Combined Degree Program


Master of Information & Master of Museum Studies

The Combined Degree Program (CDP) allows students to earn both Master of Information and Master of Museum Studies degrees at the same time


Combined Degree Program Coordinator: Prof. Irina Mihalache

Full-time students have the option of pursing both Master of Information and Master of Museum Studies degrees at the same time. The duration of this joint program is three years.

On this page, you will find:

Quick links:

If you have any questions about the program, please connect with the Student Services team at inquire.ischool@utoronto.ca.


Degree requirements & pathways


All CDP students complete the required courses of both the MI and MMSt degree programs and electives. CDP is offered on a full-time basis and is designed to be completed in 3 years (with a maximum allowed duration of 4 years).

The program requires students to complete 13.0 credits. Once students complete 13.0 credits, no additional courses can be taken. In the process of completing the 13.0 credits, students might be eligible to request to take up to 1.0 credit of “extra” courses that do not contribute to the degree requirements.

CDP students typically follow the following sequence of enrolment and registration:

  1. Year 1 as an MI student
  2. Year 2 as an MMSt student
  3. Year 3 with dual registration in both the MI and MMSt programs

To fulfill the Combined Degree Program requirements, students must:

(a) Complete 13.0 credits

(b) Complete the following:

  • A total of 5.0 credits for the MI portion of the CDP by completing the following:
    • Required courses:
    • 2.0, 2.5, or 3.0 credits of electives from the MI program:
      • CDP students completing the LIS concentration will take 2.5 credits of electives from the MI program
      • CDP students completing other MI concentrations will take 2.0 credits of electives from the MI program
      • CDP students completing the General Program Pathway will take 3.0 credits of electives from the MI program
  • 3.0 credits of electives can be chosen from the MI, MMSt or an external graduate unit (students are eligible to select up to 2.0 credits from an external graduate unit).

It is important to note that students in the CDP follow a structured and rigorous set of requirements to complete 2 degrees over 3 years that would normally take 4 years to complete if taken separately. It is important to us that you are thinking conscientiously about the competencies and skill sets that you want to acquire in this condensed format. Depending on the MI concentration/pathway that you want to follow, and the skill set you intend to acquire under the MMSt branch, we recommend that you connect with Student Services, the CDP coordinator, the MI/MMSt Program Directors or Concentration liaisons to ensure that your choice of electives supports your interests and career goals.

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Sample course sequence


 

Year of study Program of study Courses to take/focus on Number of credits to complete Tuition fees
1 Fall & Winter MI MI concentration required courses + selection of MI electives 2.0 credits in the Fall and 2.0 credits in the Winter Full-time tuition fees
1 Summer MI 1.0 credit of electives 1.0 credit No tuition fees charged
2 Fall & Winter MMSt

+ selection of electives

For students interested in pursuing an MMSt internship in Year 2 Summer: you need to include MSL3900H (internship pre-requisite) as an elective in Year 2 Fall

2.5 credits of required courses + 1.5 credits of MMSt electives Full-time tuition fees
2 Summer MMSt you might be interested in pursuing an MMSt internship (MSL3000HY) or another elective 0.5 credit No tuition fees charged
3 Fall & Winter MI + MMSt
  • MSL4000YY
  • 0.5 credit MI elective
    • If your chosen MI concentration has a Year 2 elective, you’ll complete it in place of  this 0.5 credit elective
  • 2.0 credits of electives (these can be from MMSt, MI, or external)

 

3.5 credits Full-time tuition fees

The above sample sequence will allow you to complete the degree requirements in 3 years.

Final check:

  • Did you complete at least 5.0 credits of MMSt courses (out of the 13.0 credits total)?
    • Did you complete all the MMSt required courses?
  • Did you complete at least 5.0 credits of MI courses (out of the 13.0 credits total)?
    • Did you complete all the required courses for your MI concentration (or the GPP)?


Careers


According to the Committee on Libraries, Archives and Museums (CALM), established by the American Library Association, there is large interest in collaboration, convergence and joint standards among these institutions. Overlapping roles and integrated access to collections are good reasons for such partnerships. Museums cannot be imagined without websites, and it’s increasingly common to have collections digitally recorded in a database or information system.

The use of interactive kiosks, 3D technology, mobile apps and the latest digital tools is growing as museums are integrating technology in all aspects of their operations. At the annual conference “Museums and the Web”, presentations on “user experience design in web museums”, “museum informatics” and “digital curation” are further uncovering this trend. Big data is a hot topic in information and museum fields, while conversations about usability, access to information, crowdsourcing, cloud computing, and digital preservation are gaining more attention in both areas. Finally, there is a growing involvement in social justice-related matters such as fostering equity, diversity and inclusion.

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Fees


  1. Year 1: full-time fees will be charged for the program started first (MI).
  2. Year 2: full-time fees will be charged for the program started second (MMSt).
  3. Year 3: full-time fees will be charged for the program started first (MI).

Tuition fees for a full-time Master’s student at the Faculty of Information are approximately $6,000 per term for domestic students, and $20,000 per term for international students. Please review our Fees page for accurate year-to-year tuition information. Yearly tuition fees include both Fall and Winter terms. If students take courses in the Summer, no additional tuition is charged.

Review information on awards, scholarships and financial aid on our Money Matters page.

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Frequently asked questions


Can I do a thesis?

Because the CDP program is particularly demanding and complex to navigate, completing a thesis, which is already a major engagement on its own, is usually not possible for CDP students. Enrolling in the thesis option would likely involve additional time and cost, and would potentially cause scheduling difficulties.

CDP students who have a strong motivation to pursue a thesis must clearly articulate why they believe that is the best option for them, and secure a supervisor who supports their request before the end of the Fall term of their second year. As thesis requirements are different for MI and MMSt students, CDP students must declare whether they intend to complete an MI or an MMSt thesis, and complete all requirements accordingly.

CDP students who decide to pursue a thesis are not eligible to do the Capstone Project (MSL4000Y).

Quick links:

Request procedure:

Please provide a statement to the CDP Coordinator with the following information:

  • A clear rationale on why a thesis is the best path forward for your academic plan
  • The faculty member who has agreed to supervise your thesis
  • A brief overview of your research topic (no more than 500 words)
  • Whether or not you have met the pre-requisite(s) for doing the MI or MMSt thesis

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Can I do two MI concentrations?

Yes, though it may be difficult to satisfy both sets of required courses. There are no guarantees that we can ensure a manageable pathway. Students following a concentration must ensure that they choose appropriate required and elective courses to fulfill the requirements of their concentration. A maximum of two concentrations is allowed; however, it is strongly advised that students choose only one concentration. Students choosing to do two concentrations may encounter scheduling difficulties. You are responsible for ensuring that you complete the concentration requirements – which are verified officially by Student Services only at the time of your request to graduate. Students can enrol in courses from all concentrations as an elective, no matter which concentration they choose.

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Can I do an MI co-op?

No. CDP students may not do an MI co-op. CDP students must fulfill a complex and intense set of requirements for both the Master of Information and Master of Museum Studies in order to graduate with both degrees.

However, the MMSt portion of the program already involves work integrated learning in the form of an internship (MSL3000H, elective choice) and MMSt Capstone Project (MSL4000Y, required), and the MI program can involve a practicum course (INF2173H; INF2273H).

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Can I do a Museum Studies summer internship?

Yes. Starting in the winter of the second year, students have the option of completing a summer internship (MSL3000H). The mandatory ‘The Emerging Professional’ course (MSL3900H) offered in the fall helps you prepare for the summer internship and for your future professional pathway. Additionally, CDP students will complete the Museum Studies Capstone Projects (MSL4000Y) in their 3rd year.

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Why do CDPs begin 1st year in the MI program?

All CDPs begin their first year in the MI program. There are several reasons for doing so, namely:

  • By starting all in the same program, we build a co-operative CDP cohort that will move together through the three-year program.
  • Starting with the MI allows for greater flexibility in course enrolment, as there are more MI electives since it is the larger program of the two (almost 5 times more students). This provides CDP students with the maximum time (three years) to take advantage of both required and elective MI courses.

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Can I withdraw from CDP and revert to one program (i,e. MI or MMSt)?

This is not common, however, we understand that unexpected circumstances may require a change in program. Consult with Student Services and/or the CDP Coordinator when making this determination. Student Services can help you complete the required notification forms and meet with you to consider degree completion costs and course requirements to compete your chosen program.

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Why does it make sense to take these two programs together?

This is a great question! There are many operational and theoretical benefits for taking two programs as one.

Unlike for program-specific students, no courses are considered external for CDP students, which means you do not require special permission to enrol in MI / MMSt courses.

At the very basic level, you can complete two Master’s programs in three instead of four years. The program recognizes some overlap in learning objectives and have streamlined program success by allowing students to complete 13.0 credits instead of 15.5 credits.

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What course sequence should I follow?

How you wish to map your academic plan is a personal choice.

It is important to note that students in the CDP follow a structured and rigorous set of requirements to complete two degrees over three years that would normally take four years to complete if taken separately. It is important to us that you are thinking conscientiously about the competencies and skill sets that you want to acquire in this condensed format. Depending on the MI concentration/pathway that you want to follow, and the skill set you intend to acquire under the MMSt branch, we recommend that you connect with Student Services, the CDP coordinator, the MI/MMSt Program Directors or Concentration liaisons to ensure that your choice of electives supports your interests and career goals.

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