Master of Library and Information Science
Our ALA-accredited master's degree in library and information science prepares professionals for leadership roles in libraries and other information organizations.
Our curriculum establishes a practical foundation for all students, while providing individuals the opportunity to customize their coursework with curriculum paths that suit their personal interests and career goals.
By emphasizing the core principles and practical experiences of information access, organization, services, and support, we educate a diverse student body for professional service to meet the various information needs of their local and global communities.
The MLIS degree can be completed entirely online.
"In this field you are able to help people through their educational experience in a variety of ways. Librarians and archivists help people learn and grow and that's what I find really amazing about the profession." – Alumna Melanie Emerson, Dean of the Library and Special Collections for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0. The MLIS degree requires a minimum of 36 graduate level credits distributed as follows:
- A total of 18 credit hours of MLIS core classes
- A minimum of 18 credit hours in an area of professional specialization
- A maximum of 6 credit hours in courses outside SIS may be accepted as cognates
A Plan of Work is a formal statement of the goals and prescribed courses of a student's academic program. SIS requires that a Plan of Work be submitted after completion of nine credits of graduate course work. The plan is prepared in consultation with the faculty advisor and may be organized around one or more areas of specialization. The emphasis may relate to the type of environment in which the student intends to work or to specialized job activities or functions. Faculty advisors will assist the student in devising an optimal Plan of Work that meets the student's academic goals.
All students completing the MLIS degree are required to complete a Graduation Assessment in order to graduate. This assessment provides graduating students with the opportunity to reflect on their cumulative experiences in the program, including both required and elective courses. The contents of the assessment focus on professional skills and knowledge developed during the student's coursework.
Within the MLIS degree are three main curriculum paths that each include several professional specializations.
Students are encouraged to decide, in consultation with their academic advisor, which of the recommended courses will provide them with the skills needed to reach individual their individual career goals.
"The most important and surprising thing I have learned about the information profession is its diversity of career opportunities. Celebrate your uniqueness and know that you have an essential role in information world." – Amber Harrison, an alumna of the joint MLIS/MAPH (Master of Arts in Public History) dual degree program
The Library Services path is designed for any student who wants to work in any type of library (academic, public, special library), school library media center or information agency.
Students who select this path can focus their elective studies in one of three specializations:
- Library Users and Communities
- Library Tools and Resources
- Library Systems and Infrastructure
The information management path will prepare students to be successful in data-intensive and user-centric environments in the information technology industry.
Students who select the IM path can focus their elective studies in one of five specializations:
- Web-based Information Services
- Health Informatics and Data Management
- Data Analytics
- User Experience
Archives and Digital Content Management
The School of Information Sciences' archives program is one of the oldest in the nation. This path addresses how to provide access to, process, manage and preserve original and digital materials that are held in archives, libraries, historical societies and other information organizations.
SIS offers two options for students who select this path:
- Specialization in Archival Administration or Digital Content Management
- Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration – this certificate is an added credential and is highly recommended for students interested in holding professional archivist positions. Certificate students must complete four courses and a practicum project.
Wayne State University's MLIS degree has been accredited by the American Library Association since 1967. ALA accreditation is the gold standard for library and information science education in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
The designation is particularly important since an overwhelming majority of positions in LIS fields require a master's degree from an accredited program as a pre-condition of employment.
You can view the School of Information Sciences' Self Study that was submitted to the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association in 2016. The next comprehensive review for the Wayne State School of Information Sciences is scheduled for fall 2023.
Want More Information?
Thank you for your interest in the School of Information Sciences. We would like to provide you with a Prospective Student Packet that contains useful information about our academic programs and career opportunities in the information profession.
Please complete this form to receive an information packet by mail as well as a link to download the digital version.
Attend one of our virtual information sessions or contact the School of Information Sciences at email@example.com if you have additional questions about the program.