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Information Science

Specialist in Library and Information Science

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Specialist program:

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of their professional development goals.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of what specialized knowledge and/or skills are needed to meet their professional development goals.
  • Students will demonstrate specialized knowledge and/or skills in a specific chosen area of the field

Degree Requirements

For the Specialist Degree in Library and Information Science degree, an approved Program of Study with 30 semester hours of graduate course work must be completed with a minimum grade point ratio of 3.00 (B) overall.  In partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation, each student will submit an electronic portfolio documenting learning and professional growth during the Specialist program.


  • 3 hours of SLIS 794
  • 3 hours of SLIS 796
  • 24 hours of electives
  • End-of-Program Portfolio
  • Any student who has not taken SLIS 705, Introduction to Research in Library and Information Science, or shown evidence of having completed its equivalent, will be required to satisfactorily complete it (with a grade of B or better) in addition to the 30 minimum required hours. (A research methods course satisfactorily completed (with a grade of B or better) in another discipline may be substituted for SLIS 705 at the discretion of the advisor.)

A student may take up to 12 hours of course work in other colleges of the University upon approval by the advisor.  No more than 9 of the total 30 hours of course work may be taken at another institution.

Each student has the option of working with an advisor to complete a project adequate to the student's program of study that demonstrates the capacity to conduct, synthesize, and utilize research methodology in library and information science.  The research project must be approved by the advisor.  A maximum of 9 hours of SLIS 796, Independent Study, and SLIS 798, Specialist Project Preparation, may be taken for the Specialist Degree.  No more than 6 of these hours may be directly related to the optional research project.  At the discretion of the Advisor up to six hours of graduate work taken prior to admission to the program may be included in the Specialist Degree provided that:

  1. none of the courses exceed the six year limitation noted above;
  2. any course work in library and information science must have been taken at a school accredited by ALA or approved by CAEP (Council for Educator Preparation);
  3. course work must be germane to the student's program and make a direct contribution to it;
  4. course(s) must show on an official transcript (and a copy of the official course description and/or syllabus provided) and not have been used to earn another degree;
  5. grades for the course(s) must be a B or higher.

Courses which will be more than six years old at the time the Specialist Degree is awarded may not be included in the student's Program of Study.

Students must present a grade point average of at least 3.0 (B average) on all courses taken in the program at the time of graduation. Students who earn a grade below B on more than six hours of course work or a grade of D, F, WF, or U in any course will not be allowed to continue in the program.  Students who receive a grade below C in a course cannot apply the course toward graduation.  Students who receive a grade of D+ or D in a required course (i.e. joint program requirements or CAEP requirements) must retake the course to attain a grade of at least C.

Additionally, Graduate School policy states that graduate students whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) drops below 3.00 will be placed on academic probation and allowed one calendar year to raise the GPA to at least 3.00. Students who do not reach a cumulative 3.00 GPA during this grace period will not be permitted to enroll for further graduate work.

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