2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Library and Information Science, MS

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Jill Hurst-Wahl, Program Director, 208 Hinds Hall, (315) 443-1070, igrad@syr.edu


Library & Information Science


As part of the School of Information Studies, the Library and Information Science (LIS) program provides thorough grounding in the knowledge, skills, and values of librarianship within the context of an interdisciplinary faculty. LIS coursework stresses both the theory and practice of library science. It includes educational opportunities beyond formal coursework through one-on-one interaction with the faculty; hands-on learning in libraries and information centers; exposure to leaders in the profession; and direct participation in research projects. The program is offered in both campus and distance learning formats and can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Our LIS program graduates librarians who are prepared to assume leadership roles in the libraries, information centers, and the broader information environment.

Three themes run through the LIS curriculum:

  • Focus on the users of library and information services. Keeping the needs of users-and potential users-of library and information services in the foreground is a fundamental value of librarianship.
  • Use technology to provide exemplary library and information services. Librarians need to be able to use technology effectively to provide quality library and information services.
  • Manage information services and systems. Librarians in the 21st century must be competent managers of information, capable of innovation, efficiency, and leadership to meet the needs of their clientele.


The 36-credit LIS curriculum is designed to prepare librarians who have the broad range of knowledge and skills needed for exemplary practice in the library and information profession. Students in the School Media Program should consult the School Media specific curriculum, as there are no electives due to each course being required to meet NY State Education Department requirements for certification.

I. Core Knowledge and Skills (19 credits)

LIS core courses provide a solid grounding in the knowledge, skills, and values of the library and information profession. The 19-credit LIS core has three parts:

Management and Policy Core (6 credits)

II. Electives (14 credits)

14 credits of electives allow students to extend their core knowledge and skills in directions of their choice. Electives can be selected from graduate courses in the iSchool, including those from the Information Management program. In selecting courses that are not LIS-focused, the student should consult with his/her faculty advisor to ensure their appropriateness. A student should consider how any elective will add to his/her knowledge and skill set as an emerging professional.

III. Exit Requirement (3 credits)

The exit requirement for the LIS degree is a three-credit internship or independent study.

A. Internship:

The internship treated as another course in terms of the intensity and depth of the knowledge sought. Most students choose this option for their exit requirement even if they have had prior library work experience. An internship comprises 150 hours of work on site (or virtually) for 3 credits. Internships can be done locally in the Syracuse area, nationally, and even internationally. The student must be under the supervision of a professional librarian or information manager, although this does not mean that the student can’t work with non-professionals as part of the experience. Most internships involve some general orientation, some work practice, and often a special project. Each experience is different and the student designs the internship contract in cooperation with the site supervisor, the faculty internship supervisor, and his or her academic advisor. An internship may be paid or unpaid.

B. Independent Readings and Research:

Students who already possess significant/professional work experience in libraries or information centers may elect to do a culminating project as an independent study or readings and research in place of an internship. No more than 12 credits of a student’s program can be taken as independent study or internship.

Programs of Study for Specific Types of Libraries or Library Positions:

The generalist core provides a solid grounding in the knowledge and skills of librarianship. Most electives are designed to provide conceptual and practical knowledge and skills that apply across types of libraries. For students wishing to prepare for a specific type of library or position, there are many ways to tailor your program of study to these interests. These include:

  • Choosing topics pertaining to your areas of interest for papers and projects in core and elective courses.
  • Choosing an iSchool Certificate of Advanced Study to combine with the master’s degree.
  • Choosing electives that are particularly appropriate for a particular type of library or position: see the section on advising guides below.
  • Developing an internship that gives you practical experience in your area of interest.
  • Taking an independent study in your area of interest.

Your advisor can work with you to plan a program of study that will prepare you for positions in your area of interest while also providing you with a solid generalist knowledge that will allow you to take advantage of unexpected opportunities.

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