Library and Information Science Master’s Degree

Admissions Requirements


Upon being accepted into the school, the student is assigned a faculty member for initial counseling and direction. The student is free to change faculty advisers at any point during his or her period of study, based on the student’s interest and specialization. Once chosen, the faculty adviser provides specific academic advice pertaining to the specialization, program of study, and related matters.

Areas of Study

The department offers several specializations and certificates within the M.L.I.S. program. Specializations include Archival Studies, Informatics, Library Studies, Media Archival Studies, and Rare Books, Print and Visual Culture. SeeSpecialized Competence under Course Requirements, below, or consult the department for more information.

Foreign Language Requirement


Course Requirements

Full-time students are normally required to enroll in three courses per quarter in order to complete the program in six quarters.

Eighteen courses (72 units) are required for graduation from the M.L.I.S. program. Students take 16 units of required courses, four units of research methods courses, and 52 units of elective courses. course work must provide evidence both of basic professional competencies and of knowledge in a field of specialized competence.

Basic Professional Competence. This requirement is met by completing four core courses (Information Studies 211, 212, 260, 270), and one graduate-level research methodology course (such as Information Studies 208, 228, 280, 281, or 282). The graduate adviser can approve courses in other departments that meet the research methods requirement.

Specialized Competence. Completion of a course of study is required as evidence of knowledge of a field of specialization. Specializations include Archival Studies, Informatics, Library Studies, Media Archival Studies, and Rare Books, Print and Visual Culture. A faculty adviser must approve the specialized course program. The specialized competence requirement is ordinarily met by the completion of 13 additional courses, which may include internships. Relevant course work in other departments or schools is encouraged. Students may petition to have a limited amount of prior course work applied to their specializations.

During the second year, the student may apply for an internship of one to three quarters either on campus or off at one or more approved internship sites. The internship is a regularly scheduled course, Information Studies 498, and up to 12 units of internship credit may be applied toward course requirements.

No more than eight units of Information Studies 596 may be applied toward the total course requirement.

Students who choose the thesis option are allowed to apply 12 units of 500-series course work toward the requirements for the degree.

In order to enroll in any S/U graded course, including 500-series courses, the student must be in good academic standing.

Teaching Experience

Not required.

Field Experience

Not Required.

CapstoneĀ Plan

Students who choose this option complete a comprehensive examination that consists of two components: a basic component and a specialization component.

Basic Component. A portfolio is required as the culminating experience. The portfolio is a presentation of its author’s professional self as developed in the M.L.I.S. program. The portfolio serves as a comprehensive examination by requiring students to assess and integrate their learning throughout the core courses of the program, to relate the advanced work done in specialty courses to their career goals, to identify learning objectives and describe the degree to which those objectives have been met, to select key papers written during the program, and to describe a plan for continuing education and professional involvement. After preparing these elements of the portfolio, students make a public presentation of the work to a panel consisting of two members of the faculty of the department, and a qualified professional. Failure in any part of the portfolio may lead to only one opportunity to present the recorded and/or in-person presentation again.

Students present the portfolio in either the second to last or the last quarter of enrollment, and after completion of: (1) all outstanding entrance requirements; (2) the 18 required courses, not counting the entrance requirements, by the end of the quarter in which the portfolio is presented; (3) courses to the level required for good academic standing (grade-point average of 3.0 or higher); and (4) all outstanding Incomplete grades.

Specialization Component. A major paper produced in an elective course, normally in the student’s area of specialization, is required. A grade of B or better must be earned in this course. The same course may not be used to satisfy both the paper and the research methods requirement.

Thesis Plan

Every master’s degree thesis plan requires the completion of an approved thesis that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research.

Students who choose this option must submit a thesis reporting on results of their original investigation of a problem. While the problem may be one of only limited scope, the thesis must show a significant style, organization, and depth of understanding of the subject.

Students normally indicate their interest in this plan by the end of Spring Quarter of the first year. If the thesis option is approved, a thesis committee of at least three faculty members is established. Most students complete 12 units of related course work under the direction of the committee. The committee approves the subject and plan of the thesis, provides guidance in research, and approves the completed manuscript. Approval must be unanimous among committee members. After acceptance of the thesis, subject, and plan, there is an oral examination on the thesis.

There is no written examination or portfolio requirement under the thesis plan.


The M.L.I.S. is a two-year program, consisting normally of three four-unit courses each quarter during six consecutive academic quarters, for a total of 18 courses. Those students who enroll in fewer than 12 units per quarter will necessarily take a longer time to obtain the degree, but not more than ten quarters.

Degree: M.L.I.S.




University Policy
Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination

A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

UCLA is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and by numerous special agencies. Information regarding the University’s accreditation may be obtained from the Office of Academic Planning and Budget, 2107 Murphy Hall.