This pathway is for students who are not yet certified teachers who want to earn their initial licensure in school librarianship. This is a Post-Baccalaureate certificate.

Below is an overview of the requirements for earning an 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.

School Library Media Requirements

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
INFOST 520Managing Library Collections3
INFOST 637Library Services for Young Children1
INFOST 638Library Services for School-Aged Children1
INFOST 639Library Services for Teens1
INFOST 640Information Literacy Instruction3
INFOST 642School Library Media Programs & Resources3
INFOST 645Library Materials for Children3
INFOST 646Library Materials for Young Adults3
INFOST 647Now covered in INFOST 637, INFOST 638, INFOST 639
INFOST 670Instructional Technologies3
INFOST 611 or ALA WorkshopCataloging for School Libraries or ALA Workshop1 Credit or No Credit

Notes: Equivalent coursework and/or professional experience may allow you to waive a class for certification.

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 643 U/GPre-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.

Total Credits: 41

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 November 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 December 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 UW System undergraduate application portal at to create an account and submit your application.

    This portal is for the entire UW System. Use the required application instruction document below to ensure that your file is routed directly to our program.

  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

    A criminal background check is required for entrance to all UWM K-12 licensure programs, even if you have recently completed a background check for state licensure renewal or employment. Background checks are completed through the CastleBranch system in partnership with the School of Education. Please see the instructions below, and address any questions to CastleBranch at 888-914-7279 or email

    CastleBranch Instructions:

    • Please select general admissions if no school library program is listed.
    • Complete the online form, set up an account with a password of your choice, and then submit the PDF for the state of WI.
    • DO NOT purchase a badge, place a rush order, order a vaccination card, or pay in installments because there will be an additional charge for these services and they are completely unnecessary.  

    The total cost, with processing fee, will be $41.99.

    (Orders placed before 6/1/2024 will result in a $27.00 reimbursement from the School of Education directly into your PAWS account after your background check has been processed.)

    Download Printable Instructions (.pdf)

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 643 U/G can be split across semesters. Ideally, fieldwork will take place in your final semester(s). See the chart below.

Pre-student Teaching Experience in School Libraries
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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