School of Library and Information Studies

MA with SLIS as a Home Department

Master of Arts in Digital Humanities with SLIS as a Home Department

SLIS is a home department for the Master of Arts in Digital Humanities (DH), a thesis-based degree program offered through the Faculty of Arts. For additional information, please see the Digital Humanities website.

Program Description

The Master of Arts (MA) in Digital Humanities is an interdisciplinary program offered by the Faculty of Arts in conjunction with existing graduate programs, including Library and Information Studies. The MA program integrates computational methods and theories with research and teaching in the humanities. It addresses the demand for Arts graduates proficient in computing skills, able to work either in the realm of humanities research and teaching or in the emerging job markets of information management and content delivery over the Internet. Graduates of the program are well positioned for leadership in important emerging areas such as digital libraries, electronic publishing, electronic museum archives, and distance learning.

The interdisciplinary program in Digital Humanities offers a balanced examination of both the theoretical and practical issues that define Humanities Computing by focusing on two dimensions of study. The first is critical thinking about how computing is enabling and transforming humanities research and teaching methodologies. The second is the acquisition of technical knowledge through hands-on experience with methods, technologies, and principles underlying the creation, delivery, and analysis of both complex electronic text documents and non-textual data and images. 

Through its emphasis on graduate-level study in one of the participating home departments (including the School), the program also prepares students for the option of continuing graduate work at the PhD level in their field of specialization. Students should also consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Graduate Program Manual, the University Calendar, and the Humanities Computing website for additional information.

Academic Integrity & Ethics Training

The University of Alberta Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research requires that all graduate students complete a minimum of eight hours of ethics training as part of their degree programs. Please see the Humanities Computing website for additional details.

The Core Curriculum: A Balance of Theory and Practice

In a set of core courses, students survey humanities computing and its underlying technologies as they are employed in various disciplines, such as library and information studies. The aim is to show how computing is enabling and transforming research and teaching, and to import technical knowledge through hands-on experience with creation, delivery, and analysis of electronic text and non-textual data and images. In the second year of the program, students extend their knowledge of humanities computing by taking elective courses, including at least one in their home discipline, and by completing a thesis in which they address a research or teaching issue in their discipline.

The MA in DH consists of 4 required courses in Digital Humanities, an additional 5 courses (a minimum of 2 of these must be Humanities Computing options courses and a minimum of 2 chosen from courses offered in the home discipline), and a thesis. Note that successful progress through the program depends on satisfaction of both Humanities Computing and home department requirements. It is normally expected that a representative of both the Humanities Computing program and the home department will sit on the thesis supervisory committee.

Time Limits for Completion of the MA Program

The time required to complete the MA may vary according to the previous training of the applicant and the nature of research undertaken; however, the program is designed to be completed within 24 months. Students must complete all program requirements within four years.

Tentative Course Schedule

The following is the optimal timeline for a student planning to pursue the MA in Digital Humanities with SLIS as the home department, on a full-time basis. Variations are likely to occur for a variety of reasons and will typically lengthen the timeline.

  • HUCO = 4 Required Courses
  • SLIS = 3 Required courses
  • Thesis

Year 1 = 4 HUCO and 2 SLIS (6 total)
Year 2 = 2 HUCO and 1 SLIS (3 total) and THESIS

First Term (Fall Year 1)
(register for 3 courses)
1.  HUCO 500: Survey of Humanities Computing
2.  HUCO 520: Tech. Concepts and Approaches
3.  LIS 501: Foundations of Library and Information Studies
3.  LIS 502: Organization of Knowledge and Information
Second Term (Winter Year 1) 4.  HUCO 510: Issues in Humanities Computing
5.  HUCO 530: Project Design and Management
6.  LIS 505: Research Methods for Library and Information Studies 
Third Term (Fall Year 2) 7.  HUCO Elective
8.  HUCO Elective
9.  LIS 597: Seminar in Advanced Research OR another SLIS Elective
Fourth Term (Winter Year 2) THESIS