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.

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 renowned 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.

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Our Faculty

Cathryn Mercier photo

Cathryn Mercier

  • Professor and Department Chair of Children's Literature, Graduate Program Director, and Acting Department Chair of Communications
Amy Pattee photo

Amy Pattee

  • Associate Professor and Co-coordinator of Dual Degree MS LIS/MA Children's Literature