Skip navigation

School of Library and Information Science

Graduate Programs

Page Content

ALA AccreditedMaster of Library and Information Science (MLIS) Online

  • Fully online program with no on-campus requirements
  • Accredited by ALA and CAEP
  • Evening classes meet in virtual classrooms
  • Required courses offered in fall and spring, many in summer
  • British Studies offered each summer in London.


MLIS Required Courses (25 credit hours):

  • LIS 500-LIS Orientation (*1 credit hour)
  • LIS 501-Reference and Information Sources
  • LIS 505-Cataloging and Classification
  • LIS 511-Collection Development and Management
  • LIS 605-Library Management
  • LIS 668-LIS Research Methods
  • LIS 695 Master's Research Project

LIS 636--Foundations of Librarianship is recommended for those with no library experience.

Graduate Certificates do not require additional hours, but require an additional capstone experience.

Electives (15 credit hours) - students may select from a range of elective courses ranging from children's literature to information technology to archival theory and practice. One of the five electives must be a technology course: LIS 516, 557, or 558.

Successful completion of the comprehensive exam in LIS 695 is required to receive the master's degree. Students with little or no library experience are encouraged to take an archival practicum (LIS 648) and/or library practicum (LIS 689).

Degree Track Requirements and Recommended Electives: (PDF

MLIS Plans of Study


Professional Licensure Disclosure

The curriculum for a number of degree programs at Southern Miss have been designed to meet the licensure/certification requirements in Mississippi, and prepare students to sit for licensure exams in Mississippi. The various licensure boards in each state are responsible for setting requirements for licensure/certification in their state. Distance students with intent of returning or moving to any state other than Mississippi should be aware of the unique requirements for that state.

MLIS with School Licensure emphasis (AA Level)

To obtain a public school license following completion of this program, students may first obtain school licensure in Mississippi then apply for a license in their state of residence if it allows for reciprocity. Each state has specific requirements for licensure: some examples of additional requirements are additional coursework, distinct test scores, and criminal background checks. We are unable to determine if this program would lead to licensure in states other than Mississippi.

For questions regarding licensure, contact the state Department of Education listed at

To request consideration for recommendation for AA School Librarian licensure in Mississippi, contact the School Director. Students who plan to use the master's degree in library and information science for Class AA licensure should complete the following recommended courses in addition to the MLIS required core courses:

  • LIS 589: School Library Practicum with or instead of LIS 511: Collection Development
  • LIS 508: School Libraries
  • LIS 516: Technology in the School Library
  • LIS 607: School Library and the Curriculum
  • Choose two of the following three courses: LIS 517: Children's Literature, LIS 518: Young Adult Literature, or LIS 590: Library Instruction.

Supplemental Endorsement for School Library Licensure (AA Level for those with MLIS or other master's degree)

SLIS offers a 21-credit hour Supplemental Endorsement to add to an existing teaching credential. If interested in the endorsement, contact Dr.%20Stacy%20Creel.

Required Courses: 21 Credits

  • LIS 505: Cataloging and Classification (prerequisite)
  • LIS 511: Collection Development and/or LIS 589: School Library Practicum
  • LIS 508: School Libraries
  • LIS 516: Technology in the School Library
  • Choose two: LIS 517: Children's Literature, LIS 518: Young Adult Literature, or LIS 590: Library Instruction.
  • LIS 607: School Library and the Curriculum


Graduate Certificates

Students may earn a graduate certificate along with the MLIS or post MLIS. Twelve credit hours of LIS credit may count toward both MLIS and LIS certificate if earned together:

Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections

Graduate Certificate in Youth Services and Literature



Course Descriptions

500. Library and Information Science Orientation. 1 hr. An orientation to the School of Library and Information Science MLIS program and to librarianship in general.

501. Reference and Information Sources. 3 hrs. An introduction to reference materials, services, activities, and functions, as well as methods for locating information.

505. Cataloging and Classification. 3 hrs. Principles and methods of cataloging and classifying library materials. Provides practice in bibliographical description and subject analysis.

506. Cataloging Multimedia Objects. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 505. Study of the principles and methods of descriptive and subject cataloging and classification of multimedia materials.

508. School Libraries. 3 hrs. Study of the development and administration of school libraries.

511. Collection Development and Management. 3 hrs. Philosophy and principles governing the selection and procurement of all types of library materials, including the use of selection aids and bibliographic sources for developing both print and nonprint collections.

516. Technology in the School Library. 3 hrs. A survey of technology utilized in elementary and secondary school libraries.

517. Children's Literature and Related Media. 3 hrs. A survey of children's literature, traditional and modern, and other related materials for use by and with children from birth to grade 6.

518. Young Adult Literature and Related Media. 3 hrs. Study of adolescent literature and other related materials for use by and with young people of grades 7-12.

519. Programs and Services for Youth. 3 hrs. Introduction to programming for youth and its relation to learning and libraries.

528. Storytelling. 3 hrs. A study of oral tradition in a variety of settings with emphasis upon selection of stories and the art and techniques of storytelling. Provides practice in storytelling.

533. History of the Book. 3 hrs. A study of the origins and early development of books and printing in Western Europe and the Americas.

540. Information Ethics. 3 hrs. Introduces ethical issues specifically related to information professions and information technology.

545SL. Sources of Information for a Multicultural Society. 3 hrs. Overview of the diversity of information resources available in print and other media for a multicultural society and the diversity of information utilization by that society.

557. Information Technology and Libraries. 3 hrs. Examines various applications and contexts in which computers and other forms of information technology are utilized in different types of information centers and libraries.

558. Web Design and Evaluation. 3 hrs. Introduces principles of Web design and development including basic HTML and XML coding, Web usability, and evaluation of Web sites including library Web sites.

575. Library and Information Science Seminar. 1 hr. Alternating topics related to library and information science.

580CA. British Studies: British Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections. 3 hrs. Comparative or historical studies of library and information institutions, collections, models of service, or professional practice in the United Kingdom.

581CA. British Studies: Seminar in Children's and Young Adult Literature. 3 hrs. Intensive study of specific topics of British interests in literature for children and adolescents.

586CA. British Studies: Historical Studies in Children's Literature. 3 hrs. Traces the development of children's literature in England and the United States to the early 20th century.

587CA. British Studies: Research. 3 hrs. To provide the opportunity for in-depth research projects using the resources of metropolitan London and/or the United Kingdom.

589. School Library Practicum. 1-3 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 508 and LIS 516 or the consent of the advisor. Provides an opportunity for supervised practice in school libraries.

590. Library Instruction. 3 hrs. Study of principles and methods of information literacy and bibliographic instruction in libraries.

605. Library Management. 3 hrs. Analysis of administrative theory and principles of management in libraries.

607. School Library and the Curriculum. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 508. Examines the relationship of the library program in the school curriculum, with emphasis on the role of the school librarian.

609. Seminar in Library Management. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 605. Survey of the problems in the management of library programs such as planning, organizing, staffing, funding, or use of evaluation standards.

629. Studies in Children's Literature. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 517 or 518. Advanced study and evaluation of children's literature and publishing trends in the field.

631. History of Libraries and Librarianship. 3 hrs. A study of the origins and development of modern public, academic, and school libraries as well as the development of librarianship as a modern profession.

634. History of Children's Literature. 3 hrs. Traces the development of children's literature in England and the United States to the early 20th century.

636. Foundations of Librarianship. 3 hrs. Examines the history and present state of librarianship and the ethics, values, and issues of the profession.

640. Academic Libraries. 3 hrs. The development and administration of the academic library.

641SL. Public Libraries. 3 hrs. The development and administration of the public library. Problems in public library services.

642. Special Libraries. 3 hrs. The development and administration of special libraries serving businesses, institutions, and government agencies.

645. Digital Preservation. 3 hrs. A comprehensive overview of digital preservation from conceptual understandings to crucial issues of planning, developing and managing digital collections.

646. Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice. 3 hrs. Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice. 3 hrs. An introduction to the basic concepts and theory related to the acquisition, processing, organization, and preservation of archival materials and special collections..

647. Introduction to Archival Organization. 3 hrs. Basic instruction on the organization, arrangement, and description of materials of archival significance.

648. Archival Practicum. 2-4 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 647 or the consent of the advisor. Provides an opportunity for supervised practice in special collections and archival operations.

649. Preservation of Documentary Materials. 3 hrs. The care and preservation of documentary materials in their various formats including techniques for conservation, preservation, and restoration.

651. Fundamentals of Information Science. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: LIS 501, LIS 505, LIS 511 with "B" or better, or permission of instructor. Examines the evolution of information science, communication and information theory, information organization and retrieval, and bibliometrics. Recommended that it not be taken concurrently with LIS 668.

652. Metadata for Digital Collections. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 505. An overview of metadata as it applies to digital resources in libraries, archives, and museums.

653. Library and Information Database Systems. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: LIS 505 and LIS 557. Foundation of constructing library and information databases, impacts of bibliographic standards, library functions and interconnectedness on these database applications, and evaluation and measurement.

654. E-Resources Management. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 557 and LIS 605 or permission of the instructor. Planning, implementation, and management of electronic resources in various library and information settings.

656. Online Information Retrieval. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 501. Applications and issues related to the online resources currently available.

664. Government Resources and Publications. 3 hrs. Study of local, state, and federal government resources, publications, and bibliographic organization.

667. Health Informatics. 3 hrs. Provides an overview of health informatics concepts and tools.

668. Research Methods in Library and Information Science. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: LIS 501, LIS 505, LIS 511 with "B" or better. Survey of scientific research methods and their application to the field of library and information science. Cannot enroll in LIS 668 and LIS 695 during the same semester.

670. Topics in Services to Library Clientele. 3 hrs. The role of libraries in meeting informational and recreational needs of library users, lifelong learning, services to special groups, and popular culture collections.

675. Seminar: Topics in Organization of Materials. 3 hrs. Alternating topics, including indexing, abstracting, advanced database tools, metadata, digital libraries, and other related topics.

689. Library Practicum. 2-4 hrs. Prerequisite: Permission of the practicum coordinator. Provides an opportunity for supervised practice in a library.

691. Research in Library Science. 1-6 hrs. Prerequisite: Permission of director. Independent research on an approved topic.

692. Special Problems. 1-3 hrs. An independent problem study to be approved by the director.

694. Field Problems. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: Permission of director. Practical experiences in dealing with problem situations in the field and related institutional settings.

695. Master's Research Project. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: Completed all required courses LIS 501, 505, 511, 605, 636, 651, 668 with minimum B, no Incompletes on transcript, completed at least three approved LIS electives prior to enrollment. Original research project and paper dealing with a specific problem or issue in the field of library and information science under faculty supervision.

697. Independent Study and Research. Hours arranged. Not to be counted as credit toward a degree. Students actively working on a thesis, consulting with the major professor, or using other resources of the university may enroll in this course.

698. Thesis for Students in Dual Master's Program. 3-6 hrs. Students in dual master's program with library science should enroll in this course to complete their LIS thesis requirements. Requires permission of director.


ONLINE = Courses taught completely online
ARR = Arranged, special permission courses, individual, with special requirements