MLIS Admissions

Admission 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. (The average GPA for students admitted for Fall 2016 was 3.52.)
  • Applicants must provide an official copy of a transcript for all of their post-secondary work.​

What the MLIS Program looks for in an 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


Application Process

The University of Maryland’s Graduate School accepts applications through its ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system.  Before completing the application, applicants should check the Graduate School's Admissions Requirements.  

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 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 following:

  • Graduate School Application, including:
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Supplemental Essay
    • 3 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 "Uploads Requirements" section of the application.
    • Transcript(s)
      • 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 have an official and unopened transcript sent to:
        • University of Maryland, College Park
          Enrollment Services Operation -- Attn: Graduate Admissions
          Room 0130 Mitchell Building
          College Park, MD 20742
    • $75 nonrefundable application fee - Please see the Graduate School's Fee Wavier Eligibility page to see if you qualify for a wavier
    • International applications only - TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores
    • History/Library and Information Science Dual Degree Program (HiLS) applicants only - GRE scores and sample of written scholarship (research paper or thesis)

​​For Maryland Residents: If you are a resident of the State of Maryland or believe you qualify as one, be sure to fill out the Maryland Residency section of the Graduate Application. If you have questions about Residency Classification, please direct them to resclass@umd.edu.


Application Deadlines

To begin in Spring 2018, the deadlines are as follows:

  • September 29, 2017 - Final Deadline, non-HiLS applicants only
  • Note: Applications for Spring 2018 should open August 14, 2017

To begin in Fall 2018, the deadlines are as follows:

  • January 12, 2018 - HiLS applicants
  • February 15, 2018 - Final Deadline for all non-HiLS applicants

​Requesting Deferred Enrollment

The iSchool Student Services Office maintains application files until they are evaluated for admission or the application deadline for the requested semester has passed. To defer your enrollment for a subsequent academic year, the applicant must notify the iSchool Student Services Office (ischooladvisors@umd.edu) PRIOR to the beginning of the original entry semester. Otherwise, the application will be deleted.

An applicant wishing to be considered after the file has been deleted must again pay the required Graduate School application fee and re-apply to both, the University of Maryland Graduate School and the College of Information Studies. The new application will be evaluated on the basis of admission standards existing at the time of reapplication.


Questions? Contact the MLIS Team at mlisprogram@umd.edu.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Hobson’s helpdesk for technical assistance.  For questions related to the ApplyYourself application process, prospective students may contact the Graduate School.