End of Program Assessments and Independent Courses

End of Program Assessment Options

All graduate students at the University of Oklahoma are required to complete an end of program assessment (EPA) to receive their degree. Each discipline decides what EPA(s) is/are appropriate for their field. SLIS offers MLIS students three choices of EPA:

  1. Comprehensive exam offered every fall and spring semester
  2. Portfolio, defense scheduled with student's committee
  3. Thesis, defense scheduled with student's committee

The most commonly chosen option is the comprehensive exam, but portfolio is also very popular. Few students choose thesis. As an example, following is a chart of which EPAs students chose during the 2016-17 academic year.

Following is specific information to help you choose which EPA is best for you:

 End of Program Assessment Materials

Mid-semester, the semester before you plan to take your end-of-program assessment, you must fill out and submit this Graduate College form. If you miss the deadline, you will have to petition be be allowed to do your end-of-program assessment that semester.

The OU Graduate College requires master's students to complete an end-of-program assessment (EPA). The approved EPAs in SLIS are comprehensive exams, portfolios, and theses. You must declare your EPA intent by the end of your first semester in the program, and your choice requires your advisor's approval. If you choose the thesis option, 2 of your required 12 master's courses will be thesis hours so you will complete 30 hours of regular courses and 6 hours of thesis.

SLIS Student Guide to 3 End-of-Program Assessment Options: A Comparison 

SLIS Student Guide to the Comprehensive Examination for the Master's Degree (Handbook)

SLIS Thesis Guidelines 

SLIS Student Guide to the Portfolio for the Master of Library and Information Studies

Independent Courses 

SLIS offers a number of independent courses that you can take to build expertise in a specialty area or to get hands-on experience. Some general guidelines include:

  • You must have your advisor's approval to take an independent course. Usually your advisor will supervise the independent course, but with your advisor's permission a different faculty member could supervise if they are a better fit for the topic, or if they are available and agree to do so
  • Independent courses are generally expected to build on knowledge gained in previously completed coursework, and they cannot substitute for a regularly taught class on that topic
  • You must have completed 18 credit hours in the program to be eligible to take an independent course

Types of independent courses include:

  • Internships - 135 hours of practical, supervised work experience in an LIS setting
  • Directed Research
  • Directed Project
  • Directed Reading

Internships (LIS 5823) 

Employers often favor candidates with job experience. If you have never worked in the type of setting in which you want to specialize, you can enhance your knowledge and career possibilities with an internship. Many of our students already work in libraries or archives. If you are working in an LIS setting, you may wish to do an internship in a different type of setting to broaden your experience base.

If you are interested in pursuing an internship, you will work with your advisor and with Sarah Connelly in the SLIS office to find a setting appropriate for your interests. 


Following are the forms for independent studies

Form Name
 LIS 5823 Internship
Policies, Procedures & Timeline
Memorandum of Understanding
Student Acknowledgement And Release
Student/Faculty Contract
Student Evaluation
Placement Supervisor Evaluation
Faculty Supervisor Evaluation
LIS 5920 Directed Research
Directed Research Contract
LIS 5940 Directed Project
Directed Project Contract
LIS 5960 Directed Reading
Directed Reading Contract