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

School of Information

School of Informatics and Computing

Masters Program

School of Information

MLIS Admissions

What do we look for in an MLIS applicant?

Like so many things it is, to a certain extent, something that “you know when you see it.” There are, however, certain characteristics that make an applicant and/or student stand out. These are characteristics that best-reflect the skills needed and the personality best suited for working in the field of information as it is now.

  • Adaptability

    Access to and the availability of information is ever changing. Those who choose to work in the information field have a responsibility to adapt with these changes. Whether it’s learning new classification systems or learning new methods of instruction, those entering the information profession must be willing and eager to continually learn and adapt to how people use information and the kinds of services that they need.

  • ​Collaboration

    The information profession requires that members be able to work with others effectively and to build partnerships within and across different organizations. The ideal candidate demonstrates his/her ability to collaborate and work with others towards a common purpose.

  • Creativity

    Whether there are issues of funding, changing user-expectations, or changing demographics within a service community, those in the information profession must be prepared to go beyond the status quo, beyond the “but we’ve always done it that way.” Our students have a willingness to try new techniques, programs, and services, and they actively seek information about trends and best practices. They also have a willingness to take risks, to fail, to learn, and to try again.

  • Leadership Potential

    We put great focus on the development of leadership skills that will help students effectively navigate the changing needs of the organization they join. Our students have a strong ability to communicate and are able to adapt their leadership style to their environment. They are self-reflective enough to know when to be constructively aggressive and when to provide others with the opportunity to lead.

  • Tech-Savvy

    The technology we use to identify, organize, and access information is changing at an ever-increasing pace. Students in the MLIS Program must be tech-savvy and have a desire to continually adapt and update their tech skills. Students should be eager to learn how to use new devices, be comfortable with social media platforms, apps, analyzing data, and develop coding skills. To all this, students must approach technology through the lens of usability and accessibility.

  • Service-Oriented

    At the heart of the information profession is service. Applicants and students have an obligation to focus on the end-user and to providing inclusive services for the user’s benefit. Students must ensure that services whether they be programming, literacy instruction, data analysis, or records management be designed and implemented based on the actual needs of their users.

Admissions Criteria

All applicants to the College of Information Studies 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 minimum 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.

Average GPA and GRE Scores of MLIS Students:
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.

Application Process

The University of Maryland's Graduate School accepts applications through its ApplyYourself / Hobsons application system.

The electronic submission of application materials helps expedite the review of an application. Completed applications are reviewed by an admissions committee in each graduate degree program. The recommendations of the admissions committee are submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make the final admission decision. Students seeking to complete graduate work at the University of Maryland for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the Dean.

Application Requirements**

**History and Library Science Dual Degree applicants should review their application materials here

Graduate School application, including:

  • Statement of Purpose.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE). 
    • GRE Institution Code: 5814.
    • Applicants to the MLIS Program can waive the GRE requirement if they meet either of the following criteria:
      • 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
      • Students applying for HiLS MAY NOT waive the GRE requirement
  • Transcripts. Uploading unofficial transcripts is sufficient for the purposes of the review process of your application. However, if you are offered admission and choose to enroll in the University of Maryland, you will need to provide an official and unopened transcript (see below).
  • Three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should come from current/former faculty members, employers, colleagues, and in rare cases personal references. Letters should not come from family members or those unable to speak to your ability to complete a graduate degree.
  • CV/Resume. ​A current resume or CV should be uploaded in the "Upload Requirements" section of the application.
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE. For international students only. TOEFL score of 100 or higher.

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Application Essay - Required, to be uploaded as “Supplementary Application”

    • School Library candidates - please take note that there is an additional essay requirement discussed on the bottom half of the “Application Essay” PDF

  • Employment History

    • Applicants should submit their recent employment history in the "Employment History" section of the application. The employment history section is used for data collection and to better understand our applicants. Application decisions are not impacted.

Application Deadlines

  • Spring
    • September 30, 2016
  • ​Fall 
    • December 15 - ALL History and Library Science Applicants
    • January 17, 2017 - Best Consideration for all non-HiLS applicants
    • March 15, 2017 - Final Deadline for all non-HiLS students

Application Checklist

The College of Information Studies will evaluate your application only when it is complete (see checklist below). We suggest that you submit your application well in advance of the application deadline. Be sure to:

  • Complete the Graduate School application along with the $75 application fee
  • Complete program-specific requirements
  • Comfirm relevant test scores have been submitted
  • Confirm recommendations have been submitted
  • HiLS students must ensure that they have also completed all requirements for all admissions requirements for the MA in History

Applicants are responsible for the timely completion of their applications. Only complete applications 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 applications until they are evaluated for admission or the application deadline for the requested semester has passed.

International Graduate Students

The University of Maryland is dedicated to maintaining a vibrant international graduate student community. The office of International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) is a valuable resource of information and assistance for prospective and current international students.  International applicants are encouraged to explore the services they offer, and contact them with related questions.

The University of Maryland Graduate School offers admission to international students based on academic information; it is not a guarantee of attendance.  Admitted international students will then receive instructions about obtaining the appropriate visa to study at the University of Maryland which will require submission of additional documents.  Please see the Graduate Admissions Process for International applicants for more information.

After Admission

Admitted students who choose to enroll in the University of Maryland should be sure to:

  • Accept offer of admission according to Graduate School instructions (provided in Graduate School admission letter).
  • Have an official and unopened transcript sent to:

                University of Maryland College Park
                Enrollment Services Operations
                Attn: Graduate Admissions
                Room 0130 Mitchell Building
                College Park, MD  20742

  • Complete Maryland In-State Tuition form, if applicable.
  • Provide immunization records (must be received prior to enrollment).

If a student is granted admission, and then wishes instead to begin the program the following academic year, 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 application 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

For more information, please contact the Student Services Office of the College of Information Studies at