Master's in Library Science in Illinois

May 12, 2019

Students who wish to pursue graduate study in the field of library and information sciences may select from several master's programs in the state of Illinois.

The field of library science has undergone a dramatic change, as librarians have become leaders in research methods and fulfill positions in diverse, information-rich fields. Those who are interested in pursuing these roles may consider earning a master's degree in library science. Read on to find out more about universities in Illinois where students can pursue these degrees, including the admission and program requirements.

Illinois Schools with Master's Degrees in Library Science

University of Illinois

Students at the University of Illinois can pursue the Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MSLIS). Course requirements can be pursued online or on-campus in Champaign. Specific pathways include archival and special collections, research and information services, and school librarianship. Frequent professional workshops expose students to faculty research and career options. Research centers, such as the Center for Children's Books and the HathiTrust research center, provide opportunities for collaborative projects.

Chicago State University

Chicago State University offers a program leading to the MSLIS. Specializations including school librarianship, archive management, and public librarianship are available. Most courses are offered online or in a hybrid format. An endorsement to work in school libraries is also available to Illinois-certified teachers.

Dominican University

At Dominican University, in River Forest, students can pursue the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS). Courses can be taken online or in person. An e-portfolio showing achievement of learning objectives must be submitted during the last year of study. The Butler Children's Literature Center offers the ability to interact with new children's literature for students and library professionals. A yearly lecture series exposes students to top professionals and researchers in the library and information science field. Departmental scholarships may be available.


Applicants to MLIS and MSLIS programs come from diverse undergraduate fields of study. Candidates should hold a bachelor's degree. They could expect to provide transcripts, a personal statement, references, and a resume. GRE or MAT scores may be required.

Program Requirements

Students enrolled in a master's program in library science can expect to take foundational courses and then pursue an area of specialization or choose diverse elective courses. A practicum or independent research project may also be permitted. Here, find some information about common courses for those pursuing library science degrees.

Children's Literature

A course in children's literature might provide a foundation in books and resources that are available for children in public and school libraries. Instruction may be provided in how to select and evaluate children's literature and non-print materials. Observation hours could be required.

Information Processing and Data Analytics

A course of this nature may cover common data analysis and programming concepts that occur within the management of library or informatics collections. Students may gain experience in utilizing a variety of tools to meet these needs. They may also learn programming techniques to design systems.

Reference Services

Library professionals often assist others with conducting research in a range of settings. This course might explore the different types of reference materials that could be available in print and through online sources and databases. Search strategies for accessing references could be reviewed.

Library Administration

Some librarians may seek to explore management opportunities within libraries. This course may consider the practices involved in the administration of a public or reference library. Specific topics could include personnel functions, leadership, and budgeting.

Music Librarianship

This course may provide an introduction to the field of music librarianship. Students could review the development and acquisition of music collections, preservation, and cataloguing. Collaboration with working professionals may be a component of the course.

As the amount of information available continues to grow at a quick rate, librarians play a vital role in accessing and interpreting information in school libraries, public libraries, and in industry. At least three universities in Illinois offer a master's degree in library science to provide a pathway into this changing career.

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