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Library & Information StudiesMaster of Library & Information Studies

Program Overview

The purpose of the Master of Library and Information Studies is to prepare students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that will enable them to become highly proficient librarians, media specialists, and information authorities.

Students are advised through a 30-credit-hour plan of study completed with an advisor and filed with the program director in the semester following completion of their 6th credit hour. Coursework may focus on a type of library: academic, public, or special or an area of library and information work such as youth services or evaluation & assessment.

Coursework for the MLIS is offered asynchronously and online with one face to face requirement: attendance at the Summer Institute held on campus in Norfolk, VA. Coursework is project-based and students are expected to spend time in a library for most courses. All students complete an internship.


Graduation cap of library grad

Graduates of the program will be prepared to manage libraries, select and organize library collections, and interact with library patrons to determine and fulfill information and media needs. Further, librarianship has become a technology-based career and the proposed program reflects this focus. Through specific skills taught in the courses contained in the program of study, individuals will engage in the collection, organization, retrieval, preservation, management, and dissemination of information resources to enrich cultures within society. Thus, MLIS graduates will also be trained to perform tasks such as analyzing patron information requests, assisting in finding information sources including print, audio-video, and virtual information, and teaching information literacy skills.

Next Steps & Admission

Applicants may hold a bachelor's degree in any field. Applicants to the School Library Concentration must have a teaching license. Students interested in school library licensure who do not have a teaching license may be advised into additional coursework and testing.

Priority Deadlines for Admission

New students are admitted twice each year and may begin in a fall, spring, or summer semester. Priority deadline for Summer/Fall admissions is April 1. Priority deadline for Spring admissions is Nov. 1.

Application Requirements

  • Application to the ODU Graduate School
  • A 500-word essay addressing how the MLIS degree will forward your pursuit of lifelong learning
  • Transcripts for all post-baccalaureate coursework with an undergrad GPA of 3.0 *
  • Current resume

* GRE or MAT scores are NOT required but may be requested.

If the applicant's primary language is not English, submit a current score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) that meets the University's current standard.