Library and Information Science Master’s Degree

Connect communities, advance equity and promote justice.

How do libraries serve their communities? What knowledge and skills do librarians need to ensure equitable access and use of information? How can we preserve history and memories for future generations? How can we tell the stories that have gone untold? How can we help people evaluate the authenticity of information they receive? Explore these questions and more as a Library and Information Science student.

Syracuse University’s Library and Information Science program will help you focus on information justice and equity, community engagement, and technology use in your community; gain knowledge and skills in user services, information and data literacy training, management, organization and discovery of information resources, data protection and privacy, and diverse cultures and communities; and put your training to work through experiential learning opportunities in a variety of settings.

Through coursework ranging across many professional pathways, you’ll experience the broad reach of librarianship and information science, explore what it means to be a librarian or information professional today, and see for yourself the impact this program can have on your career.

Accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1928, our Library and Information Science program centers around one goal: joining with communities to offer library services, resources and spaces that serve individuals and the greater good.

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, schools, corporations, government agencies and cultural institutions.

The 36 credits are distributed as follows:

  • 15 credits in Core Knowledge and Skills
    • 3 credits in Introductory Core
    • 9 credits in Information Resources Core
    • 3 credits in Management and Policy Core
  • 3 credits in exit requirement Reflective Portfolio
  • 18 credits in electives (which can be used toward a C.A.S. in Data Science or following a professional pathway)

View Curriculum in Course Catalog

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:

  • Advance information equity and justice by applying professional ethics, values, and standards to work towards a just and equitable information society.
  • Connect, engage, and collaborate with users and their communities through the provision of inclusive resources, services, and spaces.
  • Design and innovate to create equitable, just, and engaging information artifacts, including services, systems, spaces, resources, and technologies.
  • Lead and manage people and projects in an equitable, just, and culturally responsive manner.
  • Demonstrate information literacy and technological agility.

The MSLIS program strides to cultivate leaders in the library and information profession who will become implementers and advocates for information justice and equity, community engagement, and technology use in their communities of practice. It is designed to prepare library and information professionals with a broad range of knowledge and skills needed for exemplary practice and leadership in the library and information profession.

You can discuss your interest with your faculty advisor or learn more using our LIS Handbook. Plan your program study in one or more of the following professional pathways:

User Services and Community Engagement

Whether working in a college or university library or a cultural institution such as a public library or museum, user services and community engagement is one of the core functions of libraries and cultural institutions of all types. User services librarians are responsible for information literacy instruction, reference, collection management, and outreach to diverse communities to assure equal access to library and information resources.

Sample job titles: Dean of University Libraries; Web Services Librarian; Associate Librarian of Environmental Science; Public Services Librarian; Reference Librarian; Online Learning Librarian; Outreach and Assessment Librarian; Access Services Librarian; and Instruction Librarian

Archives and Special Collections

Institutions handling historical materials offer job opportunities for a graduate holding an MSLIS degree, including special collections within large academic institutions, small historical societies, museums, and even zoos. Courses in this pathway are suitable for careers in cultural heritage, archives, and special collections.

Sample job titles: Photo Archives Manager; Curator of Historical Collections; Director of Special Collections; and Digitization Librarian

Digital Curation

Digital curation has become an increasingly important part of library operations. Digital library work includes the management, curation, and preservation of digitized and born-digital resources, including data, in libraries, archives, and museums. These librarians develop policies and workflows, help users locate digital information and data for business or academic use, and organize digital resources for retrieval. Students interested in the digital curation pathway will gain knowledge of digital data systems, metadata theory and practices, programming and markup languages, and data services to the communities they serve.

Sample job titles: Data Visualization Specialist; Data and Metadata Services Librarian; Director, Data Center Services; Data Management and Curation Librarian; Data Quality Specialist; Research Data Archivist; Data Services and Visualization Librarian

Organization and Management of Information and Knowledge

Libraries, archives, and museums are central places for the acquisition, organization, management, and dissemination of information and knowledge. Organizing and managing information and knowledge of all types, formats, and forms is the core function that supports information organizations to achieve their goals and enact their values. This career pathway has a wide range of employment potentials, ranging from libraries, archives, museums, government agencies, businesses, and almost any organizations that need professionals to perform functions of organizing, managing, retrieving, and use/reuse information resources.

Sample job titles: Lead Technical Services Technician; Taxonomist; Metadata and Data Curation Librarian; User Interface Specialist; Metadata and Digital Initiatives Librarian; Metadata Information Architect; Digital Projects Librarian; Content Management Analyst

Children and Youth Services

Libraries strive to facilitate lifelong learning. When is a better time to provoke a permanent passion for curiosity than childhood and adolescence? Children and youth services librarians focus on early literacy, information literacy, readers’ advisory, and the use of emerging technologies by young people. Librarians focusing on children and youth services build relationships that support the learning of young people as well developing sustaining relationships with parents, caregivers, and teachers in the local community.

Sample job titles: Children’s Reference Librarian; Teen Services Librarian; Coordinator of Youth Services; Youth Service Librarian; Young and Emerging Adult Librarian

Digital Information Systems

Modern libraries run on digital data and information systems to provide services anywhere and anytime that require technically savvy librarians to innovate, support, and maintain. Digital information systems in libraries and other types of organizations play a key role in making data and metadata findable, accessible, interoperable, and usable/reusable. Knowledge and skills in this pathway can lead to jobs not only in non-traditional positions in libraries but also in non-library settings such as corporate and government.

Sample job titles: Coordinator of Metadata; Catalog Management Librarian; Web Development Librarian; Librarian for Digital Publishing, Curation, and Conversion; Software Librarian; Digital Asset Management

Information Research and Analytics

Whether you are conducting research on community profiles for building a new library branch, gathering data and information on emerging trends for market research, or collecting information about products or companies for competitive intelligence, the skills and knowledge in research methods and data science can go a long way in developing a career as a research librarian.

Sample job titles: Collections and Metrics Facilitator; Director of Digital Initiatives; Research Support Librarian; Research Data Librarian; Legal Research Services Librarian; Senior Scientific Librarian

light bulb iconAdvanced Study

Pursue your interests.

Explore topics that interest you most. Our flexible program offers focus areas and the opportunity to solidify your expertise with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Data Science or pursue another professional pathway.

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Build your expertise, and your resume.

The iSchool’s tight-knit community, coupled with Orange pride, means that you’ll become part of a vibrant and active professional network when you graduate. That’s how we’re able to place nearly all of our graduates into a variety of roles, from school districts to libraries to universities, to museums, and beyond.

Placement rate within
6 months of graduation
Average starting
salary of last year’s
Ranked #6 by U.S. News and World Report

The same faculty and coursework, available online.

As leaders in technology, we’ve been teaching online for decades. Our online program combines live weekly classes, multimedia coursework, and collaborative group learning exercises with a platform to help you cultivate lifelong professional relationships with professors and alumni worldwide. You’ll learn from the same faculty and take the same courses as the on-campus program, and enjoy the same access to the Orange network when you graduate.

Meet us in Syracuse,
or online.

Join us for an upcoming event on campus or online and get to know us better. We’ll answer your questions, and show you around.

American Library Association Accreditation Logo
Our LIS program has been accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1928, we currently hold continued accreditation status through 2030.

The American Library Association’s Office of Accreditation regularly reviews library and information programs that wish to be accredited by ALA. Accredited MSLIS programs meet or exceed the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies, which were established by the Committee on Accreditation (COA) and adopted by ALA Council. The standards address systematic planning; curriculum; faculty; students; administration, finances and resources.

The American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation has been evaluating LIS programs since 1924. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes the ALA COA as the authority for assessing the quality of education offered by graduate programs in the field of library and information studies.

In order to maintain accreditation, an MSLIS program must submit to a regular process that involves rigorous, ongoing self-evaluation. The results of that evaluation are verified through an external review conducted by the Committee on Accreditation. In addition, every program submits data to ALA on an annual basis and submits regular biennial reports.

ALA Accredidation self-study produced by the MSLIS program (2015)

2023 COA Biennial narrative report

2021 COA Biennial narrative report

2019 COA Biennial narrative report

2017 COA Biennial narrative report

The MSLIS program at Syracuse University is accredited by the American Library Association Committee on Accreditation, with the status of Continued accreditation. The next comprehensive review visit is scheduled for Fall 2023.

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.

Learn More About Our Guiding Council

View detailed information about graduation rates and testing success rates, showing what graduates of our program go on to achieve.

View consumer information.

Get in touch.

Your future, starting now. Get it touch to learn more. Apply. And join us. We can’t wait to welcome you.