Master of Library and Information Science

This is a Masters of Library and Information Science degree.

This degree is part of the library and information science program, housed in the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies (SISLT). The program is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA), which granted continued accreditation status in 2015.

Program Structure Go to top of page. Top

This program may be completed online, or students may take advantage of blended courses at five locations in Missouri and Nebraska. Blended classes are offered at five different locations:

  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Omaha, Nebraska

We use several different course structures to provide you with the broadest and most instructionally appropriate class opportunities.

  • Online asynchronous classes, allowing you to participate any time, anywhere.
  • Online synchronous classes, scheduled at fixed times to allow online, real-time interaction without the drive time.
  • Hybrid classes, combining face-to-face and online instruction.

Most library and information science faculty are based in Columbia, with clinical faculty in St. Louis and Kansas City, and Program Liaisons in Springfield and Omaha, NE, allowing us to provide classes in those locations as well.


Courses are semester-based. Students typically take between one and three classes each semester and finish in two to four years. Topic strengths include:

  • LIS professional history, ethics, foundations, and values
  • Management of collections and information agencies
  • Information technology and systems
  • Services to a diversity of information users and communities
  • LIS research and assessment
  • Digital humanities
  • Archives and records management
  • Library services to children and youth

Degree Requirements

For students admitted in fall 2014 and later, the program consists of 39 credit hours, including 18 credits of required courses. Students admitted before fall 2014 are expected to complete 42-credit hour program (with 16 credits of required courses).

Each student completes a practicum (two to three credits)

Elective courses are selected in consultation with faculty advisers.

  • Must include 15 credit hours of 9000-level courses.
  • Must include 12 hours of courses taught by a full-time faculty member.

For additional information about planning your Program of Study, see the LIS Student Resources and Courses pages.


We require all students to complete a two- or three-hour practicum as part of the degree. The practicum is real-world experience in libraries and information agencies. Sometimes the practicum is an experience in another part of a library (public services versus technical services), in another kind of library (special versus academic) or in a different institution entirely (e.g. museums). Students are invited to tailor their practicum experience to their own needs and circumstances, including geography and specific areas you want to explore.
For more information, please see our Practicum page.

Graduate Examination

Prior to graduation, all students must complete a graduate examination which requires them to demonstrate mastery of the LIS Student Learning Outcomes. Students admitted prior to Fall 2017 may choose either the Comprehensive Exam or the ePortfolio. The ePortfolio will be the mandatory final product for all students admitted in Fall 2017 and later.

The Comprehensive Exam (Comps) is taken during the final semester of course work. Comps consist of one question in each of four general areas: Issues, Management, Services, and Technology, and includes coverage of all eight LIS Student Learning Outcomes. Each question is created and evaluated by one of the full-time resident LIS faculty.

The ePortfolio is an accumulation of assignments and reflections that demonstrate mastery of the LIS Student Learning Outcomes. You will need to include two specific class assignments for each of the eight LIS Student Learning Outcomes. Your performance and reflections will demonstrate that you are ready to enter into a professional career.

Missouri School Library Media Certification Go to top of page. Top

In the state of Missouri, Library Media Certification is granted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The LIS program offers all the courses required for add-on Library Media Certification.

Please note that DESE requirements for the Missouri Library Media Certification will change as of August 1, 2017. At that point, Library Media Certification will change from a secondary education certificate to a K–12 certificate. For more information about the process of library media certification in the State of Missouri, please visit the DESE website.