Library and Information Science (MS)

In the Master of Library and Information Science (MS) program at Simmons University, students thrive in classes brought to life by professors who bring their real-world experience into their instruction.

The passions and skills of Library and Information Science students are well-served by Archives Management, Cultural Heritage Informatics, Information Science and Technology, Libraries and Librarianship, and School Library Teacher program concentrations.

The Master’s in Library Science Design-Your-Own curriculum, as well concentrations in Archives Management and Information Science and Technology, can be completed entirely online. In addition to face-to-face classroom options in Boston and at SLIS West (South Hadley and Amherst, Massachusetts), students can embark on a blended approach, combining online and face-to-face courses that meet their academic needs.

With program benefits like online learning and multiple campus locations, Simmons’ Master of Library and Information Science is a clear choice for students seeking a flexible and customizable program. The program also features a Design Your Own Program; students work closely with faculty advisors to craft customized programs of study. Find out more by viewing Customize Your Program below.

Why study Library and Information Science at Simmons?

Opportunity awaits at Simmons. The role of information professionals continues to evolve as the volume of available information has increased and technology for information creation, storage, search, and retrieval continues to advance.

The ability to manage ever-growing information available to us has led to new opportunities for those who want to work in the rapidly growing library and information science field. The Master of Library and Information Science program prepares graduate students for a rewarding career related to collecting, classifying, storing, retrieving, and disseminating recorded knowledge.

Ranked among the best

5 U.S. News & World Report Badges for Best Grad Schools in Library & Information Studies: general, archives, services for children and youth, school library media, and digital librarianship

Simmons University is one of U.S. News and World Report’s top ranking schools of library and information science in the nation.

  • The Master's in Library and Information Science is ranked 11th in the nation.
  • Our Archives Management concentration is ranked 1st among Archives & Preservation programs.
  • SLIS was also ranked 7th for Services for Children and Youth programs.
  • Our School Library Teacher concentration ranked 9th among School Library Media programs.
  • Our Cultural Heritage Informatics concentration ranked 13th among Digital Librarianship programs.

What will you learn?

Simmons’ Master of Library and Information Science program consists of 36 credit hours. The 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. For more details, see our Library and Information Science course descriptions.

Through internships, site visits, and pre-professional work opportunities throughout Massachusetts and across New England, Library and Information Science students at Simmons gain experience in their fields. Library and Information Science students learn to

  • integrate theory with practice;
  • analyze information needs to create solutions by applying a variety of tools and technologies;
  • ensure the organization, accessibility, and management of library and information resources; and
  • create dynamic ways for a variety of users to interact with resources.

What can you do with a Master of Library and Information Science degree?

Our Library and Information Science students go on to a variety of successful careers as web developers, digital librarians, social media managers, school media specialists, and much more.

From Harvard University's libraries to Fortune 500 companies, Simmons' Master of Library and Information Science 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 Simmons’ Library and Information Science 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

Learn more about our Master of Library and Information Science degree!

Take advantage of what Boston has to offer while taking library science degree courses on a flexible schedule, with classes held on days, nights, and weekends. Or, join Simmons from far away—the option to complete the library science degree online provides the utmost flexibility for students from every corner of the world. Simmons allows students to achieve a successful and meaningful career and provides a powerful return on your educational investment. 

Students in the MS (LIS) degree program must complete 36 credits of graduate coursework to be qualified to earn the MS (LIS) degree.

MS (LIS) students must maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 to continue in the program.

Students in the School Library Teacher (SLT) concentration must receive a “B” (3.0) or better in every course. Any course in which the student has received a grade lower than a B must be repeated before the candidate may enroll in a practicum or be recommended for licensure. See “Degree Progress and Academic Sanctions” for further information.

Concentrations and Specializations

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.

Program Requirements

MS (LIS) students are required to complete three courses equaling nine (9) credits of core coursework in library and information science.

LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS415 Information Organization 3
 
LIS488 Technology for Information Professionals 3
or, if a student is in the School Library Teacher Program (SLTP)
LIS460 Technology and the School Library Teacher 3

These core courses must be completed within a student’s first twelve (12) hours of coursework. SLT students must complete LIS 407 and LIS 415 within their first twelve (12) hours of coursework and may complete LIS 460 any time during the course of their degree program.

The School has initiated a program to provide a common base of knowledge of the technologies and tools students will encounter during the course of their studies, as well as resources available to them as a Simmons LIS student. All students entering the program are required to register for the 0-credit LIS 400 – Virtual Orientation, which introduces students to the full range of academic, administrative, and social expectations for students, and the environment in which they must meet those expectations. Intended for both online and on campus students, this course describes program requirements; university, school, and program policy; and offers information about the full range of resources available to the students in support of their programs. It also offers basic tutorial and instruction related to the use of Moodle (the learning management system used in online and on campus courses), library resources, and other key tools used to support student learning.


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.

Archives Concentration Course Requirements

LIS core courses (9 credits):

LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS415 Information Organization 3
LIS488 Technology for Information Professionals 3

Take the following (9 credits):

LIS438 Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice 3
LIS440 Archival Access and Use 3
LIS442 Establishing Archives and Manuscript Programs 3

One of the following (3 credits):

LIS433 Oral History 3
LIS441 Appraisal of Archives and Manuscripts 3
 
LIS443 Archives, History and Collective Memory 3
OR
HIST527 Archives, History, and Collective Memory 4
LIS456 Records Management Environments 3
LIS471 Photographic Archives 3
LIS472 Moving Image Archives 3
LIS476 Outreach and Advocacy for Cultural Heritage 3
LIS505M Government Archives 3

One of the following (3 credits):

LIS439 Preservation Management 3
LIS444 Digital Preservation 3
LIS448 Digital Stewardship 3

Four elective courses (12 credits)

Cultural Heritage Informatics Concentration Course Requirements

LIS core courses (9 credits):

LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS415 Information Organization 3
LIS488 Technology for Information Professionals 3

Take the following (9 credits):

LIS432 Concepts in Cultural Heritage Informatics 3
LIS438 Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice 3
LIS477 Digital Asset Management 3

One of the following (3 credits):

LIS439 Preservation Management 3
LIS444 Digital Preservation 3
LIS448 Digital Stewardship 3
Five elective courses (15 credits)

Design Your Own Concentration Course Requirements

LIS core courses (9 credits):

LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS415 Information Organization 3
LIS488 Technology for Information Professionals 3

Nine elective courses (27 credits) 

Information Science and Technology Concentration Course Requirements

Any two from the complete list below (6 credits):

Systems Oriented
LIS467 Web Development and Information Architecture 3
LIS486 Systems Analysis in Information Services 3
LIS487 Data Interoperability 3
User Oriented
LIS421 Social Informatics 3
LIS455 Usability and User Experience Research 3
LIS462 Digital Libraries 3
LIS465 Knowledge Management 3
LIS475 Organizational/Information Ethics 3
LIS500 Independent Study 3

Four elective courses (12 credits)

LIS core courses (9 credits):

LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS415 Information Organization 3
LIS488 Technology for Information Professionals 3

Take the following (9 credits):

LIS458 Database Management 3
LIS484 Theories of Information Science 3
LIS485 Introduction to Programming 3

Libraries and Librarianship Concentration Course Requirements

LIS core courses (9 credits):

LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS415 Information Organization 3
LIS488 Technology for Information Professionals 3

Take the following (9 credits):

LIS404 Principles of Management 3
LIS408 User Instruction 3
LIS453 Collections Development and Management 3

One of the following (3 credits):

LIS414 Special Libraries 3
LIS450 Public Libraries 3
LIS451 Academic Libraries 3
Five elective courses (15 credits)

School Library Teacher Concentration Course Requirements

LIS core courses (6 credits):

LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS415 Information Organization 3

Take the following (24 credits)

LIS406 Management and Evaluation of School Library Programs 3
LIS459 Fundamentals of School Librarianship 3
LIS460 Technology and the School Library Teacher 3
LIS461 Curriculum and Instructional Strategies for the School Library Teacher 3
LIS481 Library Collections and Materials for Children 3
LIS483 Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults 3
LIS498 Practicum (PreK-8) 3
LIS499 Practicum (7-12) 3
Two elective courses (6 credits)

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, public librarianship, management and leadership, and information organization.

Concentrations

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:

Tracks

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:

Students may complete the master of science degree program in library and information science fully online. Students may choose the DYO (Design Your Own) option, and customize their degree program to reflect their professional goals. Or, they may choose to concentrate their studies in archives management or information science and technology.

Online Courses

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.

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.

Spotlight on Library and Information Science Students and Alums

Megan Phifer-Davis ’18MS and Derek Mosley ’11MS

SLIS alumni named Movers & Shakers by Library Journal

Simmons School of Library and Information Science alumni Megan Phifer-Davis ’18MS and Derek Mosley ’11MS have been selected by Library Journal for the 2024 Movers & Shakers.


Anna Kelly ’23MS

Protecting the Freedom to Read: Anna Kelly ’23MS Reflects on the Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Literature

“As an Indigenous woman, it is hard for me to not take personally the challenging and banning of books by Indigenous authors and about the Indigenous experience,” says Anna Kelly ’23MS an enrolled member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.


Jason Homer ’11MS, ’26PhD, Executive Director of the Worcester Library

Simmons School of Library and Information Science Student Empowers LGBTQIA+ Community

Jason Homer ’11MS, ’26PhD, Executive Director of the Worcester Library, works with his community to promote inclusivity, challenge pre-existing assumptions, and empower library patrons. Homer spoke with MassLive about his journey.


Molly Riportella holding a book amoung shelves of library books

Molly Riportella ’12MS is helping victims of domestic violence

Molly Riportella ’12MS, a librarian in Westwood, Massachusetts, found a way to discreetly supply resources to people in violent relationships.


Three shelves full of books in the Simmons University library

Protecting the Freedom to Read: Sadina Shawver ’17MS on Book Sanctuaries, Handling Criticism, and Rising to the Challenge

Sadina Shawver ’17MS is Assistant Branch Manager in Youth Services at the Harris County Public Library in Texas, which was designated a book sanctuary in September of 2023. Shawver shares how she handles challenges to library materials, and protects the freedom to read.


Lauren Murphy (2nd from right) with a group of UN interns and staff at the 79th Commission Session

Laurel Murphy ’24MS Supports UN Delegates with a McGrath Research Grant

Laurel Murphy received a McGrath Global Research Grant to cover travel expenses for her internship at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) Library in Bangkok, Thailand, a collection of UN official documents...


Kaitlin Allair ’21MS sitting on a sofa with many flowering plants behind her

Kaitlin Allair ’21MS Researches Effects of Teen Media Use for the Digital Wellness Lab

Research librarian Kaitlin Allair shares insights on problematic teen social media use, the dangers of "sharenting," and other aspects of her research.


Photo of Rachel Kovar

Rachel Kovar ’20 ’23MS Draws on Social Work Background as a School Library Teacher

What brought you to Simmons to study Social Work? I wanted to be in Massachusetts. I fell in love with the area, then discovered all of the women-centered colleges and toured the schools. When I visited Simmons, I loved that...