Master of Library & Information Studies (MLIS)

The Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree offered at the School of Library and Information Studies is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). The MLIS is available at our main campus and online, with seven concentrations and two certificates. 

Master of Library & Information Studies (MLIS)

Create Your Story with our Masters of Library & Information Studies

Whether you’re looking to study on campus or earn your degree by distance, we’re happy you found us! With our MLIS degree, students will become creative and critical thinkers who can lead the way in archives, libraries, and other information settings. Ranked in the top 27 programs of our kind by U.S. News and World Report, and praised for its focus on diversity and inclusion, our MLIS program provide a unique blend of theory, practice, and hands-on learning that prepares our graduates to handle real-world challenges related to human-computer interaction, information access, sustainability, healthy disparities, information literacy, preservation, intellectual freedom, and more!

Unique Opportunities for MLIS Students

Gorgas Library

I first considered UA SLIS because I was impressed by the quality of their graduates. Now I know why. The MLIS program is committed to creating leaders to meet the needs of libraries and information users. I have received a world-class education at UA SLIS.

Ron Schwertfeger

About MLIS Main Campus

The main campus MLIS program will equip students with skills that can be applied to a variety of archival, library, and information contexts. As a residential student, you’ll have access to a variety of specialized courses as well as activities and student organizations to develop your expertise in an academic emphasis or concentration area.

While core classes will be offered in a face-to-face setting, many elective courses are administered through our live synchronous online format during evenings or weekends. After consulting with their academic advisor, main campus students can choose between face-to-face and online electives, but 50% of their courses must be in face-to-face mode. Core courses are offered during the fall-only. Below is a general rotation for face-to-face electives offered to main campus students.

An image detailing which years SLIS general electives are offered. In even years during the Spring, LS 515 and LS 580 will be offered. During Fall, LS 566 and LS 582 will be offered. In odd years during the Spring LS 508 and LS 527 will be offered.
An image detailing other SLIS electives. For Archival Fall year 1, LS 555 is offered. In Spring year 1 LS 557* and LS 558* will be offered. For 600-level classes during Fall semesters, CIS 650 and LS 655 will be offered. In the Spring, LS 653 will be offered.

*Alternates years

Cohort Size

Limited Capacity: Only 25 students accepted each Fall. (No Spring admissions)

Subject Areas: Archival Studies, Digital Archiving, Social Justice, Youth Services

Admission: Fall Only

Specialized Funding

Graduate Assistantships: 1st Preference for Graduate Assistantships in the MLIS program are offered to main campus students taking at least 3 courses per semester. Requires 10 hours of work per week for ½ tuition and a stipend each semester.

Perks for Main Campus Students

About MLIS Online

Consistently ranked in the top programs in the world, our synchronous, online program was one of the first of its kind. The curriculum for MLIS online students is the same as for main campus students. With three core courses and the remainder of the 36-hour degree program comprised of online electives.

Courses are typically offered Monday through Thursday from 6:00-8:30 p.m. CST and occasionally on weekends. These synchronous (real-time) online courses are conducted similarly to in-person courses with live lecture and discussion involving the instructor and students. Occasionally a few select courses are offered in an asynchronous mode to allow for individualized instruction to meet busy schedules. To find our more information about the MLIS online program visit UA Online.

Cohort Size

Open Capacity: Determined each semester.

Subject Areas: All areas listed in the concentrations and areas of emphasis

Admission: Fall and Spring Cohorts

Curriculum

The MLIS degree program requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit. Students must complete all work with a grade average of “B” or better. The MLIS degree is comprised of a curriculum that supports four program learning outcomes (PLOs) that align with core professional values, preparing our students to be successful in a variety of information environments. There is a thesis and a non-thesis option for the degree.

MLIS Program Learning Outcomes:

  • PLO1: Students will be able to evaluate technology-mediated access in library and information services. [1.2.7] skills
  • PLO2: Students will be able to use evidence to inform library and information practices. [1.2.4] knowledge base
  • PLO3: Students will be able to critically articulate the philosophy, principles, and ethics of library and information science. [1.2.1; 1.2.2; 1.2.3; 1.2.5] principles
  • PLO4: Students will practice principles of social and cultural justice in their preparation for careers in library and information environments. [1.2.6; 1.2.8] responsibility
All MLIS students who enroll in Fall 2019 or later

All MLIS students who enroll in Fall 2019 or later must complete, as part of the minimum 36 hours, the following 9 hours of required courses in the first two semesters of enrollment.

  • LS 500 Information Science and Technology
  • LS 501 Information in Communities
  • LS 513 Professional Paths

All MLIS students who enroll in Fall 2019 or later are also required to complete a comprehensive portfolio of your experiences during the MLIS program. Please see portfolio instruction here. Dr. Miriam Sweeney offers portfolio office hours each semester (dates and registration advertised on the SLIS-S listserv) to answer questions about this capstone requirement.

All MLIS students enrolled prior to Fall 2019

All MLIS students enrolled prior to Fall 2019 must complete, as part of the minimum 36 hours, the following 18 hours of required courses:

  • LS 500 Organization of Information
  • LS 501 Introduction to Library and Information Studies
  • LS 502 Research Methods
  • LS 507 Information Sources and Services
  • LS 560 Information Technologies

All MLIS students enrolled prior to Fall 2019 also must take one of the following courses to fulfill the required management component. Those courses include:

  • LS 508 Administration and Management
  • LS 530 Public Libraries
  • LS 531 Academic Libraries
  • LS 532 School Media Centers
  • LS 533 Special Libraries and Information Centers

Thesis Option for the MLIS Degree

Candidates for the MLIS degree under the thesis plan must earn a minimum of 36 credit hours, including nine hours of required courses, and six hours of thesis credit (LS 599); no more than six hours of thesis credit may be counted toward the degree. Additional information can be found in the Graduate Catalog and in the thesis guidelines. Note: The majority of MLIS students typically do not choose the thesis option. Please consult with your advisor to see if this is the best degree plan for you.

Transfer Credit for the MLIS Degree

Graduate credit may be transferred from another university or department as part of a student’s course of study. However, no more than nine credit hours can be applied toward the MLIS for graduate courses taken outside SLIS, directed research courses, and internships. Additional information can be found in the Graduate Catalog and in the transfer guidelines.

Concentrations

Archival Studies

This concentration provides a comprehensive grounding in the academic discipline of archival studies, and an understanding of the theory, art, and practice that informs archival work. Students have the opportunity to develop competencies for work with rare books, manuscripts, traditional records, and digital media.

School Libraries

This concentration prepares students to work collaboratively with classroom educators in K-12 library settings to foster 21st Century Literacy Skills in children and young adults. The curriculum is aligned with the National School Library Standards For Learners, School Librarians and School Libraries.

For more information on concentrations, visit the graduate catalog.

Areas of Emphasis

Areas of emphasis are not the same as concentrations or certifications. These areas help students tailor their course of study with their academic advisors.

Academic Libraries

Academic Libraries is an area of professional practice centered on serving the needs of institutions of higher learning. Students will choose this area of emphasis if they enjoy being in an educational setting, working with adult and young adult populations, researching, and managing large and often extensive collections. Examples of the kinds of academic institutions students might work in include two and four year colleges and universities, as well as vocational and trade schools. However, this excludes serving in medical schools, law schools, business schools and seminaries, which typically fall under the category of Special Libraries.

Academic librarianship tends to divide into three broad categories of professional practice: user services, technical services, and technology services. User services include but are not limited to reference work, information literacy instruction, scholarly communications, and community outreach. Technical services practice includes but is not limited to cataloging, series management, and collection development. Technology services practice includes but is not limited to information technology management, such as the library web site, social media platforms, facilitating data collection and analysis, and management of institutional repositories.

Many academic libraries require their librarians to publish scholarship as part of their professional duties. These institutions often prefer hiring applicants with existing scholarly output, such as a thesis. With this in mind, students should consult with their academic advisor about the possibility of pursuing the MLIS Thesis Option.

In addition to the core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for those with an interest in Academic Librarianship. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. The management course LS 531: Academic Libraries is recommended for students interested in academic librarianship. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in this area. Discuss course selection and availability with your assigned academic advisor.

User Services Electives:

LS 512 Information Sources Sciences

LS 515 Information Ethics

LS 527 User Instruction

LS 567 Digital Reference

LS 580 Outreach to Diverse Populations

Technical Services Electives:

LS 505 Collection Development

LS 506 Cataloging and Classification

LS 562 Digital Libraries

LS 566 Metadata and Semantic Web Fundamentals

LS 590 Special Topics: Linked Data

Technology Services Electives:

LS 524 Project Management in Information Settings

LS 581 Universal Design for Information Technologies

See also the Information Science & Technology Area of Emphasis for more Technology Services courses.

For additional information about Academic Librarianship please contact Dr. John Burgess (information literacy; user services; management; metadata; digital libraries and special collections; linked data/Semantic Web) or speak with your academic advisor.

Digital Stewardship

Digital stewardship is an area of information practice that involves the care and management of digital resources over time. Digital stewards are involved in all stages of the digital resource lifecycle, including creation, appraisal, description, preservation, access, and reuse. This broad area of study incorporates digital archives, digital repositories, digital libraries, digital asset management, research data management, digital preservation, digital curation, and digital culture studies. Students best suited to this area of emphasis are those that enjoy working collaboratively to solve problems; those who seek to engage with diverse communities; and those who wish to encourage the open exchange of ideas and services.

Digital stewards work in many settings: in cultural heritage institutions such as archives, libraries, and museums; in educational, medical, scientific, business, and other organizations; and in academic and other research settings. New areas requiring expertise in digital stewardship are constantly emerging and evolving. In cultural heritage and organizational settings, digital stewards typically engage in activities such as preservation, outreach, curation, project management, building infrastructure, and designing systems. In academic and other research settings, digital stewards often manage data, create and remediate metadata, support technological advances, engage in preservation and outreach activities, work collaboratively or in teams to answer research-based questions, and envision creative solutions for research-oriented problems. Digital stewardship necessitates creativity, innovation, and strength in collaborative work practices, as projects can range from local and community partnerships to expansive global networks. All areas of professional digital stewardship require an ability to reach and serve culturally diverse populations.

In addition to the core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for students with an interest in Digital Stewardship. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. The management course LS 508: Administration and Management is recommended for this area of emphasis. Students are encouraged to discuss course selection and availability with their assigned academic advisor.

Digital Stewardship

LS 566 Metadata and Semantic Web Fundamentals

LS 562 Digital Libraries

LS 524 Project Management in Information Settings

CIS 660 Database Analysis and Design

CIS 662 Knowledge Management

CIS 666 Information Policy

LS 590 Special Topics: Foundations of Digital Curation

LS 590 Special Topics: Curating Digital Culture

LS 590 Special Topics: Linked Data

See also Archival Studies for information about caring for unique records and digital objects/artifacts.

For additional information about Digital Stewardship please contact Dr. Robert B. Riter or speak with your academic advisor.

Information Literacy

Information Literacy is defined by the American Library Association as, “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” Although it is strongly associated with careers as reference, research support, liaison, or instruction librarians, information literacy skills will be of interest to anyone whose career goals involve working with patrons. Academic library job listings in particular often seek candidates with demonstrated research potential, and these courses are meant to prepare you for a career in research and research support. Those interested in careers in public, school, and special libraries will benefit from opportunity to learn how to use information systems such as article databases, library catalogs, and online resources to better serve patrons’ information and media needs.

The recommended information literacy electives represent a three-part course plan designed to provide the key skills needed to develop and apply information literacy. LS 502 Research Methods introduces students to the skills needed to identify and evaluate existing LIS literature, to understand how research is conducted, and to carry out practical LIS research and assessments. LS 507 User Centered Information Services expands on these skills, teaching students how to retrieve information used many disciplines and for patrons in a variety of library settings and scenarios. LS 527 Information Literacy Instruction focuses on how to create instruction programming with the goal of teaching others how to use information resources in a variety of library and archival settings.

In addition to the core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for those with an interest in information literacy. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. Discuss course selection and availability with your assigned academic advisor. One of the management courses is recommended for MLIS students who seek to apply their information literacy skills to a career in libraries, either LS 530 for Public Libraries, LS 531 for Academic Libraries, or LS 533 for Special Libraries.  LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is also recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience with information literacy skills. LS 598 Directed Research in LIS may be taken to gain additional experience conducting research or learning about information literacy topics in detail.

Recommended Information Literacy Elective Course Cluster

Below is the recommended sequence for students interested in a career in research, reference, or instruction librarianship. The assumption is that students will take courses in this sequence as the content from each course will build on the previous one, however, there are no prerequisites for any of these courses.

LS 502 Research Methods (First Year, Spring)

LS 507 User Centered Information Services (Second Year, Fall)

LS 527 Information Literacy Instruction (Second Year, Spring)

Reference Specialization Electives

LS 510 Humanities Reference

LS 511 Info Resources Social Science

LS 512 Information Resources Science

LS 567 Digital Reference

Electives for Providing Information Literacy Support to Diverse Populations

LS 544 Cultural Diversity Programming

LS 580 Outreach to Diverse Populations

LS 582 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in LIS

LS 590 Special Topics: Diversity Leadership in Information Organizations

Digital Literacy Electives

LS 565 Social Media and Informatics

LS 583 Social Aspects of Information

LS 590 Cybersecurity

LS 590 Digital Humanities

Other Relevant Electives

LS 505 Collection Development

LS 515 Information Ethics

LS 542 Instructional Design and Development

LS 566 Metadata and Semantic Web Fundamentals

LS 590 Special Topics: Critical Information Services

For additional information about the Information Literacy Area of Emphasis please contact Dr. Jeff WeddleDr. John BurgessDr. Laurie Bonnici, or speak with your academic advisor.

Public Libraries

Public Libraries is an area of professional practice centered on serving the needs of public libraries and their constituencies. Students will choose this area of emphasis if they enjoy working with patrons of all ages and backgrounds, interacting with civic groups and public officials, and managing diverse collections.

Public librarianship tends to divide into three broad categories of professional practice: user services, technical services, and technology services. User services include but are not limited to administration, reference work, and community outreach. Technical services practice includes but is not limited to cataloging, and collection development. Technology services practice includes but is not limited to information technology management, such as the library web site, social media platforms, and facilitating data collection and analysis.

In addition to the core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for those with an interest in public Librarianship. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. Discuss course selection and availability with your assigned academic advisor. The management course LS 530: Public Libraries is recommended for students interested in this area. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is also recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in public libraries.

User Services Electives:

LS 507 User Centered Information Services

LS 515 Information Ethics

LS 520 Early Childhood Materials and Story Programs

LS 521 Materials and Services for Children

LS 522 Materials and Services for Young Adults

LS 523 Materials and Services for Adults

LS 541 Youth Programming

LS 543 Traditional and Digital Storytelling

LS 580 Outreach to Diverse Populations

Technical Services Electives:

LS 505 Collection Development

LS 506 Cataloging

LS 566 Metadata and Semantic Web Fundamentals

Technology Services Electives:

LS 524 Project Management in Information Settings

LS 581 Universal Design for Information Technologies

For additional information about Public Librarianship please contact Dr. Jeff WeddleDr. Jamie NaidooDr. Bharat Mehra or speak with your academic advisor.

Special Libraries

Special Libraries is an area of professional practice centered on serving the needs of institutions in settings such as corporations, medical schools; hospitals, law schools and law offices, business schools, research laboratories both public and private, and seminaries. Students will choose this area of emphasis if they enjoy being in a business or specialized information services setting, working with adult populations who are often experts in their field who need timely access to accurate, relevant research outside of the physical library itself.  Special libraries range in size from the single, solo librarian to the librarian attached to a large academic/corporate organization.

While focusing on added value user services, professional practice in special librarianship also includes other areas of service including technical services and technology services. User services include but are not limited to reference/research work, organizational communication, and outreach to decision makers throughout the enterprise. Technical services practice includes but is not limited to cataloging, series management, and collection development. Technology services practice includes but is not limited to information technology management, such as the library web site, social media platforms, data collection and analysis, and management of institutional repositories.

Many special libraries require their librarians to publish professional and scholarly work as part of their professional duties. These institutions often prefer hiring applicants with demonstrated good writing capabilities and social media use.  Core competencies for successful special librarians include both professional (knowledge of subject matter and customer requirements) and personal (ability to work with experts and be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing) skills.

Many different titles are used in special libraries to denote work of the special librarian: Medical Librarian, Law Librarian, Technical Information Specialist; Bioinformationist; Data Manager, etc.

In addition to the core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for students with an interest in Special Librarianship. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. The management course LS 533: Special Libraries and Information Centers is recommended for students interested in this area. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in this area. Discuss course selection and availability with your assigned academic advisor.

User Services Electives:

LS 512 Information Sources Sciences

LS 515 Information Ethics

LS 527 User Instruction

LS 567 Digital Reference

Technical Services Electives:

LS 505 Collection Development

LS 506 Cataloging and Classification

LS 566 Metadata and Semantic Web Fundamentals

Technology Services Electives:

LS 524 Project Management in Information Settings

LS 581 Universal Design for Information Technologies

See also the Information Science & Technology Area of Emphasis for more Technology Services courses.

For additional information about Special Librarianship please contact Professor Sybil Bullock or speak with your academic advisor.

Social Justice & Inclusivity

Social Justice and Inclusivity is an area of emphasis that expands upon the ALA core values of social responsibility and diversity in professional practice.  Students most suited to this area of emphasis are those that want to gain the skills necessary to respond to the needs of diverse communities in a global society.  Social justice and inclusivity represent an approach to professional practice that can be applied broadly to all dimensions of library and information science, as well as across institutional contexts.

Social justice refers to the view that all people deserve equal social, political, and economic rights.  Inclusivity is the intent to actively incorporate people and communities who have been marginalized or otherwise excluded socially, economically, and politically. Within LIS, social justice and inclusivity as an area of emphasis signals the active recognition and incorporation of diverse perspectives and experiences into professional practice and scholarship. This requires active reflection about both historic and current practices within the field; engagement with broader systems of social, economic, and political power; and the cultivation of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Students specializing in this area will gain facility in identifying, discussing, and intervening on structural systems of inequality such as those shaped by race, ethnicity, class, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, religious preferences, and age. Social justice and inclusion provide ethical orientations and practical frameworks that students can use to guide a range of professional practices including: information access and organization, policy development, collection development, interpersonal interactions, reference work, information literacy, programs and services, technology design, outreach activities, and data management.

In addition to the core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for students with an interest in Social Justice and Inclusivity. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. Students are encouraged to discuss course selection and availability with their assigned academic advisor. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in this area.

Archives

LS 558 Archival Representation, Access and Use

LS 590 Curating Digital Culture

Collections

LS 621 Intercultural Perspectives in Youth Literature

Community Outreach & Services

LS 544 Cultural Diversity Programming

LS 580 Outreach to Diverse Populations

Information Technologies

LS 581 Universal Design for Information Technologies

LS 583 Social Aspects of Information

Issues in the Profession

LS 582 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in LIS

LS 590 Diversity Leadership in Information Organizations

CIS 650 Community-Engaged Scholarship

CIS 668 Social Justice and Inclusion Advocacy

For additional information about Social Justice and Inclusivity courses please contact Dr. Miriam E. SweeneyDr. Bharat MehraDr. Jamie C. NaidooDr. Laurie Bonnici, or speak with your academic advisor.

Youth Services

Youth (Children and/or Young Adult) Services is an area of professional library practice centered on serving the informational, recreational, educational, and cultural needs of children, young adults, and their caregivers within a public library setting. This diverse area includes library services to youth ages birth up to nineteen. Students most suited to this area of emphasis are those that enjoy working with a wide range of youth and their caregivers, interacting with diverse clientele, engaging in creative activities (such as puppetry, traditional and digital storytelling, dramatic play, poetry slams, spoken word, etc.), and planning literacy-related programs. Some youth services librarians only work with teens, others only work with children, and still others work with both age groups. SLIS Alumni concentrating in this area of emphasis have been employed in the following roles: Coordinator of Youth Services, Outreach Librarian, State Library Youth Services Consultant, Education Librarian, Young Adult Services Coordinator, Children’s Services Manager, Children’s Services Associate, Branch Manager, Library Director, and Children’s Author.

Youth services librarians generally possess three broad categories of professional skills: collection development and readers’ advisory, service and program planning and management, and community outreach. Collection development and readers’ advisory skills embody a broad, working knowledge of children’s and young adult print and digital materials, an ability to use specially-designed collection development and reference resources to develop a rich collection of these materials, and an understanding of the reading interests of contemporary youth. Service and program planning and management skills exemplify an understanding of how to manage the day-to-day operations of the youth services department in a public library, how to determine the informational needs of diverse youth and develop appropriate library services, and how to create engaging library programs that connect contemporary youth with library collections via booktalking, read-alikes, hands-on activities, etc. Finally, community outreach skills include the ability to connect library collections, services, and programs to the larger community, local nonprofit organizations serving youth, and specific populations that may be unable to physically visit the library. Within all three categories of professional skills is an underlying ability to reach and serve culturally diverse populations.

In addition to the core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for students with an interest in Youth Services. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. Students are encouraged to discuss course selection and availability with their assigned academic advisor. The management course LS 530: Public Libraries is recommended for students interested in youth services librarianship. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is also recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in this area.

Collection Development & Reader’s Advisory

LS 520 Early Childhood Materials & Story Programs

LS 521 Materials & Services for Children

LS 522 Materials & Services for Young Adults

LS 620 Graphic Novels in Libraries Serving Youth

LS 621 Intercultural Perspectives in Youth Literature

Service & Program Planning & Management

LS 541 Youth Programming

LS 543 Traditional & Digital Storytelling

Community Outreach

Community Outreach

Other Electives Useful to Youth Librarians:

LS 505 Collection Development

LS 506 Cataloging and Classification

LS 507 User Centered Information Services

LS 523 Materials & Services for Adults

See also School Libraries for information about serving youth in a school library setting.

For additional information about Youth Services please contact Dr. Jamie C. Naidoo or speak with your academic advisor.

Certificates

Archival Studies

MLIS—Archival Studies Concentration (18 credits)

The School of Library & Information Studies at The University of Alabama offers a program of study within the MLIS degree that leads to an ACHE-recognized concentration in Archival Studies. This concentration provides a comprehensive grounding in the academic discipline of archival studies, and an understanding of the theory, art, and practice that informs archival work. Students have the opportunity to develop competencies for work with rare books, manuscripts, traditional records, and digital media.

Graduates of the concentration leave prepared for employment in academic, cultural, public, governmental, and corporate environments. Recent graduates are currently employed at leading institutions, including the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), the New York State Archives, the University of Washington, Birmingham-Southern College, and Samford University.

In addition to the MLIS requirements, the Archival Studies Concentration requires completion of the following curriculum:

Archival Studies Concentration Requirements (in addition to MLIS Requirements):

LS 555: Introduction to Archival Studies (3 credits; must be taken during first Fall semester.)

LS 556: Intellectual Foundations of Archival Theory and Practice (3 credits)

LS 557: Archival Appraisal (3 credits)

LS 558: Archival Representation, Access, and Use  (3 credits)

Approved archival studies electives (6 credits)

Admissions Information:

Prospective students apply directly to the Archival Studies concentration, indicating the archival studies concentration in their application. The archival concentration may be completed by all SLIS students, both Main Campus students and Online Distance students.

Please contact Dr. Robert B. Riter for additional information.

MLIS – Archival Studies Concentration: Audiovisual Archiving Emphasis/EBSCO Scholars Program

Beginning in Fall 2020, we are pleased to offer EBSCO Scholarships in Audiovisual Archiving as a study option within the MLIS Archival Studies Concentration. Read more on the EBSCO Scholars page. Please contact Dr. Dimitrios Latsis for additional information.

Archival Studies Certificate (15 credits)

The College of Communication & Information Sciences at The University of Alabama provides a program of study that leads to an ACHE-recognized Certificate in Archival Studies. This certificate offers a comprehensive grounding in the academic discipline of archival studies, and an understanding of the theory, art, and practice that informs archival work. Students have the opportunity to develop competencies for work with rare books, manuscripts, traditional records, and digital media.

Graduates of the certificate leave prepared for employment in academic, cultural, public, governmental, and corporate environments. Recent graduates are currently employed at leading institutions, including the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), the New York State Archives, the University of Washington, Birmingham-Southern College, and Samford University.

Archival Studies Certificate Requirements:

LS 555: Introduction to Archival Studies (3 credits)

LS 556: Intellectual Foundations of Archival Theory and Practice (3 credits)

LS 557: Archival Appraisal (3 credits)

LS 558: Archival Representation, Access, and Use  (3 credits)

Approved archival elective (3 credits)

Admissions Information:

Applications are accepted from students pursuing graduate work in allied disciplines or already possessing graduate degrees in related disciplines. The certificate may be completed on campus or online. Students pursuing the MLIS should apply for admission to the archival studies concentration.

Contact Information:

Please contact Dr. Robert B. Riter for additional information.

School Library Media

Class A Certification in School Library Media

The School of Library & Information Studies at The University of Alabama provides a program of study within the MLIS degree that satisfies the Alabama State Department of Education requirements for Library Media Certification. There are two (2) pre-conditions to this option. The applicant must have a currently valid teaching certificate and two years of professional teaching experience. In other words, in order to qualify for certification, a student must meet these two requirements in addition to following the approved program of study.

Normally, the program of study which leads to A-level library media certification in Alabama requires a minimum 36 semester hours of course work. The required program of study is as follows for students enrolled before Fall 2019:

  • LS 500 Organization of Information
  • LS 501 Introduction to Library & Information Studies
  • LS 502 Research Methods
  • LS 504 Media Production & Utilization
  • LS 507 Information Sources and Services
  • LS 520 Early Childhood Materials & Story Programs OR LS 521 Materials & Services for Children
  • LS 522 Materials & Services for Young Adults
  • LS 532 School Media Centers
  • LS 542 Instructional Design and Development
  • LS 560 Information Technologies
  • LS 572 Internship in School Media Centers
  • Foundations of Professional Studies in Education course
  • A Special Education course is required if such a course was not previously completed.

From Fall 2019 onward, the required program of study is as follows:

  • LS 500 Information Science and Technology
  • LS 501 Information in Communities
  • LS 502 Research Methods
  • LS 504 Media Production & Utilization
  • LS 507 Information Sources and Services
  • LS 513 Professional Paths
  • LS 520 Early Childhood Materials & Story Programs OR LS 521 Materials & Services for Children
  • LS 522 Materials & Services for Young Adults
  • LS 532 School Media Centers
  • LS 542 Instructional Design and Development
  • LS 572 Internship in School Media Centers
  • Foundations of Professional Studies in Education course
  • A Special Education is required if such a course was not previously completed.

Note: A special education course (e.g., SPE 500) is required if such a course was not previously completed.  In addition, the student is required to pass SLMS Comprehensive Exam and the Praxis II Library Media Exam for certification. Once all of this has been accomplished, the student makes an application for certification in Alabama through the UA College of Education, which “recommends” the student for certification.

Other Options:

Alternative Certificate Approach: Preliminary Certificate

The Alabama State Department of Education provides an alternative approach to certification in library media. This is an option for those who do not have the teaching certificate or for those without two years of teaching experience. The Preliminary Certificate may ONLY be requested by an employing Alabama county/city superintendent or eligible non-public school administrator.

For this approach, students need to complete the MLIS degree and requirements for certification (i.e., criminal history background check, Basic Skills, Praxis II). The Preliminary Certificate is valid for one year and may be renewed for one or two additional years. At the end of the two or three years of experience, the student may earn A-level certification by being “recommended” by the employing school system or independent school. Neither SLIS nor the UA College of Education can “recommend” such certification. This option is available at the discretion of the school system or independent school only. Interested individuals should contact the school system or eligible non-public school in which employment is desired for information concerning certificate eligibility. This alternative certification route is only for those seeking certification in Alabama.

Out-of-State Certification

Students wishing to secure certification in other states are urged to check with that state’s department of education to determine certification requirements. Normally, those who meet the Alabama State Department of Education’s requirements may complete the approved program of study and secure the appropriate certification. Only those who meet the Alabama requirements are able to pursue this option as it does not apply to those who do not have a currently valid teaching certificate and two years teaching experience.  This site lists links to School Library Media Certification State by State.

Contact Information:

Please contact Prof. Karen Scott, School Library Media Coordinator klscott1@ua.edu for more information.

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Internships

We’ve partnered with more than 100 host institutions in 39 states and 5 countries for student internship experiences.

Internship General Information

The interested student’s critical first step is to submit an Internship Request Form to his/her advisor at least one semester prior to an internship. The student and advisor should discuss the type of work environment which might be most appropriate and beneficial. Then the advisor and the SLIS internship coordinator will work together to find the best available internship opportunity. Internships are voluntary and subject to availability. The internship coordinator places students on a first-come, first-served basis.

General internships (LS 570) are either two (2) or three (3) credit-hour courses. Two-hour internships require one hundred hours of work, and three-hour internships require 150 hours of  work. Internships for credit can be paid or unpaid as long as all criteria for credit are met.  Although a wide variety of learning situations exist, the advisor and the internship coordinator will make every attempt to place the student based on career objectives and interests. The program seeks to provide hands-on experience in a setting similar to the student’s desired post-graduation environment.

Students who wish to arrange volunteer opportunities in libraries are free to do so, and may wish to discuss those plans with their advisor. However, those experiences are not arranged or organized by SLIS, and do not require application.

The school identifies potential host sites in one of three ways:

  •  information organizations and professionals volunteer to host an intern by contacting the internship coordinator
  •  the coordinator identifies potential host sites and solicits their participation
  •  the student suggests a potential host site

The internship coordinator reviews all potential host sites to verify that they meet hosting criteria.

The internship coordinator negotiates all arrangements; the student may, however, discuss the possibility of an internship with a host and then provide the contact information to the internship coordinator. The potential host site has the right to accept or reject any applicant.

The general intern works under the guidance and observation of a host supervisor. This information professional holds an MLIS from an ALA-accredited institution or a professional degree in another subject discipline such as Archives/Records Management. The host supervisor and the internship coordinator evaluate the student’s performance in these areas:

  •  completing assigned tasks
  •  interacting with staff and clientèle
  •  exhibiting initiative
  •  understanding the organization’s mission and operation
  •  integrating librarianship practice and theory
  •  clarifying career goals

Interns will keep a journal that documents the following:

  •  hours worked
  •  description of the work performed
  •  reflections on their experience

Host supervisors are sent an evaluation form near the end of the internship experience. This evaluation will factor into the grade the student receives for the internship.

The student also submits a two- to three-page report upon completion of the internship. The internship coordinator makes a final assessment based on the host supervisor’s evaluation, the student’s journal and paper, and discussion with the student. The internship coordinator then issues a pass/fail grade.

Internship hours must be completed in the semester in which the student is registered; no carryover hours to next semester are allowed. Generally, students may begin the internship on the first day of classes according to the academic calendar. The only exception is an internship performed during a summer semester; the student can begin a summer semester internship the first day of classes for the interim semester.

Forms
Internship FAQ

I am interested in an internship. What do I need to do?

The first thing you need to do is contact your advisor. Your advisor will determine if you are academically prepared to undertake a successful internship. Obtaining an internship is a privilege, not a right. Once they approve, you must complete a “Request for Internship” form. Submit the completed form to your advisor.

When should I begin planning my internship?

Prospective interns should begin making arrangements a semester before intended internship. You must make arrangements for an international internship at least two semesters in advance.

What should I consider when planning for an internship?

Here are several things to think about when planning for your internship:

  • Are you willing to relocate for the internship? If not, what is available in your geographic location? Would you prefer a virtual internship?
  • What type of internship are you interested in: public, school, special, academic, international, archives, etc.?
  • Do you have a particular institution in mind for your internship?
  • What are your interests?

The answers to these questions will allow the internship coordinator to arrange an internship that will complement your interests and needs.

Who coordinates internships for the SLIS program?

General internships (LS 570) are arranged by Professor Sybil H. Bullock. A general internship, not for Class A certification, may be done at a school media center as part of the internship program.

Internship Coordinator

Sybil H. Bullock

Email: bullo006@slis.ua.edu

Fax: 205.348.3746

Office Hours: Thursday afternoon; Friday

Contact by email for appointment.

All school media internships that are part of the School Media Specialist program resulting in Class A Certification (LS 572) are arranged by Professor Karen Scott due to the very specific requirements of this program.

Coordinator of the School Media Program

Prof. Karen Scott

Email: klscott1@ua.edu

May I do an internship my first semester?

It is not recommended, and you should have completed all core subjects prior to requesting an internship experience. Consult your advisor if you have questions.

What are the hour requirements for internships?

Interns are required to work one hundred fifty hours of meaningful work to earn 3 hours of course credit or one hundred hours for 2 hours of course credit. School media internships (LS 572) that are part of the School Media Specialist program resulting in Class A certification have different requirements. Contact Professor Karen Scott for information on this type of School Media Center internship.

How will I be graded?

Interns are responsible for maintaining a journal of their internship activities and a log of hours worked. The intern will submit this journal, along with a two-to three-page paper detailing the experience of the internship, to the internship coordinator upon completion of the internship. The host supervisor will submit an evaluation of the intern’s work. The internship coordinator will then issue a pass/fail grade based on the intern’s written work, the host supervisor’s evaluation, and the coordinator’s observations.

May I keep a blog for my internship journal?

A blog cannot replace a journal. Interns may create a blog and use the same information; however, the student must submit a separate journal to the intern coordinator at the completion of the internship.

May I get paid for my internship?

Yes, you can be paid for your internship.  Arrangements for pay are negotiated between the student and the host site.  Paid internships are subject to the same requirements for completion as unpaid internships, including responsibilities for the host site.

May I participate in more than one internship per semester?

You may participate in no more than two internships per semester. Contact your advisor for special registration details and for information on the 9-hour rule.

May I spread my internship out over two semesters?

No, you must complete all internship hours during the semester in which you are registered.

Virtual Internship

Internship Statistics

Intern Experience

UA SLIS Internship Experience
How did an internship benefit you?
"The internship was set up to be an overview of the entire (Jacksonville State University) library and its functions. Because of this, I was able to interact with both the technical services and public relations departments in the Houston Cole Library. Since I was unsure whether I would enjoy technical services or public relations, the internship was a great way to introduce me to all available job positions in an academic library. Overall, I found the way the internship was conducted to be an effective experience for someone like me who has never worked in a library setting previously."
~Alanna Barnett Cole, Spring 2018
UA SLIS Internship Experience
How did an internship benefit you?
"My experience as an intern through SLIS was very rewarding. I interned remotely for an environment organization as a solo librarian and was able to work on data visualization projects and help with research, writing and reference. It provided a great experience in the field and helped me land a job before I graduated with my MLIS. I would definitely recommend it."
~Nathan Pulliam, Seranac Lake Free Library, Fall 2017

Admission Requirements

Students may be admitted to the School of Library and Information Studies without condition (regular admission) or with academic conditions imposed. The MLIS  program is selective, and does not admit every applicant. Applications are considered holistically, so no single factor determines acceptance to the program.

We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2024 for both the Main Campus and Online cohorts. Priority for Fall 2024 is February 1st. Final deadline for Fall 2024 is May 15th.

Alongside the admission requirements on the Graduate School website, the MLIS requires:

  1. Statement of Purpose

  2. Resume/CV

  3. Three recommendation letters*

  4. Transcript

* For applicants who have been in school in the last five years, at least two letters must be academic references.

Statement of Purpose

  • Read and reflect on the Core Values of Librarianship and use these core values to shape your responses.
  • Describe specific aspects of your background that prepare you for graduate school.  Mention experiences, interests, activities, and achievements that helped shape your personal goals and impact your education.
  • Discuss how your professional goals align with the strengths of our program as reflected in the Concentrations and Specializations advertised on our web site.
  • Discuss your career goals and the kinds of work you intend to do when you graduate.

Exceptions to Admission Policy

Under exceptional circumstances, an applicant may be considered for admission if they do not meet the GPA requirement for regular admission (3.0 GPA). If such an applicant is admitted, they will need to obtain permission to continue in the program after the first 12 semester hours of graduate-level work have been completed.

Permission to continue is earned by achieving a 3.0 GPA in the first 12 semester hours. If the 12 hours are completed in a term in which the total credits exceed 12, the evaluation is made on the basis of all graduate-level work completed at the end of that term of enrollment.

Students admitted under this circumstance who do not meet the 3.0 requirement after their first 12 hours of graduate-level work will not receive permission to continue in their graduate program and will be dropped from the program.

Additional Information

Application Status

You can check the status of your application online by entering the requested information here.

Deferring Acceptance

You may defer your admission to the MLIS program for up to one year. However, if you have been accepted to an online cohort, you will have to compete again the following year to be selected for a seat in the cohort.

I'm Accepted! What's Next?

Students are strongly encouraged to speak with their faculty advisor regarding course selection. Face to face students are not permitted to register for online required courses, but may register for online electives.

All MLIS students who enroll in Fall 2019 or later must complete, as part of the minimum 36 hours, the following 9 hours of required courses in the first two semesters of enrollment:

  • LS 500 Information Science and Technology (formerly Information and Media)
  • LS 501 Information in Communities
  • LS 513 Professional Paths

And one of the following:

  • LS 508 Administration and Management
  • LS 530 Public Libraries
  • LS 531 Academic Libraries
  • LS 532 School Media Centers
  • LS 533 Special Libraries and Information Centers

Students are advised to schedule core courses first whenever possible.

Pay Tuition

Tuition is payable online. Log in to myBama and select the “Student” tab. Under “Self Service Banner,” select “Student Services” and then select “Student Account Services” to find payment options.

Orientation

Information about orientation will be included with your acceptance letter. Please contact the SLIS office for specific date/time/location information.

Funding

Please click here for information about funding.

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MLIS National Advisory Board

Our MLIS National Advisory Board provides valuable insight and feedback to SLIS faculty and administration to help us create a transformative learning experience that prepares the next generation of engaged LIS professionals. Members of the board comprise leading experts in the LIS field from across the nation.

Advisory Board:

Rachel Altobelli
(November 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) Digital Collections and Preservation Librarian Union College Schenectady, NY
Lee Boulie
(August 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) [Returning] Assistant Director Nashville Public Library Nashville, TN
Corrine Chatnik
(November 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) Digital Collections and Preservation Librarian Union College Schenectady, NY

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Janice Franklin, Ph.D
(August 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) [Returning] Dean, Levi Watkins Learning Center Alabama State University Montgomery, AL

Paula Holmes
(November 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) Library Advisor Pittsburgh, PA
Lindsay Mattock, Ph.D
(November 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) Program Coordinator/Associate Professor of Library Science College of Education – East Carolina University Greenville, NC
Mark Puente
(November 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) Associate Professor Associate Dean for Organizational Development, Inclusion, and Diversity Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies
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John Szabo
(August 1, 2022 – July 21, 2025) [Returning] City Librarian Los Angeles Public Library Los Angeles, CA
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Makiba Foster
(November 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) Librarian of the College The College of Wooster Wooster, OH
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Toby Graham, Ph.D
(August 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) [Returning] University Librarian and Associate Provost University of Georgia Athens, GA
Melody T Leung
(November 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) Youth Services Librarian Everett Public Library Everett, WA
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Nancy Pack, Ph.D
(August 1, 2022 – July 31, 2025) [Returning] Director Alabama Public Library Service Montgomery, AL
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Marian Royal
(August 1, 2022 – July 21, 2025) [Returning] Public Services Area Manager Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee, WI
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Contact Your Program

Got questions? C&IS is here to help.

Joi Mahand

SLIS Academic Program Manager

Email: wwmahand@ua.edu

Phone: 205.348.4610

Box: 870252

Tuscaloosa, AL 35487