Library Science (LBSC)

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The Master of Library Science (MLS) program provides a comprehensive foundation in research and practice in library and information science (LIS). MLS instructors apply the insights developed in scholarly research, as well as practical experience, to enhance the quality and scope of services in a variety of information settings. The program provides a comprehensive foundation for professional careers in libraries, information centers, archives, and other agencies engaged in information activities. The MLS program is fully accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).

The MLS program is available at the College Park campus, the Universities at Shady Grove campus, and online.

On the College Park campus the iSchool offers the following specializations:

On the Shady Grove campus the iSchool offers the following specializations:

Online the iSchool offers the following specializations:

The iSchool regularly holds online information sessions about all of the program offerings. Please visit the iSchool website to sign up to attend:

Admissions Information

Admission decisions are based upon a thorough review of the applicant's undergraduate record, scores on the Graduate Record Exam General Test (please see program website for waiver/requirement information), 3 letters of recommendation, and a 500 word targeted essay. Other factors, such as other graduate degrees and work experience, may be considered.

New students are admitted to the MLS program the Fall term.

Please visit the Admissions page for complete information:

Application Deadlines
Type of Applicant Fall Spring Summer

Domestic Applicants; US Citizens and Permanent Residents

Deadline: February 1

International Applicants seeking admission under F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas, as well as those seeking admissions under A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.

Deadline: February 1

Application Requirements

  1. Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  2. GRE General (see the MLS Admissions page for informaiton on GRE waiver requirements)
  3. Three Letters of Recommendation
  4. 500 word targeted essay
  5. Resume/CV

Degree Requirements

Master of Library Science (M.L.S.)

The MLS degree requires 36 credit hours of academic work to be completed with a B minimum average within five calendar years from the first semester of registration. In the non-thesis option, all credits are coursework. The thesis option requires 30 credits of course work and 6 credits of thesis research. A full-time MLS student usually completes the program in two years.

Students completing their MLS on the College Park or Shady Grove campuses may take courses in the daytime and evening and may change from part-time to full-time and vice versa, as their circumstances permit. Most in-person MLS courses are offered during the evening, but there are online sections offered on a rotating basis.

Students completing their MLS online take two courses each semester (fall, spring, summer) and complete the program in two calendar years.

The History/Library Science (HILS) dual degree program requires 54 credit hours for the MLS and MA in History. The time limit for completion of all degree requirements for this dual degree program is five years.

Each student works with an advisor to design a suitable course of study. All MLS students must successfully complete the following 3 core courses in their first 18 credits:

* LBSC 602 Serving Information Needs

* LBSC 631 - Achieving Organizational Excellence

* LBSC 671 - Creating Information Infrastructures

And after 24 credit hours:

* LBSC 791  Designing Principled Inquiry

In addition all non-thesis MLS students are required to complete a required field study course. The section they take should correspond to their program of study:

* LBSC 703 Field Study in Archives, Records, and Information Management

* LBSC 707 Field Study in Library Service

* LBSC 744 Internship in School Library Programs

The remaining courses are electives selected by the student and a professional academic advisor in the iSchool.

At least 24 credits of the 36 required credits must be courses taken in the College (LBSC, INST, or INFM). A student may take courses in other UMCP departments or through the Consortium at other area institutions (limit of six credits). Six credits may be transferred from another accredited graduate program and from Advanced Special Student status at UMCP. Information about policies and procedures governing degree requirements and courses taken outside the College is available from the College's Student Services Office and on the College's website at


Students may choose to specialize in one of the following areas:

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies (Ph.D.)

The Doctor of Philosophy in Information Studies is no longer coded under 'LBSC'. Please look under Information Studies (INFS) in the Graduate Catalog for more information on this program and its requirements.

Facilities and Special Resources

A special computing lab with a variety of general purpose and specialized hardware and software is operated by the College; in addition, students use numerous other labs on campus.

Faculty and students participate in cooperative research with staff of the University Libraries, the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, and other campus units. Students have access through cooperative arrangements and programs to the resources of Archives II, the National Agricultural Library, the Library of Congress, and other prominent research facilities.

Financial Assistance

The College offers a limited number of scholarships and assistantships. For more information please visit the College website at

Contact Information

For specific information on the academic programs available in the College of Information Studies, admission procedures, or financial aid, contact:

Student Services Office
4110 Hornbake Building, College Park
MD  20742
Telephone: (301) 405-2038
Fax: (301) 314-9145


The Graduate School  |  2123 Lee Building  |  College Park, MD 20742  |      UMCP