Master of Library and Information Science

The School of Library and Information Science offers the MLIS degree online; classes meet each week in virtual classrooms. 

Library and Information Science (MLIS)

The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program is flexible, allowing a balance of required courses and elective courses in order to meet the individual needs of each student. The MLIS degree is conferred upon students who have met the following requirements:

  • Earned 40* semester hours of credit consisting of 22 hours of required courses, 15 hours of general electives, and three hours of the master's project
  • Completed a minimum of 18 hours at the 600-level courses
  • Maintained a 3.00 cumulative grade point average
  • Received no grade below a C and no more than one C
  • Completed the graduate program within five years

Required Courses (22 credit hours) - The required courses provide a conceptual basis for understanding basic functions in all types of libraries and information centers.

The required courses are as follows:

  • LIS 500-LIS Orientation (*1 credit hour required for students starting fall 2012 and after)
  • LIS 501-Reference and Information Sources 
  • LIS 505-Cataloging and Classification
  • LIS 511-Collection Development and Management
  • LIS 605-Library Management
  • LIS 636-Foundations of Librarianship
  • LIS 651-Fundamentals of Information Science
  • LIS 668-LIS Research Methods

Electives (15 credit hours) Electives provide the student an opportunity to pursue an area of emphasis and to build upon the foundation of the required courses. Students may select from more than 40 elective courses in library and information science, ranging from children's literature to computers to archives administration. One of the electives must be a technology course: LIS 516, 557, or 558.

LIS 695 Master's Project (3 credit hours) - Additionally, all students are required to complete a significant research project.

During the semester the master's project proposal is submitted students take a comprehensive exam. Successful completion of the project and the comprehensive exam are required to receive the master's degree.

Field Experience and practical work experience in a library or other information center significantly complement the intellectual and theoretical focus of traditional coursework. Students are encouraged to include in the graduate curriculum a practicum or field experience at a library, archives, or information center.

Degree Track Requirements and Recommended Electives:  mlis_degree_tracks.pdf

MLIS Plan of Study: mlis_planofstudy.xls 

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MLIS with School Licensure emphasis (AA Level)

To obtain a public school license following completion of this program, you will need to first obtain an initial license in Mississippi and then apply for an out-of-state license in your state of residence. Each state has specific requirements for licensure: some examples of additional requirements are additional coursework, distinct test scores, and criminal background checks

If you have questions regarding licensure, please contact Jennifer Wild (Phone: 601.266.5522 E-mail: Jennifer.Wild@usm.edu). You may also speak directly with the state Department of Education: a list of each such department broken down by state is available on the following website: https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html

Students who plan to use the master's degree in library and information science for Class AA licensure should complete the following courses in addition to the MLIS required core courses (41 credit hours):

  • LIS 589: School Library Practicum 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 LiteratureLIS 518: Young Adult Literature, or LIS 590: Library Instruction.

MLIS with School Library Licensure Plan of Study: mlis_licensure.xls

 

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 for School Librarians to add to an existing teaching credential, which can be completed online. Courses have real-time chat requirements. If you are interested in the endorsement, please contact the School of Library and Information Science.

Required Courses: 21 Credits

  • LIS 505: Cataloging and Classification
  • LIS 511: Collection Development 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

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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:

Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections

Graduate Certificate in Youth Services and Literature

 

Students or graduates with MLIS may be interested in these graduate certificates that may be earned with or post MLIS degree:

Graduate Certificate in Business Foundations

Graduate Certificate in Instructional Technology