37 Online MLS Programs from ALA Accredited Schools

Online MLS Programs from ALA Accredited SchoolsIf you are considering becoming a library and information professional, you may be thinking about getting a master’s degree in library and information science. A master’s degree in library science is the degree to have to get the job of your dreams working in a library—be it public, school, government, or business. If you are already working, getting a degree online could be the way to increase your credentials and skills while keeping your income flowing. For the most prestigious, recognized educational credential, you will want to make sure that the program you choose is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).
 

Online MLS Programs
 


ALA Accreditation: FAQs

The ALA is a very old institution, founded in 1876. It is the most important body in library science in the US, and most likely, the world. The ALA is a full-service member organization, with one part of their mission as evaluating and furthering the education of librarians and information professionals. The ALA has peer review boards that visit the programs that seek accreditation, either for the first time, or to continue their status, and they evaluate many aspects of the programs. An important gauge for programs is whether or not graduates have developed the Core Competencies of Librarianship, which ensure that librarians will have the required skills to perform their jobs well. Other criteria for accreditation include adequate funding, staffing, and resources, plus a robust curriculum and fair policies. ALA accredited programs will meet these stringent standards.
 
Accreditation is a somewhat complex topic, but to give you a brief overview, in case you are not familiar, there are two basic types. First of all, there is regional accreditation, which is granted by agencies that cover sections of the country and look at an institution as a whole. If a school is not regionally accredited, it may have national accreditation, but this is usually not as rigorous or prestigious. The second type of accreditation is programmatic, which looks at the individual programs in a specific subject area, for instance nursing education or engineering programs. In the case of the library science, there is one main accrediting body: the ALA.
 
The ALA accredits degrees in library science, especially the Master of Library Science (MLS), the Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MS-LIS), the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), and various MA and MS degree that deal with information and librarianship. There are special programs, or special tracks within programs, that will give a master’s degree with training to be a school media librarian, which requires state certification. Each program is somewhat different, so an MLIS from one school may not teach the exact same curriculum as another, but both will give student the core competencies outlined by the ALA. Libraries have always functioned as a center for learning, information, and knowledge exchange, with principles of open access and the spreading of education, even before public schools were introduced in the US. Now that so much of our information is stored and accessed digitally, librarianship has grown to incorporate many types of data management and stewardship. As the profession changes, so do the programs that educate students. The exact letters of the degree are not as important to obtaining a good job as is the fact that the program you attend is accredited by the ALA. 
 

ALA Accredited Schools: Yay or Nay?

Do you absolutely need to go for ALA accreditation? Quick answer—no. But most employers require an ALA accredited degree to get a good job at a professional level in a library, archive, or other institution of knowledge holdings. A degree from a school without ALA accreditation is likely to limit you in your career, and eventually, if you move up in the profession, you may be required to go back and get another master’s degree, this time accredited by the ALA. Does an ALA-accredited program cost more? Yes and no. There pricing for the programs covers a broad range, and if you are considering distance education, you can choose a school based on cost. Many of the ALA accredited programs have costs that are comparable to non-accredited programs, so why not get the credential you need in the first place? The perks you get with an accredited program are: better job opportunities, better professional networking, and an education guaranteed to meet standards. There are no downsides to accredited degrees, other than the fact that some programs are more expensive.
 
Most programs will require you to have a bachelor’s degree, but it can be in any subject. A few programs will let college seniors with good standing start before they finish their bachelor’s degree. Many programs have a minimum GPA requirement, but most will consider applicants with lower GPA’s with additional qualification. Some programs have fixed course orders, while others will let you go at your own pace. Many programs have electives or specialties, so if there is a particular interest you have, say Information Organization or Music Librarianship, look for programs that have courses that will help you develop your skills in that area. Most programs have a practicum, where you will be working in the field, and many also help you develop a portfolio of work. 
 

Online MLS Programs from ALA Accredited Schools

The following programs hold ALA accreditation and coursework can be completed 100% online. If the program requires a practicum, this can be completed in your state at a site of your choosing. Check with your state licensing board to verify that a program will meet your needs.
 

1. University of Alabama

  • Tuition: $375/credit hour
The online MLIS comes in two degree options: fully online in a synchronous format, or hybrid online and in-person for regional students. The online students have an on-campus orientation at the beginning of the fall semester, and the hybrid students have an orientation in January for a program beginning in Spring. The hybrid program has 75% online classes and 25% weekend sessions. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA and one of the following: acceptable GRE or MAT test scores, a recent graduate degree, or five years of experience in the field. Most students complete in about six semesters.
 

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2. University at Buffalo

  • Tuition: $543/credit hour
University at Buffalo’s Information and Library Science MS is offered online or in a hybrid format. The program can be taken full time or part time, is 36 credits long, and can be completed in four semesters full time. Specializations include music librarianship, law librarianship, information management, information organization, information services, information storage and retrieval, public or academic libraries, or special libraries. The MS in School Librarianship is a 39 credit program delivered fully online, but with 40 days of practicum experience in school media centers. The program can lead to NY State Teacher Certification. Admission for either program requires MAT or GRE scores, and students with GPA’s under 3.0 may be conditionally admitted. International applicants have additional requirements. These programs start in the fall or spring semester and online tuition is quite reasonable. There are additional tuition benefits available to SUNY employees.
 

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3. Catholic University of America

  • Tuition: $1070/credit hour
The MS in Library and Information Science is offered in a hybrid online format, with synchronous and asynchronous portions, plus Saturday face-to-face classes four times a semester. There are two tracks offered in this format: Generalist and School Library Media. Students proceed through the program as a cohort with the same set of peers. Students who live far away only need to travel to campus one Saturday per month during fall, spring, and summer terms. Students who have a graduate degree at the time of admission may waive up to six credits from this graduate program. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA over 3.0 will have the GRE requirement waived. 
 

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4. Clarion University of Pennsylvania

  • Tuition: $500-540/credit hour
The online MSLS at Clarion University of Pennsylvania is offered in School Library Media or Information and Library Science. Offered completely online, the program can be taken part or full time. There are three start dates per year, and up to six credits may be transferred into the program. Either track is 36 credit hours of work including 3 credits for a Capstone Apprenticeship. Within the Information and Library Science program, students can choose to specialize in management of information agencies, information access, reference and user services, or local and archival studies. 
 

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5. Drexel University

  • Tuition: $1,228/credit hour
With a strong technological focus, the online MSLIS is taught by Drexel faculty in the College of Computing and Informatics. Courses are taught in four 10-week terms per year and the program requires 45 quarter credits. Experienced students may petition for exemption from one to three required courses. Specializations offered are Information and Data Services, Digital Technology Services, or User and Community Services. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA and GRE scores within the last five years, in the 50th percentile or higher on all three sections. Students with a 3.2 or higher GPA are exempt from the GRE requirement. Students may take the program full- or part time, and there are four start dates per year. Special tuition rates are available for alumni, military, and members of partner institutions.
 

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6. East Carolina University

  • Tuition: $249-894/credit hour
The online MLS at East Carolina University requires 39 credits taken as 13 courses. Concentration options are Public Library, Academic Library, and School Library Media. Admission requires a 2.7 GPA and a GRE or MAT score. Students have many elective options and must develop a portfolio as part of the curriculum. Students in the Public Library and School Library Media programs will be eligible to sit for NC exams for these specialties.
 

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7. Emporia State University

  • Tuition: $343-665/credit hour
Emporia State University’s hybrid MLS program offers courses online, with weekend intensives usually two times per semester. The in-person courses are offered in Kansas, Utah, Colorado, and Oregon. The program requires a minimum of four semesters to complete full time. Students go through the program with a cohort of their peers. Concentration areas include Archive Studies, Informatics, Leadership and Administration, and Youth Services. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA, though students with a lower undergraduate GPA may be considered for probationary admission. Kansas residents receive lower tuition rates, while the regular rates are also quite attractive.
 

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8. Florida State University

  • Tuition: $444-1,076/credit hour
There are two options for online graduate degrees in information: the MS in Information or the MA in Information. The MS offers concentrations in General Librarianship; Public, Academic, and Special Libraries; Health Informatics; Information Organization; Leadership & Management; Reference Services; Technology & Networking; Web Design; Youth Services; and Specialized Study in Museum Theory & Practice. Students may opt to do a thesis as part of their program. MA students must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. The admissions process is holistic, taking into account all aspects of the application. Classes are offered in a synchronous format, meeting one evening from Mon-Thurs per week. Students from cooperating states in the Academic Common Market receive in-state tuition rates, and other out-of-state students can apply for Market Rate tuition.
 

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9. University of Hawaii at Manoa

  • Tuition: $650-1,545/credit hour
The online or hybrid Master of Library Science is available to students from neighboring Hawaiian islands, but not to out-of-state students. The program offers courses in synchronous/webcast and asynchronous formats. The courses for the program are offered in a rotating selection online, so it may take online students longer to meet all requirements. The program has concentration areas of Academic/Special Librarianship, Archives, Asian Studies Librarianship, Cultures/Communities, Informatics, Public Librarianship, and School Library Media. The program is 39 credits and can culminate in a thesis or a portfolio project. Admission is in the fall and spring semesters and requires a 3.0 GPA. GRE’s are recommended but required only for students who have 25% of their undergraduate work from a university that does not assign numeric or letter grades. Students may transfer up to 9 credits of work from another ALA accredited program.
 

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10. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Tuition: $636-1,053/credit hour
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers their MSLIS in a fully online format after an on-campus orientation. Students interact with peers and faculty in online classrooms in real-time, primarily in the late afternoon. The program encourages students to create custom programs tailored to their interests, and pathways available include Archival and Special Collections; Youth and K-12; Information Organization and Management; Research and Information Services; Data and Asset Management; and Knowledge Management and Competitive Intelligence. Applicants with GPA’s below 3.0 are required to take the GRE exam. In-state tuition is very affordable, and out-of-state tuition, though higher, is still affordable.
 

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11. Indiana University

  • Tuition: $451-1,434/credit hour
The MLS from Indiana University is offered with specializations in Archives and Record Management; Art Librarianship; Children’s and Young Adult Services; Data Science; Digital Curation; Digital Humanities; Digital Libraries; Information Architecture; Music Librarianship; and Rare Books and Manuscripts. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA, and the GRE is required for students with lower that a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work or 3.2 GPA in previous graduate courses. Students with degrees from non-US institutions and those for whom English is not their first language must also submit GRE scores. Internships are required, and past students have interned at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian as well as other institutions. The program is 36 credits, with 18 in the core program, and the balance in specialization or electives.
 

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12. Kent State University

  • Tuition: $628-1,854/credit hour
Kent State offers the fully online MLIS with the option to specialize in K-12 Library Media. The program requires 37-40 credit hours for completion in either the general or school tracks. Admission does not require GRE’s unless the previous GPA is under 3.0. The program admits students in the fall and spring each year, and online tuition rates are very reasonable. The university has a very large library and information science program, though all specialties are not offered in the fully online program. But the convenience for distance learners may make up for the fewer options. Students who take the K-12 Library Media concentration are eligible to take the certification exam in Ohio.
 

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13. University of Kentucky

  • Tuition: $674/credit hour
The fully online MSLS at University of Kentucky can be completed in 36 credit hours, completely asynchronously. Even better, all online students pay the in-state tuition rates. Areas of concentration are Academic Libraries, Health Information, Information Systems, Public Libraries, School Librarian Program, Youth Services and Literature, or Generalist. Other nice optional parts of the program include spring break internships in DC, Study Abroad, and Practicum. Students choosing fulltime study can complete the program in under two years in the expedited program. There are three admission dates per year, and applicants should have a 3.0 GPA and GRE scores (which can be waived for those with a PhD). Students can design their own programs and have the option to take some classes face-to-face if they would like to.
 

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14. Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

  • Tuition: $481/credit hour
Louisiana State’s fully online MLIS covers 36 credits, with 18 in core courses and 18 of electives. Specializations are available in Academic Librarianship, Adult Services in Public Libraries, Archival Studies, Cultural Heritage Resource Management, Digital Content Management, Knowledge Management, School Librarianship, and Youth Services Librarianship. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA, though probationary admission may be granted to those with a GPA of at least 2.75. Students can start the program in fall or spring semesters. The degree must be completed within five years, and students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in coursework.
 

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15. University of Maryland-College Park

  • Tuition: $651-1,404/credit hour
The specialties available for the online MLIS at University of Maryland-College Park are Individualized Program Plan, School Library, and Youth Experience. The average time to the degree is 2.1 years, and 30% of students in the MLIS program study online. The average undergraduate GPA for admitted students is 3.5, although a 3.0 GPA is the minimum to apply. UMD looks for adaptable, collaborative, creative, service-oriented, and tech-savvy students with leadership potential. Online students who are MD residents pay about half the tuition rate as out-of-state students. The program includes field work, and 1 in 5 students received employment at the site of their field work, while 97% of graduates received at least one job offer, according to the most recent statistics. The faculty and program are highly regarded in library science. 
 

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16. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • Tuition: $279-534/credit hour
The online MLIS at UNC Greensboro combines synchronous and asynchronous elements in the 36-hour program. Students may concentrate in Archival Management; Database Structure, Evaluation, and Utilization; Information Ethics; Information Organization and Access; or Information Resources Management. The program boasts very affordable tuition for online students, both in- and out-of-state. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA and the GRE. The GRE is waived for applicants with a 3.5 GPA or an earned master’s degree in another field. UNC is a military friendly school and allows a Capstone project in lieu of a thesis. 
 

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17. North Carolina Central University

  • Tuition: $257-892/credit hour
There are two options for a master’s degree online for those interested in ALA-accredited programs-the Master of Library Science or the Master of Information Science. Both are 100% online, 36 credit hours, and have very low in-state tuition rates. The MLS program has concentrations of academic librarian; archives and records manager; digital librarian; law librarian; public librarian; school media coordinator; or special librarian. The MIS program focuses on understanding, analyzing, and designing information systems to help organizations and people work more effectively. Both require a minimum 3.0 GPA, reading comprehension in a foreign language, and a GRE or GMAT score.
 

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18. University of North Texas

  • Tuition: $358-766/credit hour
The University of north Texas has two online programs in library and information science: the Master of Science in Library Science and the Master of Science in Information Science. Both require six days of on-campus learning, but the rest of the courses happen online asynchronously and are flexible. Online out-of-state tuition is a bit higher than in-state, but still quite affordable. The MS-LS program has specializations in Archival Studies & Imaging Technology; Distributed Learning Librarianship; Information Organization; Law Librarianship and Legal Informatics; Music Librarianship; Youth Librarianship; and General Program of Study. For the MS-IS, students can concentrate in Archival Studies & Imaging Technology; Health Informatics; Information Organization; or take a general program of study. Both programs require 120 hours of practicum work. Applicants need either a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or a 3.5 GPA on a completed master’s degree. Applicants with lower GPA’s must submit scores from the GRE, GMAT, or the MAT, and will be considered on an individual basis.
 

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19. University of Oklahoma

  • Tuition: $213-824/credit hour
The MLIS program offers concentrations in Academic Librarianship; Archives; Children and Young Adult Services; Information Organization; Information Technology; Public Librarianship; Reference Services; School Library Media; or Special Librarianship. This 36-credit hour program admits students for the fall or spring semesters, and requires a 3.0 GPA for admission. Applicants with a GPA over 2.8 can apply for conditional admission. The program allows for a mix of online and weekend courses. Graduation is obtained by completing a thesis, portfolio, or exam at the end of the program.
 

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20. University of Pittsburgh

  • Tuition: $954-1,599/credit hour
University of Pittsburgh has an online MLIS with concentrations in either Library and Information Services or Data Stewardship. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA and scores on the GRE or MAT text. Students can finish the program in as little as one year (three consecutive semesters) or take up to four years to complete the degree. Courses are delivered online in both asynchronous and synchronous portions, and there is a short on-campus requirement. Tuition is cheaper for in-state students, and online tuition for out-of-state students is a bit higher. A maximum of six credits from another graduate program may be transferred.
 

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21. University of Rhode Island

  • Tuition: $706-1,401/credit hour
With three optional tracks, the MLIS at URI has concentrations in School Library Media; Digital Media; or Libraries, Leadership & Transforming Communities. The program has 18 credits of core courses and 18 of elective or specialist credits. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA, and in-state students must submit proof of residency. Regional tuition rates are available for students in MA, ME, NH, CT or VT. Part time students usually complete the program in four years, and up to six credits may transfer from another graduate program. Not all courses are offered online at this time, but the program is available in hybrid format. Three start dates per year are offered.
 

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22. Rutgers University

  • Tuition: $900/credit hour
The Rutgers University program confers the degree of Master of Information, with concentrations in Library and Information Science; Data Science; Technology, Information and Management; Archives and Preservation; Informatics & Design; or a customized program of study. The program is 100% online with three start dates per year, full or part time options, and small classes. Admission requires the GRE scores, except for students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, a completed advanced or master’s degree, or scores from an alternate exam. The program was built out of their former MLIS program and the tuition rates are competitive for prestigious schools.
 

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23. St. Catherine University

  • Tuition: $923/credit hour
Admission to the graduate programs at St. Catherine University requires a 3.0 GPA, though students below that benchmark can apply by including GRE or MAT scores. The MLIS is offered in many formats, including totally online or with a combination of weekend and evening classes. The 36-credit program can be completed full time in two years and part time, in three or more years. There are two application deadlines per year, and students can begin study in the fall, spring, or summer semester. The program also has a school media specialist track, which requires specific courses. Tuition for the program is a flat-rate, no matter what format your classes are in.
 

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24. St. John's University

  • Tuition: $1,285/credit hour
The MS-Library and Information Science from St. John’s University can be completed in two years, is 36 credits with 12 credits of core courses, 3 of management, and 21 of electives. Concentration areas include Academic Librarianship; Archival Studies; Law Librarianship; Management for Information Professionals; Public Librarianship; Special Librarianship; and Youth Librarianship. Courses are 100% online and asynchronous, with no on-campus requirement. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA and a bachelor’s degree, but students with lower GPA’s may be conditionally admitted. There is a mentoring program and an alumni network. Students build e-portfolios, and the program includes experiential as well as academic learning.
 

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25. San Jose State University

  • Tuition: $474/credit hour
The 100% online MLIS at San Jose State is delivered mostly asynchronously, though some web conferencing is included. Even internships and research assistantships are conducted online. The program comprises 43 credits of work, with six core courses and 27 credits of electives, and culminates in a thesis or e-portfolio project. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA but no resume, letters of recommendation, or GRE scores. International students can participate from their home country anywhere in the world. Students can customize their program to their interests, resulting in many possible career paths, though designations of specialty do not appear on the diploma.
 

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26. University of South Carolina-Columbia

  • Tuition: $672/credit hour
University of South Carolina-Columbia’s online MLIS program is 36 credits, with 27 of those being in the student’s area of interest. Applicants need a 3.0 GPA, and acceptable scores on the GRE or MAT. There are many elective options, including storytelling, digital archives, government documents, music libraries, and planning library facilities. The program builds competence in information organization, information services, leadership, research, technology, and lifelong learning. Students can study online except for internships, on-campus, or mix the two. Online courses are primarily asynchronous, and students can study full or part time. Tuition for online out-of-state students is just a bit more than in-state tuition, and the program is very affordable.
 

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27. University of South Florida-Main Campus

  • Tuition: $348-431/credit hour
The MA-LIS program at University of South Florida has been continuously accredited since 1974. The online MA-LIS includes 39 credits, and there is an option to specialize in the School Librarian/Media Specialist track. Students must undertake 120 hours of field work, and the assessment at the end of the program includes an e-portfolio. There are three start dates per year, and admission will be granted to students with a 3.25 undergraduate GPA, a 3.5 GPA from a master’s program, or a doctoral degree. Students who do not meet the criteria will also need to submit test scores, writing samples, and recommendations.
 

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28. University of Southern California

  • Tuition: $1,800/credit hour
USC offers a Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) uniquely designed to prepare graduates for leadership positions in academia, corporate, or public libraries, or information management for government or business. The program follows the cohort model, with students going through the coursework with the same set of peers. The program completion time is five 15-week sessions completed in 20 months, with three courses per semester. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA minimum and show relevant work experience. GRE’s are not required. No transfer credits are allowed in this program.
 

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29. University of Southern Mississippi

  • Tuition: $451/credit hour
University of Southern Mississippi’s 100% online MLIS is taught primarily in an asynchronous format, and no campus visits are required. This military-friendly university has very affordable tuition and online students pay the in-state rates. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA on the last two years of undergraduate study, GRE or GMAT scores, letters, essays, and also proof of immunization (or exemption) for measles and rubella. The 40-credit program has 22 credits of required courses, 15 of electives, and 3 for the master’s project, and the program must be completed within 5 years. The program also offers an option for School/Media concentration.
 

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30. Syracuse University

  • Tuition: $1,500/credit hour
The online options at Syracuse University include the basic MLIS or the MLIS: School Media. Syracuse’s program has been accredited by the ALA since 1928, so they have been prominent in the field for a long time! The programs are 36 credit hours and can be completed in 18 months. Both programs have 18 credit hours of required coursework, 15 of electives, and 3 of exit requirements. The MLIS requires a supervised internship, unless the students has significant work experience. The School Media Program requires 240 hours of practicum experience in school settings. Classes meet online live once a week, and there are a variety of other participatory formats for courses. Students in both programs are required to attend at least one immersion experience on-campus during the program.
 

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31. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

  • Tuition: $626-701/credit hour
Students in the online MSIS program at UTK are required to attend a 1-day on-campus orientation during August when they begin their program. Courses are delivered online in synchronous and asynchronous formats, and students in TN, VA, WVA, DE, and AR pay in-state tuition rates. Career pathways that are outlined by the school include: Academic Librarianship; Data Curation and Data Management; Digital Collections; Geographic Information; Information Organization; Public Librarianship; Science Information and Data Science; and Youth Services. Applicants with a GPA of 3.25 are preferred, but others can be considered. The 36-hour program has a thesis or non-thesis option for completion: practicum, independent research, comprehensive exam or e-portfolio are possible.
 

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32. Texas Woman's University

  • Tuition: $260-675/credit hour
Class sizes under 25 students, affordable tuition, and a completely online program are features of the three Texas Woman’s University’s three accredited programs. The MLS is a 36 hour program that prepares students for careers in academic, public, school, and corporate libraries. The final exam for this program is a portfolio submission. For students who want certification to work in schools, the MLS with School Librarian Focus is the right program. For those who are interested in research and improving the information system, the MA in Library Science is a 39 credit hour program designed for this specialty, with a thesis as the final product. A practicum is required in all programs, though it can be waived for those with extensive professional experience. Test scores are not required for applicants with a 3.0 GPA, but if needed, the school accepts GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, or MAT exam scores. There are three start dates per year.
 

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33. Valdosta State University

  • Tuition: $532/credit hour
Valdosta State University’s MLIS program is mostly online and designed for students to continue their jobs and family lives during school. The program consists of 39 credit hours of coursework and accepts new students for the fall and spring semesters. This is a non-thesis program, and students pay the online tuition rate whether they reside in- or out-of-state. There are numerous career pathways for graduates. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA, although applicants may apply for exceptions to get probationary admission. There is a Capstone project taken in the final semester of study.
 

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34. University of Washington

  • Tuition: $805/credit hour
At University of Washington, students can enroll in the online MLIS or the hybrid MS in Information Management. The MLIS is designed as an online part-time three-year program, comprising 63 quarter credits, but does require a three-day campus stay at the beginning of the program. Online courses are mostly asynchronous. The program is flexible and has two application dates per year. The MSIM has a mid-career option for people with at least five years industry experience. Designed as a two-year part time program of 47 credits, classes are held in the evenings and online. Specializations for this program include Business Intelligence; Data Science; User Experience; Information Consulting; Information Architecture; and Information Security.
 

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35. Wayne State University

  • Tuition: $742/credit hour
The online MLIS at Wayne State is 36 hours and has three main areas of study beyond the core: Archives and Digital Content Management; Information Management; and Library Services. Students work with an advisor to choose individual courses that will help them reach their career goals. Some of the courses in this program are also available in a face-to-face format as well. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA, or, for applicants with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99, there are alternative methods to gain admission. Up to 9 credits taken at another ALA-accredited program may be transferred in. International students are welcome in the program, and in-state tuition rates are available to students in neighboring counties and across the border in Ottawa. Students will do a practicum as part of their program.
 

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36. University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Tuition: $800/credit hour
Starting with an on-campus “bootcamp”, this online MA-LIS has small classes, flexible scheduling, and allows distance students to do their practicum in their home area. Five concentrations are available for the on-campus program: UX & Information Technology; Data/Information Management & Analytics; Librarianship; Digital Archives; and Organization of Information. Not all specializations are available in the online program, but students can mix face-to-face courses with online courses in their study. Online tuition is just a bit above the usual in-state graduate rates, and Wisconsin residents can also opt to prepare for school certification. The University of Wisconsin-Madison iSchool has been accredited by the ALA since 1924. 
 

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37. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • Tuition: $800/credit hour
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has no residency requirement for their online MLIS. Concentration are available in Archival Studies, Information Organization, Information Technology, or Public Library. In addition, there are specialty areas available: Academic Libraries; Digital Libraries; Information Literacy; Information Law, Policy & Ethics; Public Libraries; and Special Libraries. There is a school media specialization that can be completed entirely online. The 36-credit program culminates in a research project. Admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA and the program accepts international students. Fieldwork is an optional course intended for students with little or no work experience in library settings and is often done near the end of the program. Tuition is a flat rate for the online program and is about the same as in-state tuition for normal courses, no matter where a student lives.
 

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Start an Online MLS Program Today!

If you have looked at some of your options, you should have a better idea of what types of programs could get you that perfect library or information job. No matter what ALA accredited program you choose, you will get a solid education that will help advance your career. And if you can do all or most of it from the comfort of your own home, on your own schedule, then you can continue your life uninterrupted while you study! Plus, all that experience taking online courses will help you understand the needs of many of today’s library patrons—information, in all formats!
 

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