Library and Information Science

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I start the MLIS right away?

You must apply to the graduate program and to the School of Library and Information Science. Admission is NOT automatic.

Graduate Admission Procedure
Applicants must submit the appropriate materials to the Office of Graduate Studies and to the School of Library and Information Science. Applicants must apply to departments separately.
The following application materials are to be sent to The University of Southern Mississippi's Office of Graduate Admissions (118 College Drive #10066, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001). Admission is NOT automatic.

  • Graduate application form. The form may be filled out online or you may download the form and fax or mail materials to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate colleges or universities attended. You must have completed your undergraduate degree.
  • Official reports of test scores. An official copy of your GRE scores must be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. You must submit scores for all three sections: verbal, quantitative, and writing.
  • Application fee of $25.

The following application materials are to be sent to the School of Library and Information Science (118 College Drive # 5146, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001). Admission is NOT automatic.

  • Three sealed letters of recommendation. Even if you have applied to the Office of Graduate Admissions online, you are still required to download a Letter of Recommendation form to supply each of your evaluators (a minimum of three.)
  • SLIS Student Questionnaire. (departmental application form and an opportunity to inform the department of your interest in an assistantship)
  • Curriculum Vitae (Resume)
  • Letter of Application. The letter should address your interest in librarianship and any qualities you possess that you believe would make you an attribute to the program.

2. Where can I find information about taking the GRE?

To be considered for admission in the School of Library and Information Science and the Office of Graduate Studies of The University of Southern Mississippi, you must submit GRE scores. You must take all three parts: verbal, quantitative, and writing. If you have never taken the GRE or would like to retake the GRE, you can visit the GRE Web site.

If I have already taken the GRE, do I have to take it again?
If you have previously taken the GRE, you may ask that the scores be sent to The University of Southern Mississippi, or you may choose to retake the GRE and have the new scores sent to Southern Miss. If you would like to have your scores sent to The University of Southern Mississippi call the GRE testing center at 1-888-473-7267.

If I already have a doctorate or a master's degree, do I still have to have GRE scores?
To be considered for admission to the graduate program and to the School of Library and Information Science, you must submit GRE scores. The GRE cannot be waived.

3. What is your cost of attendance (tuition)?

For most current costs, check the Business Services web pages. Tuition and fee costs may change over time without notice. The LIS online fee is $80 per course.If you are taking all of your courses online you are exempt from out-of-state tuition fees.
Students are responsible for books, supplies, room, and board. For additional information about current tuition rates, please contact Business Services, The University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive #5133, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001, or 601-266-4137.

4. Does the program only start in the fall, or is it possible to enroll in the spring or summer?

At this time, you may apply during fall, spring or summer. However, we do have a limited number of seats available. Submitting an application does not guarantee admission.

5. Is the Master's of Library and Information Science program available completely online?

It is possible to complete the MLIS online. The required courses and a number of elective courses are made available in rotation. All the courses are NOT offered online every semester. Courses are offered in a semester format, and start and end with the normal Southern Miss semester. It will take longer to complete the MLIS entirely online than on campus. All online courses require real-time chat participation.


6. Do I have to attend the Hattiesburg campus to fulfill my requirements for the online MLIS program?

The School of Library and Information Science does not currently require any on-site attendance to fulfill requirements to receive an MLIS online.

7. Will you consider accepting any courses from my previous master's program?

We will not accept credits used to obtain another degree. You may request to transfer a maximum of 6 graduate credit hours from another accredited institution that have NOT been used to obtain another degree. Each transfer decision is individual. Do not assume a course will transfer. You will need to provide the syllabus and official transcript for the course(s) that you are requesting to transfer.

8. Can I get my master's degree in Library Science if I received my bachelor's in another discipline?

Yes, you can get your MLIS while having your undergraduate degree in another area.

9. How many classes can I take at a time?

We rotate the online courses in the schedule, which may limit how many courses are available online at a given time. We recommend taking no more than two courses at a time if you are working full time of have other high demand commitments.

10. How long will it take me to complete the MLIS degree if I only take two classes at a time?

You will need to complete 39 credit hours, 21 hours of required courses, 15 hours of electives and the three-hour master's project. If you attend all three semesters, fall, spring and summer, you could finish 18 hours in one year. This would total two years and one semester (for your master's project).

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