The Children's Literature/Library Services to Children (MA/MS) is the first and only dual degree program in the country that prepares students and professionals in library youth and young adult services.

Enroll in both the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature and the Master of Science in Library and Information Science to meld theory and practice. Work with an advisor from each program to tailor your studies to meet your needs and interests.

Examine literary history and then evaluate a children’s literature collection. Consider far-ranging critical frameworks and assess the right young adult texts to bring to readers. Study the form of the picturebook as the first step in connecting books to child readers. Research contemporary nonfiction to build not only today’s common core but also to tomorrow’s scientists.

Immerse yourself in The Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. Join authors and illustrators at the summer institute, the Horn Book at Simmons Symposium, and the literary events hosted in Boston every year. From Children’s Books Boston to the Boston Book Festival, participate in today’s literary society as you create tomorrow’s readers.

Program Requirements

This 58 - 60 credit program (credit count varies based on electives chosen) requires successful completion of the courses chosen from the following list. Unless otherwise noted, all Library/Information Science courses are three credits and Children’s Literature courses are either two or four credits (see below). The program consists of:

Seven courses in Library and Information Science (21 credit hours) in the following categories:

Three core courses in Library and Information Science (totaling 9 credits):
LIS 415 Information Organization (3 credits)
LIS 407 Information Sources and Services (3 credits)
LIS 488 Technology for Information Professionals (3 credits)

Two courses describing children’s library collections (totaling 6 credits): 
LIS 481 Library Collections and Materials for Children (3 credits)
LIS 483 Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults (3 credits)

One of the following courses related to programs and services (totaling 3 credits):
LIS 482 Library Programs and Services for Children (3 credits)
LIS 412 Library Programs and Services for Young Adults (3 credits)

One of the following courses related to professional practices (totaling 3 credits): 
LIS 422 Literacy and Services to Underserved Populations (3 credits)
LIS 423 Storytelling (3 credits)
LIS 450 Public Libraries  (3 credits)

Six courses in Children’s Literature (24 credit hours) in the following categories:

Four core courses in Children’s Literature (totaling 16 credits) 
CHL 401 Criticism of Literature for Children (4 credits)
CHL 403 The Picturebook (4 credits)
CHL 413 Contemporary Realistic Fiction (4 credits)
CHL 414 Fantasy and Science Fiction (4 credits)

Four credits in the history of children’s literature, selected from courses with a chronological focus, including, but not limited to: 
CHL 404A  Poetry for Young Readers:  You Be the Judge (2 credits)
CHL 411 Victorian Children's Literature (4 credits)
CHL 418 Australian Children’s Literature (4 credits)
CHL 423 19th Century American Children’s Literature (4 credits)
CHL 424 Nonsense and Subversive Rhymes (2 credits)
CHL 424B Verse Novels, Narrative Poetry (2 credits)
CHL 424C Series Fiction (2 credits)
CHL 427 Special Topics in Folk and Fairy Tales (2 credits)
CHL 427B The Americanization of Fairy Tales (2 credits) 
CHL 428A The Graphic Novel and The Wizard of Oz (2 credits)
CHL 429A Re-Reading Race in Classic Children’s Literature (2 credits) 
CHL 429B The Girl Reader  1868-1908 (2 credits) 

General Electives in Children's Literature (totaling 4 credits) Note: courses listed in the “history” category above could be taken as general electives

CHL 415  The Whole Book Approach (2 credits)
CHL 419B  Humor (2 credits) 
CHL 420  Thesis 
CHL 421  History of Children’s Book Publishing (4 credits)
CHL 422  Editing the Children’s Book Manuscript (4 credits)
CHL 429A Rereading Race in Classic Children's Literature
CHL 429B The Girl Reader, 1868-1908
CHL 429C Culture Matters in Children's Literature
CHL 430  Writing for Children I (4 credits)
CHL 434  The Child and the Book (4 credits)
CHL 435A  Creators and Aesthetics: Eric Carle (2 credits)  
CHL 435B  Creators and Aesthetics: Gary Schmidt (2 credits)
CHL 436A  Nonfiction:  Narrative (2 credits)
CHL 436B  Nonfiction:  Expository (2 credits) 
CHL 450  Independent study (2 or 4 credits)
CHL 451  The Reviewer (2 credits) 
CHL 506  Summer symposium and institute (4 credits)

Dual Degree Program Capstone Course (4 credits):

CHL 437/LIS 405 Special Topics in Children's Literature

MA/MS Dual Degree Program Electives (elective courses from either CHL or LIS totaling 9 – 11 credits) 

For a complete list of LIS and CHL electives, visit All Courses.

Updated per faculty vote, April 2016.

Customize Your Program
You'll work with a faculty advisor to tailor your program to your interests and career goals.
Internships and Research
Our students take advantage of internships in Boston and beyond, building their skills and resumes and learning from mentors in their fields. Students have interned at publishing houses such as Delacorte, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Charlesbridge, Candlewick, Scholastic, Penguin, David Godine, and St. Martin's; at a variety of literary agenc​ies in Boston and New York; and at advocacy groups, such as Reach Out and Read and the Boston Book Festival. Some students also seek professional internships with local schools and libraries.
Faculty
    Cathryn Mercier
    • Cathryn Mercier
    • Professor, Director of the Children’s Literature Program, Director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature
    • Phone: 617-521-2541
    • Office: P310A
    Amy Pattee
    • Amy Pattee
    • Director for the Master of Science Program, Associate Professor
    • Phone: 617-521-2853
    • Office: P310B
    Megan Lambert
    • Megan Lambert
    • Senior Lecturer
    • Phone: 617-521-2576
    • Office: P310Q
    Kelly Hager
    • Kelly Hager
    • Associate Professor, English, and Department Chair, Women'
    • Phone: 617-521-2173
    • Office: C301F
Eric Carle Museum

Programs at the Eric Carle Museum
All Children's Literature degree and dual degree programs are offered on the Boston campus. In addition, the M.A. in Children's Literature, M.F.A. in Writing for Children and our M.A. in Children's Literature/M.F.A. dual degree, and M.A. in Children's Literature/M.S. in Library Science dual degrees are offered at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst. A number of two-credit courses are offered using an intensive weekend or week-long model.

The Carle
In collaboration with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Simmons offers all four graduate programs in Children's Literature onsite at The Carle. This includes our M.A. in Children's Literature, M.F.A. in Writing for Children, M.A. in Children's Literature/M.F.A. dual degree, and M.A. in Children's Literature/M.S. in Library Science dual degree offered in collaboration with Simmons's School of Library and Information Science program at Mount Holyoke. Founded in part by Eric Carle, the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art. The Carle is located in Amherst, in the heart of the Five Colleges area of Western Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.carlemuseum.org.

How to Apply
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