Advising for iSchool MSIS Students

MSIS Students may choose to meet with an iSchool faculty advisor to plan their courses. Academic advising is optional. If you choose to meet with your faculty advisor, contact him or her by email to set up an appointment time.

Remember that you can switch your faculty advisor. You must let your current faculty advisor know, get approval from your new faculty advisor, and send an email about this change to the graduate coordinator, Ms. Carol Carreon ( Remember to always include your UT EID, full legal name, and course unique number (when relevant) in your communication.

If you choose to meet with your faculty advisor:

  • Arrive prepared. Create a draft list of courses you would like to take over the next semester. If you are meeting with your faculty advisor during the spring semester, you will be discussing classes you might take in the summer as well as classes you might take in the fall semester.
  • Help your faculty advisor understand your schedule, learning style, and career plans.

Regardless of whether or not you meet with your faculty advisor, remember that students are responsible for finding the registration access period. Find out all about registration here:

Take special note of deadlines

  • Review the requirements for your MSIS degree:

  • Make sure that you take your courses for letter grades. The only credit/no credit (pass/ fail) courses that will count toward the 36 hours of your MSIS are your Capstone option.
  • You must take graduate level courses in the iSchool. Each course is listed with a three-digit number. For graduate courses, the second digit is 8 or higher (e.g., 380C). Learn more about the course numbering system here:
  • Look at the course offerings for the next semester: Check this online course list for changes/updates.
  • In creating your draft list, also identify two or three other classes that serve as back-ups in case you are unable to enroll in one or more of your first choices.
  • Sometimes a course you want to take is full. There are several reasons why this might happen. Note that class registrations change as other students add and drop classes. The best option to gain entry into a class that is currently full is for you to join a waitlist. More details on using waitlists can be found on the registrar’s website:
  • A full graduate course load is nine (9) credit hours, typically three courses, during a long semester and three (3) credit hours, typically one course, during the summer. Full time enrollment is required for academic graduate appointments (e.g., teaching assistant, research assistant, assistant instructor, or graduate assistant) and fellowships.
  • MSIS students need to be continuously enrolled (e.g., enrolled in courses) during the fall and spring semesters. Summer enrollment is optional.
  • You must complete all thirty six (36) credit hours toward your MSIS degree within six (6) years. Leaves of absence do not stop the clock.
  • Find out details about courses by reading their official descriptions and reviewing course syllabi from previous semesters. The official descriptions are located at
  • Read the actual syllabi for the courses you might take.  Most syllabi are linked from the list of courses on the iSchool website at You can find past syllabi by browsing the courses listed under “Other Semesters” and selecting a past semester. Or, you can click on the faculty member’s name in the faculty directory,
  • Take the core course INF 380E early in your program. It is intended as a foundation course. The core course is usually offered in two sections during the fall/spring terms and may be offered during the summer. If you wait too long to take the core courses, you run the risk that the course might be full or offered at a time when you are unable to take the course.
  • There is no stable rotation of courses so do not plan on having any specific courses offered in any given semester. The only courses you can count on being available in a given long fall or spring semester are the three core courses. Remember: availability of any course during the summer sessions is also not guaranteed.
  • You may also have additional options for taking courses. This includes taking individual studies within the iSchool and taking courses outside of the iSchool, including WISE classes.
    • For details on Individual Studies, see:

Take special note of the details on submitting the proposal for an Individual Study. MSIS students need formal GSC approval for taking more than six hours of Individual Study in their academic programs.

  • Students may take up to twelve (12) graduate credits OR up to nine (9) upper-division undergraduate credits at UT-Austin outside the iSchool. No more than six (6) upper-division undergraduate credits may be from any one (1) department.

An outside course may help you fill a gap in your program of studies. Look into outside courses very carefully. Pre-requisites, grading, rigor, focus, interdisciplinary engagement, and theoretical foundations vary so widely that a conversation with the instructor is often essential to find a good fit. You will find course descriptions in the Graduate Course Catalog:

  • For details about the WISE Consortium, see:    

  • For details on specific WISE classes, see:

  • Consult the iSchool website to see if you might benefit from a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS), Endorsement of Specialization (EOS), dual degree, or portfolio.
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