MLS Admissions | Maryland's iSchool - College of Information Studies - Masters Program - University Of Maryland

School of Information Systems and Management

School of Information Systems and Management

Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Graduate School

MLS Admissions

Admissions Requirements

Applications are due on February 1. 

All applicants must meet the minimum requirements set by the University of Maryland Graduate School . These are:

  • Applicants must have earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution.
  • Applicants must have earned a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • Applicants must provide an official hard copy of a transcript for all of their post-secondary work.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants to the MLS Program are required to submit:

  • Graduate School application
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Applicant Essay (500 word targeted essay) 
  • Current resume
  • Three recommendations/evaluations

Score report on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

  • Applicants in these categories** are not required to submit GRE scores:
    • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or above
    • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above who have earned other graduate degrees
    • The cumulative undergraduate GPA is calculated by taking the average from all undergraduate courses taken.

** ALL School Library applicants must submit GRE scores.

Reviewers look at all of these documents when making admissions decisions, not just scores. We look for students who have a clear career path or goals for getting the degree, show an ability or willingness to work in the information field as it changes rapidly, for students who are looking to be leaders in the field, and of course students who demonstrate an ability to complete a rigorous graduate degree program. 

Average Scores
The average GPA for students admitted for Fall 2013 was 3.55, and the average GRE percentile rankings for those recommended for admission were 84% Verbal, 48% Quantitative, and 61% Analytical. Typically, for GRE Scores we want to see students with scores that are at or above the 50th percentile.

Admission to the university is a two-step process. First, a letter of recommendation for admission is sent from the iSchool to the applicant and to the Graduate School. Secondly, the Graduate School does a final evaluation and; either, makes the official offer of admission or requests missing documentation.  

Application Requirements by Specialization

The College of Information Studies will evaluate your application only when it is complete. We suggest that you submit your application well in advance of the application deadline. 

Make sure you read through the entirety of your specific application requirements.  Instructions for how to apply are divided by which specialization you are applying to.  There are different requirements for applications based on the specialization, so make sure you follow the proper instructions for your first choice specialization.* 

*If you apply for a specific specialization like Archives and are not admitted, you will be automatically re-evaluated for admission to the Individualized Program Plan. If admitted to that specialization, you can choose to pursue the Information and Diverse Populations Specialization or the Curation and Management of Digital Assets Specialization, or you can remain in the Individualized Program Plan Specialization.

Apply to the Archives, Records, and Information Management Specialization
To complete your application to the MLS Program with a specialization in Archives, Records, and Information Management, you must:
  • Complete The Graduate School application form and pay the $75 application fee.
  • Upload a current resume.
  • Upload three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • Mail one official, unopened copy of your transcript from each academic institution attended sent directly from the institution.
    • Official, unopened transcripts must be mailed to:
      University of Maryland College Park
      Enrollment Services Operations
      Application for Graduate Admission
      Room 0130 Mitchell Building
      College Park, MD 20742
  • Complete Maryland  In-State Tuition form , if applicable.
  • Submit official GRE scores, if required:
    • GRE scores must be sent directly to the College of Information Studies - UM from the Educational Testing Service.
    • Our institution code is 5814.
    • Applicants must submit GRE scores earned within five years of the time of application.
    • Waivers to the GRE Requirement:
      • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher are not required to submit a GRE score
      • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher AND who have earned another graduate degree are not required to submit a GRE score
      • **International applicants are REQUIRED to submit GRE scores
  • Applicant essay, approximately 500 words, that is submitted instead of the Personal Statement in the Application Supplemental Form, that addresses:
    • What do you see as the most interesting and/or significant opportunities provided by the information field?
    • Why are you interested in the particular degree for which you are applying, and why do you wish to pursue this degree at the College of Information Studies?
    • What strengths would you bring to graduate study and to the information profession?
    • What are your career plans, and how would this degree advance them?

**Additional requirements for International applicants, in addition to the requirements above:

  • Submit GRE scores.  They are required, even for students who might otherwise meet the standards for a waiver.
  • TOEFL Score Report Codes:
    • Institution Code: 5814
    • MLS/PhD Department Code: 80
    • MIM Department Code: 99
  • International applications are sent to the University’s International Education Services office for evaluation.  The International Education Services office reviews international academic credentials, financial certification, and English proficiency.  The College of Information Studies cannot make an admission decision on an international application unless it has first been evaluated by International Education Services.
Apply to the Curation and Management of Digital Assets Specialization

To complete your application to the MLS program with a specialization in Curation and Management of Digital Assets, you must:

  • Complete  The Graduate School application  form with a $75 check or money order made out to the University of Maryland.
  • Upload a current resume.
  • Upload three letters of recommendation.
  • Mail one official copy of your transcript from each academic institution attended sent directly from the institution.
    • Official, unopened transcripts must be mailed to:
      University of Maryland College Park
      Enrollment Services Operations
      Application for Graduate Admission
      Room 0130 Mitchell Building
      College Park, MD 20742
  • Complete Maryland  In-State Tuition form , if applicable.
  • Submit official GRE scores, if required 
    • GRE scores must be sent directly to the College of Information Studies - UM from the Educational Testing Service.
    • Our institution code is 5814.
    • Applicants must submit GRE scores earned within five years of the time of application.
    • Waivers of the GRE Requirement:
      • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher are not required to submit a GRE score
      • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher AND who have earned another graduate degree are not required to submit a GRE score
      • **International applicants are REQUIRED to submit GRE scores
  • Applicant essay, approximately 500 words, that is submitted instead of the Personal Statement in the Application Supplemental Form, that addresses:
    • What do you see as the most interesting and/or significant opportunities provided by the information field?
    • Why are you interested in the particular degree for which you are applying, and why do you wish to pursue this degree at the College of Information Studies?
    • What strengths would you bring to graduate study and to the information profession?
    • What are your career plans, and how would this degree advance them?

**Additional requirements for International applicants, in addition to the requirements above:

  • Submit GRE scores.  They are required, even for students who might otherwise meet the standards for a waiver.
  • TOEFL Score Report Codes:
    • Institution Code: 5814
    • MLS/PhD Department Code: 80
    • MIM Department Code: 99
  • International applications are sent to the University’s International Education Services office for evaluation.  The International Education Services office reviews international academic credentials, financial certification, and English proficiency.  The College of Information Studies cannot make an admission decision on an international application unless it has first been evaluated by International Education Services.
Apply to the Individualized Program Plan Specialization 

To complete your application to the MLS Program for the on-campus general track, you must:

  • Complete  The Graduate School application  form with a $75 check or money order made out to the University of Maryland.
  • Upload a current resume.
  • Upload three letters of recommendation.
  • Mail one official copy of your transcript from each academic institution attended sent directly from the institution.
    • Official, unopened transcripts must be mailed to:
      University of Maryland College Park
      Enrollment Services Operations
      Application for Graduate Admission
      Room 0130 Mitchell Building
      College Park, MD 20742
  • Complete Maryland  In-State Tuition form , if applicable.
  • Submit official GRE scores, if required 
    • GRE scores must be sent directly to the College of Information Studies - UM from the Educational Testing Service.
    • Our institution code is 5814.
    • Applicants must submit GRE scores earned within five years of the time of application.
    • Waivers of the GRE Requirement:
      • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher are not required to submit a GRE score
      • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher AND who have earned another graduate degree are not required to submit a GRE score
      • **International applicants are REQUIRED to submit GRE scores
  • Applicant essay, approximately 500 words, that is submitted instead of the Personal Statement in the Application Supplemental Form, that addresses:
    • What do you see as the most interesting and/or significant opportunities provided by the information field?
    • Why are you interested in the particular degree for which you are applying, and why do you wish to pursue this degree at the College of Information Studies?
    • What strengths would you bring to graduate study and to the information profession?
    • What are your career plans, and how would this degree advance them?

**Additional requirements for International applicants, in addition to the requirements above:

  • Submit GRE scores.  They are required, even for students who might otherwise meet the standards for a waiver.
  • TOEFL Score Report Codes:
    • Institution Code: 5814
    • MLS/PhD Department Code: 80
    • MIM Department Code: 99

International applications are sent to the University’s International Education Services office for evaluation.  The International Education Services office reviews international academic credentials, financial certification, and English proficiency.  The College of Information Studies cannot make an admission decision on an international application unless it has first been evaluated by International Education Services.

Apply to the General Online MLS Program

To complete your application to the Online MLS Program track, you must:

  • Complete  The Graduate School application  form with a $75 check or money order made out to the University of Maryland.
  • Upload a current resume.
  • Upload three letters of recommendation.
  • Mail one official copy of your transcript from each academic institution attended sent directly from the institution.
    • Official, unopened transcripts must be mailed to:
      University of Maryland College Park
      Enrollment Services Operations
      Application for Graduate Admission
      Room 0130 Mitchell Building
      College Park, MD 20742
  • Complete Maryland  In-State Tuition form , if applicable.
  • Submit official GRE scores, if required 
  • GRE scores must be sent directly to the College of Information Studies - UM from the Educational Testing Service.
  • Our institution code is 5814.
  • Applicants must submit GRE scores earned within five years of the time of application.
  • Waivers of the GRE Requirement:
    • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher are not required to submit a GRE score
    • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher AND who have earned another graduate degree are not required to submit a GRE score
    • **International applicants are REQUIRED to submit GRE scores
  • Applicant essay, approximately 500 words, that is submitted instead of the Personal Statement in the Application Supplemental Form, that addresses:
  • What do you see as the most interesting and/or significant opportunities provided by the information field?
  • Why are you interested in the particular degree for which you are applying, and why do you wish to pursue this degree at the College of Information Studies?
  • What strengths would you bring to graduate study and to the information profession?
  • What are your career plans, and how would this degree advance them?

**Additional requirements for International applicants, in addition to the requirements above:

  • Submit GRE scores.  They are required, even for students who might otherwise meet the standards for a waiver.
  • TOEFL Score Report Codes:
    • Institution Code: 5814
    • MLS/PhD Department Code: 80
    • MIM Department Code: 99
  • International applications are sent to the University’s International Education Services office for evaluation.  The International Education Services office reviews international academic credentials, financial certification, and English proficiency.  The College of Information Studies cannot make an admission decision on an international application unless it has first been evaluated by International Education Services.
Apply to the Government Information Management and Services Specialization (online)

To complete your application to the Online Government Information Management and Services track MLS Program, you must:

  • Complete  The Graduate School application  form with a $75 check or money order made out to the University of Maryland.
  • Upload a current resume.
  • Upload three letters of recommendation.
  • Mail one official copy of your transcript from each academic institution attended sent directly from the institution.
    • Official, unopened transcripts must be mailed to:
      University of Maryland College Park
      Enrollment Services Operations
      Application for Graduate Admission
      Room 0130 Mitchell Building
      College Park, MD 20742
  • Complete Maryland  In-State Tuition form , if applicable.
  • Submit official GRE scores, if required 
  • GRE scores must be sent directly to the College of Information Studies - UM from the Educational Testing Service.
  • Our institution code is 5814.
  • Applicants must submit GRE scores earned within five years of the time of application.
  • Waivers of the GRE Requirement:
  • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher are not required to submit a GRE score
  • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher AND who have earned another graduate degree are not required to submit a GRE score
  • **International applicants are REQUIRED to submit GRE scores
  • Applicant essay, approximately 500 words, that is submitted instead of the Personal Statement in the Application Supplemental Form, that addresses:
    • Current issues and challenges that applicants see regarding digital government information; the role of librarians and information professionals as stewards of digital information; and the interaction between government, technology, and users – particularly through the intersection of e-government services.
    • In the essay, applicants should reflect on current trends regarding e-government services, the digital government information context, open government, and the roles of libraries and librarians as providers of e-government services, curators of government information, and intermediaries between governments and the public.
    • In addition, the essay should address your particular career goals and how participation in the program will enable you to achieve these goals

**Additional requirements for International applicants, in addition to the requirements above:

  • Submit GRE scores.  They are required, even for students who might otherwise meet the standards for a waiver.
  • TOEFL Score Report Codes:
    • Institution Code: 5814
    • MLS/PhD Department Code: 80
    • MIM Department Code: 99
  • International applications are sent to the University’s International Education Services office for evaluation.  The International Education Services office reviews international academic credentials, financial certification, and English proficiency.  The College of Information Studies cannot make an admission decision on an international application unless it has first been evaluated by International Education Services.
Apply to the History and Library Science Dual-Degree Program

To complete your application to the History and Library Science dual-degree program, you must:

  • Complete  The Graduate School application  form with a $75 check or money order made out to the University of Maryland.
  • Upload a current resume.
  • Upload three letters of recommendation.
  • Mail one official copy of your transcript from each academic institution attended sent directly from the institution.
    • Official, unopened transcripts must be mailed to:
      University of Maryland College Park
      Enrollment Services Operations
      Application for Graduate Admission
      Room 0130 Mitchell Building
      College Park, MD 20742
  • Complete Maryland  In-State Tuition form , if applicable.
  • Submit official GRE scores
    • GRE scores must be sent directly to the College of Information Studies - UM from the Educational Testing Service.
    • Our institution code is 5814.
    • Applicants must submit GRE scores earned within five years of the time of application.
  • Applicant essay, approximately 500 words, that is submitted instead of the Personal Statement in the Application Supplemental Form, that addresses:
    • What do you see as the most interesting and/or significant opportunities provided by the information field?
    • Why are you interested in the particular degree for which you are applying, and why do you wish to pursue this degree at the College of Information Studies?
    • What strengths would you bring to graduate study and to the information profession?
    • What are your career plans, and how would this degree advance them?
  • Additional Requirements for the Department of History
    • ​1000-2000 word personal statement
    • Writing Sample 

**Additional requirements for International applicants, in addition to the requirements above:

  • Submit GRE scores.  They are required, even for students who might otherwise meet the standards for a waiver.
  • TOEFL Score Report Codes:
    • Institution Code: 5814
    • MLS/PhD Department Code: 80
    • MIM Department Code: 99

International applications are sent to the University’s International Education Services office for evaluation.  The International Education Services office reviews international academic credentials, financial certification, and English proficiency.  The College of Information Studies cannot make an admission decision on an international application unless it has first been evaluated by International Education Services.

Apply to the Information and Diverse Populations Specialization

To complete your application to the MLS Program with a specialization in Information and Diverse Populations, you must:

  • Complete  The Graduate School application  form with a $75 check or money order made out to the University of Maryland.
  • Upload a current resume.
  • Upload three letters of recommendation.
  • Mail one official copy of your transcript from each academic institution attended sent directly from the institution.
    • Official, unopened transcripts must be mailed to:
      University of Maryland College Park
      Enrollment Services Operations
      Application for Graduate Admission
      Room 0130 Mitchell Building
      College Park, MD 20742
  • Complete Maryland  In-State Tuition form , if applicable.
  • Submit official GRE scores, if required 
  • GRE scores must be sent directly to the College of Information Studies - UM from the Educational Testing Service.
    • Our institution code is 5814.
    • Applicants must submit GRE scores earned within five years of the time of application.
      • Waivers of the GRE Requirement:
      • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher are not required to submit a GRE score
      • Domestic applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher AND who have earned another graduate degree are not required to submit a GRE score
        • **International applicants are REQUIRED to submit GRE scores
  • Applicant essay, approximately 500 words, that is submitted instead of the Personal Statement in the Application Supplemental Form, that addresses:
    • What do you see as the most interesting and/or significant opportunities provided by the information field?
    • Why are you interested in the particular degree for which you are applying, and why do you wish to pursue this degree at the College of Information Studies?
    • What strengths would you bring to graduate study and to the information profession?
    • What are your career plans, and how would this degree advance them?

**Additional requirements for International applicants, in addition to the requirements above:

  • Submit GRE scores.  They are required, even for students who might otherwise meet the standards for a waiver.
  • TOEFL Score Report Codes:
    • Institution Code: 5814
    • MLS/PhD Department Code: 80
    • MIM Department Code: 99

International applications are sent to the University’s International Education Services office for evaluation.  The International Education Services office reviews international academic credentials, financial certification, and English proficiency.  The College of Information Studies cannot make an admission decision on an international application unless it has first been evaluated by International Education Services.

Apply to the School Library Specialization (online or in person at Shady Grove)

To complete your application to the Online School Library track MLS Program, you must:

  • Complete  The Graduate School application  form with a $75 check or money order made out to the University of Maryland.
  • Upload a current resume.
  • Upload three letters of recommendation.
  • Mail one official copy of your transcript from each academic institution attended sent directly from the institution.
    • Official, unopened transcripts must be mailed to:
      University of Maryland College Park
      Enrollment Services Operations
      Application for Graduate Admission
      Room 0130 Mitchell Building
      College Park, MD 20742
  • Complete Maryland  In-State Tuition form , if applicable.
  • Submit official GRE scores – they are required for School Library students
    • GRE scores must be sent directly to the College of Information Studies - UM from the Educational Testing Service.
    • Our institution code is 5814.
    • Applicants must submit GRE scores earned within five years of the time of application.
  • Applicant essay, approximately 500 words, that is submitted instead of the Personal Statement in the Application Supplemental Form, that addresses:
    • What will it mean to be an excellent school librarian in a school? AND what skills do you need to learn to be an excellent school librarian?

      We will be looking for the following points in your essay:

      • Describe the roles and responsibilities that a school librarian may play in a school, and how do these roles and responsibilities contribute to the overall teaching and learning environment in the school;
      • Demonstrate a thoughtful consideration of what skills are needed to be a good school librarian, and what you expect to learn in the UMD MLS program.
      • Address the need for a school librarian to reach diverse learners and maintain a positive and engaging learning environment for all students; and
  • Complete the Foundational Competencies Self-Assessment Form
  • Complete the Criminal History Disclosure Form

**After initial application review, applicants still under consideration for admission will be invited to participate in an interview. Student admissions will be granted in accordance with iSchool and University policies.

**Additional requirements for International applicants, in addition to the requirements above:

  • Submit GRE scores.  They are required, even for students who might otherwise meet the standards for a waiver.
  • TOEFL Score Report Codes:
    • Institution Code: 5814
    • MLS/PhD Department Code: 80
    • MIM Department Code: 99
  • International applications are sent to the University’s International Education Services office for evaluation.  The International Education Services office reviews international academic credentials, financial certification, and English proficiency.  The College of Information Studies cannot make an admission decision on an international application unless it has first been evaluated by International Education Services.

Online Submission Instructions

Completing the University of Maryland Graduate School Online Application involves creating an account and providing the information requested by the University of Maryland Graduate School Online Application System

Specifically you will need to:

  1. Provide basic contact and demographics information (under the Demographics tab)
  2. Specify your intended program (under the Educational Intent tab) by selecting either:
     
    • Library and Information Services – LBSC
    • Library and Information Services (online) – LBSO
    • History and Library and Information Services (joint) – HiLS
  1. Specify your desired area of specialization. NOTE that some specializations are specific to a particular campus:

College Park (LBSC)
Archives, Records and Information Management
Curation and Management of Digital Assets
Individualized Program Plan
Information and Diverse Populations

Shady Grove (LBSC)
Individualized Program Plan
School Library

Online (LBSO)
General Online Program
Government Information Management and Services
School Library

  1. Describe your previous education and arrange for the suitable transcripts to be sent to the University of Maryland, College Park - Enrollment Services Operations (under the Previous Education tab).
  2. Provide information about your residency and eligibility for in-state tuition (under the Residency tab).
  3. Complete all other required information fields, pay the required application fee, and submit the application.

Transcripts

You will need to mail sealed official transcript(s) from each college or university attended.

Please mail your unopened, official transcripts to:
University of Maryland College Park
Enrollment Services Operations
Application for Graduate Admission
Room 0130 Mitchell Building
College Park, MD 20742

Submitting your resume, essay, and recommendations

Upon completion and submission of the main online graduate application you will receive access to the MLS Application Supplemental Form (ASF).  In this form you will:

  1. Provide names and e-mail address for three individuals who will provide online letters of recommendation.
  2. Upload a copy of your current resume.
  3. Write and upload a 500-word essay.
    Master’s applicants to the iSchool do NOT need to submit the 1,000-2,000 word Personal Statement that is listed in the Application Supplemental Form. See the Application requirements for your specialization for essay questions.
  4. School Library students should also submit their Foundational Competencies Self-Assessment form AND Criminal History Disclosure Form (under the ASF Information tab).
  5. Submit this application (Make sure that you have completed the entire supplemental application before clicking “Submit this Application” -- you will not be able to go back in and make changes later).
     

HiLS Applicants, please keep in mind that each department has their own requirements, and that the above requirements are those of the College of Information Studies only. You will need to consult the Department of History to determine any additional admissions requirements.

Follow-Up

Applicants are responsible for the timely completion of their files. Only complete files will be submitted to the Admissions Committee for review. Please contact the Student Services Office with concerns about missing documents.

The Student Services Office maintains application files until they are evaluated for admission or the application deadline for the requested semester has passed. To be considered for a subsequent semester, the applicant must notify the Student Services Office in writing PRIOR to the beginning of the original entry semester. Otherwise, the application will be withdrawn. An applicant wishing to be considered after the file has been withdrawn must again pay the required Graduate School application fee and reapply to both the Graduate School and the College of Information Studies. The new application will be considered on the basis of admission standards existing at the time of reapplication.

Contact Information

Questions about admissions should be directed to:

Student Services Office
College of Information Studies
Room 4110, Hornbake Building South
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-4325
Tel: (301) 405-2038
Fax: (301) 405-9145
Email: ischooladmission@umd.edu