Online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
Masters in Library Science (MLS) Online
With a Masters in Library Science (MLS) degree, also referred to as a master of library and information science or MLIS, you can work at the forefront of the dynamic field of librarianship. School librarians help teachers and students navigate the evolving world of information and technology, and they help students develop the lifelong skill of research.
Jumpstart Your Career in Librarianship, Explore Online Library Science Degrees:
Earn Your MLIS Online From The University of Denver
Thanks to rapid advances in technology and systems, librarianship today is radically different from librarianship 10 years ago. With this change has come the emergence of online master of library science programs as the most efficient way to jumpstart your career in librarianship. An online master of library science program prepares you for the changing environment of digital trends and ensures a comprehensive understanding of library resources, both tech-based and otherwise. Some responsibilities of a librarian in a school setting include service to faculty and students, reference, circulation, technical services, serials management, manuscripts, music, digital files, media services, teaching, management, and more.
With technology becoming so integral to the field of library science, enrolling in a masters in library science online program is an easy way to begin developing the tech skills necessary to be a librarian in the digital age. A master’s degree from an accredited institution is essential to becoming a practicing school librarian. This, along with state certification, will allow you to become a librarian at any grade level.
Online Masters in Library Science Admissions Requirements
Each online library science master's degree program has its own set of prerequisites, so you should contact your accredited institution for detailed information regarding its policies. With that being said, here are some example components that might go into an application for an online MLS program:
Application: Fill out an initial application, which you can find on the website of the accredited institution of your choice. Paper and online forms are both generally accepted.
Bachelor’s degree: You should have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution prior to applying to an MLIS program.
Transcripts: Request transcripts in advance of the application deadline, and upload one official copy of each transcript from any postsecondary schools you have attended.
Personal statement: Write a personal statement, which is typically in the form of an essay. You may be required to submit multiple essays to fully express the intent and purpose of your application. Below are some common topics that should be mentioned in a statement.
Your main academic and personal interests
Experiences in school or work that have helped to prepare you for this course of study
Why you wish to study for the degree you’ve chosen
Why you wish to study at the university
Your plans for the future after you earn your degree
Resume/CV: Upload a copy of your most recent resume or curriculum vitae as part of your application.
Letters of recommendation: Submit your letters of recommendation. The number of letters required varies with each school. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline.
Test Scores: Many schools require GRE General Test scores or TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students; however, some programs do not require test scores at all.
Masters in Library Science Online Curriculum
The curriculum and number of credits required to complete a master’s program vary widely depending on your school and specialization. However, a typical online MLIS program includes courses in:
Library and information studies
User center information services
Online Masters in Library Science Concentrations
Many students completing a masters in library science online have the option of concentrating their studies in a specific field of librarianship. Although concentration options vary widely from program to program, here are a few example concentrations and descriptions of what their curriculum might look like:
Gain enhanced insight into developing and managing educational media and providing library services and resources to students of all ages.
After completing an online MLS program, the next step is to get licensed. This certification will enable you to officially work in the field of your choice. Every state has its own licensure requirements to become a school librarian. The median annual salary for a librarian was $58,520 in 2017. School librarians with a MLS or MLIS degree can work at the elementary through high school level. Take a look at an in-depth look into the career prospects for librarians in 2017.
In addition to these common school librarian roles, there are also specializations and different roles that a recent graduate from an online MLS program can pursue, including:
Archival or special collections librarianship
Cataloging or metadata
Information technology and information science
Finding the Best Master of Library Science Online Program for You
All Online Master of Library Science (MLS) Programs
Teach.com has compiled a comprehensive list of all the master of library science online programs in the United States along with their classroom setting, accreditation Status, degree type and credit requirements. In searching for the best online master of library science program that fits your needs, carefully consider the structure of the coursework and the admissions requirements to make your decision. Find a school that interests you and find out what it takes to graduate with an online master of library science!
All Online Master of Library Science (MLS) Programs
Appalachian State University offers a part-time, online opportunity for students to receive their Master of Library Science. The online format can be take synchronously (one evening per week per class, students join their classmates and instructor for a three-hour class in real-time in virtual classroom) or asynchronously (coursework may be completed on the student's own schedule, except for individualized online meetings with the instructor). The program also will take up to two years to complete.
Clarion University offers a fully online Master of Science in Library Science. Students can specialize in Information and Library Science or School Library Media. The programs can be taken part-time or full-time depending on the students’ current work schedule. Before completion of the program, students will complete an apprenticeship to solidify their knowledge within their chosen program. Both concentrations emphasize the digital growth of library information.
Dominican University offers a Master of Library and Information Science where students can concentrate either in Information Management or Professional Studies. Each area can be completed full or part-time with students finishing from one to six years. Dominican University has multiple options for the delivery of the coursework so the student can best benefit with their current schedule. The programs are flexible and offer small classes where students can work closely with faculty and other peers.
East Carolina University offers a fully online Master of Library Science. This program is for students seeking employment as a librarian and information professional in schools, universities, community colleges, public libraries, or related settings. Students will complete three tiers of courses before moving into their chosen concentration. For admission, students will submit the necessary documents for review.
Emporia State University offers a Master of Library Science in a non-traditional format. The courses during the semesters are fully online, but there are required intensive sessions during weekends. Typically, a student is in a weekend session 4-6 weekends during a semester. Four semesters is the minimum amount of time it takes to complete this degree. Students will also complete the program in a cohort where they will work hand-in-hand with peers on different projects.
Fort Hayes State University offers a Master of Science in Education where a student can concentrate on Library Media Specialist or an endorsement for Library Media Specialist. Students who apply for the endorsement must hold a current teaching license, a master’s degree, and complete 6 graduate courses with a GPA of 3.25. Those seeking the Library Media Specialist will need to complete a master’s degree before applying for licensure. A practicum is also required to complete the program.
Indiana State University offers a fully online Master of Library and Information Age. Within this degree, students can choose one of the many concentrations offered. Each concentration requires 39 hours of core courses with changes in internship, workshops, and other capstone options. Courses will focus on the information age and the changes in the digital age of library sciences. Their goal is for the student to work in their own environment and at a pace that is best for them.
Internship Requirements: May include up to 3 credit hours of internships, up to 6 credit hours of LIS workshops and up to 6 credits (with advisor approval) of SoIC coursework from other departments (INFO, NEWM prefixes), and up to 9 hours from ILS in Bloomington (ILS-Z courses).
Louisiana University offers a Master of Library and Information Science that is fully online. Students may choose from a number of specializations when completing this degree. Each one does require an internship to completed for graduation. This master’s degree allows for students to work in librarianship as well as in school and colleges. There is also a great deal of flexibility when deciding careers after completion of LSU’s program.
Type of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Academic Librarianship; Adult Services in Public Libraries; Archival Studies; Cultural Heritage Resource Management; Digital Content Management; Knowledge Management; School Librarianship; Youth Services Librarianship
Murray State University offers a Master’s of Education in Library Media. This online program can be completed after 33 hours of coursework and 3 practicum courses. The practicum courses require students to work in a library setting under a supervisor. Students can choose from two concentrations when completing the program at Murray State. Their media programs focus on the growing technology and skill set needed to be a librarian in today’s schools.
NC Central University offers a Master in Library Science that is fully online with the exception of the practicum course required for completion. Students can choose from one of seven tracks to study, ranging from academic or digital librarian to media coordinators and records managers. There are six core courses, two courses for specialization, and three elective course required for completion.
Northeastern State University offers a 33-hour, fully online Master of Science in Library Media and Information Technology. This program is ideal for working adults who want to work at their own pace to obtain their degree. Students will learn to create an effective library media program in a school setting and in collaboration with all school administrators, faculty, and staff.
Sam Houston State University offers a fully online Master of Library Science where students will prepare for a career in school librarianship. Students will learn the latest advancements in technology as well as prepare faculty and staff for these changes. For completion of the program, each student must also complete a portfolio as a final product in lieu of comprehensive exams.
San Jose State University offers a fully online Master of Library and Information Science where students can concentrate on a number of pathways when competing the program. For each pathway, students will work closely with an advisor and focus on the core competencies of a degree in library science. An internship is also required for completion of the program.
St. John’s University offers a Master of Science in Library and Information Science. Students can choose from specializations offered and complete an electronic portfolio at the end of the program. Students can work in schools but also museums, scientific institutions, and on college campuses. If a student choses, they can complete an internship for world experience in their specialization.
Texas A&M University at Commerce offers a Master’s in Education Technology - either as a Master of Education or Master of Science. Both programs are 36 hours and prepare students to become librarians in the state of Texas. The programs focus on the philosophy of library science and literacy promotion. Students should have a GPA of 2.75 with 60 hours of bachelor work or a conferred US Master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0.
Texas Woman’s University offers a fully online program in library science. Students can complete a Master of Arts or Master of Library Science. Within each degree plan, students can choose a specialization that allows them to work in a variety of library areas. Students will learn basic library dynamics as well as library management and information retrieval. In addition, students must complete a practicum and a Final Exam portfolio.
GRE Requirements: GRE required if GPA is below 3.0
Credit Hours: 36
Type of Degree: Master of Arts in Library Science; Master of Library Science
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Academic Libraries; Public Libraries; School libraries; Special Libraries; Health Science Libraries; Information Technology; Technical Services/Cataloguing; Community Informatics
Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring, and Summer
Accreditation Status: ALA Accredited
Program Options: Part-time or Full-time
Internship Requirements: Practicum required/Submit Final Exam portfolio
The University of Alabama offers a Master of Library and Information Sciences in a fully online format or a partially online format for regional students. There are many concentrations to choose from as students pursue their degree. Students are required to complete an internship, but they can also choose a thesis or non-thesis option. Throughout the program, students will study traditional library practices as well as learn information management techniques that help shape library sciences today.
The University of Buffalo offers Master of Science in Information and Library Science. This accredited program prepares students to become a library specialist in K-12. The program focuses on clinically-based teaching experiences that allows students to collect their own data throughout their coursework. Students will complete a practicum as well as a digital portfolio. Peer reviews are included so students can evaluate the best practices for their future careers.
The University of Central Missouri offers a fully online Master of Science in Library Science and Information Services. Through the program, students will learn leadership skills that will help preside over school libraries as well as research and technology skills. Students will also improve their current teaching pedagogy while developing ideas and practices they can use in their current classrooms.
The University of Colorado - Denver offers a fully online Master of Arts in Information and Learning Technologies with a concentration in Teacher Librarian Leadership. Student will learn ways to keep up with the demands of technology and information as well as assist students and colleagues with the ever present changes. Upon completion, students can work as librarians, university instructors, coaches, designers, and consultants.
The University of Hawaii offers a Master of Science in Library and Information Science. Students can take courses full-time (two years) or part-time (five years). In addition, courses meet on campus 2.5 hours during the fall and spring semesters, with evening courses provided as options. If the students chooses to do the online option, a graduate assistant will be available for help throughout the program.
The University of Houston at Clear Lake offers a Master of Science in School Library and Information Science. This fully online program can be completed full or part-time with students becoming licensed librarians in the state of Texas. Students will learn to work closely with elementary, middle, and high school teachers to integrate technology, promote school-wide literacy, and understand the ethical use of resources.
The University of Illinois offers a fully online program for students to receive a Master of Science in Library or Information Science. To complete the program, students must choose a capstone that best fits their career path. Students can choose from a practicum, independent study, or thesis; students choose based on their professional goals. Students can work in schools, on college campuses, or even health-related fields.
The University of Kentucky offers a fully online program for a Master of Science in Library Science. Students can take the courses full or part-time as it fits with their schedules. For completion of the degree, students can enroll in a practicum or have the option to study abroad. Students also have the opportunity to choose from a variety of concentrations as well as a chance to intern in Washington, D.C.
The University of Maryland offers a fully online Master of Library and Information Science. On average, it takes students 2.2 years to complete the program if doing it part-time. Students can also chose to participate in a field study or complete a thesis as a capstone project for this degree. Students will be able to lead, advocate, promote, and contribute as they lead schools and their communities to the growing needs in information management and literacy.
The University of Missouri offers a online program or campus classes for a Master of Science in Library and Information Science. Students can take the program entirely online or face-to-face at one of the the five locations in Missouri and Nebraska. Students who enroll part-time finish in three to four years where full-time students can finish in two years. The coursework will cover changes in information sciences, technology, and management as well as explore E-learning, digital humanities, and archival services.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro offers a fully online Master of Library and Information Services. Students can choose licensure in School Library or Instructional Technology. In lieu of a thesis, students will complete a capstone project at the end of their coursework. Students will be able to work in schools or with non-profit organizations.
The University of North Texas offers a Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies with eight concentrations for students to choose. Each requires core courses, major course requirements, and 21 credits of electives. In addition, students will complete a field experience with six months of professional experience in a paid position or a 120-hour practicum/internship in a library or information-centered environment.
Type of Degree: Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Archival Studies and Imaging Technology; Distributed Learning Librarianship; General Program of Study; Information Organization; Law Librarianship and Legal Informatics; Music Librarianship; Youth Librarianship; School Library Certification
The University of Northern Iowa offers an online Master of Arts in School Library Studies. Students will progress through the program with a cohort beginning each fall. Cohorts usually complete two courses a semester and can finish in 2.5 years. The cohort also works interactively via one course a week during the evening. The program does include one on-campus meeting before completing the degree.
The University of Oklahoma offers an online program for students to complete a Master of Library and Information Services. Students can opt to specialize in one area such as librarianship and library media. To complete the program, students must complete an exam, write a thesis, or complete a personal portfolio. Students then can work with schools and non-profit organizations upon graduation.
Type of Degree: Master of Library and Information Services
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Academic Librarianship; Archives; Children and Young Adult Services; Information Organization; Information Technology; Public Librarianship; Reference Services; School Library Media; Special Librarianship
Program Start Dates: Fall, Spring, and Summer
Accreditation Status: ALA Accredited
Program Options: Part-time or Full-time
Internship Requirements: Pass a comprehensive examination, completing a written thesis, or completing a portfolio.
The University of Pittsburgh offers a fully online Master of Library and Information Science degree that can be completed part-time (up to 4 years) or full-time (3 consecutive terms). This program requires six core courses then the remaining courses are tailored to the student’s concentration area. Throughout the program, students will work closely with a faculty advisor to ensure the career path is fully covered.
The University of South Alabama offers a Master of Education in Library Media. Students can concentrate in one of two areas: Certification in Library Media or the Alabama Class “A” Endorsement in Library Media. The hours differ for each concentration. Before completing the exam, students must complete exams such as the Comprehensive and Portfolio Exam as well as the PRAXIS II.
The University of South Carolina - Columbia offers a Master of Library and Information Science that can be completed entirely online. However, this program requires an internship that must be completed in a setting conducive to the student’s career plan. If the student is interested in becoming a school librarian, they can complete the certification required. While taking courses, students will focus on the newest methods of information technology and on research standards in the library sciences.
The University of Southern California at Marshall offers a fully online Master of Management in Library and Information Science. Upon completion of the program, students can work in libraries or the information science fields. This program can also be completed in as little as 20 months. A capstone project as well as research and application are required to finish the degree.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a virtual learning experience with their Master of Library and Information Science degree program. Students can choose one of four specializations as their career path and complete a practicum within that area. A study abroad option is available for application for each career track.
The University of Washington offers an online Master of Library and Information Science. This program does require a 3-day orientation at the beginning of the program. The online program is designed for students to complete in three years, enrolling in 6-8 credits per quarter. An internship is not required, but a capstone project must be completed.
The University of Wisconsin - Madison offers an online opportunity to receive a Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies. This program offers five different concentrations with for students to choose as their focus. Candidates must also complete a minimum of a 120-hour practicum and a portfolio. Courses in management and technology are mandatory for completion of the degree.
Type of Degree: Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies
Concentrations/Specializations Offered: Librarianship; Archives in a Digital Age; Data/Information Management and Analytics; Organization of Information; User Experience Design and Information Technologies
Valley City State University offers an online degree program to obtain a Master of Education in Library and Information Technologies. If the student chooses, he/she can also take courses in order to receive a Library Media Specialist certificate. Special program requirements include a capstone projects as well as research application. A 120-hour field experience and oral presentation are the final components of completing this degree.
Wayne State University offers a Master of Library and Information Science degree that is fully online and requires a practicum no matter the concentration of study. Upon completion of the program, students can work in library settings or with other information organizations. Within the 36 hours required to finish, 18 hours are core classes with the remaining 18 being in the student’s chosen concentration. Each concentration area does require a practicum before finishing.