Chicago State University

Master of Science in Library and Information Science

The Library and Information Science Program prepares future librarians, archivists and other information professionals to work in a variety of settings including schools, colleges and universities, public and state libraries and other settings.  The program offers courses in both the theoretical foundations and practical application of various subjects in Library and Information Science, which include the essential theories, research and foundations of library and information science, management and organization of library and information services, organization of information, information sources and media, information literacy, information services, information technology for Library and Information Services, plus other LIS-related topics.

The program offers a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science with a specialization in the following areas: 1.) school libraries (initial licensure, advanced master’s degree/endorsement to become a School Library Information Specialist in the state of Illinois), 2.) Archives and Records Management, 3.) Academic Libraries, and 4.) Public Libraries.  In addition to the master's degree, the program offers an endorsement-only option in the area of School Library Information Specialist to licensed teachers in Illinois and a post-baccalaureate certificate in archives and records management.

The program is actively seeking initial accreditation with the American Library Association (ALA). The program was recently granted candidacy status with the American Library Association.

The program received approval from the Higher Learning Commission in 2013 to offer more than 50% of its program of study online. Currently, most courses are offered in the online or hybrid course delivery formats.


There are several Library and Information Studies program options:

  • Master of Science Degree in Library and Information Science with a specialization in school, academic, public or archives (M.S. LIS)

  • Non-Degree Endorsement in School Information Specialist for Licensed Teachers

  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Archives and Records Management

The Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) prepares professionals to design and manage library and information services in a variety of settings. The program is designed to reflect an urban focus with the following specializations:

  1. School Libraries

  2. Archives and Record Management

  3. Academic Libraries

  4. Public Libraries 

The student learning objectives for the Master of Science in Library and Information Science program are based on the American Library Association’s Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library & Information Studies (2015).  Students have mastered the following objectives by the end of their programs of study:

Manage recordable information and knowledge.

  • Describe the social, political, ethical, cultural, economic and legal aspects of information creation, access, and use.

  • Demonstrate the knowledge necessary to sustain the cycle of recordable information and knowledge in society.

Provide information and instructional services to address the diverse needs of users.

  • Assess user information needs in order to determine what is needed to improve service for constituents.

  • Develop and implement information and instructional services to address specific needs.

  • Demonstrate leadership in the provision of information and instructional services.

Integrate and use current research to advance the LIS professions.

  • Leverage the evolving body of knowledge from relevant fields to guide decisions and practices.

  • Conduct original research that advances the field’s knowledge base and candidate’s professional knowledge.

Employ information technologies to enhance services.

  • Evaluate situations to determine the best technical solution.

  • Effectively utilize technology to add value to the field.

  • Assess how changing technologies impact the field.

Provide specialized LIS services.

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to perform within his/her specific specialization. 

M.S. Library and Information Science Curriculum


Required Courses (15 credit hours):

  • LIS 5050: Foundations of the Information Professions

  • LIS 5060: Organization of Information

  • LIS 5070: Introduction to Reference Services

  • LIS 5080: Information Technology for Library and Information Agencies

  • LIS 5090: Research Methods in Library and Information Science

Directed Electives (15- 43 credit hours)

Students will select one of the following specializations and complete the sequence of courses listed:

Academic Libraries

  • LIS 5300: The Academic Library

  • LIS 5390: Management and Organization of Libraries

  • LIS 5510: Database Design for Information Storage & Retrieval

  • LIS 5970: Field Practicum

  • Two electives selected with an advisor

Public Libraries

  • LIS 5350: The Public Library

  • LIS 5390: Management and Organization of Libraries

  • LIS 5510: Database Design for Information Storage & Retrieval

  • LIS 5970: Field Practicum

  • Two electives selected with an advisor

Archives and Records Management

  • LIS 5200: Archives and Records Administration

  • LIS 5970 Field Practicum

  • Four electives selected with an advisor (2 may be taken outside of the department)

School Libraries

  • Professional Education Coursework Sequence (approx. 18 credit hours) for candidates without an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL)

  • LIS 5710: Literature and Services for Children

  • LIS 5720: Literature and Services for Young Adults

  • LIS 5520: Cataloging and Classification

  • LIS 5 120: Administration of Media Centers

  • LIS 5130: Curriculum in the Media Center

  • LIS 5180: Clinical Experiences in School Library Media Centers

  • LIS 5185: Certification Exam Review

  • LIS 5190: Student Teaching and Seminar (for candidates without PEL)

Concluding Courses (4 -7 Credit Hours):

  • LIS5990 MSLS Capstone (I credit hours)

  • LIS 5980 Thesis/Project (3 credit hours)


Chicago State University's Library and Information Science program has been granted candidacy status by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association. Candidacy status is an indication that the Department of Information Studies' Library and Information Science program has voluntarily committed to participate in the ALA accreditation process and is actively seeking accreditation. Candidacy does not indicate that the program is accredited nor does it guarantee eventual accreditation of the program by ALA.




Careers in Librarianship

There is general information about careers in librarianship here: educationcareers/libcareers

Information on careers in archives is available here: careers/beanarchivist

How to Apply To CSU’s LIS Program

Application to a graduate program at CSU is a two-step process.  First, you apply to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.  Once they have received all of your paperwork and processed it,  it moves to the second step – approval by the program.

Step 1 – Apply online here: GraduateAdmissions/admissions/ graduateadmission.htm

A complete application includes:

1. Completion of the online application

2. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended

3. Payment of the application fee

4. Resume

5. Personal goals essay (a one to three page essay describing how attaining this degree will help you reach your professional goals)

For more information about the Graduate Studies Office or this part of the application process, please contact Ms. Gloria Adams at  or  (773)995-4461.

Step 2 – After you have completed Step 1, the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies will forward your application to the program for an admissions decision.  For assistance at this stage of the process, please contact the program at 773-995-2598 or email for help.


More Information – Tuition and Fees, Financial Aid and Payment

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fee information is here - financialaffairs/bursar/ tuition/

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is available - financialaid/

Financial Aid Tel: 773-995-2304

Toll Free: 877-278-8898


Chicago State University

Office of Student Financial Aid

9501 South King Drive / ADM 207

Chicago, Illinois 60628-1598

Payment Plans are available - financialaffairs/bursar/ paymentplans/

Tuition Bill and Payment Inquiries

Questions about your bill should be addressed by the Bursar - financialaffairs/bursar/

Bursar Tel: (773) 995-2470

Cashier Tel: (773) 995-2029


The Bursar Office of the Bursar and Cashier

Cook Administration Building - Room 212

9501 South King Drive

Chicago, IL 60628-1528



Program Assessment  - Student Learning


Average time to degree (for graduates from fall 2016):  2.8 years

Placement within 12 months of graduation (since fall 2016):

57% School or Public Libraries

14% Additional graduate study

14% Small business/consulting in education

14% unknown

Retention Rate:

 Retention Rate (Fall 17 to Fall 18): 87.5%



2016 Report

2017 Report

2018  Report



2016 Results

Actions Taken

2017 Results

Actions Taken

2018 Results

Actions Taken

Summary of Actions Taken

Enrollment Rate*


Need ALA accreditation for enrollment to increase


Better process to track inquiries. Need ALA accreditation for enrollment to increase


Program developed new marketing materials and web info sessions.  Better tracking of inquiries. Need ALA accreditation for enrollment to increase

Developed better tracking of inquiries; created better recruitment materials; Need ALA accreditation for enrollment to increase

Graduation Rate*




Low rates of graduation appears to be related to low enrollment. Program needs a larger enrollment to produce acceptable graduation rate.


Still monitoring retention and graduation. Observation hours and practicum is a problem for students to complete outside of work.

Retention is reasonable; most students are making progress.  Continued monitoring of progress.

PO1: Manage Recordable Information and Knowledge (SL 1&2)

Unacceptable- 0%

Acceptable- 28%

Target- 71%

Student performance continues to improve in this area as target level has shown an increase by 6% since 2014/2015. Computer lab established and maintained by IS faculty provides additional instructional support for students

Unacceptable- 0%



Small gains in this objective. Continue to monitor student progress.

0% - Unacceptable

52.6% - Acceptable

47.4% - Target

Small number of observations for this objective. The program is cautious to draw conclusions based on scant evidence. Program enrollment is low.

Program continued to monitor this outcome.  Recent performance indicates the need to evaluate this area more closely in the upcoming year.

PO2: Provide Information and instructional services to address the diverse needs of users (SL 3-5)

Unacceptable- 6%

Acceptable- 38%


Student performance reflected an increase of 5% in the unacceptable range and a decline of 10% in the target range for this category. Small sample size may account for changes.

Unacceptable- 2%

Acceptable- 31%


Small number of observations for this objective.

2.3% Unacceptable

12.9% Acceptable

84.7% Target

Small number of observations for this objective.

This outcome is not measured as well as the others. The program has monitored it, but is cautious to draw conclusions from a small data set.

PO3: Integrate and use current research to advance LIS professions (SL 6&7)

Unacceptable- 0%

Acceptable- 58%


As students gain more practice in conducting and documenting research needed to complete their thesis project and research activities, an increase in acceptable (23%) and target (23%) levels for this category continue to increase.


Acceptable- 41.7%


Faculty have decided to emphasize the use of original research in all courses. 

0% Unacceptable

21% Acceptable

79% Target

Continued efforts to integrate the use of research in as many courses as possible.

Research is emphasized across the curriculum.

PO4: Employ information technologies to enhance services
(SL 8-10)

Unacceptable- 0%

Acceptable- 25%


As the department continues to provide students access to computer technology within our department lab, opportunities are readily available to support most information technology access needs our students may encounter. Program is working with CPS Dept of Literacy to improve instruction in this area.

Unacceptable- 1%



Department reviewed student surveys around student technology use for online courses Some faculty integrated more technology into their assignments.

0% Unacceptable

14.3% Acceptable

85.7% Target

The program is satisfied with progress for this rubric.  The program anticipates technology upgrades to its labs. 

Use of technology to implement a solution is implemented across the curriculum rather than only in the technology courses. Updated computer labs and some new equipment.

Reflection Project completed during Capstone Course




Fall 15 -  No LiveText Portfolio

Spring 2016 – 3 portfolios





Fall 16 – 2 portfolios submitted

Spring 17 – no portfolios submitted

There has been an improvement in the quality of the capstone portfolios since the last year.




Fall 2017 – no completed portfolios

Spring 2018 – one portfolio

Small number of completers so program is cautious to overgeneralize on a small data set.

Program is continuing to work with the assignment.  It is introduced as a requirement in new student orientation.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Kimberly Black, Chairperson, Department of Information Studies

9501 South King Drive

Education Building, Room 208

Chicago, IL 60628-1598

Phone: 773.995.2598

Fax: 773.821.2441