- Students should anticipate that it will likely take approximately 14 months to develop and complete an MLIS thesis - Preferred thesis timeline. Students should meet with their advisor, or else with the faculty member who they would like to chair their thesis committee, to discuss possible thesis topics in early spring quarter of the first year of study and ask the faculty member if s/he will chair the committee. The committee chair will also serve as the student's academic advisor from that point forward. The student should advise the Student Affairs Officer (SAO) in the same spring quarter of his or her intent to write a thesis and, if necessary, the change of advisor
- Between spring quarter of the first year and the end of winter quarter of the second year, the student should nominate a committee - Form to nominate a thesis committee - [Department of Information Studies; Major - 509 Library and Information Science; Degree – MLIS]. Three regular ladder faculty members, or other experts pre-approved as eligible to serve by Graduate Division, are required to form a committee, but not all of those faculty members need to be drawn from the Department of Information Studies. The committee nomination form should be submitted to the SAO (GSE&IS 207) in the quarter before the student intends to present the thesis.
- To be eligible to submit the thesis proposal, the student must:
- be in good academic standing (cumulative GPA above 3.0);
- have met all the IS entrance requirements;
- have taken, or be completing in the current quarter the required core and research methods courses; and,
- have completed all incompletes.
- The student is allowed to enroll in up to 3 courses (12 units) of independent coursework (596/598) to develop his or her thesis. The thesis does not need to include original research, but it must offer an original approach to, or insights into the chosen topic. It often grows out of a paper already written for another course. Its length will depend upon the topic selected and the approach used to examine it. Most theses, however, tend to be in the range of 60-90 double-spaced pages. If collecting any data from human subjects, or using restricted datasets or records, the research must be approved by the UCLA Institutional Review Board (IRB) using the WebIRB application process.
- It is highly recommended that the student attend a meeting presenting information on University regulations governing manuscript preparation and completion of degree requirements. Meetings are held by the Graduate Division and the University Archivist at the beginning of each academic quarter - Schedule of meetings.
- The student should check the filing date for the quarter in which s/he expects to file. The student should also: provide the thesis committee chair with a draft of the complete thesis with sufficient time to respond to his or her comments before sending out the final draft to the entire committee; and schedule the oral presentation in advance of the filing date, leaving enough time for any corrections required by the committee to be made to the manuscript. The student is responsible for scheduling a date/room/time for the oral presentation with the Department's Administrative Assistant.
- The presentation of the thesis is not a formal defense, however students should anticipate that it will take up to two hours, within which time the student will present his or her work and respond to questions and comments from the committee. Note: It is frequently difficult to get the committee together. Give faculty members several dates/times at least a month ahead. Also make sure you know how far ahead faculty members wish to receive the final draft of the thesis. They may request to receive it up to 4 weeks in advance of the presentation.
The Preferred Thesis Timeline out a typical timeline for the development and completion of an MLIS thesis. Any student planning to write a thesis should review it with his or her committee chair when they first meet to ensure that both are aware of the target dates and associated activities involved.
- The student is responsible for formatting and filing according to the Graduate Division’s guidelines.
- The student is responsible for electronically submitting the thesis by the deadline of the quarter in which the thesis is completed.
Research for the thesis may be carried out in any of the existing areas of specialization.
Successfully completing a thesis also satisfies the MLIS major paper requirement.