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Library and Information Science

Availability: Hattiesburg and Online Options

Library and Information Science

Interested in earning a Library Science degree online?

The University of Southern Mississippi’s online bachelor’s degree in library science is ranked No. 2 in the nation by Best Colleges. Best Colleges uses statistical data to objectively assess quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities. The fully online LIS program was recognized for academic quality, including high praise for the program’s retention and graduation rates as well as affordability.

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45required LIS credit hours
3Program Options-minor, BS, dual major
1Study-Abroad (British Studies)

What Will I Learn?

Graduates from this program are prepared to work in a variety of libraries and information environments using people skills, problem-solving skills, and their ability to organize, access, and evaluate information. Students take courses on a variety of topics including:

  • Reference sources, collection development
  • Basic and advanced cataloging
  • Children’s or young adult literature
  •  Information technology in libraries
  • Web development and evaluation
  • Storytelling or programming for youth
  • School libraries, rural and small libraries

SLIS faculty are experienced teachers and advisors.

SLIS is fortunate to have outstanding instructors for the undergraduate LIS program. Mr. J. Edmand Pace, who serves as undergraduate coordinator, advisor, and mentor for students’ capstone papers, has received multiple letters of commendation from President Bennett stating that students identified him in exit interviews as a key influence on their success at USM. Ms. Ashley Marshall, a new instructor and advisor, teaches a variety of courses and receives high marks on course evaluations.

Students are required to take at least one literature course, either children’s literature or young adult literature, and they are required to take at least one technology-related course, either technology in school libraries, information technology in libraries, or web development and evaluation.

Students are required to complete a practicum in a library or archive in their senior year and produce a reflective blog, presentation, and capstone paper related to the practicum experience.

Students are encouraged to apply for national and international library or archival internships that can count as their capstone practicum.

The Accelerated Master's Option (AMO) would allow senior undergraduates 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 elective courses during their senior year. Students 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.

Some scholarships are available through the USM Foundation and students are encouraged to apply for state and national scholarships.

Students may take LIS 480/487 British Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections study-abroad courses based in London each summer for elective credits.


View Online Program Details

  • Branch Library Manager
  • College Librarian (non tenure-track)
  • Public Librarian
  • School Librarian
  • Library Technician
  • Youth Services Librarian
  • Hannah Berryhill (LIS, 2015; MLIS, 2018), 
    Director Kemper Newton Regional Library System Union, MS
  • Lori Clendinning (LIS, 2012), 
    Library Manager Park Place Christian Academy Brandon, MS
  • Sandra Laubersheimer (LIS, 2012),
    Admissions Counselor The University of Southern Mississippi Long Beach, MS
  • Craig Passons (LIS, 2015),
    Computer Lab Manager Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, & Forrest County Hattiesburg, MS
  • Elizabeth Samson (LIS, 2013), 
    Youth Services Librarian  Brandon Public Library Brandon, MS
  • Virginia Waller (LIS, 2011; MLIS, 2014), 
    Serials Librarian University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Hattiesburg, MS