Graduate Certificates

Graduate certificates can add additional job credentials to those seeking particular types of positions. They signal to employers that the holders of the certificates have concentrated coursework in that specialty. SLIS currently offers two graduate certificates:

  • Archival Studies - "embedded" certificate with all courses in SLIS
  • Digital Humanities - "interdisciplinary" certificate with courses in different departments

General Information and Admissions

General information about admissions to graduate certificate programs is available from the OU Graduate College. It includes:

"All students who intend to pursue a graduate certificate must complete the online application for graduate admissionA student who is admitted to a graduate degree program is not automatically granted admission to associated graduate certificate programs (including embedded certificates). Students enrolled in a graduate degree program who intend to pursue a graduate certificate must apply to add the graduate certificate program.

Students admitted solely to graduate certificate programs:

  • are not candidates for a degree
  • are not assured future admission to a degree program
  • are not eligible for financial aid
  • are limited to the maximum number of hours required for the graduate certificate"

Applicants must have earned at least a Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher. Conditional admissions may be considered for G.P.A.s lower than 3.0.

The graduate certificate can be pursued in a number of ways:

  • For "embedded" certificates, students in the home program can concurrently complete the certificate and the courses will count towards both the degree and the certificate (such as the Archives certificate and the MLIS)
  • For "interdisciplinary" certificates, students in other OU graduate programs can concurrently complete the certificate and, depending upon the rules of their graduate program and their advisor's permission, should be able to count up to 9 credit hours from outside their discipline as general electives in their graduate program
  • People who are not currently students at OU, but who have a completed a bachelor's or higher degree can pursue the graduate certificate

Additional specific information about graduate certificates is available in this Graduate Bulletin from the Graduate College.

Graduate Certificate in Archival Studies

The graduate certificate in Archival Studies will provide a formal indication of training which is imperative for securing an archivist position. It will endorse the abilities and knowledge of the certificate holders, thereby increasing their marketability.

  • Most job ads for archivist positions require an MLIS from an ALA accredited program (Which OU SLIS is). They also require that the applicant has completed archival studies course work. The graduate certificate in Archival Studies will be a useful tool for MLIS students who are seeking archivist jobs as it easily verifies for employers that graduates have an archival studies background. 
  • Also, the national organization for archivists, the Society of American Archivists (SAA), supports graduate certificates in archival studies citing research that hiring managers view them favorably, and even offering their own SAA certificate programs.
  • While most archivist jobs require an MLIS, many also state “or related degree” with archival coursework. The American Historical Association shows in research on historians’ jobs that some percentage of degreed historians end up working in archives. For those students with related degrees rather than MLIS degrees, the graduate certificate in Archival Studies could be a useful tool for seeking employment in archives.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for archivists, curators, and museum workers will grow at a rate of 7% from 2014 to 2024 (2,100 new jobs)

Program Requirements - 12 hours (four courses) from the following:

Required Courses, Two: 

LIS 5343 Archival Concepts
LIS 5563 Archival Appraisal

Guided Electives - Choose Two:

LIS 5463 Archival Representation
LIS 5473 Documents and Records Management
LIS 5653 Preservation
LIS 5970 Digital Curation

One archives course is taught every semester: fall, spring, and summer. To see when specific courses are scheduled, please see the Archives section of the course rotation schedule.

Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities is a rapidly developing multidisciplinary field supporting diverse forms of scholarship, particularly those in which researchers make use of computational power and digitization to interact with source materials in ways that would not be possible otherwise.

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities provides a pathway for individuals working in the humanities, social sciences, and the sciences to advance their understanding of how potential transformative methods, tools, models, applications, and theoretical frameworks are being put to use in expanding the scope and scale of inquiry in the humanities disciplines.

Program Requirements - 12 hours (four courses) from the following:

Required Course: 

HSCI 5613 Issues and Methods in the Digital Humanities

Guided Electives - Choose Two: 

A HI 5913 Visual Culture in Theory and Practice
C S 5093 Visual Analytics
ENGL 5463 Rhetoric & Technology
GEOG 5623 Seminar in GIS Design
JMC 5970 Digital and Transmedia Theories
LIS 5343 Archival Concepts and Traditions
LIS 5453 Digital Collections
LIS 5613 Dynamic Web Development
LIS 5623 Introduction to Data Mining for Information Professionals
LIS 5673 Introduction to Information Visualization
LIS 5970 Digital Curation

Required Internship: Choose One

HSCI 5623 Practicum/Internship in the Digital Humanities
LIS 5823 Internship