Graduate Programs

Degree Programs

Master of Library Science (MLS)

Goals and Objectives for the Master of Library Science Program
The Master of Library Science (MLS) is a 36 credit hour program accredited by the American Library Association. The program is designed to meet the new challenges of our profession. Students in the program are introduced to the roles and functions of libraries, information centers, and cultural heritage institutions in contemporary society.  They become familiar with key policy issues and technological trends, and with how these issues and trends affect libraries and information centers of all kinds.  Students learn to manage and evaluate collections, respond to the information needs of patrons, and to use technology to improve access to information.  Students who complete the program are prepared for careers in library administration, public services, technical services, reference services, and collection development at public, school, academic, special libraries, and other information organizations.

ILS has identified the following primary goals and objectives for the MLS program. Upon completion of the MLS program, graduates will be prepared to:

Approach Professional Issues with Understanding

  • Understand the social, political, ethical, and legal aspects of information creation, access, ownership, service, and communication
  • Anticipate emerging trends and respond proactively

Assist and Educate Users

  • Analyze and identify the information needs of diverse communities of users
  • Educate users and potential users to locate, use, and evaluate information resources and tools
  • Analyze and evaluate information systems and services in a variety of settings

Develop and Manage Collections of Information Resources

  • Design and apply policies and procedures that support the selection and acquisition of information resources for particular communities of users
  • Manage, evaluate, and preserve physical and virtual collections of information resources
  • Uphold ethical and legal standards in acquiring, leasing, preserving, and providing access to information resources

Represent and Organize Information Resources

  • Understand and apply principles of representation and organization

Manage and Lead libraries and Other Information Organizations

  • Perform basic managerial functions, including planning, budgeting, and performance evaluation
  • Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences
  • Apply theories of organizational behavior and structure

Use Research Effectively

  • Design, conduct, interpret, and take action based upon research and evaluation

Deploy Information Technologies in Effective and Innovative Ways

  • Implement and evaluate information and communication technologies for efficiency, usability and value to users


The Master of Library Science degree requires 36 credit hours of graduate course work in Information and Library Science and a digital literacy requirement (see below).  

A maximum of 6 graduate credit hours from outside the IU Department of Information and Library Science may, in certain circumstances and with approval (using the "Outside Course Approval Form"), be applied to the MLS degree.  These 6 credit hours may be taken at Indiana University, or at another university. Outside courses are warranted only when they are relevant to the student's career objectives and will contribute more to the enrichment of their programs than would additional ILS courses. Permission for such outside course work must be obtained before enrolling in the course.  The course must be completed with a grade of B or higher, must not be applied to another degree (except in the case of a recognized dual-degree program), and must be taken within the five-year time frame allowed for completion of the degree.

MLS Foundation Requirements: (12 cr.)

  • ILS-Z 501 User Services and Tools 
  • ILS-Z 503 Representation and Organization 
  • ILS-Z 550 Information Institutions and their Management 

Complete one technical course from the following:

  • ILS-Z 511 Database Design 
  • ILS-Z 516 Human-Computer Interaction
  • ILS-Z 517 Web Programming 
  • ILS-Z 519 Information Analytics
  • ILS-Z 532 Information Architecture for the Web 
  • ILS-Z 534 Search 
  • ILS-Z 556 Systems Analysis and Design
  • ILS-Z 634 Metadata 
  • ILS-Z 637 Information Visualization 
  • ILS-Z 639 Social Media Mining 
  • ILS-Z 652 Digital Libraries 
  • ILS-Z 656 Digital Publishing Standards and Systems 
  • ILS-Z 657 Digital Humanities 

Electives (21 cr.)

Choose from the following:

  • Any 500/600 level ILS course
  • ILS-Z 601 Directed Readings 
  • ILS-Z 602 Directed Research 
  • ILS-Z 603 Workshop in Library and Information Science 
    • These workshops focus on practical, professional skills. You can count up to 6 credits of Z 603 toward your degree.
  • ILS-Z 604 Topics in Library and Information Science (professional issue topic)
  • ILS-Z 629 Topics in Information Sources and Services (professional issue topic)

4+1 Master of Library Science

The 4+1 Master's Program is intended for highly motivated undergraduate students looking to further their education with a master's degree.  Students apply for the program during their junior year and begin taking ILS courses during their senior year.

Students admitted into the program will take 12 ILS credit hours during their senior year and an additional 6 credit hours during the summer after graduation.  Summer work can either be graduate coursework or an internship.  Students will complete the 4+1 Master's degree by taking 9 credit hours of coursework during each of the following two semesters.

The requirements for the degree are the same as the regular MLS degree, and no courses taken at the undergraduate or graduate level are allowed to count towards both an undergraduate and a graduate degree.

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