College of Communication and Information

Library and Information Science

Course Delivery
100% online
Total Credits
Approximate Tuition Cost
American Library Association

Program Overview

The online Master of Library and Information Science degree prepares students for professional positions in public, academic, special, and school libraries; archives; museums; and other types of information agencies, organizations, and companies. Many MLIS graduates go on to positions in other areas of the information field besides libraries—in research, for example, publishing, information management, competitive business intelligence, and other fields. An accredited MLIS degree is the basic requirement for professional employment in most libraries and information centers.

The School of Information (iSchool) at Kent State University offers a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS). With more than 700 students enrolled, SLIS has the largest graduate program at Kent State. Its MLIS is the only American Library Association-accredited master’s program in Ohio and is recognized by U.S. News and World Report among the nation’s top 20 LIS programs.1

Program Highlights:

  • Required courses give a foundation in the library and information science field
  • To enhance the curriculum, take classes in Master of Science programs, health informatics, knowledge management, and user experience design
  • Admissions and classes are offered year-round
  • Graduates can be found in libraries, information agencies, museums and cultural organizations, and companies of all sorts and sizes
Concentration Areas:
Archival Studies
  • In 2021, we were ranked #12 in the specialty of archives and preservation by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Archivists are information professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control over, and provide access to records and archives determined to have long-term value. The records maintained by an archivist can consist of a variety of analog and digital forms and documentary genres, including letters, diaries, logs, various other writings, official documents, photographs and other visual materials, sound recordings, and moving images.
  • Students are required to complete 12 credit hours of electives pertinent to archives, as well as 13 credits of MLIS core courses and 12 additional elective credits, for a total of 37 credit hours.
Medical Librarianship
The Medical Librarianship optional concentration prepares students to work in medical and health sciences libraries; in the community; and as part of a health system, hospital, clinician office, academic center, government research agency, or medical specialty organization. Students in the concentration intern at a medical library will allow them to apply their skills and knowledge and observe the typical daily activities and requirements of medical librarians.

Accreditation: This program is accredited by the American Library Association.

Dual Degree: Students also have the opportunity to complete a dual degree program with the MBA degree and the MLIS degree. A separate application must be submitted for each program. Students can view admissions requirements for each program on their respective catalog page.

Program Structure

MLIS Program Structure

  • 37 minimum credit hours
  • Appropriate technology and computer literacy skills are essential for each School of Information course. In order to be successful in the program, all incoming students must meet the School of Information computer competencies, as well as its minimum computer hardware, software and internet access requirements before the first day of class. For details, students should consult the school’s website

MBA/MLIS Dual Degree Program Structure

  • 61 minimum credit hours
  • About 25 courses

Professional Licensure Disclosure

This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State’s website for professional licensure disclosure.

Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000-point scale1
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Resume or curriculum vita
  • Student Profile Form
  • Exception statement (addressing circumstances and readiness for graduate education
  • Application essay
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
    • Minimum 587 TOEFL PBT score (paper-based version)
    • Minimum 94 TOEFL IBT score (Internet-based version)
    • Minimum 82 MELAB score
    • Minimum 7.0 IELTS score
    • Minimum 65 PTE score
    • Minimum 120 Duolingo English Test score

1In calculating the total GPA, all grades from all courses taken at relevant level (baccalaureate or master’s) from all institutions are required. Applicants who do not meet the minimum 2.750 GPA requirement must submit a statement that addresses the circumstances that contributed to the GPA and preparation for success in graduate study. Applicants should include recent professional achievements that indicate an ability to perform at a higher academic level to be considered for conditional admission to the program.

Technology Requirement
Appropriate technology and computer literacy skills are essential for each School of Information course. In order to be successful in the program, all incoming students must meet the School of Information computer competencies, as well as its minimum computer hardware, software and internet access requirements before the first day of class. For details, students should consult the school’s website.

For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies admission website. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission website.

View Frequently Asked Questions

Important Dates

Classes Begin
Fall 2023 Semester
Classes Begin
Spring 2023 Semester
Classes Begin
Fall 2024


Courses for the online MLIS cover a range of topics essential for professionals who work in libraries, archives, museums and other types of information-focused organizations. These include the information landscape, information organization, information ecology, and information institutions and professions. Students will take 21 credit hours of electives from the disciplines of health informatics, knowledge management, library and information science, and user experience design, and they will also complete a 1-credit master’s portfolio.

View All MLIS Course Requirements

Dual Degree Courses

Students pursuing the MBA/MLIS dual degree will complete a minimum of 61 total credit hours of coursework designed to prepare them for a management role in an information organization. Topics of study include business topics such as financial and managerial accounting, managerial economics, macroeconomic policy, law and ethics, operations and supply chain management, and business strategy in addition to the core of library and information science topics outlined above. Students in this combined program will select 18-21 credits of business administration or library and information science electives, and they will also complete both a 3-credit internship and a 1-credit master’s portfolio.

View MBA/MLIS Dual Degree Course Requirements

Tuition and Fees

Ohio Residents

Per Credit Hour Per 3-Credit Course Approximate Tuition Cost
$725 $2,175 $26,800

Non-Ohio Residents

Per Credit Hour Per 3-Credit Course Approximate Tuition Cost
$735 $2,205 $27,200

An additional Distance Learning fee for all students enrolled in a distance learning course is $15 per credit hour. Program tuition and costs are estimated and subject to change.

Actual tuition costs may vary based on a student’s chosen academic plan. For a complete listing of tuition rates for approved online programs please contact the One Stop for Student Services at 330-672-6000, or via our website Contact Us link.

The total program costs are estimates and are not final or binding. Program costs are based on standard fees, but fees may vary based on the actual classes taken.  Kent State University disclaims any liability arising from the use of or reliance upon these program cost estimates by any person.  Program costs are subject to change without notice.

*Out-of-state/International tuition includes a surcharge of $10 per credit hour for all students enrolled in an online program.

Learn More about Kent State Online Programs

Check out one of our featured blog posts below.
Benjamin Lorenzo is an associate professor of music and the Director of Bands at Kent State University’s Glauser School of Music, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches conducting, and provides leadership for university bands. He also teaches a summer elective for the Online Master of Music in Music Education.
The 100% online Doctor of Education degree in Interprofessional Leadership at Kent State University allows for the study of leadership from an interprofessional perspective that is framed around questions of equity, ethics, and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice.

Advance Your Career With Kent State