Informatics FAQs


FAQs — Informatics

  1. Q. Can I defer my admission to a future term?
    A. You must enroll in the semester you were admitted or reapply. SJSU does not offer deferred admission.
  2. Q. Is there a minimum number of credits required to be taken to stay matriculated per semester?
    A. For the University there is no minimum–and you can sit out for one semester with no paperwork–as long as you return the semester after. But if you are using financial aid you need to maintain 4 units a semester.
  3. Q. Can a prospective MLIS or MARA student take MS Informatics classes in iSchool Open Classes and apply these courses toward a future MLIS or MARA degree?
    A. Students requesting INFM courses through Open Classes need to meet the INFM required competency in either: 1) HTML5 and CSS, 2) a programming language, or 3) in information systems, before requesting classes. A maximum total of 9 units taken in Open Classes can transfer into an MLIS including: MLIS and MARA electives, SJSU World Languages Classes, Units from outside institutions. Only 6 of these units can be INFM classes.
  4. Can a prospective MS Informatics student take INFM courses in Open Classes and apply these courses toward a future MS Informatics degree?
    A. No. Because of the cohort nature of the MS Informatics degree, prospective MS Informatics students can only take INFM courses once they are matriculating into the degree program. 
  5. Q. Can matriculating MLIS students take INFM courses and apply these units toward the MLIS?
    A. Special Session MLIS students may only take 6 units of INFM courses as electives and must meet the INFM required competency with a strong technical competency, in either: 1) HTML5 and CSS, 2) a programming language, or 3) in information systems, before enrolling in these classes. A maximum total of 9 units can transfer into an MLIS including:  MARA electives, SJSU World Languages Classes, Transfer Units from outside institutions and only 6 of these units can be INFM classes. INFM units are $575 per unit, rather than $525 per unit for special session MLIS courses. In addition INFM courses are run on different time frames than MLIS courses.
  6. Q. I live within the U.S. on a visa that is not permanent residency. Can I enroll in the MS in Informatics program?
    A. While our online programs are open to international students living outside of the United States, we are only permitted to admit international students who currently live within the United States that hold either U.S. citizenship or Permanent Residency (Green Card). Unfortunately, we are unable to admit international students living in the United States on other types of visas. Please see this link for further information:
  7. Q. How are the MLIS and MS in Informatics degree programs different?
    A. The MLIS and Informatics degree programs are quite different. The MLIS provides a comprehensive overview to developing skills and knowledge valuable for becoming an information professional, and then students can choose to select a career pathway in an area that aligns closely with their career goals. For some students, working in a professional library setting is one of these outcomes, and the MLIS degree specifically has ALA accreditation.

    The MS in Informatics program is designed for students who are specifically interested in working with directly and to navigate data environments, preparing students for a career in Informatics or working with groups that have big data focus areas. Furthermore, it’s designed to be an accelerated program, where students can finish the program in as quick as 12 to 18 months. It’s also 30 credits, which is less than the MLIS. While the foundation courses have wide application and the program is intended to have relevance to any data-driven work setting, students may select one of two career pathways that relate most closely to their interests: health or cybersecurity and privacy, or mix-and-match between the two to pursue a generalized approach to the MS in Informatics degree.

    MS in Informatics Program Overview –

    MLIS Program Overview –

    MLIS Career Pathways –
  8. Q. Am I required to choose a specific Career Pathway?
    A. Courses in each career pathway (health, cybersecurity & privacy) will only be offered once a year, and are intended for students to take these courses together in order to complete the three-course career pathway requirement of the MS in Informatics degree. However, students are not required to take these three courses exclusively from one career pathway. For example, students can take one course from each career pathway area or mix and match if so desired. All MS in Informatics graduates will receive a diploma. A career pathway is not listed on the diploma.
  9. Q. When will Career Pathway courses be offered so I can plan my course schedule and degree completion?
    A. Each career pathway course is currently offered once during the academic calendar year, and students should complete their career pathway courses when first offered to prevent having to wait a year for their course selections to be offered again. Career pathway frequencies may be expanded based on meeting student needs. Please see the Informatics Career Pathway Rotations:
    Students may use the iSchool Unit Planning Tool to create a customized plan to complete the degree program.
  10. Q. Is the MS in Informatics program at SJSU iSchool a clinical informatics degree?
    A. While we do offer a health career pathway that is designed for a broad exposure to the health sector, our program is not a specific clinical or nursing informatics degree. Our program has a broader application throughout general required coursework which can be applied to any sector, as compared to dedicated clinical/nursing informatics degrees offered elsewhere.
  11. Q. Is MS in Informatics at SJSU iSchool a STEM designated degree program?
    A. While we cover many STEM concepts, it is not a specifically recognized STEM program.