Certificate of Advanced Study in Digital Libraries

This program is a technically oriented CAS concentration in Digital Libraries. There are many directions from which to approach the study of digital libraries: as technologies with special concerns of theory and implementation; as large- (or small-) scale information organization and access tools; as learning environments; as enablers of community information exchange; as arenas for social interaction, etc. This program aims to give students a thorough and technically focused background in digital libraries that will enable them to understand these issues, and serve as designers, decision-makers, and creators of digital libraries. Students will gain advanced-level knowledge of digital asset management; information and collection modeling; design of human-centered, digitally mediated information services; and information policy. The program assumes existing MS-level knowledge of Library and Information Science, including basic information organization; indexing and cataloging; information needs and uses; reference and user services, and libraries-in-society. The CAS-DL program was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services.

Coursework | Admission Requirements


The CAS-DL requires the completion of forty (40) credit hours, including four (4) required CAS-DL Core courses, four (4) elective courses from the CAS Digital Library Electives, and LIS593 "C.A.S. Project." The project must entail a Digital Libraries-related project defined and monitored in consultation with the student's CAS advisor, and comprising two course units. A student who completes any of the four (4) required CAS-DL Core courses as part of a prior MS degree will need to substitute additional elective courses in the CAS-DL degree in order to insure they have completed forty (40) credit hours.

Each student must work with his/her CAS advisor(s) to craft a coherent course of study that meets the student's interests, integrates courses across categories, and satisfies the CAS-DL Program's requirements.

DL Core

  • IS 453 "Systems Analysis and Management" Covers how to evaluate, select and manage the information systems that will be used in the daily operation of libraries and information centers. Includes the systems used by technical staff and the information consumers.
  • IS 560 "Digital Libraries" Covers principles and comparative case studies of digital libraries and content management systems, including creation, organization, ongoing management, archiving, and preservation of digital assets.
  • IS 561 "Information Modeling" Covers issues of document modeling and collection modeling in an integrated way.
  • IS 562 "Metadata in Theory & Practice" Covers the design and application of metadata schema in a variety of settings, as well as examining issues of  interoperability and the social and political factors influencing the development and implementation of metadata schema.


  • IS 531 Foundations of Data Curation
  • IS 556 Implementation of Information Storage and Retrieval Systems
  • IS 566 Architecture of Network Information Systems
  • IS 590AMD Agents and Multi-Agents for Dynamic Information Systems
  • IS 590CD2 Current Topics in Collection Development
  • IS 590CI Community Information Systems
  • IS 590CW Computer Supported Cooperative Work
  • IS 590DC Data Cleaning
  • IS 590DH Digital Humanities
  • IS 590DM Document Modeling
  • IS 590DP Document Processing
  • IS 590DS Implementation of Distributed Information Systems
  • IS 590EL E-Learning: Social & Technical Issues in E-Learning  Research & Practice
  • IS 590EP Electronic Publishing and Information Processing Standards
  • IS 590IA Information Architecture
  • IS 590II Interfaces to Information Systems
  • IS 590IP Information Policy
  • IS 590IQ Information Quality: Principles and Practices
  • IS 590KR Knowledge Representation & Formal Ontology
  • IS 590RPE Rapid Prototyping & Evaluation
  • IS 590UMI Understanding Multimedia Information: Concepts & Practices
  • IS 590X01 Data Administration Concepts and Database Management [in  cooperation w/Syracuse University]
  • IS 590X03 Managing Information Systems Projects
  • IS 590X06 Creating, Managing and Preserving Digital Assets

Admission Requirements

CAS applicants must have completed a master's degree in library and information science or a closely related field, 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.

Prerequisite Knowledge

As a prerequisite for this degree, all students must master the content of LIS452 (Foundations of Information Processing in LIS) and LIS456 (Information Storage and Retrieval). If not already in the student's portfolio upon admission, these courses may be taken as remedial courses that don't count toward the ten required CAS courses.

All applicants must fulfill these minimum requirements:

  1. A master's degree in library and information science.
  2. A grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in master's-level coursework and in the last two years of undergraduate coursework.
  3. Satisfactory letters of reference from three individuals, with at least one from a librarian/information scientist and the remainder from employers or teachers, including a representative of the library/information science program that granted the professional degree.
  4. International applicants whose native language is not English must submit evidence of having passed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 620 or higher (or 260 or higher for the computer-administered version). The test can be administered in the student's home country but should be arranged at least one year before the applicant expects to begin the program.

Note: The University's Division of English as an International Language offers courses to help currently enrolled Illinois graduate students whose native language is not English. These courses may be used to improve a student's language proficiency so that he or she is able to function as effectively as possible within the university environment. The division also operates an Intensive English Institute and the LinguaCenter, where other kinds of help may be obtained.

Application Process and Deadlines

Please see the Admissions section of our website for specific application requirements, deadlines, and forms.