Children's Literature + Library Services to Children

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

Librarians in a library

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.

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 and 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 the 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:

  • CHL 401 Criticism of Children’s Literature
  • CHL 403 The Picturebook
  • CHL 413 Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Young Adults (g for MFA only; required MA)
  • CHL 414 Fantasy and Science Fiction (g for MFA only; required MA)
  • Four credits of history coursework drawn from general electives
  • Four credits of general electives

Electives

  • CHL 404A Poetry for Young Readers: You be the Judge (2 credits) (h) (g)
  • CHL 411 Victorian Children’s Literature (h)
  • CHL 415 The Whole Book Approach (2 credits)
  • CHL 419A Canadian Children’s Literature: Fantasy (2 credits)
  • CHL 419B Humor (2 credits) (g)
  • CHL 420 Thesis (f, sp, su)
  • CHL 421 History of Children’s Book Publishing
  • CHL 422 Editing the Children’s Book Manuscript (2 credits)
  • CHL 423 19th Century American Children’s Literature (4 credits) (h)
  • CHL 424B Nonsense and Subversive Rhymes (2 credits) (h) (g)
  • CHL 424C Series Fiction (2 credits) (h) (g)
  • CHL 427 Special Topics: Folk & Fairy Tales (2 credits) (h) (g)
  • CHL 427B The Americanization of Fairy Tales (2 credits) (h) (g)
  • CHL 428A A Single Text:The Graphic Novel and *The Wizard of Oz* (2 credits) (h) (g)
  • CHL 429A Re-Reading Race in Classic Children’s Literature (2 credits) (h) (g)
  • CHL 429B The Girl Reader 1868-1908 (2 credits) (h)
  • CHL 429C Culture Matters (h)
  • CHL 429D The Girl Reader 1908-1934 (2 credits) (h)
  • CHL 430 Writing for Children I
  • CHL 434 The Child and the Book
  • CHL 435A Creators and Aesthetics: Eric Carle (2 credits)
  • CHL 435B Creators and Aesthetics: Gary Schmidt (2 credits)
  • CHL 436A Nonfiction-Narrative (2 credits) (g)
  • CHL 436B Nonfiction-Expository (2 credits) (g)
  • CHL 437 Special Topics in Children’s Literature: Positionality (4 credits)
  • CHL 450 Independent study
  • CHL 451 The Reviewer (2 credits)
  • CHL 50X 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.

(h) indicates that the course counts toward the required four elective credits of history coursework for the MFA and MA degrees.

(g) indicates that the course counts toward the required four elective credits of genre coursework for the MFA degree.

An elective course can only count toward one category. For example, CHL 427 can count two credits toward the history elective or the genre elective requirement, but not both.

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.

Programs at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

All Children’s Literature degree and dual degree programs are offered on the Boston campus. In addition, the MA in Children’s Literature, MFA in Writing for Children, the dual degree MA/MFA are also offered at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst. Students can complete the MA in Children’s Literature/MS in Library Science with MA courses at the Carle and LIS courses on the Mount Holyoke campus. Founded by Eric Carle, the renounced author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the Carle is the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

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. Learn more about the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

Apply Now

Offered As
  • Masters
School/Department
Apply NowVisitRequest Info

Our Faculty