Cluster Areas 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 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 Information Professionals 

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.