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

Library and Information Science, MLS

Master of Library 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 MLS 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 MLS, you must complete 36 credit hours.

Requirements are broken down as follows:

  • Library science foundation courses (15 credit hours)
  • Library science specialization courses (21 credit hours)


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

  • Generalist (no specialization)  
  • Academic librarianship specialization  
  • Public librarianship/adult services specialization  
  • School library specialization  
  • Technical services specialization  
  • Technology management 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.


  • LIS-S 401Computer-Based Information Tools 3 Credits
  • LIS-S 501Information Sources and Services3 Credits
  • LIS-S 502Acquisitions and Management of Knowledge and Information3 Credits
  • LIS-S 503Organization and Representation of Knowledge and Information3 Credits
  • LIS-S 504Cataloging3 Credits
  • LIS-S 505Evaluation of Information Sources and Services3 Credits
  • LIS-S 506Introduction to Research3 Credits
  • LIS-S 524Adult Reader’s Advisory3 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 571Materials for Youth3 Credits
  • LIS-S 572Youth Services3 Credits
  • LIS-S 574Information Instruction3 Credits
  • LIS-S 575Public Library Services3 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: $451.33
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1353.99
Cost for Out of State Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $1433.50
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $4300.50
Note:  Additional fees will apply.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education

    With more than 120 online degree programs to choose from, Indiana University gives you the opportunity to receive a top-quality education when you want it, where you want it. The faculty who teach our online courses are the same exceptional faculty who teach those courses on our campuses. Whether you're looking for an undergraduate education or want to continue advancing your career with a graduate degree, IU Online’s degree program options have something for everyone.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes whenever and wherever is most convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. Classes aren't tied to a certain time or day.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at Indiana University have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. We're committed to providing you with the quality educational experience students have come to expect and desire from Indiana University, without needing to make sacrifices to the other commitments in your life.