The Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) degree at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) prepares students for prestigious careers in library and information science. The program guides students toward expertise in collecting, organizing, storing, and retrieving the world’s recorded knowledge, with an emphasis on developing superior, evidence-based practices for the dynamic and changing arena of information management. Students acquire a strong theoretical knowledge of information science, and learn how those theories apply in real-world situations through jobs, assistantships, original research, and community service.
Graduates of the MSLS program are ready to lead the development of new services and technologies to improve access for information users. They find exciting careers around the world in a variety of settings including academic institutions, government agencies, archives, public and special libraries, school library media centers, non-profits and cultural institutions, and other information agencies. They often specialize in areas such as archive and records management, youth librarianship in schools or public libraries, database administration, reference services and information access, data curation, digital archives, cataloging, and special collection development.
MSLS graduates are prepared to apply critical thinking to specific challenges faced in professional settings. They will be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of solutions, and use concrete examples to clarify the challenge and its possible solutions.
MSLS graduates are prepared to apply standard professional tools to problem definition and solution. They are aware of the classic and current tools and technologies available to information professionals, and will be able to select and apply those tools and technologies to information problems.
MSLS graduates are prepared to apply ideas, theories, and empirical evidence to solve problems that information professionals face in the workplace.
MSLS graduates can demonstrate a nuanced understanding of a particular information setting or context, including the needs of the users, the types of materials being collected, and the realities of budget, management, and organizational structure.
MSLS graduates can determine how new research findings, current social and political trends, and evolving measures of quality can be defined, assessed, and applied within a particular information setting or context.
MSLS graduates can express their ideas clearly and describe challenges, situations, and solutions in understandable ways. They can synthesize ideas from multiple sources, engage with ideas in depth, and develop arguments in a coherent and logical manner.
MSLS students may gain professional experience in an information organization, while receiving class credit through the Field Experience Program. Students are mentored by a supervising professional in the organization, as well as by a SILS professor.
For information on tuition, fees, and other financial information, please refer to the Financial Information page.
Graduation rate for SILS master's students
- Matriculated Fall 2015: 73
- Graduated in two years: 69%
- Left program: 4%
- Planning on graduating beyond two years: 27%
- Online application and nonrefundable $87.50 application fee.
- Three letters of recommendation solicited by entering recommenders email addresses into online application.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from test taken within the past five years. The Graduate School requires a minimum score of 50% in both the verbal and quantitative sections and at least a four on the writing section.
- International applicants must send scores on the TOEFL. The Graduate School TOEFL minimum requirement for admission is 90. For the IELTS the minimum is 7.
- Unofficial copies of transcripts for each school attended.
- Resume including work experience, special abilities, and skills.
- Statement of purpose.
For more details, visit our Graduate Admissions Page.
Job titles of recent MSLS graduates:
- Digital Assets Librarian, Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Garden, Washington, D.C.
- Electronic Resources Management Librarian, Duke University
- STEM Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries
- Teen Services Librarian, Madison, Wisconsin
- Community Engagement Librarian, NC Live
- Natural Science and Mathematics Librarian, University of Houston
- Research Librarian for Music and Performing Arts at University of Virginia
- Web Application Developer, Wildfire
- Emerging Technologies Librarian, Appalachian State University
- North Carolina Collection Librarian, Durham County Library
- School Librarian, Mount Vernon Middle School, Wake County, NC
- User Experience Resident Librarian, University of Chicago Library
- Associate Registrar, Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, Va.
- Senior Developer, Analytics at Hearful
- Health Sciences Librarian, IUPUI
- Access and Outreach Services Librarian, Randolph College
- Digital Collections Specialist in Learning Sciences, Vanderbilt University
- Humanities and Fine Arts Librarian, University of Minnesota-Duluth
- Chatham Community Library Youth Services Librarian
- First Year Instruction and Social Sciences Librarian, UNC-Greensboro
- Digital Scholarship Librarian, University of Delaware
- Programming Librarian, Santa Barbara Public Library
- Member Relations Manager, Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC)
- Undergraduate Engagement Librarian, Virginia Tech
- Management Fellow, San Mateo County Libraries
- Archives Technician, National Archives and Records Administration
- Instructional Services Coordinator, Binghamton University Libraries
- Metadata Specialist, Digital Indy Grant
- Design Assistant/Asset Management, Glen Raven
- Library Specialist, Boulder Public Library
Reference Librarian and Diversity Coordinator for University Libraries, UNC-Greensboro