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Library and Information Science - Master's

Availability: Online Options

Interested in earning an ALA-accredited MLIS degree online?

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.

SLIS has been ALA-accredited since 1980. At the last review by the ALA Committee on Accreditation (COA) in 2012, ALA Accreditation status was continued and the next accreditation review by ALA COA is scheduled for spring 2019.

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3Degree Options
1Study-Abroad Opportunity in London
3Program-Specific Scholarships

What Will I Learn?

Educational Goals for MLIS Students

  • Knowledge of and commitment to ethical practices
  • Professional practice and training experiences
  • Knowledge of the LIS literature
  • Engagement in research
  • Technical competency

Students are required to submit either GRE scores or Miller Analogies Test scores. Those with a graduate degree may request a test score waiver. Three letters of recommendation by professionals on letterhead stationary are required as well as an essay on why the student is interested in earning an MLIS degree, and an updated resume. Mississippi residents must provide proof of MMR immunization.

The MLIS degree requires 25 hours of core courses and 15 hours of elective courses, with one of the electives being a technology-focused course. If a student earns an MLIS degree and a graduate certificate together, up to 12 credit hours can count towards both. Online students do not pay out-of-state fees but pay the same tuition as residents.

MLIS students with little or no library experience are strongly encouraged to complete a library or archival practicum. Students earning the archival certificate must complete 150 practicum hours in an archive or special collection.

MLIS students are required to conduct research in two required courses, a bibliometric research paper in LIS 651, and a master's research project in LIS 695. Students earning an archival certificate are required to complete an archival paper.

There are 3 USM scholarships specifically for MLIS students: a $500 LIS Scholarship, two $1,000 Wilson Foundation Scholarships, and two $1800 Molline Mayfield Keyes Scholarships.

SLIS offers 6 credit hours of study-abroad credit in British Studies each summer in London.

Each spring, SLIS sponsors the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival and students have the opportunity to volunteer to work at the festival in return for waiving registration fees.

SLIS Graduate Faculty

SLIS graduate faculty all have Ph.D. degrees from a variety of accredited universities and they are all accomplished scholars. Most have received letters of commendation from USM President Bennett; three faculty members (Drs. Creel, Griffis, Welsh) received teaching awards and one, Dr. Bomhold, received an award for service. Each faculty member has specific research interests, but all want our students to succeed and to make a difference in their communities.


  • Academic Librarian
  • School Librarian
  • Archivist
  • Special Librarian (Medical or Legal)
  • Public Librarian
  • Government Librarian
  • Lauren Ashley Howell (MLIS, Archival Certificate, 2017),
    Metadata Librarian George Mason University Library Fairfax, VA
  • Tiffany Riggins (MLIS, Archival Certificate, Youth Services Certificate, 2016), 
    Teen Librarian  Helen Hall Public Library  Houston, TX
  • Stephen Parks, J.D. (MLIS, 2013), 
    State Librarian  State of Mississippi, Mississippi Supreme Court Jackson, MS
  • Nadia Nasr (MLIS, 2005), 
    Head of Archives & Special Collections  Santa Clara University Library  Santa Clara, CA
  • Tamara Nelson (MLIS, 2009),
    Instructor/Reference Librarian University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson, MS
  • Cynthia Sturgis Landrum, Ph.D. (MLIS, 2006),
    Director Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library Evansville, IN