• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Library and Information Science, MLIS

Master of Library and Information Science

When the discipline of library science emerged in the second half of the 19th century, it focused on the study of library operation and administration. Today's professionals are leaders in applying technology to facilitate access to information. Experts in library science and data technology focus on information literacy, metadata management, and other modern challenges in our digital age.

The IU Online Master of Library and Information Science is accredited by the American Library Association and explores foundation courses in five areas of librarianship. You also work with your advisor to select advanced elective courses. As a student in the program, you learn about libraries' roles in contemporary society. You develop an understanding of key policy issues and technological trends, and come to recognize how these issues and trends affect libraries and other information organizations. The program prepares you to assist library users, develop and manage collections, organize information resources, conduct effective research, and make the most effective use of information technologies.

Intensive coursework links you to fellow students across Indiana and other states. You converse, work in teams, and complete individual projects with instructors-as-coaches. You tie general principles to observations and experiences in your own home area. Customized options include internships, directed readings, and directed research.

Your IU Online MLIS prepares you to work in public services, technical services, reference services, and collection development at public, school, academic, and special libraries, in such careers as:

  • Digital collections librarian 
  • Genealogy researcher
  • Social science data librarian
  • Media specialist
  • Metadata specialist
  • Technical services specialist
  • Teen librarian
  • Library director
  • Curator
  • Information architect

Degree Requirements

To graduate with the MLIS, you must complete 39 credit hours including foundation courses and specialization electives.


To increase your expertise in specific areas, you may pursue concentrations in:  

  • Generalist (no specialization)  
  • Academic librarianship specialization  
  • Digital curation specialization 
  • Archives management specialization
  • Public librarianship/adult services specialization  
  • School library specialization  
  • Technical services specialization  
  • Youth services specialization 

Dual Degree Options

You can combine your Master of Library and Information Science degree with a graduate degree from another field to expand your career options. These programs have agreed to share some courses and reduce the total credits that would be required to earn both degrees independently: 

  • Master of Library and Information Science + MA History  
  • Master of Library and Information Science + MA Philanthropic Studies*  
  • Master of Library and Information Science + MS Health Informatics*  
  • Master of Library and Information Science + JD Law  
  • Master of Library and Information Science + Nonprofit Management Certificate*  
  • Master of Library and Information Science + Public Management Certificate* 

*These dual degrees are offered online. Please see the delivery method in the Schedule of Classes for all other dual degree programs and courses.


To be accepted to this program, you must have:
  1. A bachelor's degree

  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states
To apply to this program:

Complete an online application that includes:

  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Personal statement (750-1,500 words)
  • TOEFL score (minimum 100) or IELTS score (minimum 7.5) - international students only 


  • Foundation Courses: Credits
  • LIS-S 500Methods and Tools for the Information Profession3 Credits
  • LIS-S 501Information Sources and Services3 Credits
  • LIS-S 502Acquisitions and Management of Knowledge and Information*3 Credits
  • LIS-S 503Organization and Representation of Knowledge and Information*3 Credits
  • Note: *For all specializations except Digital Curation Credits
  • Specialization and Elective Courses: Credits
  • LIS-S 504Cataloging3 Credits
  • LIS-S 505Evaluation of Information Sources and Services3 Credits
  • LIS-S 506Introduction to Research3 Credits
  • LIS-S 511Database Design3 Credits
  • LIS-S 512Information Systems Design3 Credits
  • LIS-S 517Web Programming3 Credits
  • LIS-S 524Adult Reader’s Advisory3 Credits
  • LIS-S 532Information Architecture for the Web3 Credits
  • LIS-S 533Online Searching3 Credits
  • LIS-S 541Information Policy3 Credits
  • LIS-S 551Library Management3 Credits
  • LIS-S 552Academic Library Management3 Credits
  • LIS-S 553Public Library Management3 Credits
  • LIS-S 554Library Systems3 Credits
  • LIS-S 558Archives and Records Management3 Credits
  • LIS-S 571Materials for Youth3 Credits
  • LIS-S 572Youth Services3 Credits
  • LIS-S 574Information Instruction3 Credits
  • LIS-S 575Public Library Services3 Credits
  • LIS-S 582Digital Preservation3 Credits
  • LIS-S 583Data Curation and Management3 Credits
  • LIS-S 605Internship in Library and Information Science 3 Credits
  • LIS-S 631Advanced Cataloging3 Credits
  • LIS-S 632Advanced Resource Management3 Credits
  • LIS-S 634Metadata3 Credits
  • LIS-S 652Digital Libraries3 Credits
  • LIS-S 656Scholarly Communication3 Credits
  • LIS-S 671School Media3 Credits
  • LIS-S 672Seminar on Literature for Youth3 Credits

Tuition & Fees

Cost for Indiana Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $465.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1395.00
Cost for Out of State Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $465.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1395.00
Note:  Additional fees will apply.

What's it like to be an IU Online Student?

  • Earn an IU education from wherever you are

    When you enroll in an IU Online program, you take IU classes, taught by the same faculty who teach on our campuses.

    It's the flexible, affordable way to get the IU education you deserve without putting your life—or career—on hold.

  • Get the support you need to succeed

    As a student in an IU Online program, you'll have the opportunity to engage with and seek help from your professors and peers, just as you would in a campus-based program.

    You'll also have access to a variety of academic and other support services that you can call on when you need additional assistance. You're an important part of the IU community and we're dedicated to ensuring you have the resources you need to thrive in your online program.

  • Reap the rewards for decades to come

    No matter what field you're in, an IU degree or certificate can improve your chances of earning a promotion or pay raise.

    You'll also earn skills that will help you to achieve success for the foreseeable future, whether you're seeking to complete an advanced degree in your current field or switch career paths altogether.

  • Take the first step toward a more rewarding future

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