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MLIS Admissions Procedures

Be sure to complete the Supplemental Section for LIS that includes: 

  • your statement of purpose and goals* 
  • your professional resume

Your application will be considered after all items are submitted!

*The statement of purpose and goals is a one- to two-page essay stating your purpose and goals in applying to our program. In your statement, include the nature of your interest, how you became interested in this field, your short and long-term goals, the strengths you would bring to the information profession, and how the OU program will help meet your career and educational objectives. This essay will be included in the evidence on which the admission decision is based.

Applicants may check on the status of their application file in the SLIS office by calling 405-325-3921 or emailing Sarah Connelly at

NoteThe SLIS Admissions and Scholarships Committee considers applicants for admission only upon receipt of complete application files, including all documents listed above. The various documents do not have to be submitted simultaneously but all parts must be present before admission consideration.

Admissions Criteria

Admissions Procedures

The admission policy of the Master of Library and Information Studies degree program has as its goal the selection of persons who are academically well qualified and who exhibit a potential for contributions in the area of library and information services. The School of Library and Information Studies encourages applications from students with diverse educational, geographical, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. 

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to the Graduate College, applicants must also meet the admissions requirements for the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree program. Compliance with those requirements is demonstrated by submission of the following documents:

  • An application to the MLIS program.
  • A statement of purpose and goals
  • A professional resume.
  • Three references from persons familiar with the applicant’s scholastic or employment record. 

Full Graduate Standing

For admission to full graduate admission standing in the School, the candidate must have supplied all of the items listed above and must be eligible for admission to degree status in the Graduate College. In addition, the School requires graduation from an accredited four-year college with a 3.0 cumulative GPA over their undergraduate and/or graduate work (on a 4-point scale where 4.00 is an A). 

The grade point average is based on the following:

  • If a bachelor’s degree has been earned at a regionally accredited college or university, the cumulative grade point average from the conferred degree is used. All letter-graded courses are subject to evaluation.
  • If graduate work has been completed at a regionally accredited college or university, but no master’s degree has been earned, the cumulative grade point average from the conferred bachelor’s degree is used. All letter-graded courses are subject to evaluation.
  • If a master’s degree has been earned at a regionally accredited college or university, the cumulative grade point average from the conferred degree is used. All letter-graded courses are subject to evaluation.

Applicants that do not meet the criteria for full admission to SLIS are evaluated by the Admissions and Scholarships Committee. All admission materials, not just the GPA, will be used in determining the admissibility of applicants.

Conditional Admission Status

A graduate of an accredited four-year institution whose grade point average is below 3.0 but not less than 2.80, and who has met all other requirements for admission to full graduate standing may be admitted conditionally. Students admitted in a conditional admission status must meet specific requirements dictated by the Graduate College and the School. These requirements are established at the time of admission. For further information on conditional admission, applicants are urged to consult the current Graduate College Bulletin. 

Applicants whose grade point average is below 2.80, but who have met all other requirements, may apply for admission after completing at least 12 hours at the undergraduate (3000 and above) level in an effort to improve the grade point average and demonstrate academic competence. 

A personal interview may be required of any applicant.

Registration, Enrollment, and Advisement

A student may apply at any time of the year for admission to a degree program in the School of Library and Information Studies. However, preference is given to applications received prior to:

  • October 15 for entry the following spring semester,
  • March 1 for entry the following fall semester.

NOTE: To be considered for departmental scholarships and graduate assistantships for the subsequent academic year, students must be admitted prior to March 1st.  

Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions as soon as possible, usually within two to three weeks after receipt of all parts of the application. 

A faculty adviser is assigned when the student is recommended for admission to the School. Upon acceptance to the program and prior to the completion of 12 hours at the latest (including any hours taken before official admission to the program), any student in the MLIS program must file with the School a program of study showing which courses are to constitute the 36 hours to be taken for the degree, including any courses to be taken at the University of Oklahoma outside the School and any courses transferred from another institution. In order to enroll in courses, a student must have been admitted to the University and Graduate College. Enrollment during the advance registration periods is limited to students admitted to the School. Unclassified students will be placed on a waiting list and admitted on a space available basis. 

Students who have been denied admission to the program are not eligible to enroll in any LIS courses.

Admittance/Enrollment of Undergraduates in Library and Information Studies Courses

Qualified junior or senior undergraduates at the University of Oklahoma may, with permission of the School, enroll in 5000-level graduate courses for either undergraduate or graduate credit (special conditions will apply in the case of graduate credit). 

Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the School contingent upon completion of the bachelor’s degree. If the bachelor’s degree is not completed within the timeframe stipulated for the admission, the student may be administratively withdrawn from LIS courses and/or from the program.

Transfer Credit

All transfer credit must be approved by the University’s Office of Admissions and the School’s Graduate Studies Committee. The conditions for transfer of credit include the following:

  • All hours must be graduate hours from an accredited institution, graded A or B, and must not have been applied toward another degree.
  • All library/information studies hours must be from an ALA-accredited program.
  • All hours must be related to and supportive of each individual’s program.
  • No more than nine hours may be transferred into the MLIS program.
  • The student is responsible for submitting a written request to the Graduate Studies Committee, asking for consideration of the transfer hours and providing documentation regarding the applicability of such coursework.
  • All hours applied to the program must fall within the time limits given below.

Time Limits

A student is expected to complete the master’s degree within five calendar years from the term in which the first course work was taken. If a student has not enrolled in classes for one year or more, he or she must apply for readmission to the University, the Graduate College, and the School.