School of Information expands dual-degree offerings

August 9, 1999

ANN ARBOR —In today’s wired world, trends in e-commerce, software development and cyberspace communications blur the boundaries between information technology, business, law and public policy. With this blurring of traditional borders comes a need for new professionals whose expertise overlaps all these areas. To meet that need, the University of Michigan School of Information (SI) has added three dual degrees to its master’s curriculum.
The School of Information already is a national leader in educating students in human-computer interaction, information economics, archives and records management and library and information services. With the new dual degree programs, students can earn the Master of Science in Information in conjunction with either the Master of Business Administration from the Business School, the Master of Public Policy from the School of Public Policy, or the Juris Doctor from the Law School.
“The dual-degree programs are a natural development for the School of Information,” says Interim Dean Gary M. Olson. “Many faculty members who teach in SI also have appointments in the School of Public Policy and the Business School, for example, and have brought their expertise to SI classrooms.”
The credit requirements and the length of time required to earn the degrees will vary depending on the dual-degree combination. The programs require that students both qualify for admission and take courses in each school. The advantages for students are that the total number of credits required is significantly less than if both degrees were earned independently and that tuition is applied at a blended rate.
In developing the dual degree with the Business School, School of Information faculty noted the demand for programs in electronic commerce, which include courses in information economics, information ethics and policy, systems analysis and design, management of technology resources, knowledge management, and development of complex Web sites.
Students pursuing the dual degree with the School of Public Policy will study information and information technologies as well as the policy and regulatory aspects of them. These new information professionals and policy analysts will have the tools for measuring and managing complex issues and the ability to answer high-level questions of efficiency and equality.
The dual degree with the Law School is one of only a few of its type offered anywhere. The degree will be particularly attractive to students who want to develop their expertise in the field of intellectual property, especially as it relates to cyberspace and other technological advances. Students who complete the program will qualify for careers in such wide-ranging places as the U.S. Justice Department, intellectual property law firms, technology startups, high-tech consulting companies and “boutique” Internet-provider firms (companies that provide specialized, high-end Internet services for a narrowly targeted group of clients).
Additional information is available by calling (734) 763-2285 or by visiting the School’s Web site at

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