Library and Information Science

The Library and Information Science (LIS) Program contributes to the essential knowledge, skills, and values of librarianship and the information professions through research, education, and outreach.

Our Program offers the only Master’s Degree in the state of Missouri that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). ALA’s initial accreditation was granted in 1966/67, and the program was given continued accreditation in 2015.

ALA Accredited Logo

U.S News & World Report Badge Best Online Programs Graduate Education 2018


Program History

In 1966, the Board of Curators established MU’s School of Library Science, the precursor to SISLT. Students were admitted to the school in the 1966–67 academic year, making 2016–17 the 50th anniversary of SISLT! SISLT students, alumni, and faculty put together this timeline of SISLT history to document how SISLT has evolved over time:
1913 Summer Library School

1913 Summer Library School

Alumni Go to top of page. Top

We encourage our alumni to stay engaged with the School and Mizzou! Four easy ways to stay involved are (1) Host a practicum student at your workplace, (2) Support the LIS endowed scholarships, (3) Attend and speak at student group events, and (4) connect with us on social media.

Our graduates enjoy a variety of career paths. The list below is just a small sample of some of the positions that our recent graduates have taken:

  • Reference/Web Services Librarian
  • Archives Specialist
  • Research Analyst
  • Teen Librarian
  • Children’s Librarian
  • Instruction & Electronic Access Librarian
  • Reference and Instruction Librarian
  • Medical Reference Librarian
  • Library Acquisition & E-Resource Specialist
  • Electronic Resources Coordinator

Alumni Spotlight

Student Testimonials Go to top of page. Top

Instructional Goals and Student Learning Outcomes Go to top of page. Top

  1. Goal 1: To offer students a strong foundation in fundamental LIS principles and competences
    1. Student Learning Outcome 1: Students apply knowledge of the foundations of the information professions, including their history, ethical issues, values, and principles.
    2. Student Learning Outcome 2: Students manage the life cycle of informational resources, including information acquisition, management, dissemination, organization, and preservation, in a variety of settings relevant to the work of information professionals.
    3. Student Learning Outcome 3: Students apply, assess, and evaluate information technology and systems.
    4. Student Learning Outcome 4: Students demonstrate an ability to prepare, advocate for, and deliver accurate and impartial information services.
  2. Goal 2: To promote a recognition of the interdisciplinary, service-based, and user-focused nature of the profession
    1. Student Learning Outcome 5: Students recognize the information needs of diverse user groups and communities, proactively address those needs, and advocate for improved services to underserved groups.
    2. Student Learning Outcome 6: Students apply management principles and other cross-disciplinary perspectives to develop best practices in library and information agency environments.
  3. Goal 3: To provide students with the evaluative and analytical skills to respond flexibly and adaptably to future changes and challenges
    1. Student Learning Outcome 7: Students conduct, critically evaluate, strategically apply, and disseminate research to libraries, information agencies, and communities.
    2. Student Learning Outcome 8: Students recognize the need for additional competencies in specialized areas and relevant standards from the applicable associations or accrediting bodies.

Program Outcomes Go to top of page. Top

Time to Graduation

Students in the LIS program attend classes full-time and part-time, based on their lifestyles and needs. A full-time student could graduate in as little as two years, and part-time students have up to eight years to graduate. Our data show that most of our students take between two and three years to graduate.

Admission Year 2 years 3 years 4 years 4+ years
2012 18 (42%) 24 (56%)   1 (2%)
2013 12 (30%) 21 (51%) 8 (19%)  
2014 14 (36%) 20 (51%) 5 (13%)  
2015 22 (92%) 2 (8%)    


Placement data is collected annually by the Library Journal Placement and Salaries survey.

In 2016, the LIS program had 61 graduates. Of those, 20 returned surveys, and of those 20, 12 were employed full-time. MU LIS graduates reported an average salary of $45,222, ranging from a low of $31,000 to a high of $75,000.

In 2015, the LIS program had 56 graduates. Of those, 16 returned surveys, and of those 16, 14 were employed. MU LIS graduates reported an average salary of $48,921, ranging from a low of $24,000 to a high of $68,000.

In 2014, the LIS program had 55 graduates. Of those, 7 returned surveys, and of those 7, three reported being employed. MU LIS graduates reported an average salary of $43,991, ranging from a low of $40,000 to a high of $50,000.

Student Learning Outcome Achievement

As evaluated in the Comprehensive Exam, students generally demonstrate an understanding of the Student Learning Objectives. The Comprehensive Examination is assessed on a 4-point scale.

Fall 2015 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.4 3.7 3.3 3.0 3.4
Spring 2016 3.7 3.6 3.3 3.7 3.2 3.5 3.6 3.4
Summer 2016 3.7 3.7 2.9 3.9 3.6 3.7 3.7 2.9
Fall 2016 3.8 3.3 3.8 3.4 2.6 3.5 3.8 3.9

In Spring 2017, we pilot tested the use of Canvas Outcomes Assessment to evaluate student achievement of our learning outcomes via assignments. Our pilot study assessed five sections of three classes.

  Below expectations Meets expectations Exceeds expectations
SLO2 2% 16% 82%
SLO4 19% 18% 63%
SLO5 9% 40% 51%