The Guide to Masters in Library Science Online Programs (MLS)

With a Masters in Library Science (MLS or MLIS) 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.

Earn Your MLIS Online From University of Denver

Earn a Master of Library and Information Science online from University of Denver’s ALA-accredited program in as few as 21 months. 

  • ALA-Accredited 
  • No GRE required 
  • Complete in as few as 21 months 

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Earn the Master in Library Science online from Syracuse University

Syracuse University offers an online, ALA-accredited MS in Library and Information Science that prepares students to help communities access and understand information, technology, and media resources. The program can be completed in 18 months, and no GRE scores are required to apply.

  • ALA-accredited
  • Can be completed in 18 months
  • Optional specialization in School Media

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Thanks to rapid advances in technology and systems, librarianship today is radically different from librarianship just a couple of decades 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Bachelor’s degree: You should have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution prior to applying to an MLIS program.
  3. Transcripts: Request transcripts in advance of the application deadline, and upload one official copy of each transcript from any postsecondary schools you have attended.
  4. 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
  5. Resume/CV: Upload a copy of your most recent resume or curriculum vitae as part of your application.
  6. 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.
  7. 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:

  • Information organization
  • Library and information studies
  • Research methods
  • User center information services
  • Information technology

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:

School Media

Gain enhanced insight into developing and managing educational media and providing library services and resources to students of all ages.

Information Management

Learn skills in managing information acquisition, utility, retention, and transfer to help organizations succeed.

Librarian Career Outlook

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 $59,050 in 2018. 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 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:

  • Academic librarianship
  • Archival or special collections librarianship
  • Cataloging or metadata
  • Digital librarianship
  • Digital preservation
  • Information technology and information science
  • Library management
  • Museum studies
  • Public librarianship
  • Reference librarianship
  • Special librarianship
  • Youth services
  • Children’s librarianship
  • Teen librarianship

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!

Appalachian State University

Master of Library Science

Boone, North Carolina

Name of Degree: Master of Library Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • CV/resume
Learn more about the Master of Library Science from Appalachian State University

Clarion University

Department of Library Science

Master of Science in Information and Library Science

Clarion, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Information and Library Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

Local and Archival Studies, Reference and User Services, School Library Media

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Offiical transcripts
  • CV/resume
Learn more about the Master of Science in Information and Library Science from Clarion University

Dominican University

College of Applied Sciences

Master of Library and Information Science

River Forest, Illinois

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal essay
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from Dominican University

East Carolina University

College of Education

Master of Library Science

Greenville, North Carolina

Name of Degree: Master of Library Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 39

Concentrations:

Academic Libraries, Public Libraries, School Library

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Library Science from East Carolina University

Emporia State University

School of Library and Information Management

Master of Library Science

Emporia, Kansas

Name of Degree: Master of Library Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

Archive Studies, Health Information Professionals, Informatics, Leadership and Administration, Youth Services

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • CV/resume
  • Statement of goals
  • Interview
  • Valid ID
Learn more about the Master of Library Science from Emporia State University

Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis

School of Informatics and Computing

Master of Library and Information Science

Indianapolis, Indiana

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 39

Concentrations:

Academic Libraries, Archives and Records Management, Digital Curation, Facilitated Learning, Public Libraries, School Library, Technical Services, Youth Services

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis

Louisiana State University

School of Library and Information Sciences

Master of Library and Information Science

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • CV/resume
  • Statement of purpose
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University

Murray State University

College of Education and Human Services

Master of Arts in Education in Library Media

Murray, Kentucky

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in Education in Library Media

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 33

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Arts in Education in Library Media from Murray State University

North Carolina Central University

School of Library and Information Sciences

Master of Library Science

Durham, North Carolina

Name of Degree: Master of Library Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • CV/resume
  • TOEFL/IELTS, financial statement (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Library Science from North Carolina Central University

Northeastern State University

College of Education

Master of Science in Library Media and Information Technology

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Library Media and Information Technology

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 33

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • TOEFL/IELTS (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Library Media and Information Technology from Northeastern State University

Sam Houston State University

Master of Library Science

Huntsville, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Library Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Teaching certification
  • Interview
  • Writing sample
  • Teaching experience (2 years)
Learn more about the Master of Library Science from Sam Houston State University

San Jose State University

Master of Library and Information Science

San Jose, California

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 43

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University

St. John's University

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Master of Science in Library and Information Science

Queens, New York

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

Academic Libraries, Archives and Records Management, Public Libraries, Special Libraries, Youth Services

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Interview
  • Statement of purpose
Learn more about the Master of Science in Library and Information Science from St. John's University

Texas A&M University at Commerce

Master of Educational Technology in Library Science

Commerce, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Educational Technology in Library Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Essay
  • Teaching/principal certification
  • CV/resume
Learn more about the Master of Educational Technology in Library Science from Texas A&M University at Commerce

Texas Woman's University

School of Library and Information Studies

Master of Library Science

Denton, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Library Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • CV/resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • One letter of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Library Science from Texas Woman's University

The University of Alabama

School of Library and Information Studies

Master of Library and Information Studies

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Studies

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

Academic Libraries, Digital Stewardship, Information Literacy, Public Libraries, Special Libraries, Social Justice, Youth Services

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • CV/resume
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Studies from The University of Alabama

State University of New York at Buffalo

Graduate School of Education

Master of Science in Information and Library Studies

Buffalo, New York

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Information and Library Studies

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Unofficial/official transcripts
  • Statement of goals
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE, proof of funds (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Information and Library Studies from State University of New York at Buffalo

University of Central Missouri

Master of Science in Library Science and Information Services

Warrensburg, Missouri

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Library Science and Information Services

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 33

Concentrations:

School Library

University of Houston at Clear Lake

College of Education

Master of Science in School Library and Information Science

Houston, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Science in School Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 33

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Teaching certification
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Teaching experience
Learn more about the Master of Science in School Library and Information Science from University of Houston at Clear Lake

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

School of Information Sciences

Master of Science in Library and Information Science

Champaign, Illinois

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: N/A

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 40

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • CV/resume
  • Personal statement
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Science in Library and Information Science from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Kentucky

College of Communication and Information

Master’s in Library Science

Lexington, Kentucky

Name of Degree: Master’s in Library Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate courses 
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution
  • 3.0 GPA 
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Current resume or CV
Learn more about the Master’s in Library Science from University of Kentucky

University of Maryland

College of Information Studies

Master of Library and Information Science

College Park, Maryland

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate courses 
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution
  • 3.0 GPA 
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Names and e-mail addresses of three academic or professional references
  • Current resume or CV
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores (international applicants only)
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from University of Maryland

University of Missouri

The School of Information Science and Learning Technologies

Master of Library and Information Science

Columbia, Missouri

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 39

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from University of Missouri

University of North Carolina Greensboro

Master of Library and Information Science

Greensboro, North Carolina

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

School Library, Instructional Technology Licensure 

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • TOEFL/IELTS for non-native English speakers
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from University of North Carolina Greensboro

University of North Texas at Dallas

Master of Science in Library Sciences

Denton, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Library Sciences

Enrollment Type: N/A

Length of Program: N/A

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

Archival Studies and Imaging Technology, Information Organization, Law Librarianship and Legal Informatics, Music Librarianship, Youth Librarianship, School Library Certification

Admission Requirements:

  • Résumé
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Field Experience required (120 Hours)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Library Sciences from University of North Texas at Dallas

University of Northern Iowa

College of Education

Master of Arts in School Library Studies

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in School Library Studies

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2.5+ years

Credits: 33

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Resume/CV
  • Transcripts
  • 3.0 GPA
Learn more about the Master of Arts in School Library Studies from University of Northern Iowa

The University of Oklahoma

School of Library and Information Studies

Master of Library and Information Studies

Norman, Oklahoma

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Studies

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Resume/CV
  • Transcripts
  • Official GRE scores (optional)
  • TOEFL Scores for non-native speakers
  • 3.0 GPA
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Studies from The University of Oklahoma

University of Pittsburgh

School of Computing and Information

Master of Library and Information Science

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • 2 Recommendations
  • Resume/CV
  • Transcripts
  • Official GRE scores (optional)
  • TOEFL Scores for non-native speakers
  • 3.0 GPA
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from University of Pittsburgh

University of South Alabama

Department of Counseling and Instructional Sciences

Master of Education in Educational Media

Mobile, Alabama

Name of Degree: Master of Education in Educational Media

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5+ years

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • 2 Recommendations
  • Resume/CV
  • Transcripts
  • Official GRE scores (optional)
  • TOEFL Scores for non-native speakers
  • 2 Years full-time teaching experience
  • 2.5 GPA
Learn more about the Master of Education in Educational Media from University of South Alabama

University of South Carolina

College of Information and Communication

Master of Library and Information Science

Columbia, South Carolina

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • 2 Recommendations
  • Resume/CV
  • Transcripts
  • Official GRE scores (optional)
  • TOEFL Scores for non-native speakers
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from University of South Carolina

University of Southern California

School of Business

Master of Management in Library and Information Science

Los Angeles, California

Name of Degree: Master of Management in Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 40

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • CV/resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Management in Library and Information Science from University of Southern California

The University of Southern Mississippi

Master of Library and Information Science

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 40

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Personal statement
  • Short answer response
  • Recommendations (three required)
  • Resume/CV
  • Program mode preference
  • Transcripts
  • Extenuating circumstances (optional)
  • Scholarship information (optional)
  • Official GRE scores (optional)
  • TOEFL Scores for non-native speakers
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from The University of Southern Mississippi

University of Washington

Information School

Master of Library and Information Science

Seattle, Washington

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Part-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 63

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Personal statement
  • Diversity statement
  • Essay
  • Short answer response
  • Recommendations (two required, three recommended)
  • Resume/CV
  • Program mode preference
  • Transcripts
  • Extenuating circumstances (optional)
  • Scholarship information (optional)
  • Official GRE scores (optional)
  • TOEFL Scores for non-native speakers
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from University of Washington

University of Wisconsin – Madison

Information School

Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies

Madison, Wisconsin

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 39

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.00 GPA
  • Submit a personal statement
  • Current Resume/CV
  • 3 letters of reference 
  • Transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies from University of Wisconsin – Madison

Wayne State University

School of Information Sciences

Master of Library and Information Science

Detroit, Michigan

Name of Degree: Master of Library and Information Science

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

Library Users and Communities, Library Tools and Resources, Library Systems and Infrastructure

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.00 GPA
  • Submit a personal statement (pdf)
  • Current Resume/CV
Learn more about the Master of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University

Valley City State university

Master of Education Program – Library and Information Technologies

Valley City, North Dakota

Name of Degree: Master of Education Program – Library and Information Technologies

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: N/A

Credits: 37

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.00 GPA
  • Submit a personal statement
  • Current Resume/CV
  • 3 letters of reference 
  • Transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Education Program – Library and Information Technologies from Valley City State university

Last Updated May 2020