We are delighted that you are interested in learning more about the Master of Science in library and information science (MS in LIS). Consistently ranked as the best program of its kind, the MS degree provides an exceptional professional education. Students gain the knowledge and skills they need to organize, preserve, and provide access to many types of information resources, and to understand the needs of many different kinds of users. Graduates go on to fill leadership positions in a variety of information settings, including public, academic, and school libraries, as well as in business, healthcare, and government. Our graduates anticipate social and technological changes, and promote change that advances the profession, improves technology, and encourages positive social transformation.
--Linda Smith, associate dean for academic programs
There are two steps to complete your application.
In this step, you will assemble (write, request, etc.) your application materials. As faculty and staff, we care about you, your voice, and your perspective. We listen to you. Please write these documents to help us know more about you and what you want to do.
Please submit a resume that includes your education, work experience, volunteer work, and any other relevant information. There is no page limit or preferred length for the resume. Use language and organization that readers who are unfamiliar with your current career or discipline can easily follow.
2. Personal Statement
We know that many things in your life have inspired you to pursue graduate education; what do you want to do? Please submit a one- to two-page personal statement concerning your interest in pursuing the MS/LIS degree in this School, and your aspirations. Explain how your prior experience makes you a strong candidate. If you are making a significant change in career or discipline, explain how your past experiences feed into or inspire your future goals. While you may highlight aspects of your academic and professional experiences, use this space to describe your goals beyond what you include in your resume.
3. Program-Specific Question: Interview Essay or Career Essay (choose one)
Interview Essay: Visit a library, archive, museum, community network, corporate information office, or other information center (except your current place of employment)—somewhere you may be interested in working. (Notes: Students who plan to apply to the K-12 LIS Certification Program must conduct the interview with a K-12 librarian.) Interview a professional staff member to identify the three most significant issues related to information services in this setting. Write a one- to two-page essay, discussing what you learned, including:
- What questions did you ask?
- Did you learn anything unexpected? Anything that changed your view of the library and information science profession?
- How do you think your educational experience at the School might prepare you to address the issues you identified?
- Include information about your site and source.
Career Essay: Choose one or more job ads for a career related to library and information science that interests you. In a brief one- to two- page essay, address the following:
- The position(s) you chose, with a brief excerpt from the job posting(s).*
- What you find exciting about this career.
- The expertise (knowledge, skills, etc.) you personally would need to develop in order to be successful in this career.
- Major challenges and opportunities of this work and/or of doing this work within this kind of organization
- How graduate study at the School will prepare you for this challenge.
You will apply to the Graduate College using the Web-based electronic application (APPLY NOW). This application is used for all of the graduate departments at our University. These instructions enable you to tailor your online application to our LIS program. These instructions are for the MS/LIS program and our School; complete instructions for all university programs are available from the Graduate College. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our Admissions Office at (217) 333-7197, 1-800-982-0914, or ischool-apply [at] illinois.edu.
Our School's vision of diversity is broad and global. We value inclusion in order to insure that diverse individuals are valued, respected, and heard. We support diversity of world views, histories, and cultural knowledge across a range of social groups including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, abilities, economic class, religion, and their intersections. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign prohibits discrimination based on such characteristics as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Resources to assist domestic underrepresented applicants are available via the Graduate College.
- Proposed Program: Select "Information Sciences" from the pull-down window. (This is for all programs in the School.)
- Degree: From the pull-down window, choose either Library and Information Science (On campus program)--MS or Library and Information Science (LEEP Online)--MS .
- Concentration: Choose "None." You may enter comments about your interests under "Other Field of Specialization."
- Desired term of enrollment:
- MS/LIS on-campus - select spring, summer or fall
- MS/LIS Leep online learning - select spring, summer or fall
- Financial Aid Preference: You should leave this blank; we do not use financial information for our admission review process.
- GRE scores are only required for applicants with a GPA below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the last two years of undergraduate coursework. Applicants holding a JD or PhD are not required to submit GRE scores.
- 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; 104 or higher [at least a 25 in each section] for the IBT). (The Intensive English Institute exam may be substituted with a score indicating comparable English proficiency.) The IELTS test is also accepted with a minimum score of 7 in each section. The school's TOEFL code is 90.
- 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, but they are NOT counted toward degree requirements. The division also operates an Intensive English Institute and the LinguaCenter, where other kinds of help may be obtained.
Instructions for writing these statements are above.
- In the first section, upload your resume.
- In the second section, upload your personal statement.
- In the third section, upload your response to our program-specific question, the interview or career essay.
Graduation from an accredited institution with bachelor's degree requirements substantially equivalent to those of the University of Illinois is required for your application to be considered. After admission, you are required to verify your credentials by submitting official transcripts from your education institution(s).
Your transcripts are credentials that should come directly to our School from your educational institution(s), so you should not have to mail anything yourself. Have your educational institution(s) send your transcripts to us directly at:
School of Information Sciences
501 E. Daniel St.
Champaign, IL 61820-6211
Submit contact information for three individuals who are able to comment on your aptitude for graduate studies and professional pursuits. We strongly recommend that one or more of these letters come from an academic professor.
Once you enter your referee's names and e-mail addresses, the application system will generate an e-mail to them with a special password allowing them access to the recommendation section of your application and specific instructions on what they need to do to complete the recommendation form and upload their letters of recommendation. Please note that notification emails will indicate "University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign" as the sender but will come from support [at] applyyourself.com. If they use a spam-blocking tool, please ask them to add this email address to their list of known/safe addresses.
You do not have to have your application completed or submitted in order for your referees to complete the recommendation process, and they can submit their letters after you have submitted your application as well. The preferred method of recommendation letter delivery is through the online application system, but if your referees do not want to submit their letters via your online application, they have several other options:
1. Mail the letter to our physical address:
School of Information Sciences
Attention: Admissions Office
501 E. Daniel St.
Champaign, IL 61820
2. E-mail the letter as an attachment to ischool-apply [at] illinois.edu.
3. Fax letter to (217) 244-3302.
Applicants are only allowed to submit one application per year; i.e., you cannot apply to multiple programs in the same year (example: master's on-campus and master's online). If an applicant has been denied and wishes to re-apply, he or she must wait one academic year before doing so.
What are the Application Deadlines?
Please see this link for the deadlines for all programs: http://ischool.illinois.edu/admissions/deadlines.
Do I have to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE)?
The GRE test is only required if an applicant's GPA is below a 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale or a "B" average. We calculate GPA using the applicant's last two years of undergraduate studies if the degree was completed in four years and the last three years if the degree was earned in five or more years. Please note that if the degree is still in progress, we will calculate the GPA on the last three semesters of study or a minimum of 45 hours. If the applicant has taken any graduate level work or has a higher degree, then we average that GPA with the undergraduate GPA. If the average GPA calculated is a 3.0 or above on a 4.0 grade scale, then the GRE is NOT required. If an applicant has a JD or a PhD degree they would be exempt from the GRE requirement. You can find out more information on the GRE test at the Educational Testing Service Web site.
How can I check the status of my application once it has been submitted?
Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a communication from the school; this will come to you from our Graduate Application Tool System that we use for admission; the communication will come via the ischool-apply [at] illinois.edu e-mail address. You will be able to track the receipt of your recommendation letters; transcripts and the completion of your application via a link provide with in this communication. Please add the ischool-apply [at] illinois.edu e-mail account to your address book to ensure that our emails do not end up in your spam folder. You could miss important communications concerning to your application status. You can also go back into your online application to see if your letters of reference have been submitted, or you can ischool-apply [at] illinois.edu (e-mail) and inquire about the status of your file.
I have a change of address and/or e-mail address and have already submitted my application.
It is very important that you keep the School updated of any address or e-mail change. These forms of communication are generally used by our office. Please go into your application and make the necessary changes as well as ischool-apply [at] illinois.edu (e-mail) us any changes.
A note about e-mail addresses: When supplying an e-mail address in your online application, it is best to use a personal e-mail address, such as Gmail, Hotmail, yahoo, etc. as using a work or educational institutional e-mail address can sometimes delay or prevent you from receiving communications from the School or the University of Illinois due to spam blocks set on those e-mail accounts.
It is now required that all applicants upload their transcripts to their online applications. This can be an official or unofficial copy. Instructions on how to upload are within the online application. Official transcripts will not be needed until an official admission decision has been communicated. At that time, please have your official send directly to the School at the address noted below. Generally, we do not need transcripts from community colleges unless you received a Board of Governors, Trustees, or General Studies degree. In this case, those are needed. If you will be applying for the K-12 program, ALL transcripts will be needed.
Send transcripts to:
School of Information Sciences
Attention: Admissions Office
501 East Daniel Street
Champaign, IL 61820-6211
Transcripts must come directly from an educational institution in a sealed envelope. For applicants whose last name may be different than what is listed on the transcript, please instruct the registrar's office to note the new name on the transcript.
Declaration of Finance and Verification Form
All international applicants must submit the Declaration of Finance form and proof of funding before their I-20 can be processed. This form can be completed either when applying to the program or after an admit decision has been communicated.
After I apply, when will I hear if I have been admitted?
Please note the application deadlines and apply early. We offer rolling admissions, which means your application will be reviewed promptly, and you will receive our decision early. You should hear from us in approximately 4 to 6 weeks after you have submitted all the admission documents. Use this checklist to make sure you send everything we need to make a decision and avoid delays. If you are a candidate from outside of the USA, please apply as early as possible so that visa issues can be addressed.
As soon as an application is completed it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Preference is given to complete applications meeting the deadlines; however, we will accept applications as long as space is available.
The applicant's complete file is reviewed by the Admissions Committee, which evaluates the application as a whole, taking all submitted information into account, including prior achievements and future aspirations. Only complete application files will be reviewed and no credentials will be returned to the applicant. All application materials become the property of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and no item will be returned to the applicant.
Admitted MS/LIS, MS/IM, or CAS students may defer their enrollment for a maximum of one year and admitted files will be kept for one year after date of admission. Thereafter, he/she must reapply.