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Dual Master's

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Dual Master's Degrees

The OU Graduate College allows dual master's degrees to be pursued with any two master's programs that agree to it. In practical terms, this means that both departments have to agree to shared credit hours that will count towards both degrees. Other than those shared courses, students must do all requirements for both degrees, including two end-of-program assessments (such as comprehensive exams or a master's thesis). The number of shared courses may vary by department.

The most common dual master's pursued by LIS students is with the History of Science department. This combination might appeal to those who are interested in a career with history of science collections, science collections, or working with rare books and manuscripts.

SLIS has had conversations with two other OU master's programs that would be willing to do dual degrees with SLIS, if there were student interest: The online Master of Museum Studies, and the online or on-campus Master of Social Work. We approached these programs because of the clear career paths for people with these degrees. In fact, we have a few MLIS graduates who later got the Master of Museum Studies. The Social Work possibilities are really interesting for people who want to work in public libraries, as it is becoming increasingly common for large public library systems to employ or work with a social worker. If an interested student does not have a bachelor's in social work, this dual degree might require more hours. We haven't had a student do this combination yet so we would have to work out the particulars if a student was interested.

Back in the 1980s, SLIS had two established dual degree programs, one was with the Business College for an MLIS/MBA. The other was with the College of Law for an MLIS/J.D., which is a common combination at other LIS schools. Law librarianship is a sub-specialty in the field and, while not all jobs require both the MLIS and the J.D., many jobs do require both. The College of Law is amenable to dual degrees.

The OU College of Law has recently started an online master's degree in Indigenous People's Law.  This seems like it would be a really useful addition to the MLIS for people who intend to work in tribal libraries. We do not know if a dual master's would be possible (i.e. if Law would agree), but if there is an interested student we can approach them and see. Here is more information on that program.

While we have given some examples here, there are many more possibilities that SLIS would be happy to explore for you. Art History? Childhood Education? Spanish language and literature? Let us know!