Syracuse University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Syracuse University

School of Information Studies

Syracuse, New York


The distance learning programs offered by the School of Information Studies combine online courses with brief on-campus residencies. Distance learning students begin their first year in July with a six-day required on-campus residency. During the fall and spring semesters, students take online courses. Some of these courses may require an initial two-day on-campus residency. During the fall semester, these residencies are held Labor Day weekend. During the spring semester, they are held Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. Library and information science students can expect to return to campus one or two times during their program. During the residencies, students are trained on the technology that allows them to complete their courses over the Internet, and they complete activities that are easier to accomplish face-to-face, e.g., hands-on labs and group activities. During these times, they also meet and bond with their cohort group and network with each other and faculty members.

Students in the distance learning programs come from across the United States and from several other countries. They range in age from their 20s through their 60s. Many are already working in the information field, but some are looking for a career change. The rich backgrounds of the students make each incoming class a dynamic group.


The School of Information Studies uses a Web-based teaching and learning environment called WebCT. Each distance learning course has its own space within WebCT, which typically includes the syllabus, lectures, a forum for class discussions, and a place to submit assignments. Students are not required to be online at a specific time. They can log in and complete their assignments whenever it is convenient for them, as long as they meet course deadlines.


Three graduate degrees are offered in the distance learning format: Master of Science in information management, in library and information science, and in telecommunications and network management. Graduate certificates of advanced study in information security management, information systems and telecommunications management, digital libraries, and school media are also offered.

The Master of Science in information management program is interdisciplinary in focus, combining expertise in the strategic management of information resources, organizational psychology, information economics, telecommunications policy, e-business, and information technology as well as data management and retrieval. New information and Internet-based technologies are revolutionizing the structure and operation of organizations to enable integrated business processes. Corporate profitability and effective delivery of public services are at stake. Staying competitive and productive in business and government demands a strategic response to the changes and innovations evolving from the computer, communications, and information processing industries.

Syracuse University is a medium-sized, private, coeducational university with an international reputation. Founded in 1870, it is a comprehensive research university that has eleven degree-granting schools and colleges and several interdisciplinary and continuing education programs. The University's 640-acre, beautifully landscaped campus is situated among the hills of central New York State.

The School of Information Studies was the first information school in the nation. It is a leading center for innovative programs in information policy, information behavior, information management, information systems, information technology, and information services. The School has professional degree programs at the undergraduate and master's levels and a research degree at the doctoral level. The School's approach stands out from other institutions that offer computer science, management, information science, and related programs in that, as a starting point for integrating information and information technology into organizations, the focus is on users and their information needs.

The Master of Science in Library and Information Science (LIS) program educates students to be leaders in the ever-evolving library and information profession. The program focuses on twenty-first century librarianship within libraries, information centers, the information industry, and other venues. The LIS program is accredited by the American Library Association and is ranked third in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The Master of Science in telecommunications and network management (TNM) program combines an understanding of networking technologies with knowledge of their applications in organizations. The TNM degree is a selective 36-credit-hour program that provides students with the skills to design networks, make technology adoption and standards decisions, create cost models for new technology implementations, calculate return on investment, and understand the organizational and user implications of networking systems.


All students are provided with free computer accounts and have access to the Syracuse University library and computer facilities. Online students have access to a help desk for technical problems. All distance students at Syracuse have access to a full range of online student services, including academic advising, financial aid, assistance, and registration.

During the summer semester, housing is available in Syracuse University residence halls. Students can stay in single or double rooms equipped with a microwave and refrigerator. Meal plans are not provided during the summer sessions, although dining halls and restaurants are within walking distance of campus. During the fall and spring semesters, discounted rates are available at hotels located within walking distance of the University.


On the graduate level, there is no provision for experiential credit. However, 6 credits may be transferred from other accredited graduate programs, with a grade of C or better.


Members of the School of Information Studies faculty teach in both the online and on-campus formats. The faculty combines expertise in information systems, linguistics, computer science, business management, management information systems, library science, telecommunications, and communication. The faculty members are very active in research topics that reflect their diverse intellectual backgrounds and interests.


All applicants to graduate programs at Syracuse University must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The School of Information Studies recommends that applicants have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better. However, in reviewing applications, all elements are weighed: references, educational record, test scores, honors, work experience, and the statement on academic plans.


Distance learning students pay the same tuition rate as on-campus students. In 2003–04, tuition was $742 per credit. Tuition payment options for payment plans, company direct billing, and employer tuition deferrals are available for distance learning students.

Summer housing on campus costs approximately $100 to $150 per week. Housing in local hotels for fall and spring semester residencies costs approximately $60 to $130 per night. Students should also consider textbook, computer, Internet, and travel expenses.


Students must be U.S. citizens to qualify for need-based financial aid. The Financial Aid Office administers a variety of financial aid programs for distance learning students, including Federal Family Education Loan Programs, University College Grants, and Veterans' Education Benefit Programs. A few merit-based scholarships are available through the School of Information Studies.


School of Information Studies
Syracuse University
4-206 Center for Science and Technology
Syracuse, New York 13244-4100
Telephone: 315-443-2911
Fax: 315-443-5673
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:


Students are encouraged to submit their applications by February 15 for priority admission to the distance learning program. Applications are accepted on a space-available basis through June 1. There are two application methods: online and paper. Use of the online application method is encouraged.

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Syracuse University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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