6. Q. How long is an Incomplete good for? How do I get an extension past that time?
    A. After receiving an Incomplete in a class, you have one calendar year to complete the work. To obtain an extension beyond that time, you can fill out the "Incomplete Extension" form, but extensions are rarely granted.


  7. Q. If I don't do anything after I have received an Incomplete, what happens?
    A. The Incomplete turns into a failed grade after one year.


  8. Q. How do I get a permission code for a late add?
    A. Go to our iSchool Class Schedules, locate the class/section you want, and click the link for the instructor. E-mail the professor and request a permission code. Note: Instructors are not required to add students after Advance Registration ends, even if MySJSU shows that the class section is not full. If the Instructor does e-mail you a permission code, you will only be able to use it in MySJSU on or after the official first day of class.


  9. Q. Will there be a problem with the Bursar's office or Financial Aid if I drop a class now?
    A. You will need to contact the Bursar’s Office and Financial Aid directly to obtain this information.


  10. Q. What is the refund policy for a late drop?
    A. For Regular Session, see Bursar’s Office - Refunds and Pro-rata Charges. For Special Session, see Refund Chart. Please note that we at iSchool have nothing to do with refunds. The last day to drop with a full 100% refund is the last day of Advance Registration.


  11. Q. I submitted a drop form last semester. How do I know if it has been dropped? Will I get a refund? How much of a refund will I get?
    A. Look on your unofficial transcript in the Self-Service section of your MySJSU Student Center web page; if the course has been dropped, you will see a "W" for the course grade. Refunds are handled by the Bursar's Office.


  12. Q. What's the last day I can drop?
    A. See Dropping a Class. The deadline for dropping courses without receiving a "W" on your transcript is normally two weeks after classes start for the semester. After that period, you must fill out a Petition for Course Drop and provide a serious and compelling reason, complete with supporting documentation, for dropping the class. Serious and compelling reasons include military service, employment, medical, death, and personal. In all cases, personal statements must be accompanied by supporting documentation (e.g. a letter from your employer, a doctor's note, etc.).


Holds, Probation, Disqualification

  1. Q. What are "holds" on my record and how do I get them lifted?
    A. The following are some types of holds and how to get them lifted:
    • LIBR 203 hold: Our Associate Director, Linda Main, puts a iSchool hold on the records of those students who obtained a N/C grade in LIBR 203 for their first semester with us. Dr. Main e-mails all the people who don’t pass LIBR 203, asking them to contact her if they are interested in taking LIBR 203 again and to continue in the program. If you did not respond to her e-mail, the hold is still in place. E-mail Dr. Main to ask her to remove the hold, and include the following in that email: (1) your student ID #, (2) an explanation of why you did not pass LIBR 203 the first time, (3) why you expect that you will be able to pass LIBR 203 this second time. Please be aware that if you attempt to take this course a second time and you fail it again, you will not be able to take it a third time.
    • Cashiering hold: Non-payment of tuition for previous semester. You must clear up the debt to the University prior to registering. Call Cashiering at 408-924-1631.
    • Admissions hold: You are unable to register until all final admission documents have been submitted. For information, call 408-283-7500.
    • Academic Probation hold: Your GPA falls below 3.0. Contact your iSchool academic advisor by email and discuss the reasons why you are on probation. If your advisor feels that you are planning a reasonable load for the following semester, he or she will contact our Student Services Coordinator and have the registration hold lifted. Bear in mind that once on academic probation, you are subject to disqualification if you fail to earn a SJSU term GPA of 3.0 or better each semester until SJSU cumulative GPA of 3.0 is again established. See: Academic Probation and Disqualification
    • Administrative Probation hold: You do not reach a standard we have set, i.e., your grade is less than a B (B- or lower) in a core class, or you receive a "NC" in LIBR 289. Contact our Student Services Coordinator
    • Dropped from the University: You did not register for classes for two semesters in a row (excluding summer) and did not file a leave of absence request form. You need to reapply to our program.
  2. Q. I have a hold on my record and I am not able to register for classes, receive transcripts, etc. What can I do?
    A. For LIBR 289: If you take a course and receive a “NC” grade, you will be placed on Administrative Probation. You will not be able to re-enroll yourself to take the class again; contact our Student Services Coordinator instead. If you do not make a “Credit” grade the second time you take this class, you will be disqualified from the MLIS program.


  3. Q. I've just learned I've been disqualified from the program. What can I do to get reinstated?
    A. iSchool is not accepting reinstatement petitions. See: Academic Probation and Disqualification.


Semester Leave

  1. Q. Can I take a semester off? What do I need to do?
    A. Yes, you can. See Semester Leave.
    Matriculating students who wish to skip two consecutive semesters (Fall or Spring) must fill out a Leave Request Form in advance and send it to our iSchool Student Services Coordinator for signature. The iSchool Student Services Coordinator will obtain the necessary signatures and forward the document to SJSU's Student Services Center.


  2. Q. I took a year off, how do I get back in? Do I need to resend my transcripts if I reapply?
    A. If you have taken off more than one semester (not including summer session), you must reapply for admission unless you have requested an official Leave of Absence. Graduate Admissions will hold your transcripts for one year after your initial application.


  3. Q. I've taken the fall and spring semesters off. Can I still file a Leave of Absence and how long will it be good for?
    A. You must file for an official Leave of Absence before the first semester you take off. You can request a leave from one to four semesters (summer semesters are not counted). See SJSU Leave of Absence form.


  4. Q. What reasons are valid for me to be able to get a leave of absence?
    A. The only valid reasons for an official Leave of Absence are health, military, and educational (i.e. taking courses at another institution to further one's academic career).


  5. Q. Can I take a leave of absence while on probation?
    A. Yes.


  6. Q. If I start the program and then drop out for awhile, can the credits that I already took still be used towards the degree?
    A. You must complete your degree within seven years from when you started it. Credits taken towards the MLIS degree expire after seven years.


Open University

  1. Q. Can I take just a few iSchool classes to try out your program?
    A. We do not offer Open University or audited classes. Only matriculating students who apply for and are accepted into our program during the normal application process can take our iSchool classes. However, if you already hold a master's degree in any discipline, you are eligible to enroll in our Library and Information Science certificate program.


  2. Q. Can I take any MLIS classes after I have graduated?
    A. Yes. See our Post-Master's Certificate Program. If you do not want one of these Certificates, you have several other options outside of our program which you might want to explore:


SJSU E-mail

  1. Q. How do I get an SJSU email account?
    A. See SJSU Student E-mail.


Student ID Card

  1. Q. How do I obtain a student ID card that I can use for student discounts?
    A. Regular session students can apply for a Tower Card in order to obtain student discounts. Special session students can obtain a student ID card by following these instructions.


Graduation Paperwork – Candidacy, Course Substitution, Award of Masters, Diploma

  1. Q. How many classes do I need to take to graduate?
    A. If you entered our program in Fall 2008 or later, you must have successfully completed 43 units to graduate. If you entered our program before the Fall 2008 semester, you must have successfully completed 42 units to graduate.


  2. Q. I think I am ready to graduate, what do I need to do?
    A. See Graduation Application Process and Forms.


  3. Q. Can I count classes with grades lower than a C towards my degree?
    A. No. All classes listed on the candidacy form must have a grade of no lower than C (a C- is not a C).


  4. Q. How do I submit my candidacy form?
    A. See Candidacy Approval Form Information.


  5. Q. My Canvas doesn't show a Candidacy folder, what do I do?
    A. You will need to self-register for the iSchool Candidacy Site-LIBR0002 course in Canvas. Instructions:

    – Log in to your Canvas account.
    – In Canvas's My Courses widget, click on the iSchool ePortfolio and Community Groups Portal link
    – Click on the iSchool Community Sites link
    – In the Course Offering Name column, click on the iSchool Candidacy Site link
    – In the View Course Offering Information page, verify that you want to enroll into the iSchool Candidacy Site by clicking Register.
    – You will then see the Registration Information page. The fields on this page will be populated with your Canvas account information. Click Submit.
    – You will then see the Confirmation page. Click Finish to complete the self registration process.
    – Click on the Canvas link to the iSchool Candidacy Site and read the instructions there.

  6. Q. I neglected to submit my candidacy form by the deadline. What can I do?
    A. You will have to submit it for the next graduation period. There is nothing iSchool can do. The deadlines are firm and set by SJSU’s Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation.


  7. Q. How do I make a change to my Candidacy form?
    A. See Changing Planned Courses.


  8. Q. The graduate advisor needs to sign my course substitution form. How do I get this signature?
    A. You do not need to obtain signatures. The iSchool office will obtain the necessary signatures and deliver your form to GAPE. See Changing Planned Courses.


  9. Q. I was wondering if I have to graduate at 43 units or if I can take more classes?
    A. Remember that you can only count 43 units towards the MLIS degree (or 42 units if you entered the MLIS degree program before Fall 2008). Any units taken over that number will not count towards the MLIS degree but will show on your transcript. Regular Session students: see the Presidential Directive, paragraph two, about taking classes over the limit needed to graduate. This directive only applies to state-supported (Regular Session) students.


  10. Q. I've met all the requirements for graduation. When can I get my official transcripts showing that I've graduated? When do I get my diploma?
    A. Per the office of Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations (GAPE), it takes a while following graduation to have degrees posted to transcripts. You will receive an email from GAPE when your degree has been awarded and posted on your transcript. Calling the GAPE office staff before then slows down the process for everyone and does not result in your own degree getting posted more rapidly. Please DO NOT CONTACT the GAPE office or staff for the two months following the month you graduate. However, you can check your status on MySJSU under "Other Indicators" or check your unofficial transcript from time to time. The graduation processing timeline is:
    • Spring: late June - late July
    • Fall: late January - end of February
    • Summer: Mid September - late October
  11. Q. Where will my diploma be sent?
    A. Your diploma will be sent to the diploma address that SJSU has on record. You may view or change your diploma address on My SJSU up until your graduation date. Please keep your diploma address current since the post office will not forward diplomas to your new address.


  12. Q. I'm interviewing for a job and they want to see my diploma/official transcript before they will hire me — who do I contact to get this?
    A. See Office of the Registrar - Transcripts.


  13. Q. I paid for my classes last semester and want to get reimbursed by where I work. My employer needs to confirm that I took classes with iSchool last semester. How do I get that?
    A. If you need grade verification, you can print out your unofficial MySJSU transcript. If you need an official transcript, you will need to wait until GAPE posts your grades to your transcripts (about one month), then request an official SJSU transcript.


Graduation Ceremony – iSchool Convocation, SJSU Commencement

  1. Q. Does the iSchool have a special ceremony?
    A. Yes, iSchool has its own convocation for just iSchool graduates. Unlike the SJSU commencement ceremonies, in the iSchool Convocation each graduate's name is called individually, each graduate walks across a stage and a hooding ceremony takes place. There is also a reception held afterward and students get a chance to meet with iSchool faculty. The entire iSchool event is broadcast online for those in our program who are unable to attend. For more information about the iSchool Convocation, see iSchool Graduation Ceremonies.


  2. Q. I see that there are two different ceremonies, one for iSchool and one for SJSU. What is the difference between them? What do the graduating students do during the iSchool Convocation?
    A. The differences between the iSchool and the SJSU graduation ceremonies are as follows:
    • The iSchool convocation ceremony is exclusive to our department and is for iSchool graduates only. iSchool graduate names are called individually, students walk across a stage individually and are hooded individually. There is a reception held afterward and students get a chance to meet with iSchool faculty and the families of fellow students. The entire event is also broadcast online for those in our program who are unable to attend and is archived for later viewing.

      When the graduate and their family arrive at the convocation location, we collect their ticket stubs at the door. Then the graduate student and the family/guests separate. The graduate student goes directly to check-in and the family and guests go into the auditorium to seat themselves. The graduates can be wearing their cap and gown when they arrive or they can arrive in street clothes and change in the auditorium restrooms. After the graduates have checked in, they go to a staging area to be sorted into alphabetical order and lined up. They also fill out a photography card. They do not wear the lemon-colored hood over their shoulders; instead, they drape it on their left arm. The ceremony begins with a processional of the iSchool director, faculty, and graduating students. The iSchool faculty are seated on the stage and the graduates all sit together in a special area at the front of the auditorium. The ceremony starts with several special library and information science speakers, then each student is called by name, walks onto the stage, hands their lemon-colored hood to the official hooder to be hooded, shakes hands, and exits the stage. The graduating class is then presented to the audience as a whole and the iSchool director, faculty and graduating students file out. Graduating students then proceed to the reception area where they are reunited with their family.

    • The SJSU commencement is usually held a week later for university-wide students in the Spartan Stadium. Although each department walks into the Stadium in its own group, students are not recognized individually and there is no separate iSchool reception afterwards.
  3. Q. Where can I buy the graduation regalia?
    A. MLIS graduates should purchase a lemon colored hood. The SJSU Spartan Bookstore sells regalia. Students may make purchases in the bookstore or online. To be sure you get the proper color and size you should make your purchase as early as possible. Announcement note paper is also available through the bookstore. To purchase your regalia, you must know:
    • What degree you will receive (Master's)
    • The name of the department and the college for your major field of study (CASA / School of Information)
    • Your height, to properly size your gown.
  4. Q. Can I “walk” for graduation in May if I still have one or perhaps two more classes to take in the same summer?
    A: You cannot walk in our iSchool convocation ceremony in May if you have any credits left to take in order to graduate. However, you can walk in that May’s San Jose State University’s Spartan Stadium graduation ceremony (although your name will not be listed in that convocation book for that year).


San José Gateway Ph.D. Program




  1. Q. What is a Ph.D. good for?
    A. It prepares individuals for research, faculty, and leadership positions in Library and Information Science (LIS). The importance of the Ph.D. depends a lot on the environment you’re in. A Ph.D. isn’t really a professional degree; it’s a research degree. It’s a sign of your overall intellectual ability and accomplishments, and thus it indicates your ability to do the kind of strategic thinking and planning that are required for management.

    Our current Gateway Ph.D. students have a variety of goals for their use of a Ph.D.:
    Career advancement – to broaden opportunities for career advancement. It is a door opener, giving you credibility and an opportunity to do a wide range of activities
    Personal interest – as a passionate personal interest that will motivate; you will have to live with this for a lot of years
    Instructor/Faculty Member – to enter an academic or university system

  2. Q. What advice can you offer for earning a doctorate?
    A. It might be the biggest commitment you’ll ever make except for getting married and having children. Timing is key; it will take a big chunk out of your life so you have to think of what else is going on in your life; family, work, etc. Is now the right time to do your Ph.D.? Talk to your partners / spouse, make contact with iSchool faculty, Sandra Hirsh (our Ph.D. director), and Queensland University of Technology supervisors and ask them about their timing for earning their own Ph.D.s.
    Don’t do it for the end result – the Ph.D. Only do it if you can love the process. Working on a Ph.D. pushes you out of your comfort zone, but it can be fun! You need to enjoy creative thinking and writing, and you need to be able to do both independently, without weekly deadlines to keep you on target. Designing a research plan is a creative activity; it’s not like looking things up in a library. Writing a dissertation is writing a book-length, scientific document. If you don’t have a passion for research and for writing, you’ll hate the biggest and most interesting part of your doctoral study.


  3. Q. Is the entire PhD program on-line? Is there a residency requirement?
    A. The program is mostly done on-line, with two weeks of required residency each year. There's no need to move or quit your job, you can do this on a part-time basis.


  4. Q. How do I apply to the Ph.D. program?
    A. See How to Apply.


  5. Q. What are the Ph.D. application due dates?
    A. See How to Apply. For the 2014 cohort, the application due dates are as follows:
    • March 21st 2014: Deadline for San José State University endorsement.
    • April 4th 2014: Application deadline following for Queensland application.
  6. Q. What is the class start date for the Ph.D. program?
    A. The start date for the 2014 Ph.D. cohort will be in the first week of August 2014.


  7. Q. How long will it take to earn my Ph.D. degree?
    A. You can complete the degree on your own timeline; anywhere from 4 – 8 years maximum (minimum 28 months, expected 72 months, maximum 96 months). Part-time students usually can expect 6 years to complete their work.


  8. Q. How does your online Ph.D. program work? Is the program very self-directed?
    A. This Ph.D. is research focused, with independent study under faculty supervision. Most of your work will be done in virtual learning environments, with lots of interaction with faculty supervisors and your peer Ph.D. current students. You will have individual meetings with your SJSU/QUT Supervising team – their frequency and contact mode depend on you and your supervisors. There are monthly 2-hour meetings with iSchool faculty, QUT faculty and all doctoral students. In these meetings you share work, ask questions, do joint reading discussions, give feedback, engage and learn together on a regular basis. You will also have ad hoc exchanges via Bb IM (online instant messaging), email, etc. See a Gateway PhD functional overview for more information about the program structure on a yearly basis.


  9. Q. What are your Ph.D. admission requirements?
    A. See Entry Requirements. These requirements are not strict. For example, your GPA can be just under 3.5, and GPA is different from country to country. If you can demonstrate potential you may still get in, so do apply. We look at the complete package; are you a dedicated student, have you done research in the past? Also, you do not have to have professional library experience prior to applying for the program; we have a variety of Master’s degree backgrounds that we have admitted.


  10. Q. What is the tuition cost for the Ph.D. program? What is and is not included in the stated fee?
    A. See Gateway Ph.D. Fees (check for current exchange rates). Fees can be paid on a semester by semester basis. The annual fee includes instruction and infrastructure. It does not include books, materials or travel/accommodation for the two short residencies each year. There is a separate application fee as well of AUS $55.


  11. Q. Is Ph.D. financial aid available?
    A. No. There is no USA federal financial aid because this is an international program. Students self-fund or are sponsored by their employer. Students are eligible to receive a small amount of Queensland University of Technology research support funds. These funds are managed by your QUT supervisor, the amounts are set up in your Years 1 & 2, and the funds are aimed at Ph.D. presentation of research at high-profile conferences, to cover costs of producing a survey, or for travel expenses when you go to the ASIS&T yearly research conference.


  12. Q. What are the number of classes/credits for the Ph.D. degree?
    A. At present, the Ph.D. degree has 288 total credits. (One Year Full–time is typically 96 credit points, 48 credit points per semester, 24 for part–time students.) No classes/class credits can be transferred in, although students can take classes elsewhere.


  13. Q. What Ph.D. specialties do you have?
    A. See Ph.D. Faculty Specialties. Most students refine their focus for the first two years of the program. Some research areas of current students:
    • Information sharing with virtual teams
    • Information use and behaviors in social media, content creation
    • Information practices in education
    • Archival research and practice
  14. Q. Is this an ALA-Accredited school? Is there ALA accreditation available for a Ph.D.?
    A. The American Library Association does not accredit Ph.D. programs anywhere.


  15. Q. Why are you partnering with an Australian university for this Ph.D.? Is this Ph.D. recognized in the United States?
    A. The California State University system does not offer Ph.D. programs unless they partner with other programs that do. Therefore, we have partnered with Queensland University of Technology (“QUT”) in Australia to offer this Ph.D. program. Various states "recognize," in the sense of approving, only degrees offered in that particular state. However, just as individuals have degrees granted by universities in other states and countries, the Ph.D. degree from Queensland University of Technology is internationally recognized and accepted. QUT was recently ranked as one of Australia’s top 10 research institutions and its program in Library and Information Studies received an impressive rating of 4 (out of 5) by the Australian Research Council, indicating that the program is “above world standard”.


  16. Q. Can any classes be transferred in? Can I take classes at other universities concurrently with the San José PhD program and have them count as part of my PhD work?
    A. No, course credit cannot be transferred into the program. Officially all of the program credits count toward the successful completion and defense of the dissertation. There are no specific courses, although San José has added expectations for seminars, colloquia and collaborative research and publishing.


  17. Q. How many students do you have in your Ph.D. program?
    A. In 2011, Queensland University of Technology had about 30 Ph.D. students, and 11 of them were iSchool Gateway Ph.D. students in various states of progress. The iSchool adds a new cohort every year and has a goal of 6 new students each year.
  18. Q. How long have you been running this PhD program?
    A. The iSchool launched this innovative program in 2008. Our first student completed the Ph.D. program in 2012 (see Diana Wakimoto), and four more students have completed the Ph.D. program in 2013.
  19. Q. What about potential Ph.D. students whose 2nd language is English, any services offered to them?
    A. This program is primarily set up for English-proficient students. QUT has some international student facilities for those who want to participate in this program: help with language, grammar, etc. It will be a challenge to do online, but possible.
  20. Q. What about evaluations and the final dissertation for the Ph.D.?
    A. The Ph.D. program has the following review structure:
    • at the end of four months (December) - formal review of student performance
    • each year - an annual review
    • at the end of two years (in August) - a formal review. An independent panel will review a written report and observe a confirmation seminar in which the candidate will defend work to date and the plan for the dissertation. The proposal is typically 30–40 pages in length.
    • The final dissertation - will be a maximum of 400 pages (100,000 words). The final internal examination committee will include the principal supervisor and three non–supervisors (one expert in the area, one academic from outside the area, and one junior faculty member).
  21. Q. Where can I go for more information about the Ph.D. program?
    A. There are several places: