Information Management and Systems

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The School of Information (I School) offers a doctoral degree (PhD) program in Information Management and Systems and a professional Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) degree. 

The Doctoral Program

The doctoral program in Information Management and Systems is a research-oriented program in which the student chooses specific fields of specialization, prepares sufficiently in the literature and the research of those fields to pass a qualifying examination, and completes original research culminating in the written dissertation. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is conferred in recognition of a candidate's grasp of a broad field of learning and distinguished accomplishment in that field through the contribution of an original piece of research revealing high critical ability and powers of imagination and synthesis.

The Master's Program

The Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) program is a two-year full-time program, designed to train students in the skills needed to succeed as information professionals. Such professionals must be familiar with the theory and practice of storing, organizing, retrieving, and analyzing information in a variety of settings in business, the public sector, and the academic world. Technical expertise alone is not sufficient for success; I School graduates will be expected to perform and manage a multiplicity of information related tasks.

Graduates of the MIMS program will be able to:

  • Identify and address user and stakeholder information and resource needs in context.
  • Make and assess information design decisions iteratively.
  • Intentionally organize collections of information and other resources to support human and/or machine-based interactions and services.
  • Understand and apply foundational principles and debates of information law, policy, and ethics.
  • Analyze complex relationships and practical choices at the intersection of technical design, policy frameworks, and ethics.
  • Understand and apply fundamental principles and debates of information economics.
  • Understand and apply architectural, computational, and algorithmic thinking and principles of concurrency to the design of information systems.
  • Scope, plan, and manage open-ended projects, both individually and in teams.
  • Present findings and conclusions persuasively.

Such a profession is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring aspects of computer science, cognitive science, psychology, sociology, economics, business, law, library/information studies, and communications.

The I School also offers a master's in Information and Data Science (MIDS) and a master's in Information and Cybersecurity (MICS).

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Admissions

Admission to the University 

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the MIMS Program

The I School’s Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) program welcomes students from a diverse set of backgrounds; some will be technically educated, some educated in the humanities and social sciences. Our goal each year is to bring in a talented class of students from a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds.

Applications are evaluated holistically on a combination of grade point average, GRE score, work experience, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. As much as possible, applicants are judged on a combination of these factors. A minimum of two years of job experience is preferred, although not required. All successful applicants must have statements of purpose that demonstrate goals and interests consistent with the mission of the I School.

To be eligible to apply to the Master of Information Management and Systems program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Admission to the PhD Program

We welcome students from a diverse set of backgrounds; some will be technically educated, some educated in the humanites and social sciences.

The I School accepts only 3-5 PhD students each year from more than 80 applications. Applications are reviewed by a committee of faculty.

Applicants are judged on a number of factors. Good scores and a high GPA are necessary, but not sufficient. The deciding factor is the ability to demonstrate a research record and agenda that fit well with specific I School faculty. In a small, interdisciplinary program, it is important that applicants clearly indicate in their statement of purpose which faculty member(s) they are interested in researching with, and why.

To be eligible to apply to the PhD in Information Management and Systems program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree or its recognized equivalent from an accredited institution.

  • Superior scholastic record, normally well above a 3.0 GPA.

  • Clear indication of appropriate research goals, described in the Statement of Purpose.

  • Results of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

  • For applicants whose academic work has been in a language other than English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

To Apply

For further information and application instructions, please visit the School of Information Application Instructions page.

 

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Program Design

The School of Information is an interdisciplinary school examining the design, organization, and management of information and information systems. The School of Information draws on the expertise not only of its own faculty but of the full Berkeley campus. We encourage students to take full advantage of being at this world-class University and not feel bound by disciplinary boundaries.

The PhD degree program at the School of Information is a research program. Each student is expected to work with his or her adviser to ensure that the program of study includes:

  • A thorough understanding of research methods and research design.
  • The ability to review current research critically.
  • The ability to understand emerging trends from an inter-disciplinary perspective.

Expected PhD Timeline:

  • Semester 1: Identify a faculty adviser
  • Semesters 1–4: Complete breadth courses; complete major and minor requirements
  • Semester 4: Complete the preliminary research paper
  • Semester 5: Complete preliminary exam
  • Semester 6–8: Complete qualifying exam; advance to candidacy
  • Four semesters after qualifying exam: Complete dissertation and give presentation

Please refer to the School of Information website for more information.

Master's Degree Requirements (MIMS)

Unit Requirements

The Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) program requires at least 48 semester units of study. The first year of the program consists mostly of a core curriculum; the second year involves further study in core areas along with additional electives, with the expectation that the student will specialize in particular aspects of information management and systems, as well as complete a final project requirement.

Curriculum

Required Courses
INFO 202Information Organization and Retrieval2
INFO 203Social Issues of Information2
INFO 205Information Law and Policy2
INFO 206Introduction to Programming for Information Management Applications (Students with substantial technical backgrounds can waive 206 by exam.)2
Technology Requirement
Elective: Additional two- or three-unit course, taken from an approved list of technology courses2-3
Social Science and Policy Requirement
Elective: Two- or three-unit course, taken from an approved list of courses.2-3
Electives
Further courses to satisfy the 48 unit requirement may be chosen from the school's course catalog. Up to 40 units of the 48 must be INFO courses. An additional 8 units may be used from courses in other departments, with approval from student's faculty adviser.25+
Final Project
INFO 298ADirected Group Work on Final Project3

Internship Participation

During the summer between the two years, students are strongly encouraged to participate in an internship program in order to use their newly acquired skills in real-world settings. Assistance in arranging internships will be provided whenever possible, but the ultimate responsibility of obtaining the internship will be that of the student. Past internships have been in corporate, academic, government, and nonprofit institutions.

Please refer to the School of Information website for more information.

Courses

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

David Bamman, Assistant Professor.

+ Robert Berring, Professor. China, law, contracts, Chinese law.
Research Profile

Jenna Burrell, Associate Professor.

Coye Cheshire, Associate Professor. Sociology, trust, social media, social psychology, social networks, collective action, social exchange, information exchange, social incentives, reputation, internet research, online research, online dating, online behavior.
Research Profile

John Chuang, Professor. Computer networking, computer security, economic incentives, ICTD.
Research Profile

Paul Duguid, Adjunct Professor. Trademark, information, communities of practice.
Research Profile

Robert J. Glushko, Adjunct Professor.

Morten Hansen, Professor.

Marti A. Hearst, Professor. Information retrieval, human-computer interaction, user interfaces, information visualization, web search, search user interfaces, empirical computational linguistics, natural language processing, text mining, social media.
Research Profile

Ray Larson, Professor. Information Retrieval system design and evaluation, database management.
Research Profile

Deirdre Mulligan, Associate Professor.

Geoffrey D. Nunberg, Adjunct Professor.

Zach Pardos, Assistant Professor. Education Data Science, Learning Analytics, Big Data in Education, data mining, Data Privacy and Ethics, Computational Psychometrics, Digital Learning Environments, Cognitive Modeling, Bayesian Knowledge Tracing, Formative Assessment, Learning Maps, machine learning.
Research Profile

David H. Reiley, Adjunct Professor.

Kimiko Ryokai, Associate Professor.

Pamela Samuelson, Professor. Public policy, intellectual property law, new information technologies, traditional legal regimes, information management, copyright, software protection and cyberlaw.
Research Profile

Annalee Saxenian, Professor. Innovation, information management, entrepreneurship, Silicon Valley, regional economic development, high skilled immigration, Asian development.
Research Profile

Doug Tygar, Professor. Privacy, technology policy, computer security, electronic commerce, software engineering, reliable systems, embedded systems, computer networks, cryptography, cryptology, authentication, ad hoc networks.
Research Profile

Steven Weber, Professor. Political science, international security, international political economy, information science.
Research Profile

Qiang Xiao, Adjunct Professor.

Lecturers

Brooks D. Ambrose, Lecturer.

Lefteris Anastasopoulos, Lecturer.

Olukayode Segun Ashaolu, Lecturer.

Kurt Beyer, Lecturer.

Dav Clark, Lecturer.

Steven Fadden, Lecturer.

Alexander Gilgur, Lecturer.

Benjamin T. Gimpert, Lecturer.

Nathaniel Stanley Good, Lecturer.

Annette Greiner, Lecturer.

Quentin R. Hardy, Lecturer.

Anna Lauren Hoffmann, Lecturer.

Todd Michael Holloway, Lecturer.

Douglas Alex Hughes, Lecturer.

Jez Humble, Lecturer.

Coco Krumme, Lecturer.

Arash Nourian, Lecturer.

Emmanouil Papangelis, Lecturer.

Daniel Percival, Lecturer.

Daniel Perry, Lecturer.

Elisabeth Prescott, Lecturer.

Dmitry Rekesh, Lecturer.

Blaine Gary Robbins, Lecturer.

Ali Sanaei, Lecturer.

Juanjie Joyce Shen, Lecturer.

David Steier, Lecturer.

Andreas Weigend, Lecturer.

Peter Frank Weis, Lecturer.

Jake Ryland Williams, Lecturer.

Scott Young, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Ramakrishna Akella, Visiting Professor.

Paul Laskowski, Visiting Assistant Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Michael Buckland, Professor Emeritus. Information management, information retrieval, metadata, library services.
Research Profile

Michael D. Cooper, Professor Emeritus. Analysis, design, database management systems, implementation and evaluation of information systems, computer performance monitoring and evaluation, and library automation.
Research Profile

William S. Cooper, Professor Emeritus.

M. E. Maron, Professor Emeritus.

Nancy A. Van House, Professor Emeritus. Digital libraries, science, information management, technology studies, knowledge communities, user needs, information tools, artifacts, participation of users.
Research Profile

Contact Information

School of Information

102 South Hall

Phone: 510-642-1464

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Dean

AnnaLee Saxenian, PhD

102 South Hall

Phone: 510-642-9980

dean@ischool.berkeley.edu

Director of Student Affairs

Siu Yung Wong

104 South Hall

Phone: 510-664-7092

studentaffairs@ischool.berkeley.edu

Director of Admissions

Julia Sprague

102 South Hall

Phone: 510-642-9242

admissions@ischool.berkeley.edu

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