Library & Information Science, MS

for the degree of Master of Science in Library & Information Science (on campus & online)

dean: Eunice Santos

overview of MS/LIS admissions & requirements:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

school website: School of Information Sciences

school faculty:

graduate office: 501 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6211

program contact: Moises Orozco Villicana

phone: (217) 333-7197, (800) 982-0914 (within the US)


The MS in LIS is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Two scheduling options are available to students pursuing the MS degree.

On-campus or Online

The on-campus option serves students who are in residence at Urbana-Champaign, as well as part-time, commuting students. The online scheduling option is an online education option that uses the Internet and other information technologies for delivery.

A thesis is not required but is available as an option. Students prepare for careers in all types of information organizations. Examples of the professional positions graduates hold include: Internet trainer, webmaster, and knowledge manager, as well as work in reference, automated systems, cataloging, youth services, school media, and other positions in public, academic, school, and special libraries.

Graduate Degree Programs in the School of Information Science

Bioinformatics: Information Sciences, MS (on campus & online)

Information Management, MS (on campus & online)

Library & Information Science, MS (on campus & online)

Library & Information Science, CAS (on campus & online)

Information Sciences, PhD


Writing Studies

Joint Degree Programs:

Library & Information Science, MS and African Studies, MA

Library & Information Science, MS and History, MA

Library & Information Science, MS and Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies, MA

School Librarian Licensure: available in conjunction with both the MS in LIS and CAS in LIS

The School of Information Sciences (iSchool) offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.), the Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S), and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Three Master of Science (M.S.) degrees are available. The M.S. in Library and Information Science (L.I.S.) prepares students for professional careers in all types of information organizations, including libraries. The M.S. in Information Management (I.M.) will prepare the students for information-intensive professional roles in a broad range of sectors. The Library and Information Science concentration of the campus-wide M.S. in bioinformatics program emphasizes multidisciplinary skills that are required for a career developing and managing information systems for the biological sciences community. The C.A.S. program provides the opportunity

  1. to study an aspect of information sciences in greater depth than is possible in the M.S. program,
  2. to refresh and upgrade one's professional training several years after completing a M.S. program, or
  3. to redirect one's career into a different area of library and information science.

School Librarian Licensure is available in conjunction with both the M.S. in L.I.S. and C.A.S. The Ph.D. is a research degree program.


The general admission requirements of the Graduate College apply. Consideration is also given to language study and computer skills, relevant work experience, letters of reference, and evidence of leadership. International students must score at least 620 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (260 on the computer-based test; 104 on the iBT version); or 7 on each section of the IELTS. The M.S. in bioinformatics requires a strong background in information science including undergraduate-level computing and mathematics. The C.A.S. requires a master's degree in library and information science and a grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) in the master's program. 

School Librarian Licensure

Candidates interested in the School Librarian Licensure program must first be admitted and enrolled as a degree-seeking student within the School of Information Sciences before their application to the School Librarian Licensure program is reviewed.  Accepted students must successfully pass two Illinois State Board of Education testing requirements prior to registration for the final fieldwork experience.

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in the Ph.D. program for those interested in faculty careers.

Facilities and Resources

Among the major areas of faculty research are:

  • community informatics
  • data analytics
  • data curation
  • digital humanities
  • digital libraries
  • history of information
  • information retrieval
  • organization of knowledge and information
  • privacy, security, and trust
  • ethics and values for information
  • youth literature, culture, and services

The iSchool's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) conducts research on information problems that impact scientific and scholarly inquiry. The Center for Children's Books (CCB) provides a review and research collection of the newest literature for children and young adults. The Communications Office produces two high-quality publications, Library Trends and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. The staff of each of these units is available to students and faculty for consultation and guidance. A computer network with Internet connectivity is integral to teaching and learning activities. The University Library provides a vast reservoir of resources for all types of study and research in library and information science.

The School maintains an ongoing commitment to continuing education through conferences, institutes, workshops, and course offerings.

Financial Aid

Financial aid may be available from the iSchool, the University Library, and elsewhere in the University in the form of graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and hourly paid work. Area libraries may provide pre-professional or hourly positions. Also, the iSchool offers a limited number of fellowships for which doctoral students tend to be favored over C.A.S. and master's degree students. Students in the joint program that do not hold a FLAS fellowship are eligible for, but not guaranteed, fellowship or assistantship support in the semesters in which they are enrolled in the iSchool. Any assistantship awarded to these students provides a waiver of the base in-state tuition and service fee as well as a stipend. Non-Illinois residents must pay the difference between in- and out-of-state tuition.

for the degree of Master of Science in Library & Information Science (on campus & online)

For additional details and requirements, refer to the unit's Graduate Programs of Study and the Graduate College Handbook

This degree program can be completed with or without a thesis, either on campus or online; the requirements are listed below:

Thesis Option

IS 505Information Organization and Access4
IS 510Libraries, Information and Society2 or 4
Research/Project/Independent Study Hours (4 max applied toward degree)4
IS 599Thesis Research8
Total Hours40

Non-Thesis Option

IS 505Information Organization and Access4
IS 510Libraries, Information and Society2 or 4
Research/Project/Independent Study Hours (4 max applied toward degree)4
Total Hours40

Other Requirements for both Thesis and Non-Thesis

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum Hours Required Within the Unit: 28
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 12
A C grade or better in required courses.
The credit-no credit option can only be applied to courses taken outside the library and information science curriculum and courses taken with this option can't be applied to the degree.
Minimum GPA: 2.75