Master of Science in Library and Information Studies
The Master of Science in Library and Information Studies enables students to gain a solid foundation in areas such as general librarianship, information architecture & technology, information needs & services, youth information needs & services, as well as design an individualized program of study. Students will gain the theoretical basis needed to build the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to function effectively in professional positions within Library and Information Studies (LIS). Students will demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of the profession, in order to analyze critically their current role(s) and establish future directions for the information fields, gain knowledge of techniques and skills that underlie basic information activities, and develop the ability to adapt to changing demands and opportunities for information provision within society, including the application of emerging techniques and technologies.
Visit our Admission Requirements page to learn how to apply.
Use the Advising Worksheet to plan out your degree program.
The Master degree is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Time to Completion
- Course work for the Master degree must be completed within 7 years from the time the student first registers for graduate credit.
- Any graduate work transferred from another institution must have commenced not more than 7 years prior to completion of the degree for the credits to be applicable to the Master’s degree.
- Exceptions may be appealed through the School of Information.
How it Works
Learn more about how the program works and about the experience of online education.
MS Degree Requirements
The Master of Science (MS) degree requires successful completion of 36 semester hours of graduate coursework. Students must take four core courses and choose additional courses either from one or more areas of specialization or by designing an individualized program of study that best meets their career goals.
Core Courses (12 semester hours)
LIS 5271 Research Methods in Information Studies (3 credits)
LIS 5203 Assessing Information Needs (3 credits)
LIS 5411 Introduction to Information Policy (3 credits)
LIS 5020 Foundations of the Information Professions (3 credits)
LIS 5408 Management of Information Organizations (3 credits)
LIS 5703 Information Organization (3 credits)
Elective Courses (24 semester hours)
The remaining 24 credits may be taken from among the course offerings listed below and are selected depending on the needs of the student, the current technology skill level, and the foundation need to support the student’s professional goals. View a list of our course offerings and course descriptions.
Programs of Study
To help facilitate course selection, courses have been organized into programs of study along general and specialized areas of interest. These programs of study are not required for graduation and do not result in any further notation on the diploma or transcripts, but rather function as a planning and advising tool for the students. Programs of study may help to guide your course selection in order to facilitate achievement of your career goals. They include:
- General Librarianship
- Public, Academic, and Special Libraries
- Health Informatics
- Information Organization
- Leadership & Management
- Reference Services
- Technology & Networking
- Web Design
- Youth Services
- Specialized Study in Museum Theory & Practice
Certificate Programs are also available while pursuing a Master of Science degree within the School of Information. Certificate programs are designed to provide an opportunity for professional development and result in an award separate from the diploma with the successful completion of select coursework for the certificate. Learn more about the types of certificates offered at the School, as well as certificate program requirements.
Students pursuing the Master of Science in Library and Information Studies have the option to complete a thesis as part of their curriculum. The subject of the thesis must be within the major field and must reveal independent investigation and knowledge of the methods of scholarship.
To complete the thesis-type program, a student must complete all requirements for the master’s degree. Six hours of the required 36 degree hours must be thesis hours (LIS 5971 – 3 hours per semester over two semesters). A student must officially declare that he/she wants to pursue a thesis-type program by emailing School of Information Graduate Student Services requesting a change to thesis-type track and identifying the major professor who will supervise the thesis. The student, in coordination with the major professor, must complete the necessary paperwork to appoint a supervisory committee. The Supervisory Committee consists of at least three members: the major professor; the minor professor (if the student has a minor area); and one or two additional members from the major department. Additional members may be appointed if deemed desirable. All members of the committee must hold Graduate Faculty Status.
Students must also follow the University guidelines for completion of a thesis-type program as listed in the University Graduate Student Handbook as well as all requirements for manuscript clearance.
MA Degree Requirements
A Master of Arts (M. A.) degree may be earned by students who opt to complete 6 or more semester hours of graduate credit in one or more of the following fields: art, classical language, literature, and civilization; communication (not to include speech correction); English; history; humanities; modern languages and linguistics; music; philosophy; religion; and theatre. In addition, they must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. Use the Advising Worksheet to plan out your degree program.
Proficiency in foreign language may be demonstrated by:
- Certification by the appropriate language department, or
- Completion of 12 semester hours in a foreign language with an average grade of at least 3.0 (B), or
- Four years of a single language in high school.
Juris Doctor/Master of Science Degree Requirements
The Juris Doctor/MS joint degree program leads to both a Juris Doctor (JD) Degree from the FSU College of Law and a Master of Science Degree from the FSU School of Information. Graduates of this program will be particularly suited to work in law libraries and other organizations involved with the creation and dissemination of legal information. Students in the joint degree program will receive academic advising from both the College of Law and the School of Information. Students interested in pursuing the joint J.D./M.S. degree must apply to and be accepted by both the College of Law and the School of Information according to each school’s admission criteria. For this joint degree, the criteria for the College are the same as for the Master’s degree. Students pursuing the joint degree program must first begin their study at the College of Law. Contact the FSU College of Law Admissions Office for application information.
Time to Completion
All coursework for both degrees must be completed within a five-year period and both degrees will be awarded at the same time. With the exception of the 18 special credit hours described above, students will be expected to fulfill all requirements of both degrees.
Total of 106 hours from both programs:
- 79 hours of Law courses
- 27 hours of LIS courses
In effect, 9 hours of graduate course work in Information Studies are credited toward the 88 hours normally required for the Juris Doctor Degree, and 9 hours of LAW are credited toward the 36 hours normally required for the MS degree. This will save the joint degree student 18 credit hours of coursework which would otherwise be required to complete both degrees separately.