Dual degree MAS/LIS

This program is an interdisciplinary, high-demand educational experience in which students complete two graduate degrees (Master of Library and Information Studies, and Master of Archival Studies) within an accelerated timeframe. MAS/LIS students gain rich expertise suited to hybrid library/archives environments and cultural institutions, giving them a competitive edge. Students considering this option should carefully read the descriptions for both the MLIS and the MAS degrees.


Application deadlines

September intake: January 15 (applications); February 1 (supporting documents)
January intake: June 1 (applications); June 15 (supporting documents)

Start date

Can be started in September or January

Program length

approx. 36 months (longer if students participate in Co-op)

Areas of study

First Nations Curriculum Concentrations; Data services; Librarianship; Community and culture; Information interaction and design; Information sources and services; Digital resource management; Human-information interaction; Information analysis and management; Services and management of information organizations; Youth services and literature; Nature of records and archives; Managing records from creation to preservation; Records and archival systems; Selection of Records and their acquisition; Intellectual control; Records, archives, and the law; Ethical and professional responsibilities; History of record-keeping and archives


  • MLIS program is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA)
  • Faculty engaged in various research projects including community engaged learning, data visualization, social computing and human computer interaction
  • Strong connections to local and provincial library community
  • Specialization opportunity in First Nations/Indigenous knowledge stewardship
  • Hands on experience opportunities including job shadowing, project based work, and paid co-op work terms
  • State-of-the-art learning and research facilities at a world-class university



  • Undergraduate degree, with a minimum B+ average.
  • Applicants should also have strong academic references, and provide three reference letters.

Learn more



First Nations Curriculum Concentration (FNCC)

The First Nations Curriculum Concentration is one of the only specializations in North America that enables students to focus on Indigenous information initiatives and systems, including language preservation, digitization, research and governance. The concentration prepares students to work with, and within, Indigenous communities, and in cultural heritage organizations. During their program of study, iSchool students enrolled in the FNCC develop a strong foundation in their chosen program (MAS, MLIS, or Dual MAS/MLIS). In addition, they build a deep appreciation for the influence of the information professions on Indigenous histories and ongoing Indigenous initiatives. As an integral part of the concentration, students are supported in gaining experience working in Indigenous-oriented information organizations.

Learn more


Hands-on learning opportunities

UBC Faculty of Arts Co-op Program

The Arts Co-op program is a fantastic way for students to supplement their income and apply their skills in a real world environment. While on a co-op placement, students are registered in an Arts Co-op course; however, these credits do NOT count towards the credits required for the MAS/LIS degree.

For-Credit Hands-on Learning Options

Students also have the opportunity to complete unpaid field work for academic credit. Students in the DUAL program have the following course-based experiential learning options:

  • Archival Studies options
  • ARST 595: Internship (3 credits)
  • ARST 596: Professional Experience (3 credits)
  • Library and Information Studies options
  • LIBR 595: Practicum (0 credits, but recognized on transcript)
  • LIBR 596: Professional Experience (3 credits)
  • Cross-listed Hands-on Learning Options (students may only take this course once)
  • ARST 575R/ LIBR 569R: Graduating Project (3 credits)

Students can learn more about these experiences on our Hands on Learning page.



MAS/MLIS graduates are prepared to work in a variety of environments, including hybrid library/archives organizations, cultural centres, museums and cultural institutions. Graduates go on to careers as information managers, librarians, archivists, curators, records managers and more. An average of 85% of our graduates are employed within six months.

job sectors after graduation from UBC ischool



The two master's degrees, MAS and MLIS, are awarded on the completion of a total of 81 credits of work approved by the School.

Of these 81 credits, at least 36 must be ARST (MAS) and 36 must be LIBR (MLIS). The remaining nine credits can be a combination of ARST, LIBR, or other approved courses.

The required courses are:

The MAS Core courses

  • ARST 510: Archival Diplomatics (3 credits)
  • ARST 515: Arrangement And Description Of Archival Documents (3 credits)
  • ARST 516: Management of Current Records (3 credits)
  • ARST 573: (3) Archival Systems and the Profession

Students must also take:

  • ARST 520: Selection And Acquisition Of Archival Documents (3 credits)
    Note: this is a prerequisite for some ARST electives

The MLIS Core courses

  • LIBR 506: Human Information Interaction (3 credits)
  • LIBR 507: Methods of Research and Evaluation in Information Organizations (3 credits)
  • LIBR 508: Information Practices in Contemporary Society (3 credits)
  • LIBR 509: Foundations of Resource Description and Knowledge Organization (3 credits)

Students must also take:

  • 2 courses (6 credits) in the organizational management area, drawn from the following courses: LIBR 504, LIBR 570, LIBR 571, LIBR 572, LIBR 573, LIBR 574, LIBR 575, LIBR 576, LIBR 577, and LIBR 578.

Please note that Co-op credits DO NOT count towards the credits required the Dual MAS/MLIS degrees.

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


Core Courses

Students in the Dual MAS/MLIS program will complete both the MAS Core courses and the MLIS Core courses. Students starting their program in the September term will begin with the ARST Core courses in Term 1, followed by LIBR Core in Term 2, whereas students who start in the January term must begin with the LIBR Core, followed by ARST Core in the September term.


Candidates admitted to the Dual MAS/MLIS program will be assigned an advisor from one of the two degree programs. These advisors will be able to assist the student in selecting electives from both the MAS and MLIS programs.

Do NOT take courses that are not intended to be part of your program. As per UBC's policy, students should only be enrolled in courses that are part of the degree program. For example, do not enroll in undergraduate language courses.

The MLIS program is Accredited by the American Library Association (ALA), and was awarded Continuing Accreditation Status (review in 2023). The ALA accredits masters 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. View our latest Accreditation Self Study (PDF 2016).

A student with research interests may elect to write a 12-credit thesis in one of the two fields, but not both.

Consultation with the appropriate Faculty Advisor should begin before the student has completed one-half of the required courses. The decision to do so must be confirmed with the Faculty Advisor before the end of the term in which the student completes 24 credits of course work, after which a thesis advisory committee will be established and a supervisor assigned. The thesis will be prepared and examined according to the regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

It is not possible to complete the Dual MAS/MLIS program on a part-time basis.

UBC's Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regulations require completion of master's degree requirements within five years of initial registration (see Duration of Study).

Students enrolled in the MAS or MLIS program may apply to transfer to the Dual MAS/MLIS program. A limited number of spaces are allocated each intake for transfer students, so students should expect a competitive process. Successful applicants will be selected based on a combination of academic achievement, quality of personal statement, and promise of professional success in the archival and library fields.

Students considering a transfer should discuss with the senior faculty of the program they wish to transfer into (e.g. MLIS students discuss with the MAS faculty member) and complete the application form.

Transfer applications are due February 1st of each academic year. Students must apply before completing their first 24 credits of study. Students accepted in the Dual MAS/MLIS program may be admitted to start the following September or January depending on available space.

Applications will be reviewed by the relevant Admission Subcommittee.