Programs & Degrees

Master of Arts in Library and Information Science:

The school offers a 36 semester hour graduate program that allows students to gain an understanding of principles of the library and information profession with an emphasis on cutting-edge technological concerns. This is a two-year program. Students should plan on taking 9 hours per semester to complete the degree on time. Course offerings are designed to allow you to meet degree requirements on that schedule. Students may take no more than 12 hours per semester without explicit approval from an advisor. Admission deadline is February 1st for the next fall.

Specializations: Students who are interested in pursuing specialized areas of librarianship may want to consider the following choices.

Digital Humanities:

Over the recent decade, Digital Humanities has constituted a powerful new movement, creating new forms of scholarship and allowing for new methods and forms of publication in the humanities. In general terms, Digital Humanities can be defined as the use of computing technologies to bring new technological methods to address traditional questions in the humanities. Humanities disciplines study human artifacts and interpret what they mean for our culture. The library has been the crucial resource for this work, providing access to the written record as well as a place of contemplation and inquiry for engaging it. Digital Humanities does not replace this model so much as add rich new possibilities for the study of these same kinds of interpretive questions.

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities, which will be available Spring 2015, requires 15 s.h. of coursework. These courses build on the infrastructure and success of the Public Humanities in a Digital World initiative. It also connects to campus resources, including the Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities (The Studio), and the library’s unit for Digital Research and Publishing (DRP) for the Capstone class.

All graduate students in good standing with their departments will be eligible to pursue the certificate. For more information please contact

School Media Certification:

The University of Iowa offers a state-approved program leading to endorsement as a school media specialist (K-12), which includes School Library Media certification and an M.A. degree.

Students who are interested in school librarianship but do not have an Iowa teaching license may take an additional 30 semester hours in the College of Education in order to qualify for the teaching license.

Licensed teachers who are currently employed in Iowa schools and would like to pursue school librarianship may apply to a new program funded by SLIS to earn the MA in library and information science and the school library media endorsement.

Informatics Certificate:

Students admitted to SLIS who are interested in Informatics may earn an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in one the following areas: Information Science, Health Informatics, Bioinformatics, and Geoinformatics.

MA and Certificate in Book Studies

The Book Studies and Library and Information Science Studies program (BLIS) enables students to earn a master's degree in library and information science and a certificate in book studies. The program requires admission to both the School of Library and Information Science and the Center for the Book certificate program. Admission deadline is February 1st for the next fall.

The joint MA/Certificate prepares students for careers in Special Collections librarianship while training them in the production and legacy of the book as a physical artifact. The combined program is a 51 semester hour degree. Students must take at least 27 hours of SLIS courses and 15 hours of book arts, studies, and technologies courses. The remaining 9 hours may be taken in either SLIS or the UICB, or from another unit (provided these remaining credit hours meet the approval of SLIS or UICB advisors).

Law Librarianship:

The School has established a formal joint master's degree program (MA/JD) with the College of Law. Applicants must be accepted by both programs simultaneously. Students in the joint program will take law courses their first year and begin taking SLIS courses in their second year. Elective courses are also available for those wishing to specialize in law Librarianship but who do not wish to pursue the J.D.

Interdisciplinary Ph.D.:

Students who are enrolled in a PhD program in another academic unit may apply to pursue a joint interdisciplinary PhD through the School of Library and Information Science and their current academic unit. Interested students should obtain consent from the School of Library and Information Science and their home program or department. Additionally, SLIS students may work with SLIS and a second academic unit to create an interdisciplinary Ph.D.