• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

The online master's degree in library and information science with an emphasis in library media specialist from MU is an ALA-accredited program that prepares school librarians to help students (and others) become digitally literate. If you want to combine technology and literature to help others succeed, this is the program for you.

This program confers school library certification for teachers in the state of Missouri. Looking for school library certification, but not in Missouri? Contact Denice Adkins at adkinsde@missouri.edu to ask if this program is the right choice for you. 

MLIS employment opportunities are not restricted to schools. Jobs for MLIS graduates may include:

  • Information literacy librarian
  • Library media specialist
  • School librarian
  • Academic librarian
  • Student success librarian
  • Librarian at a public library

Program structure and topics

The online masters in library and information science with an emphasis in library media specialist is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Students typically take two classes each semester and finish the program in two years.

Your plan of study will include IS_LT 7380 School Library Practicum (3 credit hours), which requires 100 clock hours spent in a school library or school libraries in your area.

Note: This program is intended for practicing teachers who already have their initial teaching certification. It does not provide the initial certification required to become a teacher.

Course work covers:

  • Information services, systems and technologies
  • Organization of information, cataloging and classification
  • Management of school libraries
  • Working with school library personnel
  • Action research in school libraries
  • Children's and young adult literature

Admissions & Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

    Completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

  2. A written personal statement

    Personal statement (500 words or less) answering these questions: Why do you want to earn a master’s degree in library and information science? What areas of library and information science interest you? Do you anticipate working in a particular type of library or information agency?

  3. 2 letters of recommendation

    Two letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of two people who can attest to your critical thinking, analytical and writing skills, demonstrating your potential as a graduate student and LIS professional. The Graduate School will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.

  4. Official/Unofficial transcripts from all previous schools
  5. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education and any course work beyond the undergraduate level.
  6. If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 100 (internet-based test), an IELTS score of at least 7.5, a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 66 or a Cambridge C1 Advanced score of at least 190.
  7. Résumé or CV.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

To apply to this program:

If you are interested in starting classes in the summer semester, contact Amy Adam at sislt@missouri.edu or 573-882-4546.

Application Deadlines

July 1
December 1


  • *Required Courses (27 hours)
  • IS_LT 7305Foundations of Library and Information Science3 Credits

    An introduction to the background, contexts, organizations, issues, ethics, values, and terms of information science, the information professions, and the library as an idea, space, institution, and repository of the cultural record.

  • IS_LT 9417Action Research3 Credits

    Study of concepts associated with action research; and the processes and procedures for conducting action research. Culminating project is the development of an action research project. Prerequisites: 12 credit hours completed prior to enrolling.

  • IS_LT 7301Introduction to Information Technology3 Credits

    The nature of information and information transfer in the institutional setting; covers the culture of information in society, standards for information processing and transfer, and networking in communications perspectives of information providing agencies.

  • IS_LT 7302 or IS_LT 7312Organization of Information or Principles of Cataloging and Classification3 Credits

    IS_LT 7302 In order to retrieve and use information, that information must first be organized. This course investigates systems and structures for organizing information in a variety of contexts. IS_LT 7312 Theory and practice of cataloging and classification of library materials using current standards and tools. Principles, developments, and trends in cataloging and access to library data. Prerequisites: IS_LT 7305.

  • IS_LT 7313Collection and Access Management3 Credits

    Selection of materials for libraries and information agencies, policies for collection management, freedom and diversity of information, access to information and evaluation of collections and access.

  • IS_LT 7314 Reference Sources and Services3 Credits

    General reference sources with emphasis on print sources. principles, developments and trends in reference services and reference service organization.

  • IS_LT 9404School Library Administration3 Credits

    Emphasizes school library administration: program development, implementation, evaluation; planning cycle; budget process; services for diverse school constituencies. Effects of national, state, district guidelines, standards and policies on library media programs.

  • IS_LT 9406 Curriculum and the School Library3 Credits

    Focuses on the library media specialist as teacher and instructional partner. Emphasizes negotiating instructional partnerships, integrating information problem-solving models into the curriculum, curriculum mapping, and resource-based learning models.

  • IS_LT 9431 or IS_LT 9434Children’s Library Materials or Teen Library Materials3 Credits

    IS_LT 9431 Evaluation and selection of materials for children birth-age 13 (Grade 6). Early literacy, emergent readers, reader response theory; social, cultural contexts of readers and reading, trends in publishing. IS_LT 9434 Evaluation, selection of print, alternate formats for teens, 13-18 (Grades 7-12). Personal, social, popular culture contexts of teen readers and texts; emphasizes reader response; challenges common assumptions about teens and reading.

  • *Practicum (3 hours)
  • IS_LT 7380School Library Practicum3 Credits

    Directed, project-based experience in school libraries. Graded on S/U basis only. Prerequisites: admission to MA, initial certification or 24 completed LIS credit hours taken at MU; instructor's consent.

  • *Recommended Electives (9 hours)
  • IS_LT 9407 Intellectual Freedom and its Discontents3 Credits

    The course examines principles and contradictions of intellectual freedom and their relation to librarianship. The nature of free speech, the First Amendment, sources of censorship, and professional disputes about intellectual freedom practice in libraries will be important topics.

  • IS_LT 9410Seminar: Gender Construction in Children's and Adolescent Literature and Media3 Credits

    Discussion and critical study of current developments in information science and learning technologies.

  • IS_LT 9410Seminar: Sociocultural Aspects of Literacy3 Credits

    Discussion and critical study of current developments in information science and learning technologies.

  • IS_LT 9433 Youth Services in Libraries3 Credits

    Examines physical, mental, and emotional development of youth birth through high school. Emphasis on community analysis, outreach services, program design and techniques. Graded on A-F basis only.

Tuition & Fees

Missouri Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $386.00
  • Fees: $67.03
  • Total: $453.03
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1158.00
  • Fees: $201.09
  • Total: $1359.09
Missouri Non-Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $386.00
  • Fees: $67.03
  • Total: $453.03
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1158.00
  • Fees: $201.09
  • Total: $1359.09
Tuition rates are subject to change.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education online

    With more than 100 online programs to choose from across our four campuses, our online students have incredible access to career-advancing education. Our online courses are developed and taught by the same excellent faculty and instructors who teach the courses on campus. Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate education, graduate education, or a certificate program to further your career, one of our four campuses has an option to fit your needs.

  • Learning that fits your schedule

    Online learning provides students with the flexibility and freedom to attend classes whenever and wherever you are, in a way that is convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue working and by avoiding relocation, travel and commuting costs. Courses must be completed in scheduled time frames, but in most cases, you can log in and complete course work whenever doing so best fits your schedule. Online education means learning on your terms – not the other way around.

  • Service you expect from a renowned University

    Our goal is to provide our online students with an excellent academic experience, without forcing you to make sacrifices in other areas of your life.

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