Library and Information Science Master’s Degree

School Media Concentration

Turn K-12 students into lifelong learners.

School librarians teach literacy to children, collaborate with teachers, and give students a safe space to go.  They master a broad range of multimedia in order to help people use information both effectively and efficiently, and most importantly — their work can impact a child for life.

If you’re committed to teaching literacy (digital and traditional) in K-12 schools, then our specialized graduate program in school media is for you.

We take a uniquely tech-driven and human-centered approach to understanding information in the context of social media and “fake news,” data protection and privacy, and how it’s used and shared in an educational setting.

Tailored to New York State Department of Education requirements and combined with 100 hours of fieldwork, our program prepares graduates to take certification exams and support students, educators, and school administrators alike. See for yourself the impact this program can have on your career.

Our LIS: School Media degree program is 36 credits, and is typically completed within 2 years. The program prepares you for a career as a school librarian and incorporates preparation for New York Department of Education certification into the curriculum. Although our LIS: School Media curriculum has no electives, our curriculum gives you a balanced and rigorous school media education. You can also review the program in our LIS Handbook.

The 36 credits are distributed as follows:

  • 3 credits in Introductory Courses
  • 9 credits in Information Resources Courses
  • 6 credits in Management and Policy Courses
  • 15 credits in Required Coursework
  • 100 hours of Fieldwork
  • 3 credit School Media Practicum
  • Additional School Media Requirements

View Curriculum in Course Catalog

By the time you complete the LIS: School Media program, you will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge and skills:

Standard 1: Teaching for Learning

  • Knowledge of learners and learning
  • Effective and knowledgeable teacher
  • Instructional partner
  • Integration of modern skills and learning standards

Standard 2: Literacy and Reading

  • Literature
  • Reading promotion
  • Respect for diversity
  • Literacy strategies

Standard 3: Information and Knowledge

  • Efficient and ethical information-seeking behavior
  • Access to information
  • Information technology
  • Research and knowledge creation

Standard 4: Advocacy and Leadership

  • Networking with the library community
  • Professional development
  • Leadership
  • Advocacy

Standard 5: Program Management and Administration

  • Collections
  • Professional Ethics
  • Personnel, Funding, and Facilities
  • Strategic Planning and Assessment

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 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/university library or a cultural institution such as a public library and museum, user services and community engagement is one of the core functions of libraries and cultural institutions of all types. User services librarians have the responsibilities on information literacy training, instructions, references, 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 and Instruction Librarian

Archives and Special Collections

Many different kinds of institutions handling historical materials offer job opportunities for a graduate holding an MSLIS degree, including special collections within large academic institutions, small historical societies, art 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; Rights and Reproductions and Digitization Assistant

Digital Curation and Services

Digital curation and services have become an increasingly important part of library operations. Digital librarian 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 and services 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 Fellow; Data Quality Specialist; Research Data Archivist; Data Services and Visualization Librarian

Organization and Management of Information and Knowledge

Libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) 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 LAM to achieve their goals and actualize their values. This career pathway has a wide range of employment potentials, ranging from LAM to 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 all over strive to be places that facilitate lifelong learning. When is a better time to provoke a permanent passion for curiosity than in the early years of a patron’s life? The urgency for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning initiatives in library settings, the proliferation of the makerspace movement, and the widespread use of emerging technologies from a young age prove that the role and responsibilities of children’s and young adult librarians go beyond recommending a good read. Networking and marketing are important facets of a Youth Services Librarian’s job, as well as building 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; Young Adult/Asst. Children’s 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 (Configuration Coordinator), Digital Asset Management, Software Engineer, FOLIO Developer | Information Technologist II

Information Research and Analytics

Whether you are conducting research on community profiles for building a new library branch or gathering data and information on emerging trends for a market research or collecting information about products or companies for compiling 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 & Metrics Facilitator, Director of Digital Initiatives, Research Support Librarian, Research Data Librarian, Legal Research Services Librarian, Senior Scientific Librarian, Research & Library Manager

light bulb iconAdvanced Study

Pursue your interests.

For those who have already earned an ALA-accredited LIS degree, our Certificate of Advanced Study in School Media is also available as a standalone program.  Through 21 credits of graduate coursework, you’ll be prepared to take the New York State certification exams.

globe careers iconcareers

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. 

Average starting
salary of last year’s
We’re a top-ranked program with a reputation for excellence

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 that helps 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 mission, goals and objectives; curriculum; faculty; students; administration and financial support; and physical resources and facilities.

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)

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 2022.

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.