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History & Tradition

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History & Tradition
While the iSchool's name and degrees have changed several times since our founding in 1948, our core belief in information for human and social benefit remains the same.

Our History

What is now the School of Information was founded in 1948 to educate information professionals. While our name and degrees have changed a few times since then, we have always balanced the values of information access as a human and social benefit with the intellectual and technical skills needed to lead developments in the Information Age. Today the iSchool is a premier research and education program for the 21st century field of information. Our program is consistently ranked among the top programs in Information Studies internationally.

A Top Ranked Program

US News & World Report ranks our graduate program #5 in the nation and the Center for World University Rankings lists us in the top 10 among information schools worldwide.

Approximately 300 graduate students study in our master's, Certificate of Advanced Study, and doctoral programs. The iSchool also launched a new undergraduate program in Informatics with the first class of freshmen beginning in Fall 2021. The school boasts more than twenty world-class faculty who come from diverse, interdisciplinary backgrounds, a range of joint appointees from across The University of Texas at Austin, and numerous adjunct faculty selected for their expertise and leadership in information research, instruction, and service.

A Tradition of Leadership In Research & Public Engagement

The iSchool is involved in several major programmatic collaborations with national and international organizations as well as at The University of Texas at Austin. Beyond these efforts, iSchool faculty, staff, and students collaborate with colleagues across the university, with firms, non-profit agencies, and governmental organizations in Austin and beyond, and with researchers and institutions worldwide.

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iSchools Organization

Founding Member
The UT Austin iSchool is a founding member of the international iSchools organization, and has a long history of interdisciplinary scholarship and research focused on the human, social, cultural, and technical aspects of information.

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Public Interest Technology - University Network (PIT-UN)

Charter Member
UT Austin, represented in the network by the iSchool, is a charter member of PIT-UN, which is a national effort to grow a new generation of civic-minded technologists.

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Texas Computing

Founding Member
The School of Information is a founding member of the Texas Computing initiative, a cross-university collaboration that brings together exceptional faculty, unique interdisciplinary programs, and a large talented pool of students to create opportunities for learning and research unrivaled in the world.

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Bridging Barriers: Good Systems

iSchool faculty are leaders in the University of Texas Bridging Barriers Good Systems project. This major multi-disciplinary, multi-year, multi-million dollar cross-campus grand challenge focuses on designing AI technologies that benefit society.

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About UT

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest public universities in the United States. Beyond our top-ranked international graduate program, UT Austin is one of the world's premier research universities.

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Life in Austin, Texas

Innovation and research come to life in the heart of Austin, Texas, a vibrant city known for its unique mix of culture and technology.

Timeline of Key Milestones


Founding | MLS - Master of Library Science

Founded as a part of The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School, coursework led to a Master of Library Science degree and to certification for school librarianship. Comparable sequences are available among the School's current offerings:
Master of Science in Information Studies
School Librarian Certificate Program


Certificate of Advanced Study

The School initiated a sixth year of study, culminating in a Certificate of Advanced Study.
Certificate of Advanced Study


PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Science

A transdisciplinary doctoral program was added, leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
PhD Degree


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
MSLIS - Master of Library and Information Science

The School's name was changed to the Graduate School of Library and Information Science in recognition of the increased emphasis on information science in the curriculum as it had evolved since the late 1960s. At the same time, the name of the master's degree became Master of Library and Information Science.


MSIS - Master of Science in Information Studies

The master's degree name changed again to Master of Science in Information Studies. The change reflects the breadth and variety of information studies in the 21st century.


School of Information (iSchool)

Following much discussion, in 2002 the faculty voted unanimously to change the school name from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science to the School of Information. The new name took effect in 2003 to better reflect the diversity of issues and the multidisciplinary nature of studies in the information field.


BA/BSI - Bachelor's Degree in Informatics

In the fall of 2021, the iSchool officially launched its first undergraduate major program, offering a Bachelor's of Art (BA) or Science (BSI) degree in Informatics. Although the iSchool taught undergraduate classes and offered a minor option for many years, this was the first time students could earn a bachelor's degree from the school.
Undergraduate Informatics Program