The Library and Information Science (LIS) Program contributes to the essential knowledge, skills, and values of librarianship and the information professions through research, education, and engagement.


The University of Missouri LIS program will produce 1) research that transforms library and information science and 2) students who are fully prepared to be leaders in information professions.

Our online program offers the only Master’s Degree in the state of Missouri that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). ALA’s initial accreditation was granted in 1966/67, and the program earned continued accreditation in 2015.

ALA Accredited Logo

U.S News & World Report Badge Best Online Programs Graduate Education 2021


You can also earn transcripted emphasis areas in:

Joint Degree

Students may also obtain both an MLIS degree from SISLT and a JD degree from the School of Law, or an MLIS and an MPA from the School of Public Affairs:

Student Testimonials


We encourage our alumni to stay engaged with the School and Mizzou! Four easy ways to stay involved are (1) Host a practicum student at your workplace, (2) Support the LIS endowed scholarships, (3) Attend and speak at student group events, and (4) connect with us on social media.

Our graduates enjoy a variety of career paths. The list below is just a small sample of some of the positions that our recent graduates have taken:

  • Reference/Web Services Librarian
  • Archives Specialist
  • Research Analyst
  • Teen Librarian
  • Children’s Librarian
  • Instruction & Electronic Access Librarian
  • Reference and Instruction Librarian
  • Medical Reference Librarian
  • Library Acquisition & E-Resource Specialist
  • Electronic Resources Coordinator

Alumni Spotlight

Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

  1. Goal 1: To ground students in history, values, ethics, and guiding principles of the information professions.
    1. SLO 1: Graduates will apply the core principles, ethics, values, and body of knowledge to questions in library and information science, according to their area of specialty.
  2. Goal 2: To provide students with the evaluative and analytical skills to respond flexibly and adaptably to future changes and challenges within the organizations and institutions where they will be employed.
    1. SLO 2: Graduates will apply management principles and interdisciplinary best practices in library and information agency environments.
  3. Goal 3: To provide students with opportunities to develop cutting-edge technological skills and competences used across the information professions.
    1. SLO 3: Graduates will be competent in information organization and lifecycle activities techniques of organization of information and with using and evaluating technologies of the information professions.
  4. Goal 4: To develop an appreciation of the service-based and user-focused nature of the information professions.
    1. SLO 4: Graduates will be able to assess community needs, formulate plans to respond to users of information agencies, and instruct users in using informational resources.

For more information about the SLOs, including examples of the outcomes and their mastery; along with overarching skills; maps to COA Standards, ALA Standards, and SAA Guidelines; and information about the revisions process: SLOs and Goals.docx

Program Outcomes

Time to Graduation

Students in the LIS program attend classes full-time and part-time, based on their lifestyles and needs. A full-time student could graduate in as little as two years, and part-time students have up to eight years to graduate. Our data show that most of our students take between two and three years to graduate. For full cohort enrollment, retention, and graduation data, please access this file.

Enrollment & Retention Rates for MA/MLIS Students
Admit Cohorts AY2010-2011 AY2011-2012 AY2012-2013 AY2013-2014 AY2014-2015 AY2015-2016 AY2016-2017 AY2017-2018 AY2018-2019 AY2019-2020 AY2020-2021 AY2021-2022 AY2022-2023   Cohort Total Total Graduated Graduation Rate
AY2010-2011   92% 83% 64% 41%                   124 109 88%
AY2011-2012     87% 81% 66% 25%                 73 62 85%
AY2012-2013       90% 79% 54% 36%               77 63 82%
AY2013-2014         88% 76% 50% 23%             52 41 79%
AY2014-2015           86% 66% 26% 7%           57 44 77%
AY2015-2016             89% 67% 46% 36%         47 39 83%
AY2016-2017               96% 94% 83% 58%       74 68 92%
AY2017-2018                 85% 73% 60% 37%     101 74 73%
AY2018-2019                   88% 76% 50% 9%   129 76 59%
AY2019-2020                     84% 79% 31%   187 44 24%
AY2020-2021                       78% 51%   127 1 1%


Yearly Average Retention Rates for MA/MLIS Students
Average Year 1 to Year 2 retention rate: 88%
Average Year 2 to Year 3 retention rate: 75%
Average Year 3 to Year 4 retention rate: 53%
Average Year 4 to Year 5 retention rate: 30%


  • First Academic Year Enrolled in Library Science is the first year that the student is enrolled for LIBRSCI_MA, LMS_MA, LIBMS_MLIS, or LIBIS_MLIS, for example AY2012–2013 is FS2012, SP2013, or SS2013
  • Cohort is the number of students that enrolled for the semester for the first time in a Library Science program
  • Grad in 1 year is of the cohort how many graduated in the Fall, Spring, or Summer.
  • Continued to 2nd yr is how many of the 81 cohort of AY2012–2013 were still in enrolled in a Library Science program for FS2013, SP2014, or SS2014.
  • Grad in 2 Years is how many of the 81 cohort of AY2012–2013 graduated in FS2013, or SP2014, or SS2014.
  • Continued to 3rd yr is how many of the 81 cohort of AY2012–2013 was still in enrolled for FS2014, SP2015, or SS2015.
  • Grad in 3 Years is how many of the 81 Cohort of FS2012 graduated in FS2014, SP2014, or SS2014
  • Cumulative 3 Yr Graduation is (Grad in 1 Year + Grad in 2 Years + Grad in 3 Years)
  • Academic Year follows Fall, Spring, Summer cycle. Ex: AY 2010-2011 includes Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Summer 2011.
  • Completion terms includes terms until FS2021.
  • Admit cohorts are based on the first term students enrolled in the program.
  • Retention rates fall after year 3, as most students graduate in 2-3 years.


Placement data is collected annually by the Library Journal Placement and Salaries survey.

In 2019, the LIS program had 57 graduates. Of those, 7 returned surveys, and of those 7, 5 were employed full-time. MU LIS graduates reported an average salary of $51,667. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=ljs-placements-and-salaries-survey-2020

In 2018, the LIS program had 49 graduates. Of those, 8 returned surveys, and of those 8, all were employed full-time. MU LIS graduates reported an average salary of $59,533. Full data set forthcoming. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?page=placements-salaries-2019-landing-page

In 2017, the LIS program had 43 graduates. Of those, 15 returned surveys, and of those 15, 13 were employed full-time. MU LIS graduates reported an average salary of $48,900. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=ljx181002PlacementsIntro

In 2016, the LIS program had 61 graduates. Of those, 20 returned surveys, and of those 20, 12 were employed full-time. MU LIS graduates reported an average salary of $45,222, ranging from a low of $31,000 to a high of $75,000. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2017/10/placements-and-salaries/2017-survey/explore-all-the-data-2017/

In 2015, the LIS program had 56 graduates. Of those, 16 returned surveys, and of those 16, 14 were employed. MU LIS graduates reported an average salary of $48,921, ranging from a low of $24,000 to a high of $68,000. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2016/10/placements-and-salaries/2016-survey/explore-all-the-data-2016/

In 2014, the LIS program had 55 graduates. Of those, 7 returned surveys, and of those 7, three reported being employed. MU LIS graduates reported an average salary of $43,991, ranging from a low of $40,000 to a high of $50,000. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/10/placements-and-salaries/2015-survey/explore-all-the-data-2015/