Tuition and Financial Aid


On-campus tuition is charged per credit hour in Fall and Spring, and Summer fees are charged in financial ranges. Academic year 2016-2017 tuition and fees for full-time (12-credit hour) registration for the on-campus MS/LIS or MS/IM program will be:

  • $8,926 per semester for Illinois residents
  • $13,956 per semester for nonresidents

An additional fee of $35 per semester applies to international students, and summer registration may add additional costs. Complete information about these tuition and fee assessments, exemptions, and refunds is available from the Office of the Registrar, 901 W. Illinois St., Urbana, IL 61801; (217) 333-0210.

For students who choose to live on campus, housing for graduate students is available through the University for the academic year; double occupancy rooms and meal contracts also are available. 

Tuition for online students is charged per hour. Academic year 2016-2017 tuition and fees for the online MS/LIS or MS/IM program will be:

  • $636 per credit hour for Illinois residents
  • $1,053 per credit hour for nonresidents

Multiply the per hour rate by the number of credit hours you take to determine what your cost per semester will be. Charges include an academic outreach administrative fee of $50 per credit hour. Online students are not eligible for on-campus services (covering university and general services, health insurance, health service, transportation, etc.) and will not be charged these fees. Complete information about tuition and fees is available from Illinois Online, e-mail Online-info [at] or phone 1-800-252-1360 or (217) 333-1462.

  • Additional costs: Leep (MS/LIS) students are required to start their program with a weekend residency in Champaign-Urbana. Students are responsible for costs of travel, two nights of lodging, and food. The school provides information about discounted hotel and other accommodations via email.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal Financial Aid – Student Loans
Students are eligible for student loans based on guidelines administered by the UI Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA). Many jobs in LIS also qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Many restrictions apply based on lender and other funding sources. If you have received loans and then receive another form of funding (GA, RA, TA, hourly, fellowship, scholarship, etc.) contact OSFA immediately. Other awards will affect your loan amount, and you may be required to repay or relinquish loan-based funds if you receive other awards.

Graduate Assistantships
Graduate assistantships are available to MS/LIS students through the iSchool, the University Library, and at many other units across the campus. (MS/IM students, see below.) MS/LIS students in these positions receive both a monthly stipend and the base in-state tuition and service fee waivers and enhanced professional experience. Assistantships range from 25-percent-time nine-month appointments to 50-percent-time 12-month appointments. Non-Illinois residents must pay the difference between in- and out-of-state tuition.

Graduate Hourly
Graduate hourly positions are also available through the iSchool, the University Library, and many other units across campus. These appointments do not include the base in-state tuition or service fee waivers.

*These positions are not awarded automatically upon admission to incoming students. In order to be considered for positions students must apply—see below for application instructions.

Applying for Assistantships and Hourly positions
Who is eligible?
Any MS/LIS student who has been admitted (most assistantships require residency in Champaign-Urbana) is eligible for graduate assistantship and hourly positions.  Any MS/IM students who have been admitted are only eligible for hourly positions. The MS/IM is a self-supporting program without state support, as defined by University policy, so students are not eligible for tuition-waiver-generating assistantships.  

Where do I look for open positions?
We have consolidated School and campus position posting sites here.

How do I apply?
Applying for assistantships is synonymous with applying for a job. Students should expect to submit application materials including a current resume and tailored cover letter. Specific requirements and submission information will be available with each open position advertisement. If considered for a position, students should expect to be interviewed, either on-campus or via phone/Skype.


The School offers small scholarships funded by donors to help supplement other funding sources (loans, assistantships, etc.) for MS/LIS and CAS students. Information about Summer and Fall 2017 scholarships for continuing students will be available soon. Students must reapply each semester if they wish to continue to be considered for scholarships or fellowships in the following semester. To be considered for scholarship or emergency funding, please complete the Student Funding Request form.

Fellowship opportunities are primarily awarded to PhD students and to other students on an available basis through external funding (e.g. grants). The Graduate College at the University of Illinois also maintains a list of external fellowships.

Selected scholarships and fellowships

Additional Funding Opportunities

Spectrum Scholarship Program - The American Library Association's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future. In addition to the scholarship from ALA, the School awards Spectrum scholars tuition waivers to cover the 40 hours of coursework that satisfy the master’s degree requirements.  

The American Library Association publishes Financial Assistance for Library and Information Studies, an "annual directory of awards from state library agencies, national and state library associations, local libraries, academic institutions, and foundations who give some form of financial assistance for undergraduate and/or graduate education programs in library and information studies."

Questions about tuition and financial aid can be directed to mbedward [at] (Meg Edwards).