University of Missouri Online Library Science Masters Review

For most prospective professionals in library and information science, a master’s degree is a crucial component to becoming qualified for positions in the field. Fortunately for students who need some flexibility in earning their degrees, online programs are quite common, including one at the University of Missouri.

What do students in the state and across the country need to know about this program and its biggest benefits?

About the Program

Before we delve into what makes this program appealing for the average student, let’s check out some of the details about the university and its library science master’s degree.


  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Columbia, Missouri
  • Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
  • Program format: Online, hybrid

Tuition and fees

  • Expected total tuition: $18,075
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $463

Degrees & requirements

  • Library science degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science
  • Number of credit hours required: 39
  • Estimated time to completion: 36 months
  • Optional specialization: School Library Media

Biggest Pros

What are the biggest positives working in favor of Mizzou’s library science master’s degree?

Delivery flexibility

The MLIS degree at the University of Missouri is offered in both a 100% online format as well as a hybrid delivery system in which most courses are completed online. Having both options lets students near a campus (the degree is offered at the home campus in Columbia as well as sites in Kansas City and St. Louis) as well as those outside the area benefit from the challenging curriculum.


Mizzou’s degree is the only ALA-accredited master’s degree in library science in the state of Missouri, and it first received the ALA’s stamp of approval in 1966. That gives the entire program a solid tradition from which to build.


The total expected tuition cost for the University of Missouri MLIS is less than $20,000, and out-of-state students pay the same rate as those living in Missouri. While this isn’t unique among public universities, some major players in the field charge a higher rate for out-of-state students, even those taking classes online.

Biggest Cons

What aspects of the program are likely to be least appealing to the average student?

Lack of specializations

The only specialty area spelled out in the curriculum is an MLIS focused on school library media. While Mizzou’s program does provide in-depth education in library science, many students may find the lack of specializations disqualifying.

Completion time

With 39 credits required to complete the degree, the typical learner will take about 36 months to graduate. Some motivated students may be able to finish in 24 months, but the added rigor will mean that most students will need to devote more time to completing the program than they might elsewhere.

University of Missouri Online Library Science Program FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the University of Missouri MLIS program.

Are students required to complete a practicum?

Most students must complete at least one practicum, which accounts for two to three course credits, and they can take up to two practica for credit. This requirement is waived for students who have done more than six months of real-world experience in an information organization. Possible placements vary by location, and students must submit at least three possible practicum sites.

Do I have to complete a thesis to graduate?

Mizzou’s MLIS degree does not require students to complete a thesis, but they must complete a process in which they develop and present a detailed e-portfolio that demonstrates what they’ve learned during their time in the program.

Can my degree be completed entirely online?

Yes, students can complete their degree entirely online if they choose, while some courses are offered on the home campus in Columbia, as well as at campuses in St. Louis, Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska.


Though it may be mission-critical for most prospective library science professionals, that doesn’t mean getting a master’s degree in the field is a walk in the park. Fortunately for students in Missouri and across the country, the University of Missouri offers a rigorous, affordable MLIS degree that can be completed entirely online.

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+