Our Library Science degree program (MLIS), accredited by the American Library Association since 1976, prepares librarians and information professionals to manage change in an urbanized, technologically oriented and knowledge-based society. Its systematic course of study enables individuals with a strong service orientation to apply principles of library and information science, to use current methods and tools, and to recognize the value of research.
Things to know…
Our MLIS program has been continuously accredited by ALA since 1976. This accreditation is important to you as a student as many library and information centers only hire graduates of ALA-accredited programs.
Online & Onsite
Our flexible program options include both online and onsite degree completion (with no residency requirement). Our online program is one of the longest-running online MLIS programs in the nation.
MLIS Program Options at a Glance
The library science degree program can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students. A variety of transcript-designated concentrations and areas of specialization are available, which gives students the opportunity to customize their elective coursework and focus their studies on a special area of interest. We invite you to explore our MLIS degree options and encourage you to contact our academic advisors or faculty mentors for guidance.
Careers within the information professions vary and sometimes require specialized preparation and experience. A transcript-designated concentration allows students to follow a defined course plan to prepare for a specific area or profession. Available transcript-designated concentrations include:
- Archival Studies Concentration
- Information Organization Concentration
- Information Technology Concentration
- Public Library Concentration
- School Library Media / School Librarianship (for teachers)
- School Library Media / School Librarianship (for non-teachers)
A number of areas of specialization are available, which gives students the opportunity to customize their elective coursework and focus their studies on a special area of interest. Students can get guidance from faculty members in these areas when choosing elective coursework.
In collaboration with several other academic units at UW-Milwaukee, SOIS offers students the opportunity to obtain two master’s degrees concurrently — one in Library and Information Science (MLIS) and one in a subject area.
Coordinated Degree Programs Include:
- MLIS/MS Anthropology
- MLIS/MA Art History
- MLIS/MA English
- MLIS/MA Geography
- MLIS/MS Health Care Informatics
- MLIS/MA History
- MLIS/MS Information Science & Technology
- MLIS/MA Language, Literature, and Translation
- MLIS/MM Music
- MLIS/MA Translation and Interpreting Studies
- MLIS/MS Urban Studies
- MLIS/MA Women’s and Gender Studies
Note: the MLIS portion of the coordinated degrees can be completed fully online
Earn Your Degree Onsite or Online
As a pioneer in online delivery, SOIS prides itself on ensuring our online programs meet the same high standards as our onsite programs. Both our online and onsite courses are taught by the same highly ranked faculty and instructors, and all faculty. Regardless of location, you can be certain you will get a high-quality research, service and student-centered degree that will prepare you to be a leader in the information profession.
MLIS Degree Requirements
The minimum degree requirement for our library science degree is 36 graduate credits, of which 30 credits must be in library and information science (INFOST).
Do you currently have a master’s or doctorate?
Students who have already completed a master’s or doctorate in a field other than library and information science may have the library and information science master’s program reduced to 30 credits.
|Course Number||Course Name||Credits|
|INFOST 501G||Foundations of Library and Information Science||3|
|INFOST 511G||Organization of Information||3|
|INFOST 571G||Information Access and Retrieval||3|
|INFOST 799G (591)||Research Methods in Information Studies (Culminating experience for the degree)||3|
The complete list of courses offered by the School of Information Studies can be found in the UWM Academic Catalog.
Culminating Experience Requirement
INFOST 799 Research Methods
Library science degree students are required to demonstrate proficiency in the field of library and information science by successfully completing with a grade of ‘B’ (not B-), INFOST 799 (591): Research Methods in Information Studies – the culminating experience for the MLIS program.
Please note: Students who transfer in a research methods course from another university cannot use it as the culminating experience. They will need to successfully complete INFOST 799 (591): Research Methods in Information Studies or complete the thesis to meet the requirement for the culminating experience.
The Fieldwork course INFOST 990 is designed to provide library and information science students with practical experience. In the master’s program, the course is normally taken as the culminating educational activity prior to beginning a professional position. It is not intended for students who have had substantial previous work experience in libraries. An experienced student who desires or needs experience in a new type of librarianship might find this course to be particularly helpful. Postgraduates who are enrolled in the Certificate of Advanced Study program often enroll in the fieldwork course because they wish to change their professional direction.
Fieldwork offers students an opportunity to test theory in practice, to work with people in everyday situations, and relate materials to the library experience. It can help bridge the gap between the classroom and the job. Students must have completed all required courses prior to registering for the fieldwork experience.
For further information on fieldwork and placement in libraries and information centers, contact the SOIS graduate advisors.
Program Completion Time Frame
|36-credit hour program||within 7 years of initial enrollment|
|30-credit hour program||within 5 years of initial enrollment|
Minimum Grade Requirement
The minimum grade requirement for each of the required courses is “B” (not B-). If an MLIS student fails to meet this requirement, they are required to retake the course. Students may retake a failed course one time. Students are responsible for the tuition of the retaken course. Until the requirement is met, students who fail to meet this requirement cannot take another course in which that course is a prerequisite. A student who fails to receive a “B” or higher after retaking a required course will be recommended to the Graduate School for academic dismissal. (Effective: Fall 2004)
MLIS Job Titles & Employers
|Head of Collections Services||Kenosha Public Library – Kenosha, WI|
|Metadata Services Coordinator||University of Houston, Houston, TX|
|Deputy Director||Racine Public Library – Racine, WI|
|Digital Projects & Technologies Librarian||University of Toronto – Toronto, ON|
|Music and Fine Arts Cataloging Librarian||University of Kentucky – Lexington, KY|
|Chief Operating Officer||Abundant Health Acquisition – Milwaukee, WI|
|Data Intelligence Program Lead||Alation – Lake Mills, WI|
|Principal Taxonomist||Guitar Center – Thousand Oaks, CA|
|Social Sciences Librarian||Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo, MI|
|Head of Knowledge Management & Digital Assets||Milwaukee Art Museum – Milwaukee, WI|
|Supervisory Librarian||National Forest Service Library – Madison, WI|
|Web Editorial Producer||Trek Bicycle – Waterloo, WI|
|School Library Media Specialist||Whitefish Bay, WI|
|Librarian, Women’s, Gender, & LGBTQIA+ Studies Specialist||Library of Congress – Washington DC|
Median Salary By Job Assignment
|Occupation||2020 Median Salary|
|Archival and Preservation||$50,000|
|School Librarian/School Library Media Specialist||$53,750|
|User Experience /Usability Analysis||$97,500|
|Metadata, Cataloging & Taxonomy||$55,000|
|Digital Content Management||$48,750|
See complete details at: www.libraryjournal.com/story/ljs-placements-and-salaries-survey-2020
Master’s Degree Admission (MLIS)
The admission process for the library science degree program is the same whether you are a full-time or part-time, on-site or online (including blended/hybrid) student. An applicant must meet all UWM Graduate School admission requirements in addition to the requirements of the School of Information Studies to be considered for the MLIS program.
We practice rolling admissions, but we recommend a deadline of Nov. 1 for spring and March 1 for summer and fall – this is also the priority deadline for funding consideration.
How Do I Apply?
|UWM Graduate School – Online Application Portal (Panthera)|
Upon submitting your application you will receive an email from the university explaining how to check the status of your application on our PAWS online student information system.
One or two pages outlining your background and focusing on your educational and professional goals.
Unofficial transcripts from each institution attended can be uploaded in Panthera.
Official copies not needed until first term in program.
|Application Processing Fee||Required|
|GRE Test||Not Required|
|Letters of Recommendation||Not Required|
After you have submitted all application materials to the UWM Graduate School, the application is reviewed and you will receive a notification email of the final decision from the Graduate School.
Please visit the UWM Graduate School website for complete details on admission requirements.
|Minimum Qualifications||Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent|
GPA of at least 2.75 (4.0 scale)
|Coordinated Degree Program Admission||Coordinated Degree Program applicants should follow the MLIS admission/application procedure. Students must apply using the appropriate coordinated degree program application found within the UWM Graduate School online application portal (Panthera).|
Students must be admitted to both programs to be considered a coordinated degree program candidate. Please refer to the application and admission requirements of each individual program.
Acceptance and enrollment in the MLIS program are not contingent upon acceptance/enrollment in a chosen coordinated degree program. If you wish to change your application to enroll in the MLIS program only, please contact the Graduate School Admissions office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see the current list of Coordinated Degree Programs for more information.
|International Student Admission||International applicants should follow the MLIS admission/application procedure as well as the UWM Center for International Education (CIE) admission requirements found at: uwm.edu/cie/international-admissions/|
|Non-Degree Candidate (NDC) Admission||This admission category (also referred to as Graduate Special) is used for the following:|
– To enroll in classes without pursuing a degree.
– To prove your ability for success in graduate school when your overall GPA falls below the university admission requirements. (Note: NDC status does not guarantee admission to or enrollment in a graduate degree program.)
It is possible to take graduate-level credits as an NDC prior to admission to the MLIS program and have them count toward the degree. The limit to the number of such credits is 12. These credits must be approved by the UWM Graduate School and SOIS in order to be counted toward the degree.
For complete details on Non-Degree Candidate (NDC) Admission, please visit the: UWM Graduate School website: uwm.edu/graduateschool/non-degree-admission/