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Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)

Up-to-date knowledge and skills for information professionals

Information professionals are the human interface that connect people, information, and technology. The work of information professionals is essential to the public good because it supports equitable access to information for all, helping to ensure an informed society and a vibrant democracy.

They play a leadership role in the identification, organization, preservation, and effective use of information expressed in a variety of formats. While information professionals traditionally have worked in institutions such as the library, today their skills are needed in all sectors of the economy.

Accredited by the American Library Association, our Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree was ranked 10th by U.S. News & World Report in the magazine’s 2014 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

The MLIS degree is a 36-credit program that can be completed in three consecutive terms of full-time study, or up to four years (twelve terms) of part-time study. This program is offered on-campus and online (with the exception of the Archives and Information Sciences pathway).


Pathways

Our three pathways were crafted to help you develop the necessary expertise to match your career goals. There may be specific areas of focus within each pathway that you would like to concentrate on in order to deepen your knowledge, or you may wish to cultivate a broad knowledge and skill base that covers several areas of interest.

Archives and Information Science

Records are created and maintained for purposes of evidence and accountability as well as for personal, social and corporate memory. Archives serve a crucial cultural function, providing society with a sense of identity and memory. Records Management programs help organizations to be compliant with regulatory agencies, responsible to constituent groups, and effective and efficient in the use of informational resources. Graduates of the Archives and Information Science Pathway will have the skills and knowledge to work as archivist, special collections librarians, records managers, corporate archivist, digital asset coordinators, and more.

Data Stewardship

The Data Stewardship Pathway will provide an introduction to data curation, digital preservation and data science, and will frame these topics within the broader context of data informatics, digital scholarship, research integrity, disciplinary diversity and cultural change. In addition to setting the scene from a policy perspective, the Pathway will provide the practical skills needed to carry out effective research data management and preservation, and will situate these practices in the wider landscape of open science and open scholarship. This Pathway will equip graduate students with the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to work in a range of data stewardship roles located in libraries, archives, data centers, government, industry and business.

Library and Information Services

While information professionals traditionally have worked in cultural heritage institutions such as the library, today their skills are needed in all sectors of the economy. Now, more than ever, the world needs highly qualified specialists in libraries and information services. The Library and Information Sciences Pathway will prepare students for leadership roles in the identification, organization, preservation and effective use of information and cultural artifacts. Graduates of this pathway will be prepared for careers as web content managers, digital asset coordinators, librarians, information architects, and more.


Experiential Learning

We offer numerous ways to help students engage in valuable experiential learning opportunities with a wide variety of area museums, libraries, schools, corporations, cultural institutions, archives, and more.

While earning his MLIS degree, Harrison Behl  gained real-world experience with archiving audiovisual materials through a placement at KDKA-TV. According to Behl, “This allowed me to see first-hand the challenges in preserving sound and video materials. I was able to bring my questions into the classroom and connect the theoretical perspective with practical application.” Upon graduation, Behl was hired by the Library of Congress as a Processing Technician dealing with the preservation and conservation of audiovisual carriers, photographic materials, 3-D artifacts, and paper documents.  He is currently an audiovisual specialist at the New York Public Library.

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Statute of Limitations

The MLIS degree must be completed within four years of the first term in which courses were taken after admission. The full-time course load is 9 to 12 credits per term; thus, a full-time student will complete the program in three or four terms. The part-time course load is 3 to 6 credits per term, which permits the part-time students to complete the program in 6 to 12 terms.


Our Curriculum

Our program provides a blend of theory and application and lets you select the pathway that aligns with your personal career goals. It is a program that has been producing leaders in the information professions for over 100 years, while continually evolving to keep pace with rapidly changing technology.

Core Courses

All students will complete a set of core courses that provide framework to the theories, knowledge, skills, ethical issues, and social responsibilities of information professions.

  • Understanding Information (LIS 2000)
  • Organizing and Retrieving Information (LIS 2005 or 2224)
  • Information Technology (LIS 2600, 2610, 2670, or 2635)
  • Management of Information Services (LIS 2700, 2215, or 2774)

Questions?

Contact:  Shabana Reza, Recruitment and Admissions

Phone: 1-800-672-9435 or 412-624-3988

Email: shabana.reza@pitt.edu