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Professional Leadership, EdS - Librarianship Option

Librarians Are Leaders!

The entirely online Professional Leadership, EdS - Librarianship Option is designed to help you become a leader in librarianship! The degree builds upon your prior coursework and will support your growth as leader of librarianship:

  • Learn leadership, technology, and research skills
  • Improve your teaching, whether it be a K-20 classroom, library, in the military, or corporate training

Cooperative Degree

Students may also obtain both an EdS and an EDD through a cooperative program with Murray State University.

EdS to EdD Cooperative Program


Degrees and Course Requirements

Education Specialist Options

Professional Leadership, EdS - Librarianship Option

  • 21 semester hours of electives
  • 9 semester hours of research requirements
  • A thesis requirement


Cooperative Bridge Program

This is a collaborative program in Library Science and Information Services between the University of Central Missouri and Murray State University. Students can earn an Education Specialist (EdS) and a Doctorate in Education (EdD). Admitted students must complete:

  • EdS requirements at UCM: 30 credit hours
    • 18 credits in LIS coursework
    • 6 credits of research
    • 6 credits of internship
  • EdD requirements at Murray State: 30 credits
    • 21 credits in core courses
    • 9 credits of dissertation courses

Student Learning Outcomes

The graduate from the Professional Leadership, EdS - Librarianship Option program will use the knowledge and skills obtained in the program to:

  • Apply research methods to interpret, describe, and infer from existing or newly generated data.
  • Provide leadership to one’s own professional discipline.
  • Plan, conduct, and analyze scientific research in one’s discipline.

This advanced program is designed for individuals who are currently involved in or planning careers in a professional leadership position.  


To be accepted into the Professional Leadership, EdS - Librarianship Option program, you need to:

  1. have earned a master’s degree in the area of specialization or have completed 15 semester hours of appropriate background courses as determined by the program at either the undergraduate or graduate level; and
  2. have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 in the master’s degree.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you will be classified as a “nondegree student” until you complete the following:

  1. provide evidence of having completed 15 semester hours of background courses as determined by the program; and
  2. obtain a 3.5 GPA during the first 12 hours of graduate study in courses appropriate to the degree program and consistent with UCM’s graduate policy.

Choose the Courses Best for You

As a Professional Leadership, EdS - Librarianship Option student, you can choose 21 credit hours of electives to design your own customized plan of study from any of the graduate programs at UCM. Many students in the program take courses in library science and information services, educational technology, leadership, archival and records administration, museum studies and historic preservation, digital media production, or literacy education.

Students in the EdS to EDD Cooperative Bridge Program with Murray State University should select only electives within the library science and information services program to complete the EdS portion of their plan.

Dates and Deadlines

New Applications

  • Fall Semester Start - applications due July 31
  • Spring Semester Start - applications due December 1
  • Summer Semester Start - applications due April 15


Practicum Students

  • Fall Practicum - applications due to the program coordinator by March 31
  • Spring Practicum - applications due to the program coordinator by October 31
  • There is no Summer Practicum


Thesis Deadlines

  • Fall Commencement - thesis submitted to GER by November 15
  • Spring Commencement - thesis submitted to GER by April 25
  • There is no Summer Commencement


For assistance in practicum enrollment or questions about program requirements, please email René Burress at

For questions about thesis requirements, please contact your program advisor. 

Research That Impacts

At the end of the Professional Leadership, EdS - Librarianship Option program, you will complete a thesis. This is a work of original research that investigates a question relevant to the library field. Using action research as a method, you will review literature related to your topic, design a research plan, collect and analyze data, and present your findings. The groundwork for your thesis project begins in the methods class where you will write your research proposal. The research proposal will be finalized in the research problems class. You will then conduct your research and defend your work in the final thesis course.

At UCM, student theses are published in the JCK Library Digital Repository. Many students also choose to work with their thesis committee to publish their research in a professional, scholarly journal. Some examples of student work that has been published in journals include:

  • Burress, R., Atkins, C., & Burns, C. (2018). Learning commons as a catalyst for instructional partnerships. Teacher Librarian, 45(4), 28-31.
  • Jorgenson, S., & Burress, R. (2020). Analyzing the Diversity of a High School Library Collection. Knowledge Quest, 48(5), 48-54.
  • Moreland, D. & Kammer, J. (2020). School and public library collaboration: Opportunities for sharing and community connections. Knowledge Quest, 49(1), 40-45.
  • Ragan, A., Kammer, J. Atkins, C., and Burress, R. (2019). Learning to read online: The effect of instruction on etextbook use. Library Hi Tech, 37(2), 293-311.
  • Sultanik, A. (2020). Genrefying the children’s fiction collection. School Library Research 23, 1-23. 

Initial Teacher Certification in School Librarianship

Do you have a bachelor’s degree outside of education or an MLS in Library Science and want to work toward teacher certification?

If you are seeking a career in school librarianship but do not have initial teacher certification, the state of Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has established requirements for certification in school librarianship which include professional education and subject area requirements. These requirements can be met by completing courses available online at UCM. This option can be done in tandem with the Professional Leadership, EdS - Librarianship Option.

If you are interested in learning more about this certification opportunity, please contact René Burress at 

Accreditations and Accolades


UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri


Nationally recognized by the American Association of School Librarians

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2018 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Library Science Degrees




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