The Library Science and Information Services program at the University of Central Missouri prepares you for a successful career in library and information services. This program guides you towards expertise in organization, access, and collections, while bridging the gap between people, information, and technology. As a program within the College of Education, we specialize in preparing you to be an excellent teacher of library skills, as well as a leader within the information professions. You will acquire a strong practical foundation, supported by theoretical knowledge, to apply to your work in libraries and information agencies.
We have several degree paths for students seeking to study librarianship. Graduates of our fully online programs find exciting careers in many types of libraries and cultural institutions. They often specialize in areas such as school library media, youth librarianship, reader’s advisory, reference services, outreach, literacy or technology positions. All courses offer a flexible and inclusive learning environment, designed for busy, working professionals.
Whether you're currently a librarian and want to expand your skillset or are just beginning to explore the fascinating world of information, we can help you reach your career goals through our two graduate degrees:
Both degrees satisfy the requirements for Missouri school library media certification with curriculum approved by the American Association of School Librarians (a division of the American Library Association) through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Our faculty are leaders who have a variety of professional backgrounds and expertise. In particular, we specialize in: librarianship in the 21st century, instruction, technology in libraries, and information literacy.
We have an active advisory board which is consulted frequently throughout the year. The LSIS program engages alumni, library leaders, and current students to participate in curriculum and program decisions. The advisory board convenes once a year.
Whether you want to advance your current career or prepare for a new one, our 94% job placement rate* will get you where you want to be. Our graduates enjoy successful careers in a variety of roles:
Current employers of UCM LSIS program alumni include:
Alumni continue to be involved in the UCM LSIS program by hosting practicum students, working with faculty to conduct research or write for publications, serving on the advisory board, participating in our online community, and guest speaking at student events.
Acceptance into the program requires:
If you do not meet the overall grade point average, you may be classified as “a non-degree seeking student” until you achieve a minimum 3.50 graduate GPA after completing the following courses:
These courses must be taken and grades received prior to enrolling in other courses required for the degree or reapplying for admission.
The UCM LSIS program has been consistently ranked one of the most affordable LIS degrees in the United States by Learn.org.
Full information on tuition and costs for UCM Graduate Students is available on the Student Financial Assistance page. You can use the UCM Cost Calculator to estimate the total tuition for your degree.
UCM supports students as they fund their degree. Each student is paired with a Financial Aid advisor to work with throughout their program. Access the UCM Financial Aid page to learn more about financing your degree.
UCM offers several scholarships specifically for students in the LSIS program:
The Suzanne Foster Scholarship in Library Science is available through the University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation for a graduate student pursuing a degree in library science at UCM. This scholarship is made possible by way of gifts from family, friends and royalties earned from the sale of the University of Central Missouri (UCM) General Education course LIS 1600 University Library & Research Skills textbook: Information Literacy for Undergraduates by Sandra Jenkins, UCM faculty member.
The Beatrice Ricks Library Scholarship is available through the University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation for a graduate student pursuing a degree in library science. This scholarship is made possible by way of a gift from Dr. Beatrice Ricks.
The Dr. Aileen Helmick Scholarship in Library Science is available through the University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation for a graduate student pursuing a degree in Library Science. This scholarship is made possible by way of a gift from family and friends of Aileen Helmick, ‘76.
Use the UCM Scholarship Finder to learn more about and apply for scholarship opportunities.
The LSIS Program offers five exciting options for students who are interested in earning a graduate degree in the area of Library Science and Information Services.
Library Science and Information Services, MS with an emphasis in School Library
Library Science and Information Services, MS with an emphasis in School Library + Education Specialist (EdS) in Initial Teacher Certification:
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:
Our courses are 100% online and delivered in asynchronous format, designed using the best-practices in online learning. All faculty are trained Quality Matters peer reviewers and seek to design excellent online courses. In addition, faculty prioritize professional development in library science pedagogy to ensure up-to-date instructional methods are used in all courses.
Carefully designed, asynchronous, online courses allow you to have a positive learning experience from any location. Our students are mix of local, regional, national and international students. We encourage all students to share experiences and backgrounds within a supportive and nurturing classroom environment. Class assignments and project work are completed in the time frame that best suit your work and life schedule!
We believe that hands-on, active learning experience is ideal for graduate students. Most courses include opportunities to design useful, practical projects that can be implemented in a library. We also believe that librarians are leaders in the community who must make data-driven decisions. The culmination of the program includes a choice between completing a comprehensive literature review or an action research project. Both options will lead you to becoming an expert in your topic of interest. Many students publish their final capstone projects in journals or present on their topic at professional conferences.
Our current retention rate from our 2020-2021 cohort is 76%. Most students graduate from the program in 2-3 years, but UCM allows up to 8 years. Our students are often busy, working adults, and a majority are part-time students. Our most recent placement rate from the Career Services office is 100%.
|1 year to grad||6%||9%||12%||8%||7%|
|Cont to Year 2||75%||81%||71%||69%||76%|
|2 years to Grad||21%||24%||24%||10%|
|Cont to Year 3||63%||57%||47%||51%|
|3 years to grad||21%||12%||10%|
|Con. to year 4||30%||21%||18%|
|4 years to grad||3%||3%|
|Cont to year 5||6%||12%|
|5 years to grad||3%|
|Cont to Year 6||3%|
|6 years to grad|
Source: UCM Academic Digital Innovations and Analytics
The University of Central Missouri has been granted precandidacy status by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association (ALA) as of July 2021. Precandidacy status is an indication that the MS in LIS at UCM has voluntarily committed to participate in the ALA accreditation process and is actively seeking accreditation. Precandidacy does not indicate that the program is accredited nor does it guarantee eventual accreditation of the program by ALA.
Our placement rate for graduates is 94%. Our graduates mainly work in school libraries, followed by public libraries, with just a handful working in college libraries and other types of agencies. We have a public library children's librarian from Pennsylvania, a college librarian in California, and a public library branch manager in the St. Louis, Missouri area who are recent graduates of the program.
|Declared Majors (MS)||95||98||94||99||92|
|Degrees Awarded (MS)||20||23||29||22||25|
“From the time I started grad school until now, I've had two children. Juggling that and working full time has been a challenge at times, so the accessibility of having online classes has been instrumental for me. I would not have been able to go to grad school if I would have had to be attending classes. Having that ability to have an online program allows you to work within your own schedule to take the classes and get your assignments done on your own time and work at your own pace.”
TINA KENT, LIBRARY MEDIA SPECIALIST, WHITEMAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
“The LIS program at UCM was recommended to me by a professional colleague. It was the best decision! I have learned so many practical concepts about librarianship, serving all my patrons, new technology, and principles that will enable me to be a better leader, librarian, educator, and collaborator. The faculty are real people with practical experience that carries over into the classroom. The LIS program is a wonderful educational program and I’m thankful to have experienced it.”
ALYSSA SULTANIK, LIBRARIAN, WEST COAST BAPTIST COLLEGE