2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Apr 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog

Library and Information Science, MS

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Megan Oakleaf
Program Director
(315) 443-2911




As part of the School of Information Studies, the Library and Information Science (LIS) program provides a foundation in the knowledge, skills, and values of librarianship by educating leaders in the library and information profession who will implement and advocate for information justice, equity, and community engagement in their communities of practice. LIS coursework stresses both the theory and practice of library and information 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 online learning formats and can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. The focus on information justice, equity, and community engagement will be applied and demonstrated through core courses focusing on access and use of information, community information use and users, cultural responsiveness, organization of information and knowledge, evaluation of knowledge, knowledge producing, dissemination and preservation systems, leadership, advocacy, social justice, and best practices for information management.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the completion of their program, MSLIS students will be prepared effectively to:

  1. Advance information equity and justice by applying professional ethics, values, and standards to work towards a just and equitable information society.
  2. Connect, engage, and collaborate with users and their communities through the provision of inclusive resources, services, and spaces.
  3. Design and innovate to create equitable, just, and engaging information artifacts, including services, systems, spaces, resources, and technologies. 
  4. Lead and manage people and projects in an equitable, just, and culturally responsive manner.
  5. Demonstrate information literacy and technological agility.


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 specialization should consult the School Media specific curriculum.

I. Core Knowledge and Skills: 15 credits

LIS core courses provide a solid grounding in the knowledge, skills, and values of the library and information profession. The 15-credit LIS core has three parts:

II. Electives: 18 credits

The 18 credits of electives allows students to extend their core knowledge and skills in directions of their choice. Students can select from graduate-level courses in the iSchool, including those from the MS Information Systems or MS Applied Data Science programs. In selecting courses that are not LIS-focused, students should consult with their faculty advisor to ensure their appropriateness and consider how the electives will add to their knowledge and skill set as an emerging professional.

III. Exit Requirement: 3 credits

IST 773 should be taken in the final term of the MSLIS program. This course is intended to facilitate a holistic, comprehensive, and reflective demonstration of the competencies students have learned in the program by allowing them to reflect on their body of work and make explicit connections among coursework and experience.


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

The generalist core provides a grounding in the knowledge and skills of librarianship. Most electives 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 a program of study to these interests. These include:

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

Faculty or academic advisor can assist students in planing a program of study that will prepare them for positions in their area of interest while also providing a solid generalist knowledge that will allow students flexibility in taking advantage of unexpected opportunities.

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