- Program Requirements
The LIS core curriculum provides a foundation of disciplinary knowledge in library and information science and prepares students for the electives that shape the concentrations and tracks.
The requirements for completing the 36-credit MS degree are as follows:
- LIS 415 - Information Organization
- LIS 407 - Reference/Information Services
- LIS 488 - Technology for Information Professionals
* Students in the School Library Teacher Program must take LIS 460 instead of LIS 488
Students have up to six years to complete the program, and can take courses either on a part-time (3-6 credits per semester) or full-time (9 credits per semester) basis. Please see the Maximum Credit Load policy on the Forms & Policies page to see how many courses can be taken in a given semester. Additionally, please see the Enrollment Requirement policy on the Student Financial Services Additional Information and Policies page for the federal definitions of “half-time” and “full-time” status for federal financial aid purposes. New students are strongly encouraged not to take more than three courses during their first semester. Each student will progress through the program differently, depending on area of specialization and on how many courses are planned per semester.
Students are required to take LIS 407, LIS 415, and LIS 488 within their first 12 credits. * School Library Teacher Program and Archives Concentration students should see their respective program pages for specific requirements as they are different than those of other programs.
A student in the Master of Science degree program must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 (B). A student who fails to meet this requirement will ordinarily not be considered for exclusion from the School until he/she has completed at least 12 semester hours. It is understood, however, that the student's connection with the College may be terminated whenever, in the judgment of the faculty, he/she fails to show sufficient scholarship.
For more details, see our course descriptions.
Updated per faculty vote, April 2016.
- Amy Pattee
- Director for the Master of Science Program, Associate Professor
- Phone: 617-521-2853
- Office: P310B
- Jeannette Bastian
- Professor & Director, Archives Management Concentration and Director, SLIS West
- Phone: 617-521-2808
- Office: P204G
- Gerald Benoit
- Associate Professor.
- Phone: 617-521-2879
- Office: P310J
- Michele Cloonan
- Dean and Professor Emerita
- Phone: 617-521-2806
- Office: P313D
- Lisa Hussey
- Associate Professor, SLIS
- Phone: 617-521-2852
- Office: P204B
- Daniel Joudrey
- Associate Professor, SLIS
- Phone: 617-521-2863
- Office: P205B
- Melanie Kimball
- Director of the School Library Teacher Program, Associate Professor
- Phone: 617-521-2795
- Office: P310L
- James Matarazzo
- Dean and Professor Emeritus
- Phone: 617-521-2815
- Office: P204A
- Chaoqun Ni
- Assistant Professor, SLIS
- Phone: 617-521-2496
- Office: P212B
- Kyong Eun Oh
- Assistant Professor, SLIS
- Phone: 617-521-2265
- Office: P204K
- Amber Stubbs
- Assistant Professor
- Phone: 617-521-2807
- Office: P212C
- Rong Tang
- Director of SLIS PhD Program, Associate Professor
- Phone: 617-521-2880
- Office: P205A
- Katherine Wisser
- Associate Professor, Co-Director of the Archives/History Dual Degree Program, Director of the Archives Certificate Program
- Phone: 617-521-2887
- Office: P310F
- SLIS West
Attend the LIS Master’s Program at SLIS West in South Hadley, Massachusetts located at Mount Holyoke College. The SLIS West Campus is primarily a part time program geared towards the needs of working students. The small classes, scheduling flexibility, and cohesive community help our working students succeed in the classroom and in their careers.
Courses are scheduled primarily on weekends, with some evening options available. Depending on the area of specialization, program requirements can be completed entirely at the SLIS West campus, although many students take a course or two online or in Boston. Boston students are also welcome to take classes at SLIS West.
As one of U.S. News and World Report’s top ranking schools of library and information science in the nation, the School of Library and Information Science offers a world-class education. From Harvard University's libraries to Fortune 500 companies, Simmons LIS students are working in the top libraries and workplaces around the country. For more information about the various types of careers available to our graduates, please see our Careers page. The following is a sampling of jobs LIS graduates reported obtaining within one year of graduation:
- Public Librarian
- Cataloging and Acquisition Librarian
- Adult Services Librarian
- Database Editor
- Business Development Specialist
- Director of Media and Professional Development
- Emerging Technologies Librarian
- Data Assets Manager
- Digital Initiatives Librarian
- Digital Curator
- Children's Librarian
- Requirements Analyst
- School Librarian and Media Specialist
- Legal Information Librarian
- Medical librarian
- Metadata Librarian
- Market Insights Analyst
- University Archivist
- Senior Web Content Coordinator
- Customize Your Program
Our ALA accredited degree program in library and information science offers students the opportunity to customize their degree program by concentrating their studies in archives management, school librarianship, information science and technology, and cultural heritage informatics or by developing expertise in areas of professional interest by selecting courses from curricular “tracks” related to information organization, management and leadership, preservation management, reference and information services, and youth services.
Students may also choose to pursue a dual degree program that allows for the completion of two masters degrees simultaneously. SLIS offers two dual degree programs in conjunction with the MS: a dual degree in archives management (MS) and history (MA) and a dual degree in library and information science (MS) and children’s literature (MA).
Design Your Own (DYO) Master of Science
Students may tailor their degree programs to their own professional needs and interests by selecting courses from a robust catalog of electives. Like all MS students, DYO students must complete 9 credit hours (3 courses) of core coursework in information organization, information services, and technology. DYO students may then work with a faculty advisor to select 27 credit hours (9 courses) of elective courses in areas of professional interest including youth services, reference and information services, management and leadership, and information organization.
LIS students may choose to focus their studies by following a degree concentration curriculum designed to prepare students to work in a variety of information institutions with a diversity of materials and tools. Students who choose to concentrate their studies must complete the LIS core courses required of all MS students as well as a sequence of courses required to earn the degree concentration.
Please refer to the links below to explore the required and recommended courses for each degree concentration:
The LIS faculty has developed topical “tracks” which serve as guides for course selection and professional development in specific areas of the library and information science field. Students may customize their LIS degree program by working with their faculty advisor to select recommended “key courses” in a track of interest as well as elective courses that can broaden and deepen a student’s knowledge in the subject area.
Please refer to the links below to explore the key courses and electives in each curricular track:
- Online Program
Students may now complete the master of science degree program in library and information science fully online. Students pursuing the Maser of Science (MS) degree online have the same opportunities to customize their program as students in the face-to-face program by concentrating their studies in archives management, information science and technology, or cultural heritage informatics. Or, students may choose the DYO (Design Your Own) option, and customize their degree program to reflect their professional goals.
Design Your Own (DYO) Master of Science
Online students may tailor their degree programs to their own professional needs and interests by selecting courses from a robust catalog of electives. Like all MS students, DYO students must complete 9 credit hours (3 courses) of core coursework in information organization, information services, and technology. DYO students may then work with a faculty advisor to select 27 credit hours (9 courses) of elective courses in areas of professional interest including youth services, reference and information services, management and leadership, and information organization.
Excepting mode of delivery, online courses are identical to face to face courses in content and learning objectives. Online courses are asynchronous, meaning that teaching and learning in the online course environment is not bound to time or place. Just as face-to-face students must meet assignment deadlines set by their instructors and actively engage in learning in the classroom space, online students are similarly obligated to complete assignments on time and participate in learning activities. The difference between the online and face-to-face experience: online students may access and engage with organized learning materials anytime and anywhere they are connected to the Internet.
Because all MS students may register for and participate in online classes, the SLIS online classrooms have become spaces for local and distant students to learn and network.
- SLIS Tech Competencies
While all students enter the LIS program with different talents, skills, and abilities, LIS instructors expect all students to possess a baseline of knowledge, skill, and familiarity with technology. Read about the SLIS Tech Competencies.
- How to Apply
Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.