Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS)

The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Library and Information Science is open to those who hold a master's degree in library and information science. Librarians, information scientists, and others in information management enroll in the program to refresh and update their skills, gain greater specialization in their professional training, or redirect their careers from one area to another. In addition to the CAS in Digital Libraries, other areas of focus include library and information center administration, information technology, and information management as well as a specific library function such as children's services, government information, science information, or technical services. The CAS is available via Leep online learning. The CAS program does not lead into the PhD program.

Courseload | Financial Aid | Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Note: The School of Information Sciences complies with the U.S. Department of Education's Gainful Employment requirements by disclosing information to applicants regarding our Certificate of Advanced Study program. Required information is available at the Office of the Provost's website.


This 40 semester hour course of study is structured to encourage students to design programs that meet specific educational and career goals. A sequence of 32 hours of courses is developed by students with their advisors. The final eight hours are the CAS project, a substantive investigation of a problem in librarianship or information science, which is followed by a final oral examination (see a list of past CAS projects).

Up to 16 credit hours may be taken at Illinois outside of the iSchool. A maximum of 12 graduate credit hours, with a grade B or better, may be transferred in, subject to review by the iSchool and the Graduate College. Transfer hours cannot have been used to fulfill the requirements of a degree earned at another institution and must have been completed within the last five years at an accredited institution. Overall, a total of at least 24 credit hours (16 hours of coursework plus 8 hours of CAS project) must be completed at the iSchool.

Completion time for the Certificate of Advanced Study varies widely. Full-time students may finish in two semesters and one summer, but students have five years to complete the program.


Students must complete 32 or more hours of coursework with a 3.25 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale). The credit/no-credit option applies only to courses taken outside the library and information science curriculum. Hours taken under the credit/no-credit option are not computed into the GPA and may not be applied to a degree in library and information science.

Financial Aid and Enrollment Status

The Tuition and Financial Aid page in our Admissions information will give you details about the types of financial aid students may be eligible for, and how to go about applying for it. Students holding graduate assistantships awarded and/or administered by the School must be registered for a set number of classes determined by the percentage time of the assistanship; students will be advised of the amount upon appointment. Students with graduate assistantships in the library or elsewhere on campus must follow the enrollment requirements of the units employing them.

Admission Requirements

CAS applicants must have completed a master's degree in library and information science, with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 also is required in the last two years of the applicant's undergraduate degree program. The Admissions Committee makes every effort to assess applicants on their probable degree of success in the program, rather than relying only on how well the applicant meets the formal requirements. Contact the admissions officer with questions about the admissions process: (217) 333-7197.


Students may enter the CAS program in fall, spring, or summer. Please see the Admissions section of our website for specific application requirements, deadlines, and forms.

Computer Literacy Requirements

The Computer Literacy Requirements are the same as those for the MS/LIS program.

As a student, you will have access to many technology resources, including the Help Desk. We encourage you to share your feedback and questions with us and do hope you take advantage of the support we offer. Please feel free to contact us with questions by emailing help [at] support.ischool.illinois.edu.

If you have any questions about our degree programs, or would like to schedule a visit, please get in touch.