Information and Library Science, MS

Our fully-accredited master's program in information and library science focuses on enabling you to seek professional employment in a wide range of information careers in the United States and around the world. Our program, accredited by the American Library Association, is offered fully online.

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Why Information and Library Science at UB?

The features of our program include:

  • accreditation by the American Library Association, which makes your degree more valuable
  • flexibility through online course delivery and enrollment status (full-time or part-time)
  • specialized degree program options including music librarianship and law librarianship; and practicums, special projects and directed study courses to gain real-world experience
  • student-centered learning experiences including student groups and chapter activities, departmental seminars, and opportunities to serve on committees to enrich learning and networking

Program Overview

Academic credential granted Master of Science (MS)
Credits required for completion 36
Time to completion 4 full-time semesters
Course delivery Online
Careers Examples include:
  • information-intensive organizations
  • traditional libraries
Application deadline Priority Deadlines
Fall: May 1, then rolling
Spring: Nov. 1, then rolling

Program Coursework

Required Core Courses (9 credits)

LIS 507  Information Life Cycle
LIS 508  Information Users and Uses
LIS 575  Introduction to Research Methods

Concentrations are available within this program. You can prepare to be generalists or choose courses with concentrations in one or more areas:

  • Information management
  • Information organization
  • Information services
  • Information storage and retrieval
  • Law librarianship, with a concurrent MS in information and library science and JD degrees
  • Music librarianship, which combines MS in information and library science and master's of music
  • Public or academic libraries
  • Special libraries including those serving business, museums and law firms

Application Requirements

GRE Scores

While at-home GRE testing options are available, the standardized testing requirements are waived for this program for students applying for fall 2020 admission.

You must have received an undergraduate bachelor degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better by the intended beginning semester. Applications with lower GPA’s may still be considered and granted a “conditional admission” (see below for more information). 

Submit your completed online application, which includes:

  • Application fee: A $50 non-refundable application fee, submitted electronically through UB's ePayment system.
  • Graduate Record Exam or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores from tests taken within the last five years, including verbal, quantitative and writing sections. For the GRE, please use institution code 2925 and department code 4701.

    You may be exempt from the GRE/MAT requirement if one of the following is true:
    1. You already have a master’s degree and a GPA in that degree of 3.5 or greater
    2. You already have a PhD or equivalent (e.g., EdD, JD)

NOTE: While at-home GRE testing options are available, the standardized testing requirements are waived for this program for students applying for fall 2020 admission.

  • Contact information for at least three individuals who will each be asked to provide an electronic recommendation letter.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended. (UB transcripts are automatically submitted for current UB students and alumni.)
  • Statement of education and career goals: A detailed statement describing your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in the information and library studies field. Include your professional goals and objectives and indicate any area of special interest within the field.

Conditional Admission Status: You may be admitted conditionally to this MS program when you do not meet all admission requirements (most often because of an undergraduate GPA below 3.0) but your personal statements, transcripts, entrance examination scores, employment history and letters of reference demonstrate potential for success. At the end of the semester in which you have attempted 9 credit hours in the program — including two core courses (e.g., LIS 507, LIS 508, LIS 575) (courses with a grade of R/resigned do not count as attempted, but I and U do) — your academic standing will be reviewed by IS staff. At the time of the review, if you meet all the conditions of good academic standing and have no incomplete or unsatisfactory grades, conditional status is automatically lifted and you are considered to be in good academic standing.

Former/Maiden Name: Please provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.

Admission Decision: The admission decision will be communicated to you as soon as review is complete. The decision is based on a number of factors and is the result of a thorough and deliberate process. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

International Applicant Additional Requirements
  • Official original proof of your degree
  • A copy of your passport biographical page
  • Official test scores for either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic. Test scores must be dated within two years of submitting your application.
    • TOEFL minimum score is a 250 for a computer based test, 600 for a paper based test and 79 for the Internet based test
    • IELTS minimum score is 6.5 overall
    • PTE minimum score is 55 overall
  • Financial documentation — International graduate applicants must document their ability to pay for all costs incurred while studying in the U.S.
  • An official bank statement

All financial forms and supporting documentation with required signatures must be uploaded with your application, and must be dated within one year of your intended enrollment date.

Are you in China and unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL?

If you currently in China and unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

Learn More

University Computing Standards

You are required to have daily access to a reliable broadband connection and a computer that meets university computing standards. You are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning your coursework.