IUPUI Online Library Science Masters Review

Hopeful future professionals in library and information science know there’s one big academic hurdle they’ll need to clear: earning a master’s degree in the field. In most industries, graduate degrees can help professionals improve their skills or increase their earning potential. But in library and information science careers, such a degree is typically the price of admission in the first place. Many colleges and universities offer robust online options for learners across the country, including IUPUI.

Let’s check out what students in the Indianapolis area and across the country should know about IUPUI’s offerings so they can decide if the program is right for them.

About the Program

Before we dive into the pros and cons of IUPUI’s Master of Library and Information Science program, check out some facts and figures about it.


  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Indianapolis
  • Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
  • Program format: Online (fully online for most students)

Tuition and fees

  • Expected total tuition: $18,135
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $465

Degrees & requirements

  • Library science degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science
  • Number of credit hours required: 39
  • Estimated time to completion: 30 months
  • Optional specializations: Academic Librarianship, Archives Management, Digital Curation, Public Librarianship/Adult Services, School Library, Technical Services, Youth Services

Biggest Pros

What are the most attractive features of IUPUI’s MLIS program from the perspective of the average student?


By the time they’ve gotten to the point of considering graduate school, most students are familiar with the importance of accreditation. But while accreditation normally is something that could be considered a nice-to-have aspect of a given program, in library and information science, it’s typical for students to consider only those programs that have been accredited by the American Library Association. This is particularly important for people who are planning to work in schools and public libraries, as ALA-accredited master’s degrees are often required for state certification. The Master of Library and Information Science at IUPUI is the only online MLIS degree in Indiana that’s accredited by the ALA.

Fully online (probably)

Most students will be able to complete their degrees online, though there may be some exceptions depending on specialization (more on that in a bit). This means that for the typical IUPUI student in the MLIS program, they can fit their education around their lives rather than the other way around.

Dual degree options

In addition to the MLIS degree, which is the flagship offering of IUPUI’s School of Informatics and Computing, several dual degree options are available that allow students with other major subject area aptitude to chart a unique educational path. Students can combine MLIS education with master’s degrees in history, health informatics and philanthropic studies, as well as law and management.

Biggest Cons

Which aspects of the MLIS program at IUPUI might make students think twice about considering earning their degree at the university?

Completion time

Thirty-nine credit hours are required to complete the degree, which is higher than the average for other programs in the field. Typically, MLIS programs require 36 credit-hours, which means IUPUI students will probably need to take at least one term longer than their counterparts in other programs.

Possible on-campus courses

Some specializations in the MLIS program will require on-campus courses. For example, the digital preservation specialty requires certain technology-heavy classes that can only be completed on the downtown Indianapolis campus.

IUPUI Online Library Science Program FAQs

Here’s a look at some of the questions prospective students most frequently ask about IUPUI’s Master of Library and Information Science degree.

Do I need to take the GRE?

Yes, in some cases, though if your undergraduate GPA is high enough, you can bypass this requirement. Applicants whose bachelor’s GPAs are below 3.0 will need to submit a GRE score of at least 135 verbal/144 quantitative.

Can I complete my degree entirely online?

In most cases, students in IUPUI’s MLIS program can complete all their coursework online. There are some exceptions, particularly for specialties that are technology-focused. Digital preservation specialists, for example, should plan to complete at least a few courses on campus.

Is an internship required?

Students are not required to complete an internship, though they are encouraged to do so. Internships can be completed for course credit as well as financial compensation (depending on the employer).


In most fields, getting a master’s degree is a signal to employers that a person is serious about improving their skills and becoming a more attractive candidate. But in library and information science, master’s degrees are more than just lines on a resume. That’s why it’s a good thing that so many excellent schools like IUPUI are offering MLIS degrees that students can earn online.

Additional Resources


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Sarah J

Sarah J is Chief Editor and Founder at MastersinLibraryScience.net, formerly LibraryScienceList.com (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+