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Library Science and Information Services

Welcome to Your Future!

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).


Meet the People


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.

Library Science and Information Services Faculty


Advisory Board

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. 

Advisory Board Members 

  • Lorna Cassell, Principal, Martin Warren Elementary
  • Kyle Constant, Assistant Director, Library Services, Trails Regional Library
  • Norine Cruz Gaskill, Librarian and District Coordinator, Marshall High School and UCM LIS adjunct
  • Paula Erickson, School Librarian, Fort Osage High School and UCM LIS adjunct
  • Elizabeth Ferguson, Library Media Specialist, North Kansas City Schools
  • Odin Jurkowski, Director of Graduate Education & Research/former program faculty
  • Maya Kucij, Assistant Director, University of Central Missouri JCK Library
  • Traci Mattis, Librarian, Prairie View Elementary
  • Lori Perdew, Branch Manager, Scenic Regional Library
  • Kelly Pryde, Library Media Specialist, Warrensburg Middle School
  • Kirsten Shaw, Library Media Specialist, Martin Warren Elementary
  • Andrea Sumy, Director of District Libraries, Liberty Public Schools
  • Lysha Thompson, Youth Services Consultant, Missouri State Library
  • Angie Wiegers, Director of District Libraries, North Kansas City Public Schools
  • SOLIS President and Vice President - student members

Find Your Career

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:

  • School librarian
  • Children’s librarian
  • Library director
  • Library media specialist
  • Branch manager

Current employers of UCM LSIS program alumni include:

  • Warrensburg Public Schools
  • Marshall Public Schools
  • Lee's Summit R-7 School District
  • Camdenton R-III School District
  • The Missouri State Library

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.

*2018-2019 data

Admissions, Costs, and Scholarships


Acceptance into the program requires:

  • undergraduate degree from an accredited institution
  • 2.75 or higher cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • completion of an online application through the Office of Graduate Studies
  • completion of a personal interview

Conditional Admission

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:

  • LIS 5100 - Foundations of Librarianship (3)
  • LIS 5250 - Developing and Managing Collections (3)
  • LIS 5622 - Library Administration and Leadership (3)
  • LIS 5322 - Information Sources and Services (3)

These courses must be taken and grades received prior to enrolling in other courses required for the degree or reapplying for admission.


Application Dates and Deadlines

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



The UCM LSIS program has been consistently ranked one of the most affordable LIS degrees in the United States by

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:

Suzanne Foster Scholarship in Library Science

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.

Beatrice Ricks Library Scholarship

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.

Dr. Aileen Helmick Memorial Scholarship in Library Science

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. 

Degree and Course Requirements

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. 

Master of Science Options

Library Science and Information Services, MS

  • 24 semester hours of library science electives
  • 3 hours of practicum requirements
  • 6 hours of research requirements
  • A capstone project within an area of the student’s choice

Library Science and Information Services, MS with an emphasis in School Library

  • 24 semester hours of library science electives
  • 3 hours of practicum requirements
  • 6 hours of research requirements
  • A capstone project within an area of the student’s choice

Library Science and Information Services, MS with an emphasis in School Library + Education Specialist (EdS) in Initial Teacher Certification:

  • Approximately 17 semester hours of education courses (depending on previous coursework)
  • 24 semester hours of library science electives
  • 5 hours of practicum requirements
  • 6 hours of research requirements
  • 8 semester hours of internship experience (also referred to as “student teaching”)


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

Flexible and Active Learning

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. 

Graduation, Retention, and Placement Rates

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%.

Academic Year AY16-17 AY17-18 AY18-19 AY19-20 AY20-21
Cohort Size 33 33 49 39 43
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


ALA Accreditation Precandidacy Status

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 program is CAEP-accredited and nationally recognized by AASL. 

 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.   


Enrollment and Completion Rates

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
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.”



“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.”





Program Coordinator

René Burress
Assistant Professor
Lovinger 4116 A
Tel: (660) 543-4910


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