Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Science

The library and information science (LIS) major requires completion of the general education core courses as well as 42 hours of major-area courses, 6 hours of major requirements outside the department, an 15-hour minor and enough electives to bring the total number of hours to 120. 

All LIS courses are offered online and other courses, if not offered entirely online by USM, can be taken through the Mississippi Virtual Community College while enrolled at USM for USM credit.  Students should consult with their advisor when planning their minor courses.  General degree requirements may be found in The University of Southern Mississippi's Undergraduate Bulletin.

The Bachelor of Science degree in library and information science may be used to satisfy the requirements for licensure as a school library media specialist in the state of Mississippi for students who complete the BS in LIS and pass the PRAXIS exam (see Licensure Guidelines K-12). 

Those seeking licensure in a state other than Mississippi must first obtain their Mississippi license and then apply for an out-of-state license in the state in which they are seeking licensure.  Each state has specific requirements, which can be reviewed by contacting Jennifer Wild (Phone: 601.266.5522 E-mail: Jennifer.Wild@usm.edu).  Typically, those seeking an out-of-state license will need to take two additional courses as well as undergo fingerprinting for a background check at a minimum.  Students are also encouraged to discuss their specific questions with the Professional licensing boards- (see the list at- AASL State-by-State Information).


Accelerated Master's Option (AMO)

The Accelerated Master's Option would allow senior undergraduate students in the Library and Information Science program who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher to take up to 9 credit hours of graduate credit in the following cross-listed elective courses during their senior year:

  • LIS 406/506 – Cataloging Multimedia Objects
  • LIS 416/516 – Technology in the School Library
  • LIS 433/533 – History of the Book
  • LIS 417/517 – Children’s Literature
  • LIS 418/518 – Young Adult Literature
  • LIS 419/519 – Programs and Services for Youth
  • LIS 428/528 - Storytelling
  • LIS 440/540 – Information Ethics
  • LIS 445/545 – Sources of Information for a Multicultural Society
  • LIS 457/557 – Information Technology and Libraries
  • LIS 458/558 – Web Design and Evaluation
Students will pay undergraduate tuition for up to 9 credit hours of graduate courses and the credit will count toward both their undergraduate degree and toward the MLIS degree at Southern Miss.
Students engaged in an AMO will be charged the undergraduate tuition rate.
  • AMO students will retain their eligibility for financial aid at the undergraduate level provided they maintain a full-time student classification.
  • AMO students are limited to 15 hours of combined undergraduate/graduate coursework during a semester.
  • Students may opt out of an AMO at any time and complete the required undergraduate degree plan. Any graduate credit earned to that point can be applied to the undergraduate degree plan.
  • AMO students retain an undergraduate classification until they have completed all the requirements of their undergraduate degree plan. It is expected that a student will complete the undergraduate degree within two years of being accepted into an Accelerated Master’s Option. 
  • Completion of the AMO does not automatically result in admission to the graduate program. Students completing the AMO are required to complete the same graduate application process as all applicants - an application fee will be required upon completion of the undergraduate degree and prior to be enrolled as a graduate, degree-seeking student.
To apply, send a request to Undergrad Advisor Mr. J. Edmand Pace (johnnie.pace@usm.edu).

A minor in LIS is offered to students in other majors. Required courses include:

LIS 201 Introduction to Information Literacy (available face-to-face or online)

LIS 401 Reference and Information Services

LIS 457 Information Technology and Libraries or LIS 458 Web Design and Evaluation

3 additional LIS electives for a total of 18 hours.

All courses required for the minor are available online.