Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Library and Information Science, M.A.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: School of Information 


The M.A. in Library and Information Science (LIS) is designed to prepare students for careers and leadership roles in library and information professions that serve the needs of a culturally diverse, technological society. The program offers students a flexible curriculum for them to meet their professional goals. Graduates of USF’s LIS program work in libraries, businesses, and various information agencies across the state, nationally, and internationally.

American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Accreditation (CoA).

The M.A. in Library and Information has been continually accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1974, with the most recent review for continued accreditation occurring in 2016.  Completion of the degree provides the professional credential commonly required for employment in many libraries and other information agencies. For those interested in becoming School Library Media Specialists, the degree offers coursework that will prepare students to pass the examination for certification required by the State of Florida.   For more information, http://si.usf.edu/ma/library-program/

Major Research Areas:
Information Storage and Retrieval
Public Librarianship
Academic Librarianship
School Media Specialist
Archives and Records Management
Visualization of Information
Information Technology
Human Information Behavior
Information Policy
Information Literacy

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • GRE is required with preferred minimum scores of 73rd percentile (156V), 10th percentile (141Q).   However, the LIS program will waive the GRE requirement if the student meets one of the following criteria:
    • A 3.50 or higher GPA in a completed master’s degree program from an accredited institution
    • A 3.25 or higher GPA in upper division undergraduate work from an accredited institution.
    • Doctoral degree (including professional degrees such as the JD and MD) from an accredited institution.
  • All students not meeting one of the above criteria will be considered for conditional admission based on all of the following criteria:
    • GRE - preferred minimum score of 156 (73rd percentile) Verbal; 141 (10th percentile) Quantitative
    • An academic writing sample
    • Three written letters of recommendation
    • Resume
    • Statement of Purpose

Conditional admission status will be converted to regular status upon completion of the first three LIS courses with a GPA of 3.50 or above. LIS 5020  must be included as one of these courses.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours - 39 credit hours minimum

  • Core courses – 18 credit hours
  • Technology Elective – 3 credit hours
  • Electives – 18 credit hours
  • Comp Exam/Portfolio

Students must maintain a 3.00 grade point average of “B” or better and no more than two grades below “B” will be accepted. Transfer credit from other recognized graduate schools is limited to six semester hours taken within the last five years with grades of “B” or better. All transfers must be approved by the candidate’s faculty advisor. Transfer credits must be posted to a student’s permanent record no later than one full term prior to graduation.

Technology Elective (3 Credit Hours)

Students must determine with their faculty advisor a suitable technology elective that best meets the requirement and takes into account a student’s existing understanding and competencies of theory, application, and use of technology. For many students, the following course will count toward the IT Elective:

Electives (18 Credit Hours)

Eighteen (18) credit hours approved in coordination with the student’s advisor.

Courses Outside the School

Degree-seeking students are permitted to enroll in courses, usually limited to six semester hours, outside the School of Information when, in the context of the development of a purposeful program, an interdisciplinary approach seems appropriate. Students must obtain the prior approval of their Faculty advisor.

Compehensive Exam (Portfolio)

Assessment of Competencies for the Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science ‐ In lieu of a Comprehensive Examination, students are required to submit a portfolio in accordance with program provided guidelines which exhibit competencies acquired during their master’s program based on standards of the American Library Association.

Portfolio timeline: Students will begin creating and collecting artifacts and other examples of work beginning in their first semester of study. Portfolios must be reviewed by an advisor or other major designee midway through the student’s major and then submitted prior to graduation according to the major guidelines for final approval as part of graduation requirements.