Course Information Suite

Programs of Study: Undergrad

Library and Information Science

Interim Dean of the School: Allen Renear
501 East Daniel Street
Champaign, IL 61820-6211
(217) 333-7197, (800) 982-0914 (within the U.S.)
E-mail: lis-apply@illinois.edu

Major: Library and Information Science
Degrees Offered: M.S., C.A.S., Ph.D.
Graduate Concentrations: Digital Libraries (C.A.S. only), Writing Studies (Ph.D. only)

Major: Bioinformatics
Degrees Offered: M.S.
Graduate Concentration: Library and Information Science

Online Programs: Library and Information Science
Degrees Offered: M.S., C.A.S.
Graduate Concentrations: Digital Libraries (C.A.S. only)

Joint Degree Program: Library and Information Science and African Studies
Degrees offered: M.S. and M.A.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.), the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS), and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Two Master of Science (M.S.) degree scheduling options are available. The M.S. in library and information science (L.I.S.) prepares students for professional careers in all types of information organizations, including libraries. The GSLIS concentration of the campus-wide M.S. in bioinformatics program emphasizes multidisciplinary skills that are required for a career developing and managing information systems for the biological community. The C.A.S. program provides the opportunity (1) to study an aspect of library and information science in greater depth than is possible in the M.S. program, (2) to refresh and upgrade one's professional training several years after completing the M.S. program, or (3) to redirect one's career into a different area of library and information science. K-12 Library Information Specialist Certification is available in conjunction with both the M.S. in L.I.S. and C.A.S. The Ph.D. is a research degree program.

Admission

Applicants are admitted in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The general admission requirements of the Graduate College apply. Consideration is also given to language study and computer skills, relevant work experience, letters of reference, and evidence of leadership. International students must score at least 620 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (260 on the computer-based test; 105 on the iBT version); or 7 on each section of the IELTS. The M.S. in bioinformatics requires a strong background in information science including undergraduate-level computing and mathematics. The C.A.S. requires a master's degree in library and information science and a grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) in the master's program. K-12 admission requires admissions into the M.S. program and a passing score on the Illinois Basic Skills Test. Students may be accepted into the Ph.D. program with a master's degree in a wide range of fields, as long as the degree is consistent with the applicant's goals in the program. Promising students may also be admitted to the doctoral program without a master's degree with the additional requirement that they complete 32 additional hours of coursework.

Degree Requirements

*For additional details and requirements refer to the unit's Graduate Programs of Study and the Graduate College Handbook.

Master of Science, Library and Information Science

Required Courses: Thesis Option-
Required Hours
Non-thesis Option-Required Hours
LIS 501 and 502 6 6
Research/Project/Independent Study Hours (min/max applied toward degree): max 4 max 4
Thesis Hours Required – LIS 599 8  
Total Hours 40 40
Minimum Hours Required Within the Unit:
28 28
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall:
12 12
Other Requirements:*    
The credit-no credit option can only be applied to courses taken outside the library and information science curriculum and courses taken with this option can't be applied to the degree.    
Minimum GPA: 2.75 2.75

The M.S. in L.I.S. is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Two scheduling options are available to students pursuing the M.S. degree. The on-campus option serves students who are in residence at Urbana-Champaign, as well as part-time, commuting students. The LEEP scheduling option is an online education option that combines brief periods of on-campus instruction with instruction using the Internet and other information technologies for delivery. The LEEP option only begins in the summer semester, starting with a ten-day campus orientation. During this ten-day stay, students take one of the required core courses, LIS 502: Libraries, Information, and Society. Students work closely with their adviser to plan an appropriate course of study. A thesis is not required but is available as an option. Students prepare for careers in all types of information organizations. Examples of the professional positions graduates hold include: Internet trainer, webmaster, and knowledge manager, as well as work in reference, automated systems, cataloging, youth services, school media, and other positions in public, academic, school, and special libraries.

Master of Science, Bioinformatics

Required Courses: Thesis Option-
Required Hours
Non-thesis Option-Required Hours
One course in three of the following areas from the department approved list: Information Organization and Knowledge Representation; Information Resources, Uses and Users; Information Systems; and Disciplinary Focus 12 12
CS 411 3-4 3-4
CHBE 571 or ANSC 542 or IB 467 4 4
One course from the approved biology list    
Thesis Hours Required – LIS 599 8  
Total Hours 36 36
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall:
12 12
Other Requirements:* A concentration is required.    
Minimum GPA: 3.0 3.0

A typical student will thus take 6 required courses (24 hours) 1 Biology, 1 Computer Science, 1 Fundamental Bioinformatics, and 3 GSLIS. The student must then choose 3 courses (12 hours) of electives to complete the degree. It is strongly encouraged that up to 2 courses of these electives (8 hours) are thesis. Our expectation is that each student will arrange a custom program of study, suitable for the information management of their particular biological informatics application. Currently, this program requires students to be in residence in Champaign-Urbana.

Certificate of Advanced Study, Library and Information Science

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Graduate School of Library and Information Science complies with the U.S. Department of Education's Gainful Employment requirements by disclosing information to applicants regarding our Certificate of Advanced Study program. Required information can be found here: http://provost.illinois.edu/programs/gainfulemploymentLIS.html.

Required Courses: Required Hours Concentration in Digital Libraries- Required Hours
LIS 593, Project Hours (min/max applied toward degree): 8 8
Four required CAS-DL Core courses   16
Four elective courses from the CAS Digital Library Electives   16
Elective hours (max. of 8 hours of Independent Study) 32  
Total Hours 40 40
Minimum Hours Required Within the Unit:
24 24
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall:
12 12
Other Requirements:*A concentration is not required.    
Masters Degree in Library and Information Science is required for admission    
The credit-no credit option can only be applied to courses taken outside the library and information science curriculum and courses taken with this option can not be applied to the degree.    
Minimum GPA: 3.25 3.25

Students and faculty advisers work closely together in selecting appropriate courses of study to meet individual needs. Areas of concentration include digital libraries, management, and youth services. The C.A.S. may be completed on-campus or through the LEEP online scheduling option.

Students admitted to the C.A.S. program may optionally pursue a Concentration in Digital Libraries.

Doctor of Philosophy, Library and Information Science

Required Courses: Required Hours - Entering with approved M.S./M.A. degree Required Hours - Entering with approved B.S./B.A. degree*
A history and foundation of LIS seminar 4 4
Research methods min 8 min 8
M.S. equivalent   32
Research/Project/Independent Study Hours (min/max applied toward degree): max 16 max 16
Thesis Hours Required – LIS 599: 32 32
Total Hours 80 112
Minimum Hours Required Within the Unit:
20 hours of electives 20 hours of electives
Other Requirements:*    
Minimum GPA: 3.25 3.25
Qualifying Exam Required Yes Yes
Preliminary Exam Required Yes Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes Yes

The Ph.D. program consists of the following components: (1) a history and foundation of LIS seminar (4 graduate hours); (2) research methods (8 or more graduate hours); (3) electives (36 graduate hours); (4) field exam; and (5) thesis (32 or more graduate hours). Thus, a minimum of 48 graduate hours of coursework plus 32 graduate hours of thesis credit are required. A minimum of two years in residence is required to complete the necessary coursework; an additional year or more, preferably in residence, is required for the thesis.

K-12 Library Information Specialist Certification

The K-12 Certification option allows students to meet the requirements for the M.S. or C.A.S in L.I.S. while also pursuing the courses and training needed for state teacher certification. Courses in library and information science as well as education, practicum, and student teaching are required for certification. The requirements for the Library Information Specialist certification were approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in 2001. K-12 certification may be pursued on-campus or via the LEEP online scheduling option.

Online Programs

The M.S. and C.A.S. online requirements are the same as the on campus requirements, found above.

Joint Degree Program

This joint master’s degree includes a program of language and area studies courses leading to an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in African Studies as well as a program of study leading to the Master of Science in Library and Information Science. The joint degree matches area expertise with professional education, and prepares students for professional careers in all types of information organizations, including libraries. Students should enroll in LIS first and then contact the African Studies program for their application instructions.

Required Courses: Thesis Option-
Required Hours
Non-thesis Option-Required Hours
LIS 501, 530M and 590GL 12 12
LIS 502 2 or 4 2 or 4
LIS elective courses selected in consultation with an advisor who is a member of the GSLIS faculty. (LIS 591,2 hours and LIS 592, up to 4 hours, may be included) 12-14 12-14
AFST 522 4 4
African language proficiency at level of 6 semesters of course work (includes Arabic) NOTE: Hours for language can't be applied toward degree requirements, but is included in the calculation of the GPA.    
Elective courses from the approved African Studies course list selected in consultation with an advisor who is a member of the African Studies faculty (coursework must be from 3 different disciplines; 8 hours must be at the 500-level, excluding AFST 550 and AFST 599; Maximum 4 hours of AFST 550 may be used) Electives and thesis must total at least 24 hours. 16-24 24
Thesis Hours Required in African Studies AFST 599: 8  
Total Hours 56 56
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 24 24
Other Requirements:*    
Minimum GPA: 3.25 3.25

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in the Ph.D. program for those interested in faculty careers.

Facilities and Resources

Among the major areas of faculty research are community informatics, data curation; digital libraries; information retrieval; information organization; information history, economics, and policy; librarianship and literature for youth; and special collections.  The School's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) conducts research on information problems that impact scientific and scholarly inquiry. The Center for Children's Books (CCB) provides a review and research collection of the newest literature for children and young adults. The Community Informatics Initiative (CII) researchers ¬†works with people to develop information and communication technologies to achieve their goals. The Communications Office publishes the refereed journal, Library Trends, as well as The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s books. The staff of each of these units is available to students and faculty for consultation and guidance. A computer network with Internet connectivity is integral to teaching and learning activities. The University Library provides a vast reservoir of resources for all types of study and research in library and information science.

The School maintains an ongoing commitment to continuing education through conferences, institutes, workshops, and course offerings through the Online & Continuing Education unit (OCE).

Financial Aid

Financial aid may be available from the School, the University Library, and elsewhere in the University in the form of graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and hourly paid work. Area libraries may provide preprofessional or hourly positions. Also, the School offers a limited number of fellowships for which doctoral students tend to be favored over C.A.S. and master's degree students. Students in the joint program that do not hold a FLAS fellowship are eligible for, but not guaranteed, fellowship or assistantship support in the semesters in which they are enrolled in GSLIS. Any assistantship awarded to these students provides a waiver of the base in-state tuition and service fee as well as a stipend. Non-Illinois residents must pay the difference between in- and out-of-state tuition.