Tuition & Financial Support

At the iSchool, we are committed to supporting the financial needs of our students through an individualized funding approach that considers your unique situations and challenges.

The MS in library and information science (MSLIS) requires 40 credit hours of coursework and can be completed on campus or online in 18-24 months. However, in order to take full advantage of the rich curriculum and professional development opportunities offered by the program, students may choose a longer timeframe for degree completion.

Tuition and fees

Please note that all tuition and fee rates are subject to change without notice.

On-campus students

Tuition for on-campus students is assessed in credit-hour ranges and on a resident/nonresident basis.

Fees are assessed in credit-hour ranges. Fees include health insurance and use of health and recreation facilities and other campus services.

Online students

Tuition for online students is assessed per credit hour and on a resident/nonresident basis.

Online students are not assessed campus fees, such as those for health insurance, and therefore are not eligible for campus services.

Tuition and fees are direct costs charged by the university. The cost of attendance also includes indirect cost allowances for food, housing, books, supplies and other expenses. You will not be billed by the university for these costs unless you live in university housing.  Use the Illinois Cost Calculator for an estimated cost of attendance.

Types of support available and eligibility

 On CampusOnline (Leep)
Financial aid – Student loansXX
Graduate hourly positionsXX*
iSchool financial supportXX
Other financial opportunitiesXX

*Online students able to work on a regular basis in the Champaign-Urbana area are eligible for assistantships and graduate hourly positions.

Financial aid – student loans

U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizen students are eligible for student loans based on guidelines administered by the University's Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA). Many jobs in LIS also qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. 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 are available through the iSchool, University Library, and many other units across campus. Information about campus assistantships is available through the Assistantship Clearinghouse. Students in these positions work anywhere from 10-20 hours per week and receive both a monthly stipend and a base in-state tuition waiver. The majority of campus fees are also waived. Most appointments are for fall and spring only.

Graduate hourly

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

Where do I look for graduate hourly or assistantship positions?

Check for iSchool positions on our Job Openings page.

How do I apply?

Applying for these positions is synonymous with applying for a job. Students should expect to submit application materials, including a current resumé and tailored cover letter. Specific requirements and submission information will be available with each position advertisement.

iSchool financial support


Incoming Students

As part of the application review, all MSLIS applicants are considered for nominal recruitment scholarships offered by the iSchool. Criteria that are considered include merit, need, and diverse experiences. If selected, this award would be included in the offer of admission.

Continuing Students

The iSchool offers small scholarships funded by donors to help supplement other funding sources (loans, assistantships, etc.) for MSLIS students. Students have the opportunity each semester to submit an application for this type of scholarship support for the following semester.

Other financial opportunities

  • The Graduate College at the University of Illinois maintains a list of external fellowships.
  • Students are encouraged to seek out professional organizations from which they could secure financial support.
  • The American Library Association's Spectrum Scholarship Program chooses candidates based on their commitment to community building, leadership potential, and planned contributions to making social justice part of everybody's everyday work in LIS. In addition to the ALA scholarship, the iSchool awards Spectrum Scholars with tuition waivers to cover the 40 credit hours of required coursework.
  • The American Library Association publishes Financial Assistance for Library and Information Studies, an annual directory of financial awards from a variety of organizations.

Questions? We can help!

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