Louisiana State University Online Library Science Masters Review

For most people who are considering careers in library and information sciences, earning a master’s degree is the most important educational step. Fortunately for these students both in Louisiana and across the country, there are many excellent online options for completing a master’s degree in the field.

One such option is an online master’s degree offered through the Louisiana State University’s School of Library & Information Science. Let’s take a look at what students should know about the program, including the biggest benefits and drawbacks they’re likely to face.

About the Program

Before diving into the pros and cons of the LSU program, let’s check out some of the basic facts and figures surrounding the school and its library science offerings.


  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
  • Program format: 100% online

Tuition and fees

  • Expected total tuition: $17,460 in-state; $36,460 out-of-state
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $485 in-state; $1,013 out-of-state

Degrees & requirements

  • Library science degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science
  • Number of credit hours required: 36
  • Estimated time to completion: 24 months
  • Optional specializations: Academic Librarianship, Adult Services in Public Libraries, Cultural Heritage Resource Management, Digital Content Management, Knowledge Management, Public Librarianship, School Librarianship, Youth Services in Public Libraries

Biggest Pros

What are the biggest marks in favor of LSU from the perspective of the average library science student?

Diverse specializations

LSU’s program gives students the option to choose a specialty area from a total of eight possibilities, while they also can opt to bypass a specialization entirely and instead earn a generalist degree. In addition to the number of specialties, they also represent both traditional and emerging fields, including standards like public librarianship but also extending to modern fields like digital content management.


As the only ALA-accredited library science master’s degree in the state of Louisiana, LSU’s program is unique. Not only is it the only ALA-accredited degree at this level in the state, it’s also one of the most storied in the country, having earned the stamp of approval from the ALA in the 1930s.

Completion flexibility

Students are admitted in both the spring and fall semesters, and they can choose to attend either full-time or part-time, depending on their personal and academic goals. The lack of rigid structure means that students can fit education into their lives rather than the other way around.

Biggest Cons

LSU’s program is no doubt ideal for many students, but there are aspects that may make it less appealing for others. Let’s check out some of those.

Out-of-state costs

While the total tuition cost for in-state students is less than $20,000, for those who live outside Louisiana, costs could reach nearly $40,000. While it’s common for public institutions to have two sets of tuition costs depending on where a student lives, in many cases, online students are able to pay in-state costs, but that’s not the policy at LSU.

Single master’s degree option

The array of specializations available helps blunt this somewhat, but LSU’s degree comes in only one format, and other schools offer a wider range of library science degree types, since specializations aren’t listed on LSU’s degrees.

LSU Online Library Science Program FAQs

Here’s a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about Louisiana State University’s Master of Library and Information Science program.

Is a thesis required?

No, students in LSU’s MLIS program do not have to complete a thesis, capstone or internship.

Do I need to take the GRE?

Students who have earned an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 and/or have maintained a GPA of at least 3.0 in any graduate-level courses do not need to submit a GRE score. Other applicants will need to have completed the GRE no more than five years ago with a composite score of at least 300 and 3.5 in writing.

Will I need to visit campus?

No, LSU’s Master of Library and Information Science is completed entirely online, and there are no residency, workshop or in-person seminar requirements.


Completing any master’s degree is a major accomplishment and one that usually requires a huge investment of time and money. LSU’s School of Library & Information Science is home to an online MLIS that allows students to pick from one of the widest ranges of specialty areas among ALA-accredited programs.

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+