MLIS in Library and Information Science

The Library and Information Science (LIS) Program contributes to the essential knowledge, skills, and values of librarianship and the information professions through research, education, and outreach. Our Program offers the only Master's Degree in the state of Missouri that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). ALA's initial accreditation was granted in 1966/67, and the program was given continued accreditation in 2015.

The MLIS can be completed online.

We use several different course structures to provide you with the broadest and most instructionally appropriate class opportunities.

  • Online asynchronous classes allow you to participate anytime, anywhere.
  • Online synchronous classes, scheduled at fixed times to allow online, offer real-time interaction without the drive time.

Most library and information science faculty are based in Columbia. Clinical faculty in Kansas City and a Program Liaison in Omaha, NE provide student support and coordinate extracurricular activities. Students can seek the MLIS with emphasis areas of Archival Science, eLearning Information Professional, or Library Media Specialist, as well as Library Media Specialist with Certification.  

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 39 credit hours, including 18 credits of required courses. Each student completes a practicum (two to three credits). Elective courses are selected in consultation with faculty advisers.  The program of study must include 15 credit hours of 9000-level courses, and 12 hours of courses taught by a full-time faculty member.

Required Courses - must be taken prior to eportfolio development
IS_LT 7301Library and Information Technology3
or IS_LT 7320 Emerging Technologies in Libraries
IS_LT 7305Foundations of Library and Information Science3
IS_LT 7312Principles of Cataloging and Classification3
or IS_LT 7302 Organization of Information
IS_LT 7313Collection and Access Management3
IS_LT 7314Reference Sources and Services3
IS_LT 7315Management of Information Agencies3
(choose one of these, for 2 or 3 credit hours)
IS_LT 7380School Library Practicum2-3
or IS_LT 7381 Practicum in Information Agencies
Elective Courses
(at least 15 hours of 9000 level courses required)

Dual Degree Option: MLIS and MPA in Public Affairs

This online joint degree requires a total of 51 credit hours, including 21 required credit hours for the MLIS program, 18 required credit hours for the MPA program, and 12 credit hours to be shared between the two programs.  Applicants to the dual degree program must apply and be admitted to each program individually.

Library & Information Science courses (21 credits)
IS_LT 7301Library and Information Technology3
or IS_LT 7320 Emerging Technologies in Libraries
IS_LT 7302Organization of Information3
or IS_LT 7312 Principles of Cataloging and Classification
IS_LT 7305Foundations of Library and Information Science3
IS_LT 7313Collection and Access Management3
IS_LT 7314Reference Sources and Services3
IS_LT 7315Management of Information Agencies3
IS_LT 7381Practicum in Information Agencies2-3
Public Affairs courses (18 credit hours)
PUB_AF 8110Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Management3
PUB_AF 8170Public Policy Processes and Strategies3
PUB_AF 8180Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs I3
PUB_AF 8181Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs II3
PUB_AF 8210Public Service and Democracy3
PUB_AF 8520Human Resources Management and Development in Public and Nonprofit Sector3
Select 2 additional courses from each program for a total of 12 credit hours
PUB_AF 8720Budgeting and Financial Management in the Nonprofit Sector3
PUB_AF 8510Public Budgeting and Taxation3
PUB_AF 7540Local Government Management3
PUB_AF 8530Strategic Management of Public Service Organizations: People, Information and Money3
PUB_AF 8830Grant Writing I3
IS_LT 9408Information Policy3
IS_LT 9413Electronic Resource Management3
IS_LT 9012Public Library Community Partnerships3
IS_LT 9453Leadership and Planning in Information Agencies3
IS_LT 9443The Academic Library3
or IS_LT 9444 The Public Library

Graduate Examination Process

In your final semester, you will develop and present a portfolio of your work to demonstrate your mastery of the LIS Student Learning Outcomes. The portfolio contains descriptions of competencies and what they mean to you, explanations of artifacts, and reflections. You should start on your portfolio early in your coursework.

Portfolios can be submitted spring and fall semesters. You will be notified of the submission dates by the SISLT Student Services Office of the specific date at the beginning of your final semester.


SISLT Student Services 
304 Townsend Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-882-4546 or toll free 877-747-5868

Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the minimum requirements of the Master of Library & Information Science program and the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program's graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process. Your application materials will be reviewed by both the Graduate School and the degree program to which you’ve applied before official admission to the University of Missouri.

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