Master of Library Science (MLS)
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An MLS degree prepares you to work in a variety of settings both inside and outside of libraries, archives, and museums. There is broad range of possibilities open to MLS graduates in areas such as:
- Human Resources
- Instructional Technology
- Project Management/Administration
MLS graduates put their research and analytical skills to work in fields like:
- Competitive Intelligence
- Digital Preservation
- Database or Records Management
- Information Architecture
- Project Management
- Knowledge Management
- Management & Administration
- Website/Digital Content Management
- Instructional Design
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.
The fully American Library Association (ALA) accredited Master of Library Science (MLS) program at the University of Maryland is a professional degree that provides students with a comprehensive foundation in both research and practice in library and information science (LIS). This foundation prepares students for careers in government, archives, museums, libraries, startups, and other organizations engaged in information activities.
At the iSchool we seek students who will serve as the next generation of leaders in information science and who will succeed in the dynamic and evolving global information society.
Students can complete their MLS degree in person, fully online, or through a hybrid approach (some in-person and some online).
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 Masters in Library Science Program requires 36 credit hours of academic work to be completed with a minimum 3.0 GPA within five calendar years from the first semester of registration. At least 24 of the 36 required credits must be designated LBSC, INST, or INFM courses taken in the iSchool.
Every student receiving their MLS must complete the MLS Core (12 credits) and either a field study (3 credits) or a thesis (9 credits). Students must also meet the requirements of their selected specialization.
History and Library Science Dual Degree Requirements
Students who wish to pursue the dual degree History and Library Science (HiLS) program typically complete the program of study in three (3) years, however they have up to five (5) years to complete the degrees. The HiLS program requires fifty-four (54) credit hours of study, with a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours in both the Department of History and the College of Information Studies. Students select how to use the remaining six (6) credits. HiLS students complete the same MLS Core courses and field study requirements as non-dual degree students. Additional information can be found here.
Each student in the MLS Program selects one of our unique specializations. Students who pursue the "Individualized Program Plan" may create their own course plan, or may select to follow one or two knowledge areas. Knowledge areas are guides to help students select appropriate courses for acquiring in-demand skill sets for common career interests.
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 marked with an asterisk.
The specializations offered by Maryland's iSchool are:
- Archives and Digital Curation
- Community Analytics and Policy*
- Diversity and Inclusion (formerly Information and Diverse Populations)
- Individualized Program Plan ("IPP")*
- School Library*
- Youth Experience (YX)
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. The knowledge areas offered by Maryland's iSchool are:
- Accessibility and Usability
- Electronic Resource Management
- Health Informatics
- Management and Leadership
- Planning and Evaluation
- User Services, Reference, and Instruction
Please visit our Curriculum Page to see more specific requirements for program completion.
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.
- The iSchool does not have a preference for Mac or PC computers, so students may select their preferred format.
- Microsoft Office suite or equivalent software (available for free from TERPware)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 and the Adobe Creative Suite to their personal computers, in addition to other useful software.
- Lynda.com 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.
Each spring the MLS program conducts a placement survey of recent graduates in which we ask graduates to tell us about their post-graduate experiences; specifically for their current place of employment, type of industry, geographic location, as well as the skills they saw as most valuable for their current and future positions. Read about the results of the 2015 survey to learn about our post graduation employment statistics and see the different industries in which our graduates are working.
Go to our Tuition and Fees page to find information about the costs associated with graduate school at the University of Maryland.
The iSchool regularly hosts online information sessions. You can look at our schedule of information sessions here: http://ischool.umd.edu/content/information-sessions
Watch a previously recorded session at: http://go.umd.edu/Fall2016MLSInfoSession2
Visit blogMLS, the official blog of the Master of Library Science (MLS) Program at Maryland’s iSchool. On it you’ll find official program information, iSchool news and events, resources for MLS students, and more.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have about our program at firstname.lastname@example.org.