Department ofLibrary and Information Science

Master of Library Science Online Degree

The Master of Library Science program, accredited by the American Library Association (ALA-MLS) is the entry degree for a professional librarian, universally required for professionals in academic libraries; essential for leadership in public libraries; provides valuable information and management skills for people who advance information connections in a variety of organizations, public, private, and non-profit.

Graduates of this program work as professionals in departments or organizations that manage information:

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) program prepares students to become reflective practitioners who connect people and communities with information. Upon completion of the M.L.S. program, graduates are prepared to:

Approach Professional Issues with Understanding

  • Understand the social, political, ethical, and legal aspects of information creation, access, ownership, service, and communication
  • Anticipate emerging trends and respond proactively

Assist and Educate Users

  • Analyze and identify the information needs of diverse communities of users
  • Educate users and potential users to locate, use, and evaluate information resources and tools
  • Analyze and evaluate information systems and services in a variety of settings

Develop and Manage Collections of Information Resources

  • Design and apply policies and procedures that support the selection and acquisition of information resources for particular communities of users
  • Manage, evaluate, and preserve physical and virtual collections of information resources
  • Uphold ethical and legal standards in acquiring, leasing, preserving, and providing access to information resources

Manage and Lead Libraries and Other Information Organizations

  • Perform basic managerial functions, including planning, budgeting, and performance evaluation
  • Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences
  • Apply theories of organizational behavior and structure

Represent and Organize Information Resources

  • Understand and apply principles of representation and organization

Use Research Effectively

  • Design, conduct, interpret, and take action based upon research and evaluation

Deploy Information Technologies in Effective and Innovative Ways

  • Implement and evaluate information and communication technologies for efficiency, usability, and value to users

Research Opportunities

Students in our program have the chance to learn and work alongside faculty in exciting research areas such as:

Degree Options

There are many ways for you to earn your Master of Library Science degree. You can add a specialization or combine your M.L.S. degree with a graduate degree from another field of study to expand your career options.

All courses offered through the Department of Library and Information Science may be completed online.

Plans of Study with a Specialization

Dual Degrees

The programs described below are those where both programs have agreed to share some courses and reduce the total number of credits below what would be required to do both degrees independently.

Plan of Study without a Specialization

A candidate for the Master of Library Science degree must complete 36 credit hours of graduate course work, all of which must be taken from the Department of Library and Information Science. A maximum of 6 graduate credit hours from another ALA-accredited master’s degree program may, with the permission of the chair, be applied to the M.L.S. degree.

Your course of study builds a foundation in five areas of librarianship, then allows you to work with your adviser to choose advanced elective courses to develop the knowledge and skills for your career.

Prerequisite (3 cr.)

Students must complete LIS S401 Computer-Based Information Tools or be approved for a waiver before the completion of 9 credit hours. This course does not count towards the 36 credit hours required for graduation.

Foundation (15 cr.)

Choose one course from each area:

Assist and Educate Users of Libraries and Information Centers
Develop and Manage Library Collections
Organize and Represent Information Resources
Apply Management and Leadership Skills
Conduct and Analyze Research

Electives (21 cr.)

May include up to 3 credit hours of internships, up to 6 credit hours of LIS workshops and up to 6 credits (with advisor approval) of SOIC coursework from other departments.