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Local teachers present findings during a conference in the Reinberger Children’s Library Center in the Kent State University Library.

Library and Information Science - M.L.I.S.

Library and information science is a meta-discipline, spanning what are considered traditional academic research disciplines (e.g., economics, biology, history, etc.). The theories and practices in library and information science are applied across disciplines. They are varied and many. Our degree pathways will let you pursue the courses that align best with your career goals. 

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ALA Accredited Seal

The School of Information (iSchool) at Kent State University is the only American Library Association accredited Master's Degree in Library and Information Science in Ohio. 

Our degree flexibility allows you to choose from our two concentrations or from our eight pathways to match your interests with a future career in a library and information field.

 

Our Featured Concentrations

Medical Librarianship

Medical librarians maintain a health care system's information assets and ensure coding, documentation, metadata and information architecture is appropriate to improve and increase access to this library of relevant studies and research data for physicians, nurses, administrators and other members of the health field. 

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Archival Studies

Archivists are information professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control over, and provide access to records and archives determined to have long-term value. The records maintained by an archivist can consist of a variety of analog and digital forms and documentary genres, including letters, diaries, logs, official documents, photographs and other visual materials, sound recordings and moving images.

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Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Master of Library and Information Science degree prepares students for professional positions in public, academic, special and school libraries; archives; museums; and other types of information agencies, organizations and companies. Many M.L.I.S. graduates go on to positions in other areas of the information field besides libraries — in research, for example, or publishing, information management, competitive business intelligence and more. An accredited M.L.I.S. degree is the basic requirement for professional employment in most libraries and information centers.

Students can concurrently pursue a dual program with the Master of Business Administration degree. Each program makes an independent admission decision. For further information about the dual degree program, see the specific program section in this catalog.

The Library and Information Science major includes the following optional concentrations:

  • The Archival Studies optional concentration prepares students to work with records and other materials of historical value in a variety of settings, including special collections in libraries, government and corporate archives, as well as archival collections found in museums, historical societies and other heritage institutions. Students are encouraged to pursue internship opportunities to enhance their understanding of archival principles and gain valuable practical experience. This concentration follows the recommendations of the Society of American Archivists for graduate archival education programs.
  • The Medical Librarianship optional concentration prepares students to work in medical and health sciences libraries; in the community; and as part of a health system, hospital, clinician office, academic center, government research agency or medical specialty organization. Students in the concentration intern at a medical library, which will allow them to apply their skills and knowledge, as well as to observe the typical daily activities and requirements of medical librarians.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.

Admissions

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000-point scale1
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Résumé or curriculum vita
  • Student Profile Form
  • Exception statement (addressing circumstances and readiness for graduate education
  • Application Essay
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions to waive) by earning one of the following:2
    • Minimum 94 TOEFL iBT score
    • Minimum 7.0 IELTS score
    • Minimum 65 PTE score
    • Minimum 120 DET score
1

In calculating the total GPA, all grades from all courses taken at relevant level (baccalaureate or master's) from all institutions are required. Applicants who do not meet the minimum 2.750 GPA requirement must submit a statement that addresses the circumstances that contributed to the GPA and preparation for success in graduate study. Applicants should include recent professional achievements that indicate an ability to perform at a higher academic level to be considered for conditional admission to the program.

2

International applicants who do not meet the above test scores will not be considered for admission.

Technology Requirements

Appropriate technology and computer literacy skills are essential for each School of Information course. In order to be successful in the program, all incoming students must meet the School of Information computer competencies, as well as its minimum computer hardware, software and internet access requirements before the first day of class. For details, students should consult the school's website.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Application deadline: April 15
  • Spring Semester
    • Application deadline: November 15
  • Summer Term
    • Application deadline: March 15

Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Apply the field's foundational theories, principles, values, ethics and skills to everyday practice.
  2. Critique and synthesize research and identify appropriate research methodologies to solve problems in the field.
  3. Analyze and engage in the changing cultural, educational and social roles and responsibilities of librarians/information professionals and the environments they work in within the global society.
  4. Evaluate systems and technologies relevant to a particular information context.
  5. Identify needs and connect individuals and communities with information that engages and empowers them.
Dual Degree

Dual Degree with Master of Business Administration

Students have the opportunity to complete a dual degree program with the M.B.A. degree in Business Administration and the M.L.I.S. degree in Library and Information Science. A separate application must be submitted for each program. Students can view admission requirements for each program on their respective catalog page.

Dual Degree Requirements

Major Requirements
ACCT 63037FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING FOR DECISION MAKING 2
ACCT 63038MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING FOR DECISION MAKING 2
BA 64005ANALYTICS FOR DECISION MAKING 2
BA 64026SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT 2
CIS 64042GLOBALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY 2
ECON 62021MACROECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS 2
ECON 62022MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS 2
FIN 66050LAW AND ETHICS 2
FIN 66060MANAGERIAL FINANCE 2
HRM 64271HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 2
LIS 50645DATABASE FUNDAMENTALS FOR INFORMATION PROFESSIONALS 3
LIS 60020INFORMATION ORGANIZATION 3
LIS 60030PEOPLE IN THE INFORMATION ECOLOGY 3
LIS 60040INFORMATION INSTITUTIONS AND PROFESSIONS 3
LIS 60050RESEARCH AND ASSESSMENT IN LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE 3
LIS 60401LEADERSHIP IN LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION CENTERS 3
MGMT 64158LEADERSHIP 2
MGMT 68051BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT I 11
MKTG 65051MARKETING MANAGEMENT 2
M.B.A. Business Administration Elective3
Library and Information Science Electives 29
Culminating Requirement
LIS 60099MASTER'S PORTFOLIO IN LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE 1
MGMT 64399BUSINESS STRATEGY 3
Minimum Total Credit Hours:59
1

MGMT 68051 may be waived for students with at least two years of full-time work experience.

2

Any LIS graduate courses in accord to student's career goals may count as an elective in consultation with academic advisors. Students interested in working in a corporate or nonprofit environment will find topics such as record keeping, records management, information policy, knowledge management, library management and database fundamentals to be important in their future work.

Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
LIS 60020INFORMATION ORGANIZATION 3
LIS 60030PEOPLE IN THE INFORMATION ECOLOGY 3
LIS 60040INFORMATION INSTITUTIONS AND PROFESSIONS 3
LIS 60050RESEARCH AND ASSESSMENT IN LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE 3
Major Electives, choose from the following: 112
Health Informatics (HI) Graduate (50000 level and higher) course
Knowledge Management (KM) Graduate (50000 level and higher) course
Library and Information Science (LIS) Graduate (50000 level and higher) course
User Experience (UX) Graduate (50000 level and higher) course
Culminating Requirement
LIS 60099MASTER'S PORTFOLIO IN LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE 1
Additional Requirements or Concentration
Choose from the following:12
Minimum Total Credit Hours:37
1

A maximum of 6 credit hours of either course or any combination of LIS 60692 and LIS 61096 may be applied towards the degree program.

Additional Requirements for Students Not Declaring a Concentration

Major Requirements
Library and Information Science (LIS) Electives 112
Minimum Total Credit Hours:12
1

A maximum of 6 credit hours of either course or any combination of LIS 60692 and LIS 61096 may be applied towards the degree program.

Archival Studies Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
LIS 60652FOUNDATIONS OF RECORDKEEPING IN SOCIETY 3
LIS 60657THEORY AND METHODS OF ARCHIVAL ACQUISITION, SELECTION AND APPRAISAL 3
LIS 60658THEORY AND PRACTICE OF ARCHIVAL DESCRIPTION 3
Concentration Elective, choose from the following:3
LIS 60631
INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL PRESERVATION
LIS 60633
DIGITAL CURATION
LIS 60635
CULTURAL HERITAGE INFORMATICS
LIS 60651
DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING AND COLLECTION MANAGEMENT
LIS 60654
PRESERVATION AND CONSERVATION OF HERITAGE MATERIALS
LIS 60659
INTRODUCTION TO AUDIOVISUAL ARCHIVING
LIS 60665
RARE BOOKS AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
LIS 60692
INTERNSHIP IN INFORMATION AND CULTURAL HERITAGE INSTITUTIONS 1
LIS 61095
SPECIAL TOPICS IN INFORMATION STUDIES 2
Minimum Total Credit Hours:12
1

A maximum of 6 credit hours of either course or any combination of LIS 60692 and LIS 61096 may be applied towards the degree program.

2

Selected topic courses should be chosen in consultation with faculty advisor to ensure relevance to concentration.

Medical Librarianship Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
HI 60419CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATICS 3
LIS 60620HEALTH INFORMATION RESOURCES 3
LIS 60671INTRODUCTION TO CATALOGING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES IN MEDICAL LIBRARIES 1
LIS 60672REFERENCE SOURCES AND SERVICES IN MEDICAL LIBRARIES 1
LIS 60673MEDICAL LIBRARY MANAGEMENT AND CULTURE 1
LIS 60692INTERNSHIP IN INFORMATION AND CULTURAL HERITAGE INSTITUTIONS 13
Minimum Total Credit Hours:12
1

A maximum of 6 credit hours of either course or any combination of LIS 60692 and LIS 61096 may be applied towards the degree program.

Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • Fully online
Accreditation

American Library Association

Cluster Area and Pathways

M.L.I.S. Cluster Areas and Pathways

Graduates with the M.L.I.S. degree go on to fill various kinds of positions in libraries, information agencies, museums and cultural organizations and companies of all sorts and sizes. Many Kent State students who earn their master's degree in library and information science go on to positions in other areas of the information field besides libraries — in research, for example, or publishing, information management, competitive business intelligence and more.

Explore our areas of expertise and career pathways to chart your course through our innovative MLIS curriculum.  We currently feature seven cluster areas and nineteen associated pathways.  Students may choose electives to fit their particular professional goals, in consultation with their advisor.

Take the link for each cluster to learn more about the cluster area, associated pathways, and the related faculty advisors.  Each pathway contains a sample program plan including course recommendations.  They also include additional resources such as sample job titles, professional skills, professional associations and related journals. 

Cultural Heritage Informatics & Stewardship

Cultural heritage informatics (CHI) is an emerging field of interdisciplinary research and practice concerned with the role of information and computing technologies (ICTs) to support the creation, capture, organization, and pluralization of culture, in whatever form, as heritage.   Cultural heritage stewardship encompasses numerous allied disciplines including archival studies, librarianship, preservation of heritage materials, and museum studies. 

Data/Information/Technology 

Data, information and technology are central in modern libraries and information services. This cluster encompasses the essential foundational knowledge that prepares emerging professionals for careers in the continuously evolving information environment. All pathways in this area build from foundational studies in digital technologies, organized to focus on data, the Internet, and information systems. 

Digital Humanities

Digital humanities (DH) is a rapidly growing field—an area of scholarly activity at the intersection of digital technologies and the disciplines of the humanities. This pathway is designed to prepare students for careers in the new generation of information professionals who will collaborate in research, teaching, and professional development in DH. You will gain knowledge and skills in the systematic use of digital resources in the humanities and the application of cutting‐edge digital information technology and methods .

Information Access and Discovery 

At its core, Information Access and Discovery is about connecting people with information. It forms the foundation of reference and readers advisory services in public, academic, and special libraries. Information services include all the functions performed by a trained librarian employed in the reference section of a library to meet the information needs of patrons (in person, by telephone, or electronically). 

Information and Knowledge Organization

Information and Knowledge Organization (IKO) is concerned with the standards, processes, practices, and associated technologies for representation and organization of information objects for future access, use, and discoverability in any environment. There are a number of career paths within the information organization domain. You can select one or can combine more than one to create your plan of study 

Medical Librarianship

Medical librarianship is an emerging field that brings the precision of library science's information and data management to the field of medical research. Medical librarians maintain a health care system's information assets and ensure coding, documentation, metadata and information architecture is appropriate to improve and increase access to this library of relevant studies and research data for physicians, nurses, administrators and other members of the health field

User Experience in Libraries, Museums and Archives 

User Experience in Libraries, Museums and Archives professionals are responsible for creating engaging designs (interaction, visual) to improve users' physical and virtual experiences in libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs). They play important roles for investigating user needs and behaviors and developing strategies that make LAM environments increasingly engaging and effective for users 

Youth Engagement: Information, Culture and Community

Most public libraries have staff that work specifically with children and youth. While some libraries will have staff that specialize in different age groups (young children, school-age, and teens), other libraries have staff that serve youth from birth to eighteen. 

Staff working in these areas are often expected to have a deep understanding of the literature and other resources that are geared towards youth. They are also often expected to develop and deliver programs, inside and outside of the library, that provide a variety of learning opportunities for the different age groups.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects increasing demand for careers in information related fields through 2032. 

9.7%
Database Administrators/ Architects
12.6%
Curators
7.9%
Archivists
5%
Librarians/Media Collection Specialists