Library and Information Science MLIS
Explore the world of information with a Masters Degree in Library Information Science. The complexity of today’s information age requires greater expertise and knowledge than ever before, and we can help you gain the skills you need to excel in this evolving field. The University of Southern Mississippi is proud to offer an American Library Association accredited online Library and Information Science Masters Degree.
Through this convenient and affordable online degree, you will take courses in archiving, cataloging, reference, collection development, management, research, preservation, and digital libraries. Additional courses include internet resources, computer applications, systems analysis, information ethics, multicultural resources, and the history of books.
Additionally, we also offer an Archives and Special Collections Graduate Certificate online.
A graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science must meet the general requirements for admission to the university graduate program as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin. The Southern Miss Graduate School applications are fully online. Please submit your application, all required documentation listed below, and required fees via the online application found at the Graduate School for admission consideration.
Applications for admission are evaluated by a combination of the following criteria:
Undergraduate Record – Recently, students qualifying for regular admission to the master’s program have had a 3.0 (4.0 scale) grade point average for the last two years of undergraduate study. For conditional admission, the School of Library and Information Science adheres to the policies of the Graduate School as stated in the graduate bulletin.
Graduate Record Examination – The student must submit GRE scores for Verbal, Quantitative, and Written Analytical exams or submit official GMAT scores.
Letters of Recommendation – Three letters of recommendation on organizational letterhead stationary by professionals or academics assessing the readiness of the applicant for graduate work must be submitted electronically.
Application Essay – (750 – 1,000 words) Application essay discussing the student’s interest in library and information science, the types of libraries or other information environments in which they are interested, and statements about the student’s potential contributions to the field.
Resumé – This is submitted electronically with your online application.
Immunization Requirements – Beginning in summer 2015, all graduate students (including online-only students) are required to submit proof of immunization for measles and rubella, or documentation that they qualify for a waiver (if born before 1956, are pregnant, or have a medical condition that contraindicates taking a vaccine).
Required courses (22 hours):
- LIS 500 – Library Information Science 1 hr
- LIS 501 – Reference and Information Sources 3 hrs.
- LIS 505 – Cataloging and Classification 3 hrs.
- LIS 511 – Collection Development and Management 3 hrs.
- LIS 605 – Library Management 3 hrs.
- LIS 636 – Information: The Library and Society 3 hrs.
- LIS 651 – Introduction to Information Science 3 hrs.
- LIS 668 – Research Methods in Library and Information Science 3 hrs.
Electives (15 hours)
- with At least 3 hours at 600 level*
Master’s project (3 hours):
- LIS 695 – Master’s Project 3 hrs.
If near equivalences of any of the above required courses were taken on the graduate level at an ALA accredited institution with a grade of B or above, other electives may be substituted with permission of the director.
*One of the five electives must be one of these: 3 hours of LIS 516, LIS 557 or LIS 558
Frequently Asked Questions
Additional course fees may apply for the online library and information science masters degree. Fees range between $20 – $60.
You must apply to the graduate program and to the School of Library and Information Science. Admission is NOT automatic.
Graduate Admission Procedure
Applicants must submit the appropriate materials to the Office of Graduate Studies and to the School of Library and Information Science. Applicants must apply to departments separately.
The following application materials are to be sent to The University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of Graduate Admissions (118 College Drive #10066, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001). Admission is NOT automatic.
- Graduate application form. The form may be filled out online or you may download the form and fax or mail materials to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate colleges or universities attended. You must have completed your undergraduate degree.
- Official reports of test scores. An official copy of your GRE scores must be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. You must submit scores for all three sections: verbal, quantitative, and writing.
- Application fee of $25.
The following application materials are to be sent to the School of Library and Information Science (118 College Drive # 5146, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001). Admission is NOT automatic.
- Three sealed letters of recommendation. Even if you have applied to the Office of Graduate Admissions online, you are still required to download a Letter of Recommendation form to supply each of your evaluators (a minimum of three.)
- SLIS Student Questionnaire. (departmental application form and an opportunity to inform the department of your interest in an assistantship)
- Curriculum Vitae (Resume)
- Letter of Application. The letter should address your interest in librarianship and any qualities you possess that you believe would make you an attribute to the program.
Will other classes besides the ones listed in degree requirements count towards my library science degree?
Other classes that aren’t listed may count towards your online library and information science masters degree once your transcript has been evaluated and posted.
Do online students pay out-of-state tuition?
No, online students pay resident tuition. For information about pricing, click here.
Are you a military veteran or service member?
If yes, visit online.usm.edu/military for more information on how Southern Miss can serve you and your needs. We will help you with funding and scholarship information, admissions, and course enrollment.