Chicago State University Online Library Science Masters Review

Prospective professionals in library science know that in order to qualify for certain jobs, they’ll need to obtain a master’s degree in the field. Fortunately for these students, there are many online or online-traditional hybrid programs that will give them the flexibility to earn the required degree while still working. One such program is offered at Chicago State University.

Let’s take a look at the positive and negative aspects of this program so applicants can decide if it’s right for them.

About the Program

Before we delve into the good (and not-so-good) points of the program, let’s check out some basic facts and figures.


  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Chicago
  • Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
  • Program format: Hybrid

Tuition and fees

  • Expected total tuition: $9,750 in-state; $18,900 out-of-state
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $325 in-state; $630 out-of-state

Degrees & requirements

  • Library science degrees offered: Master of Science in Library and Information Science
  • Number of credit hours required: 30
  • Estimated time to completion: 36 months
  • Optional specializations: School Libraries, Archives and Records Management, Academic Libraries, Public Libraries

Biggest Pros

What are the biggest factors in favor of Chicago State’s MSLIS program?


Chicago State’s MSLIS program has earned accreditation from the American Library Association. As with any educational program, accreditation is an important signal to others in the field that a degree meets the rigorous standards that are expected. But for library science professionals, particularly those who intend to work in public schools or libraries, ALA accreditation is typically required by state law.


Even for out-of-state students, Chicago State, a public university, offers its MSLIS at an affordable price, with students typically spending less than $20,000 on tuition. And for Illinois residents, the tuition cost is less than $10,000.

Completion time

Chicago State’s library science master’s degree requires only 30 credits to graduate. This is on the lower end of the spectrum among MSLIS degrees, as many require 36 hours, with some reaching into the 40s. This means that while the typical student, who will continue working full-time or part-time while they go to school, for those who can take on additional coursework, they can hit the ground running in their new careers in a short amount of time.

Biggest Cons

What should students know before considering applying to the Chicago State University MSLIS program?

Delivery method

Chicago State’s program is hybrid in nature, meaning that while some courses are offered online, many are not. For this reason, it’s probably not possible for out-of-state students to complete all requirements for their degree without at least visiting the southside Chicago campus.

Limited specializations

Chicago State University started its life as a teacher’s college; that foundation is still very much part of the DNA of the library science program. The specialties offered in the MSLIS program are mostly education-focused, which some students may find limiting.

Chicago State University Online Library Science Program FAQs

Here’s a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about Chicago State University’s library science program.

What percentage of classes are offered online?

More than half of classes are offered online, but this may vary by semester depending on what courses are being offered by which professors in a given term.

Do I need to complete a thesis?

Students are required to complete both a thesis and a capstone project in order to earn their degrees. Both are offered for credit.

Is the GRE required for admission?

To earn entry into Chicago State’s MSLIS program, applicants need to submit transcripts from their undergraduate degree and any graduate courses they may have taken, as well as completing an essay detailing their professional goals. A GRE score is not required.


In any field, earning a master’s degree is a signal of dedication to the study of a subject. For those who are planning careers in library science, a master’s is typically mission-critical to a successful career. While it’s not a 100% online program, the MSLIS at Chicago State University is one of the most affordable, and its focus on education will appeal to many prospective students.

Additional Resources


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Sarah J

Sarah J is Chief Editor and Founder at, formerly (LSL). Join us today and become a community curator. We can also be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Learn more about me on Google+