iSchool Guidelines for Mapping Degree Progress

SJSU encourages students to complete their graduate degrees within three years. There is no requirement to do so, however, these tips can help MLIS and MARA students plan to complete the program within three years.

  • Plan ahead for academic success. Make financial aid inquiries and prepare your home computing environment before you start. Work through your New Student Checklist.
  • Take summer sessions to catch up or get ahead.
  • Plan a realistic course load. Adjust it for your life demands.
  • Do not repeat courses. Avoid overloading, only to drop classes late in the semester. This wastes time and money. Repeating courses to meet requirements or raise your GPA slows you down. Keeping current in all your assignments and readings and attending to discussions will help you stay off academic probation and on progress.
  • Make early and full use of the academic advising and career development resources available to you, including the iSchool MLIS Student Success Planner a customizable workbook for planning your courses and your own career checkpoints.
  • Seek help immediately if you are having problems.
  • Don’t wait until the end of your program to plan your core courses and electives, which should blend the School’s competency requirements with your career pathway goals. You want to avoid having to take extra classes at the end of your program to fulfill a competency. Early on, take a close look at competencies mapped to classes and consider how work projects, volunteer assignments and internships can help you fulfill competency requirements. There are many tools and resources available on the iSchool Advising site in Canvas that can help you, in consultation with your advisor, create a focused plan to complete your degree.

Can I graduate within 3 years? Yes you can!

If you take 2 to 3 classes a semester, you can obtain your degree within 2 to 3 years. Read on for more details on course load.

Filling out this optional form at the beginning of your first semester benefits you and the iSchool:

  1.  Helps the iSchool anticipate future enrollment demands
  2.  Helps you create a plan that would allow you to graduate within three years

iSchool Unit Planning Tool

Note this unit-planning tool is not an official contract. It is not to be confused with your Candidacy Form - an official SJSU form which notifies the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation office of your degree progress when you are ready to advance to graduation status.

The unit-planning tool allows you to input various scenarios of "units per semester" and the calculator will display a running total as you progress through the tool. Resubmit the form whenever you would like, as you progress through the program. 

Are you planning to complete your degree in more than three years?

No problem. Enter any comments about your particular unit plan in the comments field that you would like to share with the iSchool Student Services staff. This information will help us anticipate demand for course scheduling.

Working full or part-time while raising a family? How did they graduate within three years?

Tips from Student Writers from the iStudent Blog:

Captioned Presentations:

More helpful time management resources: