University of Pittsburgh Online Library Science Masters Review

In any field of study, completing a graduate degree represents high achievement. In some fields, such advanced education is necessary for securing a job and having a successful career. Library and information science is one of those fields. Fortunately for library science students, many excellent options exist for earning a master’s degree, including online programs.

Let’s check out what prospective students should know about the University of Pittsburgh’s online Master of Library and Information Science.

About the Program

Explore some of the basic facts and figures about Pitt and its School of Computing and Information.


  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
  • Program format: Online, traditional

Tuition and fees

  • Expected total tuition: $34,092
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $947

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 Information Services, Archives and Information Science, Children and Youth Services, Civic Engagement, Information Technology, Public Library Services, School Library Certification

Biggest Pros

What aspects of Pitt’s online MLIS program are likely to be the most attractive to the average student?


Accreditation is an important aspect of earning any degree. That’s because accreditation from relevant bodies in a subject matter area provides an immediate signal of the rigors of any educational program. In library and information science, accreditation by the American Library Association is more than a signal that a student has earned their degree from a university that meets basic standards in the field. For some jobs, ALA accreditation is a prerequisite for the state licensure that’s required; this is especially true for jobs in schools and public libraries. Pitt’s program first earned ALA accreditation in 1926, making it one of the most storied in the U.S.

Specialty options

A broad range of specialization areas allows students to focus their education on a particular point of interest in library and information science. And having the degree housed within the School of Computing and Information means that the specialty areas include a mix of traditional (school library) and emerging (archives and information science).

No thesis requirement

Students in Pitt’s MLIS degree are not required to complete a thesis project, which is particularly helpful for students who are interested in limiting the amount of time they spend getting their education. That said, students who don’t complete a thesis may still have the opportunity to participate in vital research in the field.

Biggest Cons

Are there factors about getting an MLIS from Pitt that are less-than-ideal?


Tuition costs for Pitt’s online MLIS are upwards of $34,000, both for in-state and out-of-state students, which makes the program more expensive than the average MLIS offered by public institutions. Getting your dream job in library science will almost certainly require a master’s degree, so the investment may end up being worth it, but for some students, other programs may be a better option.

Completion time

Students attending full time can complete the online MLIS at Pitt in a calendar year, but this would be a stretch for most students. It’s more likely that students will need as much as four years to complete the program.

University of Pittsburgh Online Library Science Program FAQs

Here’s a look at some of the most commonly asked questions by potential MLIS students at Pitt.

Can I earn my degree entirely online?

Yes, students inside and outside the state of Pennsylvania can earn their MLIS from Pitt entirely online, and there are no on-campus requirements for online students.

Do I need to take the GRE?

Successful applicants to the MLIS program must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, and GRE scores are not required.

Is either a thesis or internship required?

Students in Pitt’s MLIS program are not required to complete a thesis or internship program, though they still may have an opportunity to participate in research and real-world experiences if they choose.


In any field, a master’s degree is a major achievement that’s worthy of celebration and that should lead to better job opportunities. But in library science, a master’s is usually the price of admission to many jobs. It’s a pricey program, to be sure, but the online MLIS at the University of Pittsburgh is ALA accredited and offers an education that mixes the past and future.

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+