Master's Programs Criteria

Students holding a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year collegiate institution are eligible to apply for admission. Applicants in the final year of their undergraduate programs may apply and be granted admission conditionally upon their being awarded the bachelor’s degree.

An applicant must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent in the total undergraduate program, or an average of 3.2 in the latest graduate degree or representative graduate hours (usually 30 semester hours) completed. The SLIS admissions committee makes individual judgments about the rigor of grading in the undergraduate or graduate course work presented and about the relative significance of course work completed at various times in an applicant’s academic history. Students who do not meet the SLIS cumulative GPA requirements may submit GRE or GMAT scores for consideration. Students may also address circumstances oflow academic performance in an attachment to their applications.

A substantial number of credit hours of appropriate content-based course work must be included in the overall undergraduate and graduate course work previously completed. This appropriate background includes, but is not limited to, course work in the humanities and the social, biological, and physical sciences. If an applicant is judged to be deficient in background preparation, additional course work may be required to remove the deficiency. Letters of recommendation should be submitted by three individuals who are familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities. Academic references are preferred. Letters from employers and information professionals who are familiar with the applicant’s intellectual abilities and work habits are also acceptable.

A personal goals essay of at least 500 words is required (see M.I.S. or M.L.S. application). The essay must indicate a student’s academic and professional goals appropriate to the desired SLIS degree program. The writing skills indicated in this goals statement are also considered as part of the admission decision. We welcome applications from students of all backgrounds. Indiana University prohibits discrimination based on such characteristics as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Applicants may enter the SLIS master’s degree programs at the beginning of fall semester, spring semester, or the second summer session.

Admission Categories

Admission—A student’s full admission status is valid for one year, with an additional year available upon petition. If an admitted student fails to matriculate within the allowed time, the admission status is terminated, and the student must reapply.

Probationary Admission—The SLIS Admissions Committee may grant probationary admission to a student who fails to meet one or more of the admission requirements listed above, if, in the judgment of the committee members, there is sufficient other evidence of probable success in the degree program. Probationary admission carries a requirement that the student maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout the program. Other conditions of the probationary admission, if any, will be stated in the admission letter. The student’s progress will be monitored throughout the program to ensure that the conditions are maintained. If, at any time in the program, the student does not meet the conditions of the probation, admission will be terminated.

Applicants who are denied admission to a SLIS graduate program may not take course work in SLIS without the permission of the dean of the school.

SLIS Non-Degree Student Status—Students with an undergraduate degree may be permitted to take up to 6 credit hours of SLIS graduate course work prior to admission that could count towards their degree if admitted. Nondegree students must complete all necessary prerequisites before taking any course. Nondegree students may be removed from any SLIS course if their place is required for an admitted degree-seeking student. SLIS S401 is a prerequisite course to our MLS degree program, and does not count toward the credits for the degrees offered. Undergraduate and nondegree students may take SLIS S401.

Auditing—There are few SLIS courses available for auditing. Auditing is to be limited to nonparticipating courses. Lab-based courses generally may not be audited. Students who wish to audit a course must obtain written permission from the instructor. Audited courses appear on the transcript with no grade or credit given. A student is not permitted to audit a course without registering as an auditor and paying the auditing fees required.


Upon admission each student is assigned a faculty advisor whose name is given in the admission letter. Students should regularly meet with their faculty advisors to discuss academic course planning and professional goals. Advisor signatures are also required for various approval forms. Students should carefully plan their course selections, noting appropriate prerequisites and required sequences. The SLIS Web site offers projected long-range course schedules. In addition to the assigned initial faculty advisor, students may consult with any member of the faculty for professional and career guidance.

Academic Bulletins

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