MS in Library and
MS in Library and Information Science at the iSchool
With an MS in Library and Information Science (LIS) from the Syracuse University iSchool, you’ll learn the broad reach of librarianship, and what it means to be a librarian today. Students from the sciences and humanities are drawn to the iSchool’s LIS program to achieve one goal: to change how communities and organizations use library and information resources for the better.
We also offer our library science degree online. Learn more about iSchool@Syracuse Online
Our guiding council carefully reviews competencies and course offerings to ensure that the iSchool is a leader in library and information science education, and you can find more information on the guiding council in its bylaws.
Our LIS program has been accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1928 and received continued accreditation in 2016 after its last review.
What you will learn
Whether you’re hoping to work in a library setting or you hope to apply your newfound skills as a librarian in an innovative way, our LIS curriculum provides two things: a foundational core that provides the skills all librarians should have, and elective credits so you can find your niche as a librarian.
Our LIS degree program is 36 credits, and is typically completed within 2 years. The program prepares you for a career in a broad range of organizations, including academic institutions, public libraries, corporations, government agencies or cultural institutions.
The 36 credits are distributed as follows:
- 18 credits in Core Knowledge and Skills
- 3 credits in Introductory Core
- 9 credits in Information Resources Core
- 6 credits in Management and Policy Core
- 15 credits in electives
- Can be used toward a CAS in Data Science, a Focus Area, or however you wish.
Here at the iSchool, our vision is to provide quality professional education for library and information science professionals. Our goals and outcomes guide our direction, provide a framework for assessing our achievement, and most importantly, communicate our beliefs in the foundational skills that modern library professionals must have.
Graduates of the iSchool’s Library and Information Science program:
Apply the skills and attitudes of visioning, entrepreneurship, advocacy, planning and management to leadership in the information field.
Manage information resources and the information life-cycle through the processes of collection development, representation, organization, preservation, curation, access, and dissemination in accordance with physical, virtual, and technical infrastructure and needs.
Apply appropriate pedagogical and learning theory principles in the design, development, implementation, and assessment of library instruction and learning that contribute towards an information and technology literate society.
Design and employ policies essential for creating and providing information services and resources guided by the values of patron privacy, equitable access, intellectual freedom, and ethical use of information.
Possess the skills to respect, engage, and collaborate with a diverse community in order to advocate for and construct inclusive, meaningful, and participatory library services, programs and resources.
Perform and assess research based practices through the application of information literacy, inquiry, and research methods including data discovery, analytics and qualitative measures.
Within the LIS program, you can choose a focus area to further specialize your skill set for your future career.
Data librarians facilitate the management, maintenance, and preservation of information in a number of professional settings. They can locate data for business or academic use, use statistical methods to understand what stories a dataset tells, or organize data for later retrieval. Students interested in the data librarianship focus area at the iSchool will gain knowledge of integrated library systems, cataloging practices, programming and markup languages, and database management systems.
Positions held by our alumni: data visualization specialist; data and metadata services librarian; director, data center servicesExamples of courses you can take:
- IST 565 Data Mining
- IST 659 Data Administration Concepts and Database Management
- IST 676 Foundations of Digital Data
- IST 681 Metadata
- IST 719 Information Visualization
Cultural institutions house historical and archival materials and hire MSLIS degree holders to curate, preserve, and present their collection to the public. Librarians also help cultural institutions digitize historical materials so that they can be viewable online. Settings may include special libraries, museums, special collections within academic institutions, small historical societies, and even zoos.
Positions held by our alumni: photo archives manager; curator of historical collections; director of special collections and archivesExamples of courses you can take:
- IST 622 Introduction to Cultural Heritage Preservation
- IST 624 Preservation of Library and Archival Collections
- IST 628 Management and Organization of Archival Collections
- IST 632 Management and Organization of Special Collections
- IST 635 Collection Development and Access
Branch managers, library directors, and even newer librarians given the freedom to create and direct their own services must hone their leadership skills to better connect with coworkers and patrons. The iSchool’s LIS focus area in management allows students to learn the basics of budgeting, staffing, organizational culture, planning and assessment, marketing, and project management.
Positions held by our alumni: dean of libraries; library director; branch managerExamples of courses you can take:
- IST 614 Management Principles for Information Professionals
- IST 617 Motivational Aspects of Information Use
- IST 627 What’s the Big Idea: Technology Innovation
- IST 661 Managing a School Library
- IST 717 Advanced Library Management
Public Service Librarianship
Public service librarians serve communities, whether it be a campus community of students and professors or a diverse urban public library. They assess the needs of a community and provide the appropriate programming. Public service librarians also perform outreach, research, reference, and reader’s advisory services to meet the information needs of their patrons.
Positions held by our alumni: reference, instruction, and outreach librarian; patron services librarian; outreach and assessment librarianExamples of courses you can take:
- IST 605 Reference and Information Literacy Services
- IST 611 Information Technologies in Educational Organizations
- IST 617 Motivational Aspects of Information Use
- IST 646 Storytelling for Information Professionals
- IST 662 Instructional Strategies and Techniques for Information Professionals
School media librarians focus on promoting digital literacy and technology skills within K-12 Schools. See our MS in Library and Information Science with School Media specialization for more details on school media librarianship.
Technical Service Librarianship
Technical Service Librarians work to make collections accessible and convenient to use. They catalog and classify new materials, preserve older items, maintain the library’s online catalog, and troubleshoot a library’s learning technologies. They also play a vital role in collection development by securing acquisitions and renewing subscriptions.
Positions held by our alumni: head of technical services; catalog and processing manager; digital technologies librarian and managerExamples of courses you can take:
- IST 558 Technologies in Web Content Management
- IST 604 Cataloging of Information Resources
- IST 616 Information Resources: Organization and Access
- IST 631 Theory of Classification and Subject Representation
- IST 638 Indexing and Abstracting Systems and Services
Certificate of Advanced Study in Data Science
Certificates of Advanced Study (CAS) give you the opportunity to specialize further in your graduate studies. By incorporating data science classes into your LIS studies, you can graduate with a certificate that solidifies your expertise as a data-driven librarian.
With the CAS in Data Science, learn the data lifecycle from beginning to end. You will learn to create, manipulate, analyze, and archive data – and discover how data science is integral to libraries everywhere.
When it comes to careers and alumni, the Syracuse University iSchool has an incredible professional network. We have a dedicated Career Center that specifically serves the needs of iSchool students.
LISSA, the Library and Information Science Student Association, serves as the ALA (American Library Association), SLA (Special Libraries Association), and NYLA (New York Library Association) student chapters, and helps iSchool LIS students connect with alumni and professional development opportunities.
While some library science graduates become librarians, others find non-traditional librarian jobs. Some become data scientists, while others become archivists. Some go on to pursue doctorates, and others become project managers. You'll find that the skills of a librarian are in high demand in unexpected places, like museums, non-profits, and even wineries.
Library and Information Science Online
Online iSchool students have access to the same faculty and degree as our campus students - it’s just in a different delivery mode.
The online format of the program combines live weekly classes, multimedia coursework, and collaborative group learning exercises. The innovative learning technology platform helps students cultivate lifelong professional relationships and personally interact with a worldwide community of students and alumni—all while having the flexibility to continue working full time.
Courses are led by professors who bring a wealth of experience from the field directly to the classroom, helping students learn skills that are immediately applicable to their day-to-day work environments.
How to Apply
We offer admissions for fall and spring semesters.
Visit the Admissions page for information on application deadlines, tuition, and more.
Do you have everything you need to apply? Use our checklist to know that you’re ready to begin your application.
Explore all of the merit awards and scholarship for Library and Information Science students.