About the School of Library and Information Science

ALA seal of accreditation


Mission Statement:  The mission of the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) is to prepare qualified individuals for professional roles in libraries, archives, and other information environments with appropriate knowledge and skills to serve the information needs of their communities. 


Values: The School of Library and Information Science is committed to:

  • Student-centered learning: We are committed to cultivating an active, student-centered learning community
  • Diversity: We recognize and value the diversity of modern society and support inclusiveness in learning.
  • Intellectual freedom: We embrace the ideals of intellectual and academic freedom and strive to nurture an open, respectful learning environment for the free exchange of ideas.
  • Service: Because we believe that it is a core of the profession, we support service at all levels and encourage ongoing professional development as a means of enhancing skills and knowledge.
  • Community: We believe in creating, fostering, and participating in learning and research communities that span borders on state, national, and international levels.
  • Research: We believe that research is an essential part of scholarship, not just for the creation of new knowledge but also for the support of teaching and learning and the sharing of new knowledge with multiple communities of interest.

We are an American Library Association accredited Master of Library Science program; we are one of only about 60 such programs in North America and we are one of a few entirely online ALA programs in the country. Our 40 graduate credit hour program does not require physical residence in Mississippi, but each course does have required real-time sessions in virtual classrooms. Currently students enrolled in Southern Mississippi online programs pay in-state tuition regardless of location. We offer courses in archives, cataloging, reference, collection development, management, research, digital libraries, as well as courses in Internet resources, computer applications, information ethics, multicultural resources, history of the book and more!  Read more on Accreditation.

For undergraduate students we offer the bachelor's degree in library and information science (B.S.) as well as a minor in LIS. 

The ALA accredited master's degree is the professional degree in the field of library and information science; the course work prepares you for diverse opportunities in this information age. If you are interested in either program email slis@usm.edu, or call 601-266-4228 for additional information.