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Degree Requirements

The M.A.S. is awarded on the completion of 48 credits of work approved by the School, including an optional thesis and an optional internship. The required courses are ARST 510, 515, 516, 573 (collectively, the "Core"), and 520.

Students must begin the program in September of a year and normally cannot complete it before April of the second year following. The full-time Core occupies the first term of the first Winter Session. ARST 520 must be taken in a subsequent term. The internship, if taken, can be expected to occupy much of a summer. University, public, and other archives within easy reach provide models of archival practice.

Academic Regulations

The general academic regulations of the University and of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies apply. The following regulations are specific to the School:

  1. A student may continue in the M.A.S. program if an overall average of 70% is obtained in the ARST Core courses (ARST 510, 515, 516, 573), and if no individual course among them is failed (grade below 60%), and if no more than two of these courses have marks below 70%. A student who fails to meet any of these requirements must withdraw from the program.
  2. A student must maintain an overall average of 70% throughout the M.A.S. program. A student who fails to meet this requirement will be required to withdraw from the program.
  3. A student must obtain at least 60% in any course to pass that course. However, only 6 credits graded under 70% can be credited toward the degree.
  4. If a student fails a course outside the Core courses of the M.A.S. program, the student may repeat that course if the School so recommends and the Dean approves. A course in which a grade of less than 70% was obtained may be repeated for a higher standing if recommended by the School.
  5. Field trips are integral parts of the program; satisfactory participation in them is required of all students.
  6. A one-time fee will be charged at the start of the program for materials and services provided by the School. The fee is subject to change.
  7. Written work may be refused a passing mark if it is, in the opinion of the faculty, deficient in English.

Experiential Learning

Field experience in an information-based centre is highly desirable for students, even those with experience in the work of the practising information professional. This may be in the form of the 3-credit ARST 596: Professional Experience or a SLAIS Co-op paid work placement.


Some extended field experience in an archival repository is highly desirable for a student who has had limited prior contact with the work of the practising archivist. It is usual to undertake this during the summer between the two years of coursework. The decision to elect ARST 595: Internship must be confirmed with the Educational Services Coordinator by the end of the second week of classes in the second term of studies so that arrangements may be made.

Co-operative Work Program

M.L.I.S., M.A.S., and Dual M.A.S./M.L.I.S. students who have completed 24 credits of coursework are eligible to apply to the School's co-op work program. Applications are submitted in October for the work period that begins in January of the following year. Applications are submitted in January for the work period that begins in May. Depending on their individual needs, students may elect to take a term of work lasting either four months (January to April, May to August, or September to December), or eight months (January to August, May to December, or September to April), or do two consecutive four-month terms. Students are paid for their work according to industry standards, which will vary depending on the type of library or information agency. Students do not receive academic credit for their work term, but participation in the co-op is noted on transcripts.


A student with research interests may elect to write a thesis. Consultation on this with the students advisor should begin by the end of the term in which 24 credits have been completed.

First Nations Concentration

The First Nations curriculum concentration in the M.L.I.S., M.A.S., or Dual M.A.S./M.L.I.S. programs offers students the opportunity to complete courses selected for their relevance to the First Nations librarian or archivist. In addition to the required courses of the chosen program, a student enrolled in the concentration must also take courses in fundamentals of the School's other program, and elective courses offered by the School and other departments. All elective courses must be chosen for their particular application to First Nations studies. Satisfactory completion of the concentration will be noted on the student's transcript.

Sub-Specialization in Human Computer Interaction

The School offers a Sub-specialization in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in conjunction with the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), which is available to students in the Archival Studies program.

Program Overview

Methods of Instruction

The School employs a wide variety of instructional methods, including lectures, web-delivered courses, laboratories, discussions, seminars, directed studies, colloquia, field trips, and field work. Each student has an individual faculty advisor available for consultation and specific assistance.


Regular attendance is expected. A student who cannot attend a class, field trip, etc., must notify the instructor concerned by telephone or email, preferably in advance if the absence is foreseen.

Part-Time Work

The School's programs are time-consuming, particularly during the first term of familiarization with new vocabulary, concepts, and professional issues. Most students find it unwise to consider more than four to six hours per week of outside work during the first term. Enquiries for part-time work at the University should be directed to Career Services in Brock Hall.

Field Trips

Field trips occur throughout the school session. For the most part, these are visits of observation of a few hours in libraries or archives in the Vancouver area, but day-long or even two-day trips may be required. The student is responsible for most expenses incurred in conjunction with such field trips and with off-campus activities in the practicum/internship/professional experience courses.

Admission to Courses

A student not registered in one of the School's programs who wishes to enrol in or audit any of its courses should apply to the School of Information Graduate Advisor.

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