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School of Library and Information Science

Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections- Further Information for Students (FAQs)

 

1. Concurrent Enrollment with the MLIS Program

Q: I am currently an MLIS student and am considering completing the archival certificate. Must I apply for the certificate program before I complete any archival courses? 

A: No. Many students will complete several archival courses before they decide to pursue the certificate concurrently with their MLIS. However, students choosing to pursue the certificate after beginning their MLIS should apply to the certificate program as soon as possible. This helps SLIS track student progress more efficiently and accurately.

Q: Must I pay more tuition if I complete the MLIS and certificate programs concurrently?

A: Since tuition amounts are based on course load per term, concurrent enrollment should not affect tuition costs per term. However, completing the certificate and the MLIS concurrently usually requires at least one extra term of study, even when students begin both programs at the same time. Students should therefore budget accordingly.

Q: Must I submit a separate application for admission to the certificate program?

A: Yes. Because the archival certificate is a separate program of study, it requires a separate application package and application fee. (It will also require a separate application for graduation—see below.)

Q: May I graduate from the MLIS program before completing the archival certificate and still share the 12 credit-hours between both programs?

A: No. Per the current Graduate Bulletin, if a student graduates from the MLIS program before completing their certificate, they will not be permitted to share credit hours between both credentials. We therefore recommend that students wait until they have completed all requirements for both programs and then submit their applications to graduate at the same time.

Q: I completed my MLIS at your school x years ago. May I return to complete a certificate? 

A: Yes. Many of our MLIS graduates return to complete an archival certificate. Note, however, that per the current Graduate Bulletin, returning students must retake any archival courses they completed towards their MLIS.

 

2. Course Selection and the Program of Study

Q: When are archival courses offered?

A: Information about course availability is posted on the Graduate Programs page. Not all archival courses are available every term; most are offered only once per academic year. Please consult the rotation schedule very carefully when planning your program of study. Course descriptions and availability are subject to change at any time.

Q: What is a Plan of Study form, and must I complete one?

A: The Plan of Study form is a customized spreadsheet (.xls) that helps students plan their program of study. Completed plans should be sent to the Program Advisor, Dr. Matthew Griffis, and the SLIS Director, Dr. Teresa Welsh. (Note that, as of Fall 2017, newly enrolled students are no longer required to submit this form. Students can track their progress towards meeting program requirements via SOAR. We nevertheless recommended that newly enrolled students submit this form anyway.)

Q: Will my Advisor automatically pre-register me for courses in forthcoming terms?

A: No. Because it is the student’s responsibility to monitor their progress towards meeting program requirements, it is also their responsibility to contact their Advisor during the appropriate advisement period in the Fall and Spring terms. Only after being contacted by a student will the Program Advisor pre-register students for courses in future terms.

 

3. The Archival Practicum and Certificate Capstone Paper

Q: When should I complete my practicum placement?

A: While the practicum is not limited to any specific term, most students complete their placement toward the end of their program of study. Students are strongly encouraged to complete LIS 646 and/or LIS 647 before beginning their practicum.

Q: Does SLIS have a placement office for practicum students?

A: The School of Library and Information Science does not currently have anyone on staff that locates and arranges practicum placements for students. Students are required to locate and arrange a suitable practicum in their area (they are still encouraged to consult with their Advisor before committing to any placement, however). A description of the practicum course (LIS 648) is available on the Graduate Programs page. Students must read the Archival Practicum Handbook before seeking a suitable placement. This handbook includes all required forms.

Q: May I complete a competitive, paid internship as my practicum?

A: Any internships, paid or unpaid, that require a competitive application process may be completed as the 648 practicum, provided the hosting institution qualifies as a suitable one and also agrees to the terms and conditions of the practicum placement. All host institution qualifications, course requirements, and agreement forms are included in the Archival Practicum Handbook.

Q: When should I complete my Certificate Capstone Paper?

A: The paper is not attached to any specific archives course and students may complete the paper at any time during their program of study. Since the paper requires use of primary historical materials, most students begin the research for their capstone papers while completing their practicum (LIS 648). The instructions for the capstone paper are available here(PDF).

 

4. Graduating from the Certificate Program

Q: When must I apply for graduation from the certificate program?

A: Any application to graduate from a degree or certificate program must be submitted in the student’s second-last term of study. So, students completing the certificate as a post-Master’s certificate (that is, not concurrently with the MLIS) may simply apply for graduation in their second-last term.

Q: How do I apply for graduation from the certificate program?

A: Students must begin the application process in their SOAR account. (This process will require an application fee.) Before submitting their application, students should double-check that they have completed all program requirements, notify their advisor of their intention to apply for graduation, and resolve any outstanding blocks on their student record. If students experience any difficulty completing their application(s) to graduate, they should call Ms. Patterson and the SLIS office (601-266-4228) immediately.

Q: If I am completing the certificate and MLIS concurrently, must I submit two separate applications to graduate?

A: Yes. Because the archival certificate is a separate program of study, it requires a separate application for graduation and a separate application fee. Students properly enrolled in both the MLIS and certificate programs should see two separate application forms in their SOAR account. If not, they must call Ms. Patterson and the SLIS office (601-266-4228) immediately before submitting any applications.

Q: May I graduate from the MLIS program before completing the archival certificate?

A: Once again, no. Students completing the certificate concurrently with the MLIS must wait until they have completed all requirements for both programs, then submit both applications to graduate at the same time. If a student graduates from the MLIS program before completing their certificate, they will not be permitted to share credit hours between both credentials.

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Certificate Program Homepage

Course Information

Admission Requirements and How to Apply

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School of Library and Information Science

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Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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601.266.4228