Before You Apply
You may test the waters by taking up to nine hours of SISLT course work, with these qualifications:
- Taking courses prior to applying does not guarantee admission.
- Take courses that will be included in your program of study — check with the Student Coordinator’s office before enrolling (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- No more than nine hours will count toward your degree before you are officially accepted into the program.
Applications are accepted and reviewed for admission continuously until program capacity is met.
The applications should be completed by:
- July 15 for fall admission.
- Dec. 15 for spring admission.
All applications received after the above dates will be considered for admission in the following semester.
- GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
- The average GPA of our admitted students for fall 2014 was 3.66.
- GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) for any course work beyond the undergraduate level.
- TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) for international applicants.
How to Apply
- Complete the online graduate application at least 10 days prior to the deadlines above.
Upload the following materials to the online graduate application:
- Resume or CV.
- This should demonstrate high potential for success in the library and information science field.
- Statement of purpose answering these questions (in 500 words or less):
- 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?
- At which site are you located? At the bottom of your statement of purpose, please indicate one of the following: Columbia/Mid-Missouri; Greater Kansas City Area; Great St. Louis Area; Springfield, MO area; Nebraska; Other.
- Two letters of recommendation.
- These should attest to your critical thinking, analytical and writing skills, demonstrating your potential as a graduate student and professional.
- Transcripts. (Applicants are required to submit official transcripts if admitted.)
- TOEFL scores for international applicants only (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based).
- Resume or CV.
- Have official transcripts sent to:
MU Office of Research and Graduate Studies
210 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
- Submit official test scores
- Official TOEFL scores (if applicable) (MU code: 6875, SISLT: 90).
We encourage electronic submission, but applicants can also send materials by mail to:SISLT Student Services Office
304 Townsend Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
LIS Policies Go to top of page. Top
- The LIS Program Policy Manual contains some policies regarding admissions and enrollment.
Scholarships & Financial Aid Go to top of page. Top
As an LIS graduate student there are various sources of financial aid that you might be able to tap. Please note that you have to be admitted to a degree-seeking program in order to receive financial aid.
MU Financial Aid
The MU Student Financial Aid Office has information on the various forms of financial aid that are available to degree-seekers. A Financial Aid Adviser is also available to discuss your particular needs.
MU Graduate Assistantships
Graduate Assistantships can provide you with financial support while pursuing an advanced degree, as well as the opportunity for professional experience and academic training.
Graduate Assistantships are commonly posted on these two sites:
Some libraries and companies may offer internships for promising students. These internships will be announced via SISLT-LIS listserv.
College of Education Scholarship Applications are considered once per year in the spring, with awards distributed during the following fall/spring academic term. By filling out this online form before March 1, both currently enrolled students and prospective students are automatically considered for all College of Education scholarships for which they are eligible. Online Graduate Scholarship Application
LIS program alumni and friends have generously endowed the following scholarships for students pursuing the LIS master’s degree. Apply for these scholarships by using the College of Education Scholarship Application.
- Bryce Allen Memorial Scholarship
Family, friends and colleagues established this fund in 2004 in memory of Bryce Allen to provide awards to students enrolled in the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies in the College of Education.
Absolute Criteria: Graduate status, enrolled in SISLT.
- Doris J. Athy Scholarship
Established by Doris J. Athy in 2001, this fund supports students enrolled in the School of Library and Information Science on the University of Missouri campus.
Absolute Criteria: Graduate status, enrolled in SISLT, must file a FAFSA and show financial need.
- C. Edward and Greta S. Carroll School of Information Sciences and Learning Technologies Endowment
Edward C. and Greta S. Carroll established this gift in 2001 for support of graduate students in the School of Information Sciences and Learning Technologies in the College of Education.
Absolute Criteria: SISLT, as designated by the director.
- Lucille Marie Cobb Memorial Scholarship
This fund was established in 1996 in memory of Lucille Marie Cobb to benefit graduate students majoring in library science in the School of Information Sciences & Learning Technologies.
Absolute Criteria: SISLT graduate majoring in Library & Information Science
Recipient(s): 4 students
- Constance Loraine Hill Memorial Fund in Library and Informational Science
Established in 1994 by Rhona Williams in memory of her mother, Constance Loraine Hill, to provide scholarships to African-American students enrolled in the Library and Information Science program.
Absolute Criteria: SISLT, African American student
- Edward P. Miller Library and Information Science Scholarship
Established in 1993, this was the second scholarship established by Dr. Miller. He was a professor in the School of Library & Informational Sciences for twelve years, and served as Dean for ten of the twelve years.
Absolute Criteria: School of Library & Informational Science student, as designated by the director.
- Ralph H. Parker Endowment for Excellence in the School of Library and Information Science
This is the first scholarship established by Dr. Edward P Miller in 1988. Dr. Miller was a professor in the School of Library & Informational Science for twelve years and served as Dean for ten of those twelve years.
Absolute Criteria: School of Information Science & Learning Technologies student, as designated by the director.
- Ruth Tandy Royse Fellowship in Library Science
Ruth Tandy Royse, a 1916 graduate of MU, established this fund in 1971. Mrs. Royse worked in the University of Missouri library and wanted to study library science but the school had not yet been established. After the School of Library and Informational Science was established, she worked with the Dean to provide this first scholarship gift. This fellowship supports students with academic achievement and potential for development as a librarian with preference given to a graduate of MU.
Absolute Criteria: Graduate students in Library & Information Science, based on academic record, potential for development as a librarian and must fill out FAFSA and show financial need.
- Sharon Willis Memorial Prize
This scholarship was established in 1979 in memory of Sharon Willis, who was a faculty member in the College of Education. It is awarded to a graduate student in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies who has made significant contributions in the area of children’s literature or children’s library services.
Absolute Criteria: Graduate students in SISLT who have made significant contributions in the area of Children’s Literature or Children’s Library Services.
- H. W. Wilson Foundation Library Science Scholarship
This scholarship is supported by the H.W. Wilson Foundation with a gift of $10,000 to each of the 56 graduate library and information studies schools in the U.S. and Canada that are accredited by the American Library Association.
Absolute Criteria: Graduate students in School of Library & Information Science
Other Financial Aid Sources
In addition to internal sources, you should also consider external funds. The Missouri Library Association, Nebraska Library Association, the Missouri State Library, and various other agencies make scholarship funds available for students.
- Missouri Library Association Scholarships
- Missouri Association for School Librarians — Scholarships
- Nebraska Library Association Scholarships
- American Library Association Scholarships
Enroll Go to top of page. Top
How to Enroll
If you intend to live in Columbia or mid-Missouri and attend classes at MU, you should register for the on-campus course section.
If you are not in the mid-Missouri area and plan to attend classes at one of our distance sites, you should register in the off-campus course section or in the course section specific to your site.
- Determine which courses you want to take and when they are available by checking MU’s course schedule at MyZou. You can also find information on SISLT courses using the SISLT Schedule.
- Both on-campus and off-campus students register for classes online using the MyZou system.
- The University Registrar has provided this information to help you navigate MyZou.
- Purchase textbooks and/or course packs (if any are required).
When to Enroll
Enrollment dates vary from semester to semester. For the most current information, visit the MU Academic Calendar.
Orientation Go to top of page. Top
Welcome to the LIS program! There are many people and resources that can help you through your LIS degree. Some of them are listed here, and you can find others by contacting your faculty adviser.
- Refresh your memory about the SISLT and LIS Program Orientations.
- The LIS Advising Aid can help you with some of your questions about what to take and when.
- MyZou is the system you will use to register for classes, maintain your financial aid and tuition records, and see your grades. It is accessible via the web site (http://myzou.missouri.edu/) or via the GoMizzou app for Android and iPhone.
All students in the LIS program, including distance students, are automatically members of the Library and Information Science Graduate Student Association (LISGSA). Regular meetings and events are a great way to make friends with other students, create future professional contacts and connect with the LIS faculty.
Who Is Your Faculty Adviser?
You can find the name, phone number, and e-mail address of your faculty adviser by consulting your admissions letter from SISLT.
If you decide to change advisers, that’s an easy process. Just ask your preferred adviser if he or she would be willing to advise you. When that person says yes, ask him or her to send a note to the Student Coordinator’s Office to indicate that you’d like to switch to your preferred adviser. It’s easy, and there are no hurt feelings on anyone’s part.
When Can You Register?
Check the MU Registrar’s Academic Calendar to determine when you can register. New graduate student registration usually begins about two months before the start of the semester.
Remember that courses may be canceled if they haven’t met enrollment expectations, so if there’s a course you really want to take, enroll for it early.
What Classes Should You Take First?
We ask that our students take all required classes within their first 24 hours of coursework, to give them a foundation in the profession that prepares them for advanced coursework. If you want to take an elective course before completing your required courses, your adviser can help you figure out the best schedule to meet your needs.
If you are admitted in Fall semester, we recommend taking 7301 Introduction to Information Technology and 7305 Foundations of Library and Information Science.
If you are admitted in Spring semester, we recommend taking 7313 Collections and Access Management and 7314 Reference Sources and Services.
Do You Have Transfer Credit?
Have you taken graduate-level coursework from another university? Are you interested in a course offered by another university? You might be able to save time and money by transferring that coursework to your Master’s degree program here! Check below to see if your graduate credit will apply!
Criteria for Transfer Credit
- Recency. Your transfer credit must be less than 8 years old at the time you’ll graduate. For example, if you graduate in 2010, you can’t transfer a course taken earlier than 2002.
- Amount. You may transfer six credit hours into your SISLT Program of Study.
- Adviser Approval. Your transfer credits must be approved by your faculty adviser, and must fit into your LIS degree program. Your adviser may ask to see a course description or syllabus to determine that the transfer course is appropriate for your degree program here at SISLT.
- Institution. Your transfer credits must be from a regionally-accredited institution in the United States or from an institution abroad that is recognized by the country’s Ministry of Education as a graduate-degree granting institution.
- Quality. Your transfer credits may not be from extension or correspondence credit.
SISLT does not accept transfer credit in lieu of completing the required courses, with one exception. We will accept up to six hours of transfer credit if you have previously been enrolled in an ALA-accredited LIS program and have taken courses at that program that are equivalent to the required SISLT courses.
For more information on transfer credit, speak with a faculty adviser. If your transfer credit meets all the criteria, you must do a few things to get it applied to your degree program.
- List the transfer credit on your M-1 Program of Study form. If you have already submitted the Program of Study, you will need to submit the Program of Study Revision form with the transfer credit listed.
- Ensure that your official transcripts from the credit-granting institution are on file with SISLT and the Graduate School.
Degree Progress Go to top of page. Top
The LIS curriculum reflects the foundations of the field as well as the critical issues facing the profession, and you will be evaluated on your mastery of the LIS Program’s student learning outcomes. You will work closely with your adviser on all course selection decisions.
For students admitted in Fall 2014 and later, the program consists of 39 credit hours (credits) 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). This decrease in the number of program credit hours and change in the number of credits needed from required courses is the result of a systematic curriculum redesign that optimizes student and faculty resources while at the same time maintains the high quality and affordability of the program.
Required Courses (18 credits) — Note: 16 credits for students enrolled before Fall 2014
- 7301 Introduction to Information Technology (3 credits) OR 7320 Emerging Technologies in Libraries (3 credits)
- 7305 Foundations of Library and Information Science (3 credit) Note: Only 1 credit required for students enrolled before Fall 2014
- 7302 Organization of Information (3 credits) OR 7312 Principles of Cataloging and Classification (3 credits)
- 7313 Collection and Access Management (3 credits)
- 7314 Reference Sources and Services (3 credits)
- 7315 Management of Information Agencies (3 credits) OR 9410 School Library Administration
- 7381 Practicum in Information Agencies (2–3 credits) OR 7380 Practicum in School Libraries (2–3 credits)
Elective Courses (Selected in consultation with faculty adviser)
- Must include 15 credit hours of 9000-level courses
- Must include 12 hours of courses taught by a full-time faculty member.
The Program of Study
After you’ve completed your first semester, you should work with your faculty adviser to fill out the Program of Study Form, also known as the M-1 form. Your Program of Study form plans out the courses you expect to take while you’re in the LIS program.
- Program of Study Form for Students Admitted Prior to Fall 2014
- Program of Study Form for Students Admitted After Fall 2014
- Program of Study form for Students Pursuing the E-Learning Information Professional specialization
- Program of Study Form for Students Pursuing Master’s and Library Media Add-on Certification
After you sign the Program of Study form, you should bring it or send it to the SISLT Student Coordinator, who will see that your faculty adviser and SISLT’s Director of Graduate Studies sign the form. The form then goes to the Graduate School, where it is approved and signed by the Dean of the Graduate School. Once it is signed by the Graduate School Dean, a copy of the form will be mailed back to you.
After you’ve filled out and submitted your M-1 form, you may change your mind about a course. If this happens, you should fill out the Program of Study Substitution Form to delete the courses you didn’t take from your Program of Study and include the courses you did take. Do this when you register for classes for your last semester, to ensure that you can graduate on time.
Program of Study Course Substitution Form
Graduation Go to top of page. Top
Besides normal classwork, your last semester in the LIS program involves two specific tasks: the Graduation Examination and Registering for Graduation.
The Graduation 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. Each question is created and evaluated by one of the full-time resident LIS faculty.
All students scheduled to take Comps are loaded into a course site where you can post questions and interact with the Comps Committee and your peers. You will be given an overview of the content of the questions, a list of suggested readings for each question and information on how Comps will be administered.
Toward the latter half of the semester, the Comps questions are released on the course site. You have one week to answer the four questions and submit the answers to the Comprehensive Exam Committee. In answering those questions, you should demonstrate mastery of the LIS Student Learning Outcomes.
How is the Comprehensive Exam Evaluated? At the close of the Comps period, the Examination Committee grades each response pass/fail. Each Committee member is responsible for grading the answer to the question s/he designed. (Example: all Issues answers go to the faculty member who wrote the Issues question). You must receive a passing grade on each of the four questions to successfully complete the Comprehensive Examination.
If your response to a question does not meet the criteria for a grade of pass, the Committee member will circulate your response to the other three Committee members for further evaluation. If a majority of the Committee members determine the response meets the criteria for a grade of pass, you will successfully complete that section of the examination. If a majority of the Committee members determine the response does not meet the criteria for a grade of pass, the response is marked fail and you will be required to retake that section of Comps (One Section Retake). If you do not pass two or more sections of the Comprehensive Exam, you will have to retake the entire comprehensive exam in the next semester it is offered.
What is a One Section Retake? If you pass three sections of Comps, and fail one section, you will be asked to retake the failed section prior to the end of the semester. You will work with the faculty member who designed the failed question to determine the problem with your initial response. You must submit a new answer before the end of the semester. The retake response is graded pass/fail. If the retake answer is graded pass, you will have passed the Comprehensive Examination. However, if the retake response is graded fail, you must retake the entire Comprehensive Examination during the next semester Comps are administered.
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.
How Do I Build the ePortfolio? You may use Canvas or another site to build your ePortfolio. Your portfolio should contain:
- The brief biography you wrote for yourself in 7305 Foundations of Library and Information Science
- Your résumé
- Reflections and artifacts from your practicum
- A reflection for each student learning outcome
- An example, with more explanation, is here:
Once the ePortfolio is compiled, you will turn it in in the fourth week of your final semester. The Portfolio Review Committee will review it and return it to you in the eighth week of the semester with suggestions for remediation if necessary.
How is the ePortfolio Evaluated? The Portfolio is reviewed by three faculty members, known as the Portfolio Review Committee.
- Committee Member A will review the student’s personal statement and resume for coherence and errors.
- If Committee Member A finds grammatical or coherence errors, Committee Member A will note those errors in the Portfolio Evaluation Report.
- Committee Member B will review the student’s submitted rubrics and reflections for SLOs 1–4. Committee Member C will review the student’s submitted rubrics and reflections for SLOs 5–8.
- If Committee Member B or C determines that the student displays mastery or learning in a particular SLO, the student will be deemed to have passed that particular SLO. The Programmatic Performance Rubric for each “passed” SLO will be submitted to Committee Member A for inclusion in the Portfolio Evaluation Report.
- If Committee Member B or C determine that the student does not display mastery or learning in a particular SLO, the alternate Committee Member (C or B) will review the student’s performance on the SLO in question and fill out the rubric.
- When Committee Members B and C agree (e.g., both agree on failure), Committee Members B and C shall submit a one- to two-paragraph Remediation Statement, an explanation detailing why the response was insufficient and how the student should re-address the SLO in order to pass.
- In the event of a disagreement between Committee Members B and C (e.g., one fail and one pass), Committee Member A will review the SLO in question and make a final determination. Committee Member A and the other Committee Member who voted failure shall submit a one- to two-paragraph Remediation Statement, an explanation detailing why the response was insufficient and how the student should re-address the SLO in order to pass.
- Committee Member A will make the Portfolio Evaluation Report available to students after the student’s portfolio has been assessed. The Portfolio Evaluation Report will consist of:
- Statements of errors or needs for correction on the personal statement and/resume, if applicable
- Programmatic performance rubrics for each SLO
- Remediation Statements, if applicable, including deadlines for resubmission.
Register for Graduation
The other task is that you have to let the Graduate School know that you plan to graduate by filling out the Graduate Application Form. The Graduate Application Form is available for approximately six weeks prior to the beginning of your final semester. Watch your MU email account for notices from the Graduate School and SISLT Student Coordinator as to when the application will be available.
- The Application for Completion is your indication to the Graduate School that you intend to graduate during a particular semester. Fill it out at the beginning of your final semester in the program.
- Planning on participating in MU’s commencement ceremony? Read the Graduate School’s commencement ceremony checklist, including where to obtain regalia.
Communications Go to top of page. Top
To make it easier for LIS faculty, staff and students to communicate with each other, we maintain an opt-in LIS Listserv. Below you will find instructions on how to subscribe and unsubscribe.
Once you have subscribed, you will receive email messages containing information about SISLT events, courses and student activities. We also offer a Listserv dedicated to helping you with your job search after graduation.
Please Note: It is important to make sure that you send the subscribing message from the email you want to be included in the Listserv. Also, if your email program asks you if you want to send the message in text or HTML, tell it text only.
Listserv Address: email@example.com.
- Send an email message to LISTSERV@po.missouri.edu
- Do not type anything in the subject line.
- Do not include your signature.
- In the body of the message type one of the following and only one of the following:
- To subscribe send:
subscribe firstname.lastname@example.org Joe User
- To unsubscribe send:
- Please replace “Joe User” with your name.
- To subscribe send:
Before your subscription (or unsubcription) will process, you will have to “confirm” the command. LISTSERV will send you back a confirmation request email. Click on the web link in the email to activate your subscription or leave the list. This extra step helps block spammers and prevents internet vandals from changing your subscriptions.
To send a message to all the people currently subscribed to the list, just send mail to email@example.com.
SISLT JOBS Listserv
Listserv Address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Send an email message to LISTSERV@po.missouri.edu
- Do not type anything in the subject line.
- Do not include your signature.
- In the body of the message type the following and only the following:
- To subscribe send:
subscribe email@example.com Joe User
- To unsubscribe send:
- Please replace “Joe User” with your name.
- To subscribe send:
Before your subscription (or unsubscription) will process, you will have to “confirm” the command. LISTSERV will send you back a confirmation request email. Click on the web link in the email to activate your subscription or leave the list. This extra step helps block spammers and prevents internet vandals from changing your subscriptions.
To send a message to all the people currently subscribed to the list, just send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Careers Go to top of page. Top
Librarianship is a rapidly changing field that prepares you to serve new kinds of library and information users with new expectations. Technology has changed the way librarians retrieve information for their users, and yet traditional services remain the same — whether in person or online. Librarians must be information experts in the information age, and our program helps prepare you to become just that.
A Profession in Demand
An impending librarian shortage has been well documented. The American Library Association estimates that nearly a quarter of professional librarians will reach retirement age within the next decade.
But, as more people attempt to navigate digital information, libraries and librarians will be needed more than ever to provide relevant and meaningful services to library users. Moreover, the skills you gain in your LIS education can be used in a variety of other settings, including archives, museums, and businesses.
Your graduate degree from MU will prepare you for a number of career paths in the diverse fields of libraries and information centers, and we will even help you find that first job!
The MU Office of Graduate Studies offers online career resources including resume and CV examples, cover letters, interviews, and negotiation, as well as providing job search seminars in the Columbia area.
The College of Education’s Graduate Student Services and Initiatives office provides regular resume and cover letter review to on-campus and distance students.
- SISLT Jobs Listserv: New job announcements sent by employers seeking candidates in the fields of library and information science are posted by SISLT faculty and staff.
- LibraryCareers.org sponsored by the American Library Association, offers information on the variety of careers you can pursue with this degree.
- JobList.org includes current job listings for the fields of library & information science & technology. Sponsored by ALA and ACRL, you can set up an RSS feed to alert you of a new job posting based on your search criteria.
- http://inalj.com/ lists job postings by type and by state, offers advice on the job search, and allows the ability to post your resume.
- Hire MIZZOU Tigers: The University of Missouri provides an online job placement service at no cost to MU students.