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Master's in Library and Information Studies

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Master of Library and Information Studies

The ability to generate, access, and use information has become the key factor in personal, social, and economic growth. The expanding global information society is encouraging the free flow of information; and the impact of rapidly changing information and communications technologies is reshaping our personal, educational, and social activities, our organizational and political practices, and our local, national, and international institutions. The impact of these changes on all types of organizations and on the professionals who manage them is unprecedented. Managing, organizing, and providing access to information have become key elements in the promotion of a free and democratic society. Information management covers not only resources in traditional library settings, but encompasses all information assets whether they are physical or digital. Information studies practitioners encourage lifelong learning through providing access to information in a multicultural society.

The University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies is the only American Library Association-accredited master's degree in Oklahoma (Continued accreditation). The Master of Library and Information Studies offers specialized tracks within traditional library settings and supports the development of skills, knowledge, and attitudes required in information agencies and in positions of information management, storage, organization, access, and use within profit and not-for-profit institutions.

SLIS offers a comprehensive degree program through coursework and practical experience. The MLIS degree requires a minimum of 36 hours of completed coursework. Students complete their degree through one of three options: passing a comprehensive examination, completing a written thesis, or completing a portfolio.

Admissions Criteria

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. 
  • GRE scores are NOT required.

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.

A graduate of an accredited four-year institution whose grade point average is below 3.0 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.  

A personal interview may be required of any applicant.

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.

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.

MLIS Career Opportunities

Holding an MLIS degree opens up a wide range of job opportunities in libraries, archives, museums, data and technology industries, and more. Following are some types of jobs that graduates might pursue:
  • Reference/Information Services
  • User experience/Usability analysis
  • School librarian/School Library Media Specialist
  • Children's services
  • Administration
  • Archival and preservation
  • Metadata, Cataloging & Taxonomy
  • Training, Teaching & Instruction
  • Data analytics
  • YA/Teen services
  • Teacher librarian
  • Adult services
  • Circulation
  • Digital content management
  • Public services
  • Technical services
  • Access Services
  • Information technology
  • Data curation & management
  • Collection development/Acquisitions
  • Records management
  • Outreach
  • Solo librarian
  • Emerging technologies
  • Systems Technology
  • Market intelligence/Business research
  • Patron programming
  • Knowledge management
  • Website design
  • Assessment
  • Government documents
  • Communications, PR, and social media
  • Rights & Permissions
  • Grant writing


Other possible specializations that don't appear on this list include librarians for special topics libraries such as law libraries, music libraries, fine arts libraries, engineering and math libraries, and other specializations.