Online Programs Overview | Maryland's iSchool - College of Information Studies - Graduate Program - University Of Maryland

School of Communication and Information

Graduate School of Library and Information Science

School of Information

Graduate Program

Online Programs Overview


Online Programs Overview

Both the Master of Library Science (MLS) and the Master of Information Management (MIM) are offered by the iSchool to meet the needs of students who wish to earn a professional degree without have to attend in-person classes. 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, a fully online program is a convenient alternative.

Unique Aspects of the Programs

The courses offered in the two online programs are the same as those offered for the MLS and MIM degrees on-campus. The requirements for earning an online 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 programs 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 structured nature of the course offerings. The online programs are entirely prescribed and so cannot be combined with any other campus specializations offered through the iSchool.

What is the Structure of the Online Programs?

The programs require the completion of 36 credit hours. Students in either the online MLS or the online MIM program are part of a cohort that has sections of the core and advanced courses scheduled just for them so they are always guaranteed a seat. Online students take two courses each semester and in the summer* for two consecutive years, finishing the degree in two calendar years (six semesters). Online courses are conducted both asynchronously and synchronously.

*Note that during the first summer, online MLS students will take one three (3) credit course in the first summer session and one three (3) credit course in the second summer session.  During the second summer, students will take the three (3) credit field study course that spans both summer terms and one additional course during either the first or second summer term.

Master of Information Management (MIM)

The Master of Information Management (MIM) program at UMD's iSchool prepares you to be a leader in the use of information and technology in your organization. Drawing on management, computer science, information systems, and information science, the MIM program provides you with the skills and knowledge to successfully meet users’ information needs, lead efforts to develop information systems, develop and deploy emerging technologies, and manage high-value information resources.

The MIM Online program gives you the opportunity to work with the University of Maryland iSchool’s world-class faculty, learning from their expertise and cutting edge research.  Following a structured 24-month program, you will complete a specialization in Data Analytics while working with faculty and a cohort of colleagues from many disciplines, industries, and cultures. Together, the intellectual depth and diversity of the MIM Online program provides a rich platform for advancing your career in information management from wherever you are.

The online MIM program prepares students for careers in a variety of business, legal, nonprofits, and institutional settings. MIM graduates are employed as data scientist, data analyst, or information analyst. 

Master of Library Science (MLS)

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.

Attend an Information Session! 

The iSchool hosts online information sessions throughout the fall. We also host at least one in-person session on the College Park and Shady Grove Campus. If you'd like to attend a session in-person or online, please check out the schedule of Information Sessions here:

You can also watch a recorded session about the online MLS program here:

MLS Specializations

Beginning in the Fall 2013, online students may elect to complete the General MLS degree program, the School Library specialization, or the Government Information Management and Services (formerly eGovernment) specialization.

Online General MLS Program

The online general MLS program will prepare students for a successful career in public libraries, academic libraries, a wide variety of special and governmental libraries. Courses for this program are specifically selected to ensure that graduates are prepared to work in a variety of library settings. To view the course schedule for the online program here

Government Information Management and Services
The Government Information Mangement Services specialization focuses on the nature, current impacts, and potential future impacts of eGovernment, also known as digital government or electronic government. eGovernment is the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies by governments to provide information and services, as well as to use as channels of communication to citizens, businesses, and other governments. This specialization will include study of the nature of government information, the role of the political process and information policy in shaping eGovernment, the reasons that cause populations to use or not use eGovernment, challenges to accessing eGovernment, and the means of evaluating the impacts and successes of eGovernment.

School Library **
The program at the University of Maryland results in a Masters in Library Science as well as state certification as a school librarian. The mission of the school library program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. This mission is accomplished by providing intellectual and physical access to materials in all formats, by providing instruction to foster competence and stimulate interest in reading, viewing, and using information and ideas, and by working with other educators to design learning strategies to meet the needs of individual students. 


MLS Required Field Study

All online MLS students are required to complete a three (3) credit field study course. Students choose a field study experience appropriate to their individual career goals, in which they obtain professional experience under the direct supervision of a professional librarian or information specialist. Students spend 120-180 over the course of one semester at the site and produce a written report. They meet regularly (online) during the semester with the instructor to discuss assigned readings and to share their field experiences.  The online field study course for the MLS program is: LBSC 707 Field Study in Library Service

Many local and non-local institutions sponsor place-based as well as virtual field experiences including the Library of Congress, George Meany Memorial Archives, Maryland State Library, National Agricultural Library, National Archives and Records Administration, Smithsonian Institution, and University of Maryland Libraries. For a comprehensive list of partnering institutions, please visit our field study database.  General guidelines about the field study courses may be found here.

Online Program Requirements

Degree Requirements

The requirements for earning an online degree are the same as for the on-campus degree.
You can view the MLS Program requirements here.

You can view the MIM Program requirements here.


Students in the online cohorts are required to make one orientation visit to the College Park campus, at the beginning of their program, along with all the other new students at the iSchool.  There are no exceptions to this requirement.

Technology Requirements

In general, online students will need consistent access to a computer and high-speed internet. Students taking online classes will use various media including online video conferencing, email, discussion boards, and other Web-based technologies to "attend" class sessions, communicate with professors and peers, and complete assignments.  Students must meet all technology requirements prior to the first day of class.  Access to all online classes is through the University's learning management system ELMS (BlackBoard)  This system will be changing in January 2013 to Canvas.  For more information on Canvas see:

Class Schedules

Click here for Class Schedules

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions

Admission and Registration

For admission and registration information see:

MLS Admissions
MIM 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:
For MIM specific program questions, please email: