This pathway is designed for students who are not yet certified teachers who want to earn their MLIS degree and initial licensure in school librarianship.

Below is an overview of the requirements for earning the MLIS degree and initial licensure in school library media. This pathway is for students who are not already certified teachers. An individual program plan will be developed for each student based on previous coursework, professional experience, and other credentials.

MLIS Requirements

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
INFOST 501GFoundations of Library & Information Science3
INFOST 511GOrganization of Information3
INFOST 571GInformation Access & Retrieval3
INFOST 799Research Methods in Information Studies3

Notes: Coursework must be done at the Graduate (G) level; a grade of B or better is required for each course; 799 is recommended in the final term as the culminating experience.

School Library Media Requirements

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
INFOST 520GManaging Library Collections3
INFOST 637GLibrary Services for Young Children1
INFOST 638GLibrary Services of School-Aged Children1
INFOST 639GLibrary Services for Teens1
INFOST 611GCataloging for Small Libraries1
INFOST 640GInformation Literacy Instruction3
INFOST 642GSchool Library Media Programs & Resources3
INFOST 645GLibrary Materials for Children3
INFOST 646GLibrary Materials for Young Adults3
INFOST 647GNow covered in INFOST 637, INFOST 638, INFOST 639
INFOST 670GInstructional Technologies3

Notes: Equivalent coursework and/or professional experience may allow you to waive a class for certification, not considered to be transfer credits towards MLIS.

Initial Teaching License Requirements

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
CURRINS 545Reading in the Content Areas: Middle, Junior & Senior HS3
INFOST 630Strategies for Managing Group Learning & Assessment in Libraries3
EDPSYCH 640Human Development: Theory & Research3
EDPSYCH 600Survey of Exceptional Education3
WORKSHOPSeminar on ACT 31 – History, Culture & Sovereignty Rights of Wisconsin IndiansNo Credit

School Library Fieldwork

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
INFOST 643GPre-student Teaching Experience in School Libraries2
INFOST 543Student Teaching Experience in School Libraries6

Notes: See the fieldwork tab for further information. Some students may need to take 3 credits of pre-student teaching, and most students will complete the full semester of student teaching while on the job.


All students must finish a total of 36 graduate credits for the MLIS degree, or a total of 30 credits if they already hold another graduate degree. Any remaining requirements for the certification may be completed at the undergraduate level.

Total Credits: 53

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a cohort group?

Each student follows an individualized program plan at their own pace. There is no cohort group.

How many classes should I take each term?

Our students take anywhere from 1-3 classes each term. Plan to spend about 10 hours a week on each 3-credit class. Courses in the summer are condensed and require more hours per week.

Where can I learn more about the courses?

See this link for sample course syllabi and visit this link for the current class schedule. Classes are listed under INFOST.
Courses are offered online, asynchronously through Canvas and most of them are offered several times a year (fall, spring and/or summer).

Our rolling admissions process and flexible start dates allow you to begin the program in fall, spring or summer term. The priority enrollment deadlines are March 1 for the fall term and Nov. 1 for the spring term.

To join the MLIS degree with the School Library Media certification program complete the following steps:

  1. Apply to the School of Information Studies at UWM

    If you are applying after Dec. 1 for the spring term or after July 1 for the fall term, please email Angie Sadowsky at so she can assist in processing your paperwork.

    Visit the UWM Panthera Graduate School Application portal at to create an account and submit your application. On the application, be sure to select School Librarianship when asked to select a concentration from the drop-down menu.

    [Note: if you wish to change or remove the School Librarianship concentration from your program of studies at a later date, you may do so with this form: MLIS Concentration Declaration of Intent Form]

  2. After you are admitted to UWM and have a student ID number, complete the following:

    A. School Librarianship Confirmation Form

    To officially declare the SLM program complete the confirmation form below

    This is also a chance to submit transcripts and documentation of previous education and experience to be reviewed for possible course waivers. An individual plan will be emailed upon official admission to the program.

    B. Criminal Background Check

    Background checks are required for all SLM students. Checks are done through UWM’s School of Education in partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools. Notification of the completion of the check will be posted in your PAWS student account; please allow several weeks for this process.

    Email a legible scan (no photos please) of your Criminal Background Check Application (PDF) to the School of Education email: All sections are required, including signature and date – incomplete applications will not be processed. A $13 application fee is required for processing. To pay this fee via credit or debit card, visit

Hours & Credits

Supervised fieldwork is required of all candidates for the 1902 license. Students must complete their fieldwork under the mentorship of a School Library Media Specialist who has a WI 1902 license (or equivalent) and three years of experience at the site.

The requirements for number of hours depend on your current role in a library. Credits for 643G can be split across semesters. Ideally, fieldwork will take place in your final semester(s). See the chart below.

Student Teaching Practicum
2 credits/100 hours
Hours split between:
-50 hours K-5 not in your current role
-50 hours 6-12 not in your current role
3 credits / 150 hours
Hours split between:
-50 hours at the K-5 level
-50 hours at the 6-8 level
-50 hours at the 9-12 level
Full Semester of Student Teaching
6 credits – full time/full semester
100% in role – Completed for the full semester in the K-12 school where you are currently working
6 credits – full time/full semester
Time split:
-Half semester at the K-5 level
-Half semester at the 6-12 level

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I complete my fieldwork hours when I am working full-time in a school?

Although it seems daunting, everyone is always successful in creating the schedule they need. Use the fieldwork chart above to see how many hours can be completed in your current role. Hours outside of your role can be completed during August in-service days, professional development days, spring break, release time, starting early or staying late. Additionally, you may count 10 hours of professional development time at SLATE in the fall or WEMTA in the spring.

What should I expect to do during my fieldwork?

All fieldwork placements involve finding a mentor, goal-setting, observing and reflecting with your mentor, having your mentor and the university supervisor observe your teaching, journaling, and self-reflection. At your placement, avoid being told or shown in favor of rolling up your sleeves and doing the work. Your placements are a great time to get your questions answered, learn practical skills, and discuss important issues.

How is my fieldwork assessed?

Your site mentor will complete a grading form, an assessment rubric, and an observation of your teaching. Your university supervisor will observe your teaching and evaluate the documents you turn in to the class Canvas site—self-assessment rubrics, journal reflections, etc.

Susan Hersh
Senior Lecturer / School Library Media Coordinator
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Angela Sadowsky
Senior Advisor
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Declaration of Intent

You may declare a concentration at the time of your application to the program or you may use the link below to add or remove the concentration after admission.