Frequently Asked Questions | Archival Studies

Course & Academic Questions

Can I complete the Archival Studies Concentration online?  

Yes, students can complete the Archival Studies Concentration fully online or onsite.

When should I take 650: Introduction to Modern Archives Administration? 

We suggest you take 650 in your second semester.  650 is the absolute prerequisite for the archives courses.  

When can I declare the archival studies concentration?  

It is recommended that you declare the Archival Studies Concentration after completing 650: Introduction to Modern Archives Administration.  

What classes should I take?

Students in the Archival Studies Program must complete 650.  MLIS students must complete 759: Fieldwork. 759: Fieldwork is not required for CAS students but is recommended for students in the CAS program with little archives experience.

Many of the MLIS courses are relevant to a career in archives. Although the following do not count towards the concentration, you may find them useful as general electives:
  • 603: History of Books and Printing
  • 660: Information Policy
  • 682: Digital Libraries
  • 714: Metadata
  • 717: Information Architecture and Knowledge Organization
  • 780: XML for Libraries
  • 785: Database Management Systems for Information Professionals
  • 788: Information Systems: Analysis and Design
  • 821: Seminar in Library Administration

How can I know when classes will be offered?  

650 is offered every fall and spring semester.  Other classes are offered on a rotating basis, usually every fourth semester, pending faculty availability.  Classes with higher demand, such as 750: Arrangement and Description, may be scheduled more frequently. 759 can be taken during any semester.  

When should I do my fieldwork? 

Fieldwork can be done after you have successfully completed 650: Introduction to Modern Archives Administration.  To earn the required 3 credits of fieldwork you must work for 150 hours in a repository.  This averages to 10 hours a week during the fall or spring semesters and 12.5 hours a week during the summer semester.  

How do I find a fieldwork site?  

You should identify a site, but Archives Program staff will work with you on coordination with the site supervisor, approval, and planning. We are able to help you find a site if you need further guidance. Please see the fieldwork instructions for more information

I already have experience. Can I get out of the fieldwork? 

Submit the Petition for Exemption from 759:Fieldwork  for your request to be considered.  Please see the field work instructions for further information.

Can I petition to get XYZ to count for the concentration or the CAS?  

Yes, this can be done via petition. First you must speak to your faculty mentor to obtain his/her/per recommendation on the suitability of the selected course for your program of study. After you have discussed the chosen course with your faculty mentor,  you must submit the “Petition for Archival Studies Program Elective Credits” to the Archival Studies Program Director at   

How are the Certificate of Advanced Studies and the Archival Studies Concentration different? 

The Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) is a post-masters 15-credit program.  The Archival Studies Concentration is a transcript-designated concentration that is pursued within the MLIS.

How many credits do I need to complete the  Archival Studies Concentration?  

15 credits within the MLIS program.
The credits breakdown:
MLIS 36 credit program
12 credits = Core Courses
15 credits = Archival Studies Courses
9 credits = Electives

MLIS 30 credit program (for those in coordinated degree programs or a previous Masters degree)
12 credits = Core Courses
15 credits = Archival Studies Courses
3 credits = Electives

How do I complete the CAS program?

As you get closer to completing the program please email the Archival Studies Program
( We will review your transcript and then submit paperwork to the UWM Graduate School. After your paperwork is processed you will receive an official transcript and a certificate from SOIS. Most students receive these materials within 4-8 weeks after grades have been posted at the end of the semester. You do not have to apply to graduate

General Archival Studies Program Questions

How will the program communicate with me?  

The Archival Studies Program will communicate with you through email.  

How do I get on the Archival Studies Program email list?  

Students in the CAS program are already on the email list.  Students in the MLIS program have to submit the Archival Studies Declaration.  

Can I do Alternative Spring Break even if I am not in the archives program?  

Yes, Alternative Spring Break is open to all MLIS and CAS students.  See the Alternative Spring Break page and “Frequently Asked Questions” for more information: