MLS Online | Maryland's iSchool - College of Information Studies - Masters Degree - University Of Maryland

College of Communications

Faculty of Information

Faculty of Information

College of Information Science and Technology

MLS Online


The Master of Library Science (MLS) Online is offered by the iSchool to meet the needs of students who wish to earn a professional degree without have to attend in-person classes. Our fully online program is a convenient alternative for students who are pursuing a degree while working full-time, who live at a distance from the University of Maryland campus, or simply prefer the online learning environment.

The requirements for earning an online MLS degree are the same as for the on-campus degree. Graduates of the online program are awarded the same diploma as graduates who complete the program on-campus. The same outstanding faculty members who teach the on-campus courses teach online courses. The only differences between the online and on-campus programs are the delivery method and the number of course offerings in a given semester. 

The Master of Library Science Program educates students to become leaders in the dynamic and evolving global information society. This mission is accomplished through coursework, practice, and scholarship. All of these are designed to impart the values of the information profession, including knowledge, skills, habits of thought and inquiry; ethics; and commitment to service to the library, archives, and information professions. The core values of the University of Maryland -- excellence, diversity and inclusiveness; innovation and creativity; ethical action, civility and collegiality; and openness and accountability -- serve as the foundation for and guiding principles of the MLS community and are incorporated into all of its instruction, research, and service activities. This program is fully accredited by the American Library Association.


As of Fall 2015, the Online MLS Program will no longer follow a cohort-based structure. Students will be required to meet all of the degree requirements, but they will be able pursue their degree at their own pace and select their elective courses.  Students should be sure to consult the Online Class 2-Year Course Plan to view our intended online course offerings.  Students should also consult with their advisor to for assistance planning a course of study.

The MLS Online Program requires the completion of 36 credit hours, with a minimum 3.0 GPA within five calendar years from the first registration.  Please visit our Curriculum Page to see more specific requirements for program completion.

**If you began the online MLS Program under the cohort-based system, please refer to your cohort schedules here.

Specializations and Knowledge Areas

Because not all of the classes we offer in-person are offered as an online class, Online MLS students will not be able to complete all of the specializations offered by the Program. The specializations that can be completed fully online are:

To aid students pursing the Individualized Program Plan with selecting courses, the MLS Program has created Knowledge Areas, including suggested course plans, for in-demand skill sets and common career paths in LIS.  These knowledge areas are:

If you are interested in any of our knowledge areas, please consult the Online 2-Year Course Plan to determine the feasibility of completing that area of study.  

Technology Requirements

Students coming into the iSchool should come prepared with a basic level of technology skills and access. These skills are necessary for effectively functioning in a graduate program.

Basic Requirements

  • The iSchool does not have a preference for Mac or PC computers, so students may select their preferred format.
  • All students should have a working understanding of Microsoft Office suite or equivalent software.
  • All students need to be able to effectively navigate the Internet.
  • In general, students will need consistent access to a computer and high-speed Internet.
  • Students often use various medias including online video conferencing, email, discussion boards, blogs, social media platforms, and other Web-based technologies to “attend” class sessions, communicate with professors and peers, and complete assignments, so students should be willing and able to learn new platforms quickly.

Programming Skills

  • Students are not required to come to the program with programming skills (i.e. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, etc) but having programming skills is an asset for both coursework and future job searches. There are lots of great online resources where you can develop programming skills including W3 Schools and Codeacademy. University of Maryland offers students access to

Online Learning

  • The University uses the Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) “Canvas” for classroom support and communication. Online courses are hosted through ELMS. Professors are required to post materials including the syllabus on the first day of classes, but they may post materials prior. Students login to Canvas with their Directory ID and password.

Available Services

  • University of Maryland provides its students with great resources through its TERPware service. All students have the ability to download (for free!) the Microsoft Office Suite and the Adobe Creative Suite to their personal computers, in addition to other useful software.
  • is a great resource provided by UMD that allows access to online video tutorials that help users learn software, creative, and business skills.
  • University computer labs are located on both the Shady Grove and College Park campuses.
  • The University Libraries offer an array of services including equipment borrowing; printing, faxing, binding, and lamenating; and in-house hardware.

Admission and Registration

For admission and registration information see:

MLS Admissions
For admissions related questions please contact:
Student Services Office
Phone: 301-405-2038
Fax: 301-314-9145

Contact Us

For MLS program specific questions, please email: