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.


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

To be considered for admission for graduate courses, you must submit GRE General Test scores or Miller Analogies scores. If you have never taken the GRE or would like to retake the GRE, you can visit the GRE Web site or see Your Guide to Taking the GRE. Information on the MAT and links to registration can be found at Pearson’s website (here). A listing of MAT testing centers by state is available (here).


3. 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 Southern Miss Graduate School, or you may choose to retake the GRE and have the new scores sent to Southern Miss. If you would like to have your previous scores sent to The University of Southern Mississippi call the GRE testing center at 1-888-473-7267. Information on MAT scoring and score reporting can be found here .


4. If I already have a doctorate or a master's degree, do I still have to have GRE scores? 

If you already have a graduate degree, you may request a waiver of the test score requirements from the SLIS Director, Dr. Teresa Welsh at


5. Ok, I've turned in all of my information, now what do I do?  

Your application will be reviewed by the admissions committee AFTER all your application materials are received in the school. If you are admitted, you will be notified by letter of your admission to the program, your adviser, and your starting semester. 


6. Is the MLIS Program offered at your institution accredited? 

We offer a Master of Library and Information Science degree accredited by the American Library Association. See Accreditation for more information. 


7. What programs are offered at your institution?

We offer:

•Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Science and an undergrad minor in LIS

•Master of Library and Information Science

•Master of Library and Information Science with School Library Licensure emphasis (AA level) 

•Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections 

•Graduate Certificate in Youth Services and Literature

•Dual Master of Library and Information Science and Instructional Technology*

•Dual Master of History and Library and Information Science 

•Dual Master of Anthropology and Library and Information Science 

•Dual Master of Political Science and Library and Information Science 

  *Only the dual MLIS/IT program is available all online. 


8. How many hours are required for the master's degree? 

You must complete 40 credit hours, twenty-one (22) hours of required courses, fifteen (15) hours of electives and a three-hour master's project. Students seeking licensure must complete 40 credit hours of required courses. 


9. 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. Currently, you do not have to pay the out-of-state tuition fee for entirely online courses. 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.


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

Students may apply and begin their classes during fall, spring or summer.


11. I would like some information on the twenty-two-hour (22) endorsement program for the school library media specialist program. What do I need to do? 

The MLIS with school licensure emphasis and the school licensure endorsement program are not guaranteed to meet the licensure requirements of other states.  Students are responsible for verifying that the program of study meets their desired state's licensure requirements.


12. Where do I go to find information about your dual-degree masters programs with Anthropology, History, Political Science, and IT?

See Dual Master's Programs, or consult the most recent Graduate Bulletin for The University of Southern Mississippi. Note: only the MLIS portion of the dual degree is available online except for the new dual MLIS/IT MS, which is the first dual master's degree available online. 


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

Yes. The required courses and a number of elective courses are made available in rotation.  Courses are offered in a semester format, and start and end with the normal Southern Miss semester. All online courses require real-time chat participation. 


14. What other programs do you offer online? 

The School of Library and Information Science offers the LIS BS program and LIS minor, MLIS program, MLIS with school licensure emphasis, the School Library Supplemental Endorsement, the Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections and the Graduate Certificate in Youth Services and Literature, all available online.


15. 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. 


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

We will not accept credits used to obtain another degree. You may ask to transfer a maximum of 6 graduate credit hours from another ALA-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. 


17. 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 with an undergraduate degree in another area. 


18. Can I obtain my bachelor's in library science online? 



19. Can I enroll for courses even if I am not interested in obtaining a master's degree from the School of Library and Information Science

We will accommodate your request pending available seats. Contact the school to be advised as a non degree student. 


20. 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 or have other high demand commitments. 


21. 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 40 credit hours. 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). 


22. Why is your class size limited? I thought online courses could handle thousands? 

Our classes involve students with faculty. There are real-time chats, weekly chat meetings, discussion board assignments, reading and writing assignments, basically a class taught in cyberspace. In order to properly serve our students, we limit the number of seats in our classes to ensure the faculty member can interact appropriately with the students. These are not correspondence courses. They are semester-length courses taught within a typical semester structure. The courses are NOT "come when you please and do what you like." If you are looking for a grade for enrolling, then do not apply to Southern Miss. You will have to earn a grade. It will require long hours on your part, just like face-to-face graduate classes. 


23. I just want to take a couple of courses to see if this is what I want to do. Can I do that? 

Contact the school to be advised as a non-degree student. 


24. What if I cannot find the answer to my question here? 

If you still have questions, please e-mail us at or call (601) 266-4228.