K-12 Library Information Specialist Licensure

If you are interested in working as a school library information specialist in K-12 education, the School of Information Sciences offers a program that allows you to meet the requirements for the Master of Science in library and information science (MS/LIS), while also pursuing the courses and training needed for licensure as a "Library Information Specialist" in the state of Illinois. The MS/LIS is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) and is continuously ranked one of the best in the field. The requirements for school licensure were approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in 2001 and are in compliance with the most current Content Area Standards for Educators. Please note: The Illinois State Board of Education can and may change the rules for teacher licensure and endorsement at any time. Candidates are responsible for meeting the rules that are in place at the time the application for licensure or endorsement is submitted.

Depending on your background and what credentials you have already earned, there are several different paths toward library licensure. The prerequisites for and outcomes of these different paths are outlined in the following table.


If you do not have a teaching license...

MS/K-12 LIS Licensure Program

If you  have an Illinois* teaching license...

Earn LIS Endorsement as either...

an MS/LIS student

a continuing education student

Admission Requirements
  • Bachelor's degree
  • No application necessary
  • Complete "Request to Enroll" form to indicate interest.


  • 40 hours of required LIS courses
  • 1 Special Education Course
  • 40 hours of LIS courses, including 24 hours of recommended courses for the endorsement
  • 24 hours of recommended LIS courses (LIS 403, 404, 445, 504 or 590YR, 505, 506, 507 or 590 CBL, 515, 516)


  • 100-hour practicum
  • 16 weeks of student teaching
  • None required, but practicum is strongly recommended
  • Not available


  • Test of Academic Proficiency or ACT plus Writing** or SAT** (for admission)
  • LIS Content Area Test (for licensure)
  • LIS Content Area Test
  • LIS Content Area Test

Number of
Semesters Needed
(summers counted
as a semester)

  • Full-time: 5-8 semesters
  • Part-time: Must be completed within 5 years
  • Full-time: 3-4 semesters
  • Part-time: Must be completed within 5 years
  • Full-time: 2-3 semesters
  • Part-time: 3-6 semesters


  • LIS courses offered on-campus and via Leep
  • Special Education course on-campus or pre-approved at other institutions
  • Courses offered on-campus and via Leep
  • Courses offered on-campus and via Leep


  • Earn an MS in Library and Information Science
  • Earn a Professional Educator License (PEL) with a Special (K-12) LIS Endorsement

*If you hold an out-of-state teaching license, contact your local Regional Office of Education (ROE) for information on how to obtain an Illinois teaching license. For information about each state's school library licensure requirements, go to the School Library Monthly website.

**See Admission Requirements for more information.