It can be quite difficult to obtain data such as employment outcomes of graduates. However, this is one of the most powerful data points for assessing the success of the program. The information below concerns MLIS students who graduated in spring, summer, and fall semesters of the year reviewed.
OU SLIS MLIS Alumni Survey, Conducted July 2021
In 2019, 56 students graduated with their MLIS, and 10 responded to the Alumni Survey in 2021 (return rate of 17.9%). Of these, eight (80%) reported that they were employed in the LIS field within one year of graduation. Of the two not employed in the LIS field within one year, one had looked but been unable to find LIS employment, and one had not sought employment in the LIS field.
SLIS admits master's students on a rolling basis, to start in Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. However, the data in this table only includes students admitted in the Fall (the Graduate College reports admissions and yield for Fall admissions only).
SLIS made a change to the admissions standards that went into effect in 2017, and at the same time implemented scheduling changes that made the online degree more accessible. Data from this table show that between 2016-17 and 2017-18, admissions increased by 32.6%, which may be related to these changes.
MLIS Completion Within 5 Years of Matriculation
|# of Students||# of Completions||Completion Rate|
The OU Graduate College allows five years from matriculation (when students begin the program) to finish a master's program. Therefore, these retention numbers reflect students who completed the MLIS within five years. It is possible for students to petition for an extension, and the "time to graduation" data do show that a very small percentage of students complete their master's degrees within six to six and a half years. The retention numbers in this table do not include students who took longer than five years to complete.
Median Time to Degree For Students Who Graduated in These Years
|Year||Amount of Time|
The minimum time from starting the program to graduating was 1.4 years in all years 2014 to 2019. The maximum time was 7.0 years.
The OU Graduate College requires the sucessful completion of an end of program assessment to complete the graduate degree. For the MLIS, students can choose between comprehensive exams, a portfolio, or write a thesis. The Graduate College allows students two attempts to pass their end of program assessment experience. After two attempts, if they do not pass, they fail to receive their degree. Failure of the second attempt by MLIS students is uncommon.
SLIS changed the end of program assessment options to phase out the comprehensive exam option and to change the portfolio option to an ePortfolio beginning with students admitted to the program in Fall 2021. The thesis remains an end of program option as well.
MLIS Student End of Program Assessment Choices
|Academic Year||Total #||ePortfolios||Comp Exams||Portfolios||Theses|
|2014-15||54||na||47 - 87.0%||7 - 13.0%||0|
|2015-16||47||na||34 - 72.3%||12 - 25.5%||1 - 2.1%|
|2016-17||62||na||43 - 69.3%||18 - 29.0%||1 - 1.6%|
|2017-18||62||na||42 - 67.7%||20 - 32.3%||0|
|2018-19||58||na||33 - 56.9%||25 - 43.1%||0|
|2019-20||72||na||52 - 72.2%||20 - 27.8%||0|
|2020-21||79||na||52 - 65.8%||27 - 34.2%||0|
|2021-22||58||na||47 - 81.0%||11 - 19.0%||0|
As can be seen from the above table, more and more of the MLIS students are choosing portfolios as their end of program assessment option. While most students used to choose comprehensive exams, by the 2018-19 academic year, nearly half of student chose portfolio.
MLIS Students' Comprehensive Exam Results by Semester and Year
Summary from 2016-2019
SLIS has periodically made changes to the structure of the comprehensive exam. From 2012 to 2016 students took a take-home exam with no oral defense option. From 2017 forward, students who failed the written test have the option to do an oral defense of their exam. The SLIS faculty made this structural change because of an alarming trend of increased failure rates of the written exam. After the structural change, the student outcomes have returned to more expected levels.
MLIS Students' Portfolio Results by Semester and Year
|Year||Semester||# Portfolios||# Pass Outright||# Minor Revision||# Major Revision||# Failed|
MLIS Students' ePortfolio Results by Semester and Year
|Year||Semester||# ePortfolios||# Pass Outright||# Minor Revision||# Major Revision||# Failed|
MLIS Students' Thesis Results by Semester and Year
|Year||Semester||# Thesis||# Pass Outright||# Minor Revision||# Major Revision||# Failed|
Anyone can access institutional data about the University of Oklahoma academic programs through the following data sites:
This university office provides data about enrollment, credit hour production, number of students graduated by college and program, and other similar information.
This new data app allows users to obtain a variety of information about students in specific programs such as demographic information, time to degree, and more. At this time, some of the data reflect FALL ADMITS ONLY. Therefore, for programs such as SLIS it only has information for some of our master's students. However, they do plan to add spring and summer admitted students eventually.
Scholarships and Awards
For the 2022-23 academic year, SLIS awarded $21, 166.67 to 19 recipients.
For the 2021-22 academic year, SLIS awarded $35,850 to 25 recipients.
For the 2020-21 academic year, SLIS awarded $33,000 to 24 recipients.
For the 2019-20 academic year, SLIS awarded $34,400 to 32 recipients.
For the 2018-19 academic year, SLIS awarded $40,500 to 25 recipients.
MLIS students also receive scholarships and awards from other organizations. Some examples include:
The Graduate College reports the number of graduating students who held graduate assistant positions. They report these graduate assistantship numbers by academic year:
|# of Students||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||2022|
|# of MLIS awarded||63||54||72||78||58||68|
|# had graduate assistantship||21||13||13||19||10||14|
Experience working in libraries is an important component of education for library and archives professionals as it allows opportunities for students to combine theory with hands-on practice. Employers are keenly interested in prior LIS work experience so it is in a student's best interest to pursue these opportunities.
According to data from the SLIS Alumni Survey, half of students who come in to the MLIS program have prior work experience in libraries or archives. (5 out of 10 respondents of the 2019 graduating class, surveyed in 2021).
The percentage of MLIS graduates who completed an internship has decreased in recent years:
For a complete list of alumni award winners, please visit our SLIS Alumni page!