SOIS moves up in U.S. News & World Report rankings

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies (SOIS) has moved up to no.15 in rankings of the nation’s library and information science graduate programs.

The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program’s rising profile places it ahead of the MLIS program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison program, now at no. 16 in U.S News and World Report’s latest rankings.

U.S. News ranked 51 master’s degree programs in library and information studies in the United States that are accredited by the American Library Association. The rankings are based solely on the results of a fall 2012 survey sent to the dean of each program, the program director, and a senior faculty member in each program, asking them to choose top programs noted for excellence in each specialty area. The rankings will be featured in the “Best Graduate Schools 2014″ edition, available on April 9.

The MLIS program is designed to prepare librarians and information professionals to manage change in an urbanized, technologically oriented and knowledge-based society. The program is offered online and on campus and attracts students from all over the world. The UWM MLIS program is known for its archival studies concentration, ranked no. nine by U.S. News and World Report. This concentration focuses on preparing students to work in careers in a wide variety of settings: archives, libraries, manuscript repositories, special collections, records management agencies, private corporations, government agencies, religious organizations and more.

In addition to the MLIS program, SOIS offers a bachelor’s degree in information science and technology (IST) and a doctoral program. Courses are offered both on-line and on campus.

The school is also well-known for its diverse faculty and international connections. SOIS is the only school is Wisconsin belonging to the international iSchools organization, a collective of information schools dedicated to advancing the field and interested in connections among information, people and technology. The organization currently includes 36 institutions in 11 countries.

“We don’t have the long tradition of the schools that are ranked #1 to 14, but in spite of that we are gaining increasing recognition,” says Hope Olson, professor of information studies. The MLIS program was accredited in 1976, and shortly after that SOIS became an autonomous school. Earlier, it had been part of the UWM Libraries and the School of Education.

“This new ranking is a testament to ongoing efforts in research, teaching and service by all members of the faculty and staff,” says Wooseob Jeong, interim dean of SOIS.