Master of Library and Information Studies

The UBC School of Information is an internationally ranked, multi-disciplinary school for graduate studies in library and information studies.

In our American Library Association (ALA) accredited Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program, you have a range of career pathways, including data services, information interaction and design, librarianship and cultural heritage, which you can take.

The MLIS program prepares you to exercise creativity, integrity and leadership in designing, implementing and promoting programs and systems for the creation, organization, management, preservation and effective use of information and collections. Our graduates go on to careers as librarians, information managers, researchers, analysts, interaction designers, web content specialists, and more.

 

Program highlights

  • Faculty engaged in various research projects, including community-engaged learning, knowledge organization, data visualization, social computing and human-computer interaction
  • Strong connections to local and provincial library communities
  • Specialization opportunity in First Nations/Indigenous knowledge stewardship
  • Hands-on experience opportunities, including professional experience, project-based work, and paid co-op work terms
  • State-of-the-art learning and research facilities at a world-class university

Data services; librarianship; community and culture; information interaction and design; information sources and services; digital resource management; information analysis and management; services and management of information organizations; youth services and literature.

The MLIS program is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) and was awarded Continuing Accreditation Status (review in 2023).

The ALA accredits master's programs in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and many employers in North America require a degree from an ALA-accredited school for professional positions.


Degree requirements

Students in the MLIS program can tailor their program to suit their specific needs. Every MLIS student will be assigned a faculty advisor who can assist students with selecting elective courses and questions regarding the curriculum.

Please note that the core courses are the prerequisite for all electives.

With the Graduate Advisor's approval, students may apply up to 12 credits for courses other than those designated 'LIBR' to their program. Please complete the application for credit for external courses for each course, and submit it to ischool.gradadvisor@ubc.ca.

With a few exceptions, once a student completes the four core courses, they will have met the pre- and co-requisite requirements for the non-core LIBR courses. All established pre- or co-requisites for LIBR courses can be found on the individual course pages and will be strictly adhered to except in extraordinary circumstances.

In such cases, the student must first discuss the rationale for an exemption with their Faculty Advisor and then submit a written request for an exemption to the iSchool Graduate Advisor. The decision on whether or not to grant such an exemption will be made by the iSchool Graduate Advisor (in consultation with other faculty as needed).

Students can access the full list of courses available for MLIS students on the courses page.

We recommended that students take only courses that are part of their degree program or within the iSchool (e.g., MLIS students might opt to take a course offered as part of the MAS degree). Where justified to meet career or academic goals, students may take non-iSchool graduate and upper-level (300 and 400) undergraduate courses. Students should consult with their Faculty Advisers on the suitability of course choice if they are interested in taking courses outside their program of study.


Part-time study

Although completing the MLIS core courses on a full-time schedule (four core courses completed in the first term) is highly recommended, pursuing the MLIS degree part-time is possible. Core courses are pre- or co-requisites for all LIBR electives, and completing the core in the first term provides students with the most options in subsequent terms.

We advise part-time students to complete all their core courses within 12 months of their start date.


Graduate competencies

We have set out the educational commitments of the MLIS program in the statement on graduate competencies. The graduate competencies provide a framework for the ongoing assessment of the Master of Library and Information Studies program through direct and indirect measures of student achievement. The assessment results are published annually on the program assessment page of the website.


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