All successful MLIS applicants are admitted to the course-based program. Students who are studying on-campus can change to the MLIS Thesis Option or the MBA/MLIS Combined Program during their first year of study. Applicants to the MA/MLIS and MBA/MLIS combined programs can be admitted directly. 

Online MLIS students are part-time and course-based only. At this time the Thesis Option, as well as the MA/MLIS and MBA/MLIS combined programs, are not available to students in the online program.

Please note there is only the Fall Term (September) intake for the MLIS program.

Application Period 

  • Applications Open: September 15th
  • Applications Close: January 15th at 11:59 PM (Mountain Time)

Your application and all supporting documents must be received by the deadline. We are not able to accept late applications. 

It is highly recommended that you start your application well in advance of the application deadline. Applicants risk being denied if the three required reference letters are not received by January 15th. Only complete applications with all supporting documentation will be forwarded to the admissions committee. Incomplete applications will be refused. 

MLIS Program Entrance Requirements 

All applicants must meet the following minimum admissions entrance requirements to be considered for the MLIS program:

  • Completed four year undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0
  • English Language Proficiency (for non-native speakers)
  • Technology Proficiency 
  • Supporting Documentation (Statement of Purpose, CV/Resume, Three Referee Letters, etc.) 

Please be aware that this is a highly competitive program, and meeting the minimums does not guarantee admission. 

Undergraduate Degree

Completion of any four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited academic institution recognized by the University of Alberta. "Completion" means you must have completed all of your courses in the program and that all final grades appear on your transcript at the time you apply. Your degree must have already been conferred and confirmed on your academic transcript. Students who have not yet completed their first undergraduate degree are not eligible to apply.

If you have a three-year undergraduate degree then you must present additional completed coursework equivalent to one year of courses.

Applicants must present a minimum GPA of 3.0 on most 4-point grading systems, or a grade of B on most letter grading systems, based on your last ★60 of coursework (equivalent to two years full-time study). In cases where an applicant's GPA falls below the department minimum we may consider life achievement, providing you meet the Guidelines for Considering Life Achievement

Please note that SLIS does not require or accept Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results, and we cannot use GRE scores when calculating an admission GPA. 

English Language Proficiency (ELP)

Applicants with degrees/qualifications in a language other than English need to demonstrate English Language Proficiency through one of several exam types. Please note the following:

  • Our scores are higher than the minimum scores required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Applicants that do not meet the minimum requirement will not be considered.
  • If you need to complete one of these English language examinations, you should do so as soon as possible and arrange for the results to be sent to the department to which you are applying.
  • Scores more than two years old cannot be verified; therefore the applicant will normally be required to re-take the test.

Accepted ELP Exams

  • TOEFL: Passing score of 100 (Internet-based) with a minimum of 21 on each of the individual skill areas.
  • IELTS: Academic Minimum overall band score of 7.5, with at least 7.0 on each band.
  • Duolingo: Minimum score of 125. Please Note: If you are in a region impacted by Pearson, IELTS or TOEFL test centre closures due to COVID-19, the university will temporarily accept the Duolingo English Test as one of the ways to meet our English Language Proficiency requirements. See FGSR for more information. 
  • CAEL: Overall minimum score of 70, with at least 70 on each subtest.
  • PTE Academic: 64 with a minimum band score of 62.
  • MELAB: Minimum score of 90.

Demonstrating ELP with Academic Work

The English Language Proficiency requirement may be met by possession of a degree or its academic equivalent from an academic institution recognized by the University of Alberta, in which the language of instruction is English. See Recognized English Language Countries and Institutions for more information.

Technology Proficiency 

The MLIS program is a technologically-intensive program, which prepares students for positions of responsibility across the information professions. Competency with the use of computers and common software applications is expected. To be able to complete the two required IT-designated courses successfully, incoming students must be comfortable with the following skills prior to starting the MLIS program:

  • Comprehension of the components and operations of a personal computer
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Windows file management (start button, running applications, managing and organizing files and folders, printing, etc.)
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office or similar applications, including word processing (e.g. MS Word, Google Docs) and presentation (e.g. MS Power Point, Google Slides)
  • Use of email and web browsing applications. 

The University of Alberta uses Google Workspace for Education (formerly known as G Suite for Education). Students studying online or remotely will make use of various videoconference platforms (Zoom, Google Meet). The University of Alberta also utilizes a centrally supported learning management system called eClass. Admitted students will have the opportunity to access resources familiarizing themselves with university systems. 

Supporting Documentation

All applications must provide supporting documentation before the application deadline. With the exception of referee letters, you are directly responsible for uploading all supporting documentation to the online application system. All documentation for application will be electronic; do not mail paper copies. Your application will be considered complete and eligible for review when we have received the following supporting documents: 

Academic Transcripts

You must provide electronic copies of up-to-date transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. For example, if you studied abroad for a term and received transfer credit we require transcripts from both your home institution and the institution you attend abroad.

Failure to list and provide completed transcript from all institutions you attended on the application may be considered an intentional omission and will lead to the cancellation of your application for admission or withdrawal of your offer of admission.

Up-to-date transcripts are defined as transcripts dated within a year of the term for which you are applying. This means the issued/print date on the transcript should be from September and beyond. For example if applying to enter September 2022 then the issued/printed date on the transcript must be no older than September 1, 2021.

Please make note of the following requirements for transcripts: 

  • The transcripts must be scanned or downloaded as PDF files in its entirety (front and back pages);
  • The scan must include the transcript legend and grading scale (typically printed on the back);
  • The scan must be clear and legible;
  • Ensure that no information is cut off during scanning.

All academic documents must meet specific criteria in order to be accepted. Refer to Application Requirements for Academic Documents to learn about these requirements. Exceptions to the academic document requirements are not permitted. Documents that do not meet the requirements will not be accepted and cannot be used to evaluate an application. 

If admitted, you will then be required to submit original transcripts to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research prior to the start of the program.

Statement of Purpose
In approximately 1000 words, let us know why you are interested in pursuing your MLIS, and why you are interested in studying at our School.
CV or Resume
Your current Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume is required for admission to the program. Information found in your CV will assist in our admissions committee's assessment of your eligibility for our program.
Three (3) Referee Letters

You must provide email addresses of your three referees (references) and the system will automatically send your referees an electronic form to complete after your application fee has been paid (this may take up to 24 hours after payment). Once they complete and submit their form you will be notified by email. The system will keep sending reminder emails to your referees until we receive their form. 

Academic referees are preferred; where fewer than three academic referees are available one professional/supervisor referee is acceptable. If you have been out of school for 10 or more years, professional/supervisor referees are acceptable.

Proof of English Language Proficiency (If Required)
The online application system will indicate if proof of English Language Proficiency is required.
Additional Supporting Documents for Applicants with International Education

Students who present postsecondary education from an institution where the official language of instruction is not English must provide the following:

  • Transcripts or marksheets in the original language.
  • English translations of transcripts or marksheets (if the original is not issued in English).
  • Degree Certificate in the original language.
  • English translation of Degree Certificate (if the original is not issued in English).
If admitted to the program you will then be asked to submit original documents to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research prior to the start of the program.

Application Procedure 

Application is an in-depth process that requires supporting documentation and payment of a 135.00 CAD application fee. Once you begin the application you will be asked to upload your supporting documentation and provide email addresses of your three referees. After your application fee is paid the system will automatically email your referees with instructions on how to submit their letter. It is very important that you apply and submit payment well in advance so that your referees will have time to write and submit their letter.

All applicants will submit their online application via the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research

Application Steps

  1. Begin the online application.
  2. Upload supporting documentation.
  3. Enter contact emails for your three referees.
  4. Payment of the 135.00 CAD application fee.
  5. Receipt of all three support letters by the deadline

Other Notes

Students who wish to apply to both the online and on-campus MLIS you will have to submit two applications and pay two application fees. 

As of September 1, 2021, the fee for applications to all graduate programs has increased from 100.00 CAD to 135.00 CAD. If you have questions about the fee, please contact

After You Apply

Complete applications will be reviewed after the application deadline. A complete application includes the online form and all supporting documentation; received by the deadline. If all three letters are not received by the deadline the application will be considered incomplete and denied. Complete applications that meet the minimum entrance requirements will be subject to an in-depth review by the Admissions Committee. Incomplete applications, and applications that do not meet minimum requirements will be denied.

Typically we will start notifying applicants of the committee's decision on their file beginning in April. Please note that, because of the large number of applications we review, we cannot give an exact timeframe as to when you will be notified. 

Once Admitted

Students admitted into the program must do the following:

  1. Accept your Admissions Offer by the due date indicated in your acceptance letter.
  2. Submit original transcripts directly to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. This must be done before you begin your studies.
  3. Pay the tuition deposit.
  4. Begin registering in courses.

Please note that you will not be able to register in courses until the tuition deposit has been received. You will have access to Bear Tracks, the University of Alberta's online student service centre.