Online Master of Science in Library and Information Science

Apply by the Sept. 25 Early Priority Deadline for the January Cohort.

What Is a Master’s of Library and Information Science Degree?

A master of library and information science (MLIS) degree provides a thorough grounding in the knowledge, skills, and values of librarianship in an interdisciplinary context. Syracuse University’s iSchool offers an online MLIS degree that bridges the gap between people, information, and technology.

"Library and information science professionals serve diverse communities as advocates for evolving information services, equitable access, and ethical use of information in cultural institutions such as libraries, archives, and museums."

- Jian Qin, Director, MS in Library and Information Science and MS in LIS with School Media Specialization Programs

The Top-Ranked iSchool's Online MS in Library and Information Science

Syracuse’s online MLIS was ranked the #4 Best Library and Information Studies Program by U.S. News & World Report.1 The MLIS program stands out because of its educational opportunities that go beyond formal coursework, including one-on-one faculty interaction, hands-on library learning, and industry exposure.

A Trusted ALA Accredited Program

ala accreditedSyracuse University’s iSchool has been accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1928.2 This ALA accreditation provides flexibility in the types of libraries and jobs for which students can apply and further enhances career mobility. In fact, many employers require an ALA-accredited master’s degree for professional level positions.

Where We Stand

#4 Best Library and Information Studies Program1

#4 In Digital Librarianship

#2 In School Library Media

#2 In Information Systems

Why Earn a Master’s in Library Information Science?

The iSchool’s MLIS degree helps students fine-tune their skills in both theory and practice. The online MS in library science is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in a broad range of settings, including:

  • Academic institutions
  • Public libraries
  • Corporations
  • Government agencies
  • Cultural institutions

The Value of an MLIS Degree

Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in libraries, information centers, and the broader information environment, leading to a rewarding career in various positions, including academic librarians, data scientists, archivists, school media specialists, and many others.

MLIS graduates have gone on to secure positions at organizations including:

  • AmeriCorps
  • NYC Department of Education
  • Penguin Random House
  • National Gallery of Art
  • PepsiCo

Explore how an MLIS degree can propel your career.

Curriculum and Learning Outcomes

The forward-thinking MLIS curriculum prepares students to have a positive impact on how communities access and use information. Uniquely designed to prepare effective library and information science leaders, the program offers opportunities for students to customize their education and gain hands-on experience.

By emphasizing both theory and practice, the curriculum encompasses each sector of the profession, teaching students to adopt a user-friendly mentality in librarianship. Students explore the importance of technology in providing quality service, as well as why 21st-century librarians must be skilled managers of information.

36 Credit Hours

Complete in as Few as 18 Months

What You’ll Learn

To ensure graduates emerge fully prepared to succeed as library and information science professionals, faculty focus on learning outcomes that help students to:

Apply the skills and attitudes of visioning, entrepreneurship, advocacy, planning and management to leadership in the information field

Manage information resources and the information life-cycle through the processes of collection development, representation, organization, preservation, curation, access, and dissemination in accordance with physical, virtual, and technical infrastructure and needs

Apply appropriate pedagogical and learning theory principles in the design, development, implementation, and assessment of library instruction and learning that contribute towards an information and technology literate society

Design and employ policies essential for creating and providing information services and resources guided by the values of patron privacy, equitable access, intellectual freedom, and ethical use of information

Possess the skills to respect, engage and collaborate with a diverse community in order to advocate for and construct inclusive, meaningful, and participatory library services, programs and resources

Perform and assess research-based practices through the application of information literacy, inquiry, and research methods including data discovery, analytics and qualitative measures

The curriculum is comprised of 18 credits of primary core coursework and 15 electives. Students may take any iSchool graduate courses as electives, as well as up to 6 credits of specific courses from other Syracuse University schools, providing you with an interdisciplinary learning experience.

Develop Specialized Skills

The iSchool offers a specialization in school media. This specialization teaches students how to provide an active curriculum support service and library and information skills instruction within elementary and secondary school settings.

The iSchool also offers Certificates of Advanced Study, or CAS, requiring no additional coursework, allowing students to develop specialized skills for career advancement.


Take the Next Step

Earn your MS in Library and Information Science online

Admissions Overview

Syracuse’s iSchool seeks students who are passionate about harnessing the power of information. Our admissions team reviews and carefully considers each application, determining who could best contribute their knowledge and experiences to the iSchool community.

Review the application requirements.

Upcoming Deadlines

Syracuse offers four cohort start dates each year. See the application deadlines for our upcoming cohorts:

January 2021 final cohort deadline: November 13, 2020

Unmatched Online Learning at the Syracuse iSchool

iSchool online students are fully immersed in the Syracuse community, with access to the same resources and service as on-campus students. Using advanced technology, the iSchool@Syracuse ensures the main focuses of your experience remain on learning and forming connections.

As an online student in the MS in library science program, you’ll experience:

Live, online class sessions each week

A virtual campus that allows you to establish connections, track coursework, find social groups, and more

Engaging coursework from world-class faculty

1 U.S. News & World Report, Top Library and Information Science Programs (Accessed September 2019) Return to footnote reference
2 American Library Association, ALA Accredited Programs, (Accessed September 2019) Return to footnote reference