General Information

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Legal Information and Scholarly Communication (Certificate NDP)  
Program Description

The Legal Information and Scholarly Communication Graduate Certificate provides students with a background necessary to serve in a wide variety of libraries (public, academic, school, etc.), special libraries, archives, government agencies and businesses where legal information is important to the mission of the endeavor.  As law firms grow in size and become more specialized, there is a growing need for researchers able to investigate legal issues and the underlying factual issues of litigation and transactional law.  It is hard to imagine a discipline where legal issues don’t regularly arise.

Student Learning Outcomes
The Legal Information and Scholarly Communication Certificate program will provide students with the necessary skills to research all legal matters, from simple to complex.  Student will develop a sophisticated knowledge of the American legal system and the common law as well as the regulatory and legislative state.  This certificate will allow paralegals or law librarians to develop their information skills to enhance their careers.  These skills should propel these graduates into professional environments such as academic libraries, public libraries, some law firms, and government agencies.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

School of Information -

The ever-increasing pace of technological innovation requires a more information-savvy workforce that understands not only the how, what, where, when, and why of technology and data but how to apply that knowledge.  At the University of Arizona’s School of Information, we have faculty and students engaged in research and education around all aspects of the information sciences without regard for disciplinary boundaries. We do research in: artificial intelligence; data management and curation; computer vision; computer-mediated communication and learning; natural language processing; social networking; human computer interfaces; dark networks; computational art creation; eCommerce, eGovernment, and eHealth; computational music; library sciences; educational and entertainment technologies; and much more.

We are preparing our graduates to be the doers, thinkers, solvers, and game-changers, not only of the problems and opportunities we see now, but also of the myriad scenarios we can’t yet imagine but are sure to arise during our students’ lifetimes.

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences  
Campuses where offered
Main Campus - Tucson UA Online  
Admissions Contact
Barb Vandervelde
Graduate Program Coordinator
Kathryn Chavez
Director of Graduate Studies
Martin H Fricke
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Kristi R Davenport
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

The School of Information applies the same minimum criteria as it does for the Master of Arts in Library and Information Science.

  • a bachelor's degree from an accredited school/institution
  • a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

All students are required to complete certificate coursework within 4 years.

If you are not a current student in the School of Information, Master of Arts in Library and Information Science program, please carefully read the minimum requirements to apply for certificate admission.

Please complete this online application for admission to the Graduate College with a $85 application fee.  As part of the online application, you are required to submit the following materials.  Please do not email or mail these materials to the School of Information or Graduate College.  These materials are inputted into your online application:

  • Upload unofficial transcripts from ALL higher education institutions attended in ‘Supplemental Questions’ section;
  • Upload a current resumé or curriculum vitae (CV) in the ‘Supplemental Questions’ section;
  • Write a 750-1000 word written statement of introduction and interest in the program in the ‘Supplemental Questions’ section;
  • Provide email addresses and contact information for two (2) recommenders in the ‘Letters of Recommendation’ section.

Please email official e-Transcripts to directly from the institution or mail one (1) official transcript to the following address (do not send to the Graduate College).  Official transcripts from ALL higher education institutions attended are required.

School of Information
The University of Arizona
Harvill 409
1103 E 2nd Street
Tucson, AZ 85721

If you are a current student in the Master of Arts in Library and Information Science program and meet the minimum requirements for this certificate, please submit the following:

  • Complete and submit a GradApp application;
  • Write a 750-1000 word written statement of introduction and interest in the program in the ‘Supplemental Questions’ section;
  • Unofficial transcripts, a current resume, and letters of recommendation are not required for current students.  Write ‘NA’ for these fields, and submit the application.

Both the application and written statement will be reviewed by the Certificate Coordinator for a decision.  Please contact Barb Vandervelde at 520-621-3567 or with questions.

Standardized Tests

No standardized tests required.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid Opportunities are available for students completing a certificate program through UAOnline.  Please contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OFSA) for more information.

There are funding opportunities available through the School of Information, if completing both a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science and a certificate program.  Please see the School of Information Graduate Funding Page for information and deadlines to apply:

Admissions Deadlines

Admission Deadlines:

Fall Semester: February 1

Spring Semester: September 15

Summer Semester: March 15


International Admission Deadlines:

Fall Semester: February 1

Spring Semester: September 1

Summer Semester: March 1

International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

The certificate will require 18 credit hours.  Nine (9) credits will consist of required core courses plus a required internship of 3 credits.  The remaining 6 credits will be chosen from electives approved by the School of Information.

Required Courses [9 credits]:

  • LIS 589: Scholarly Communication (3 units)
    Structure and workings of scholarly communication and products in the U.S. Examines the content and technology of scholarly communication in various disciplines.
  • LAW 689: Advanced Legal Research (3 units)
    This course is designed to build on the knowledge and skills students have gained in previous course work and through working in the legal field. Basic research methods will be reviewed in the first part of the course. We will then examine more advanced research topics, such as administrative law research, advanced statutory research, legislative history and practice materials. The goal of this course is to assist students in making the transition from researching in the academic setting to researching in a practice environment.
  • LIS 693: Internship (minimum of 3 units; maximum of 6 units)
    Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

Choose One [3 credits]:

  • LIS 572: Government Information: Policy and Resources (3 units) 
    The U.S. government collects, generates, publishes and distributes a vast amount and variety of information. All information professionals-even those who do not intend to specialize as government document librarians-should understand the organization of and promote access to this body of work. In this course, lectures, discussions, and readings will acquaint students with theoretical and practical knowledge. The assignments will provide opportunities for deeper exploration of government information policies and resources.
  • LIS 584: Introduction to Copyright (3 units)
    Introduces the basics of copyright law and fair use, also discusses the theoretical foundations and history of copyright and the public domain. These issues are placed within a broader multicultural and international context. By the end of the course students will: (a) know the basics of copyright law and fair use as they apply to libraries and related information services, and (b) understand the importance of balancing the rights of intellectual property owners with the societal need for a robust public domain.

Electives [3-6 credits]:

  • LIS 518: Information Quality (3 units)
  • LIS 532: Online Searching (3 units)
  • LIS 575: User Interface and Website Design (3 units)
  • LIS 651: Information Policy and Cultural Perspectives
  • LIS 671: Introduction to Digital Collections (3 units)
  • LIS 672: Introduction to Applied Technology (3 units)
  • LIS 673: Managing the Digital Environment (3 units)
  • IRLS 681E: Law Library Practice & Admin (3 units)

Please note: Other elective courses may be approved by the Certificate Advisor, Dr. Bruce Fulton.

Minor Requirements

No minor requirements.

Student Handbook  
Persistent link:
Last revised 18 Nov 2019