School of Library and Information Studies

MBA/MLIS Combined Program

Inter-faculty Joint Degree (MBA/MLIS)

In this inter-faculty joint degree program, students may complete the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree in conjunction with the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. This program typically extends over three years of full-time study. For additional information, please visit the Alberta School of Business website. Read here about a recently graduated MBA/MLIS student's reflection about the program.

Program Requirements

The School of Library and Information Studies and the Alberta School of Business offer a combined Master of Business Administration (MBA)/Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program option that students can complete within three years (36 months). The combined program is offered on-site at the University of Alberta and requires 81 credits for completion (45 credits from MBA program and 36 credits from MLIS program), including six credits in required LIS Information Technology courses.  All students enrolled in the MBA/MLIS combined program will take each program’s respective required courses (except LIS 504).

The following courses are required for the MLIS program: 

  • LIS 501 - Foundations of Library and Information Studies
  • LIS 502 - Organization of Information
  • LIS 503 - Reference and Information Services
  • LIS 505 - Introduction to Research

The following courses are required for the MBA program:

  • BUS 501 - Business Skills Orientation (*0-credit, Mandatory Requirement)
  • BUS 504 - Career Management Skills (*0-credit, Mandatory Requirement)
  • ACCTG 501 - Introduction to Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • ACCTG 523 - Accounting Information and Internal Decision Making
  • BUEC 503 - Economic Foundations
  • BUS 505 - Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility with Communications
  • FIN 501 - Managerial Finance
  • MGTSC 501 - Data Analysis and Decision Making
  • MARK 502 - Principles of Marketing Management
  • SMO 500 - Managing People
  • SMO 641 - Business Strategy (Capping Exercise) 
  • SMO 652 - Leadership Skills               

In lieu of the required LIS management course (LIS 504), students enrolled in the MBA/MLIS combined program will take nine (9) credits from the following three-credit required MBA management courses:

  • BUS 505 - Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility with Communications
  • SMO 500 - Managing People
  • SMO 652 - Leadership Skills
  • MGTSC 501 - Data Analysis and Decision Making

The course requirements are normally:

First Year 
24 MLIS credits as follows:

  • 12 credits in LIS required courses (LIS 501, LIS 502, LIS 503, LIS 505)
  • Up to 6 credits in required Information Technology courses (see SLIS website for current offerings)
  • Up to 6 credits in LIS Core Electives (IT or non-IT)
Second Year
30 MBA credits as follows:
  • 30 credits MBA required courses

Third Year
Mixed Year, 27 MBA/MLIS credits as follows:

  • 15 credits MBA (SMO 641: 3-Credit Capping Exercise, and 4 MBA electives)
  • 12 credits MLIS (Any 4 LIS electives and/or designated Information Technology course(s), and LIS 600: 0-credit Capping Exercise)

Advisor/Supervisor

At the time of admission, each student is assigned a Program Advisor from both the School of Library and Information Studies and the Alberta School of Business who will each provide advice and counseling in adapting the combined MBA/MLIS program to match career goals and objectives. Students should also consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Graduate Program Manual, the University Calendar, and the Alberta School of Business website for additional information.

Academic Integrity & Ethics Training

The University of Alberta Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research requires that all graduate students complete a minimum of eight hours of ethics training as part of their degree programs. Students in the combined program receive ethics training in the MLIS required courses -- approximately 17 hours in total. Coverage of specific topics varies between courses, but currently includes: academic integrity; intellectual property; ethics review for research with human subjects; professional values - including protection of privacy; and other ethics-related issues. Additional topics are also covered in our elective courses, in courses offered through Humanities Computing, and as preparation for thesis-related work.

Time Limits for Completion of the Inter-faculty Combined MBA/MLIS Degree

A full-time student who is registered for the combined MBA/MLIS program normally will be able to complete the degree requirements in three years. Students may undertake the combined program on a part-time basis. The duration of the total program must not exceed six consecutive calendar years.