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Earn your Graduate Library Certificate online from Southern Miss!

Archives and Special Collections Graduate Certificate
Program Overview

Discover the world of Archives and Special Collections in the School of Library and Information Science. This fully online library certificate program relates the subjects of archival history, theory, methods, organization and ethics with an archival practicum. This convenient and affordable course of study can be taken as part of a student’s MLIS degree or as a post-master’s certificate for those holding an MLS from an ALA-accredited program. This is your life, plus college. 

Interested in other degrees in this field? Southern Miss also offers a BA in Library and Information Science online degree, and a master’s in Library and Information Science online degree.



Note: The director of the School of Library and Information Science must grant permission for any graduate nondegree admission. Eligibility and application for non-degree admission do not grant admission. The following regulations indicate reasons a graduate student may be eligible for non-degree admission, they do not guarantee such admission.

Please review the Regulations Governing Nondegree Graduate Students from the Graduate Bulletin. Refer to the bulletin from the year of your admission to the program or the current year.
Students that might be interested in nondegree enrollment include:

  • Students seeking supplemental school library media endorsements
  • Student seeking graduate certificates (please refer to page 24 of the graduate bulletin)
  • Students from other programs wishing to take one of our courses
  • Students maintaining professional credentials.

Even though a nondegree graduate student is allowed to take courses at the university, he or she has not been admitted to any department or to any degree program.
A nondegree graduate student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Nondegree graduate students are not eligible for financial aid.
No more than nine (9) semester hours earned while classified as a nondegree graduate student will be accepted toward a master’s degree at The University of Southern Mississippi. A student must, therefore, gain conditional or regular admission before completing more than nine (9) semester hours of study for additional hours to be counted toward a master’s degree.

If you are interested in seeking Non-Degree status as a graduate, you must first send the following information to the University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of Graduate Studies:

  • Official Transcripts
  • Application form: Apply Online or visit the Graduate Admissions office.

After this information is sent to the Graduate Admissions Office, and you have been accepted as a graduate student, download and print the Graduate Non-Degree Approval form (PDF).

Please fill out this form and fax (601-266-5774) please submit a form for each course or mail a copy to the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS, University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive #5146, Hattiesburg, MS, 39406-0001).

Submission of this form does not ensure admission to a class. You will be contacted by the School if seats are available.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • LIS 645 – Digital Libraries 3 hrs.
  • LIS 646 – Special Collections and Archives 3 hrs.
  • LIS 647 – Introduction to Archival Organization 3 hrs.
  • LIS 648 – Archival Practicum 2-4 hrs. (3 hrs. required)
  • LIS 652 – Metadata 3 hrs.


(choose one)

  • LIS 506 – Advanced Cataloging and Classification 3 hrs.
  • LIS 533 – History of the Book 3 hrs.
  • LIS 580 – British Studies: Studies in Librarianship 3 hrs.
  • LIS 631 – History of Libraries 3 hrs.
  • LIS 634 – History of Children’s Literature 3 hrs.
  • LIS 692 – Special Problems in Librarianship 1-3 hrs. (approved archival topic

Frequently Asked Questions

Required courses:
• LIS 646: Special Collections and Archives
• LIS 647: Introduction to Archival Organization
• LIS 648: Archival Practicum
• LIS 675: Seminar in the Organization of Material: Introduction to Digital Libraries
• LIS 675: Seminar in the Organization of Material: Metadata

Electives (choose one):
• LIS 506: Advanced Cataloging and Classification
• LIS 558: Internet Resources and Applications
• LIS 631: History of Libraries
• LIS 634: History of Children’s Literature

Yes, after completing the required coursework, students are required to write a 2500-word paper on an approved topic related to archives, special collections, or digitization that is approved by faculty teaching archival-related courses.

Graduate students may earn the Certificate while working on their graduate degree or those who have already earned a graduate degree may register as a non-degree student and take classes to earn the Certificate.

Yes, non-LIS graduate students are required to take LIS 505: Cataloging and Classification as a prerequisite.

Non-LIS majors may contact the School of Library and Information Science and request permission to enroll in the required courses.

What are the costs?

For pricing information, click here.  As a student enrolled in a certificate program, you are not eligible for financial aid.  For detailed tuition information, click here