School of Library and Information Studies

MLIS Online Offering

Program Requirements

The Online Master of Library and Information Studies program is accredited by the American Library Association, and allows students to pursue a course-based degree. This is a 39★ (13 courses) part-time program to be completed within six (6) years. Courses are available in three terms: Fall (September to December), Winter (January to April) and Spring (May to July). Two courses per term is the maximum a student can take in this program for a total of 6 courses per calendar year. This program is delivered entirely online. Students are not required to come to campus.

Online courses  are offered asynchronously (there are no scheduled class meeting times). Students are expected to be online everyday, work independently as well as collaboratively in small groups and be willing to learn new technologies.

The following courses are required for the online MLIS program: 

  • LIS 501 Foundations of Library and Information Studies: 
  • All students must take LIS 501 (Foundations of Library and Information Studies) in the first semester of their program. LIS 501 is intended to provide the broad context for all of the other courses in the program, and is a pre-requisite or co-requisite for the other required courses. Check pre- or co- requisites on the before selecting elective courses.
  • LIS 502 Organization of Information
  • LIS 503 Reference and Information Services (for those admitted Fall 2012 onward)
  • LIS 504 Leaderships and Management Principles for Libraries and Information Services
  • LIS 505 Introduction to Research in Library and Information Studies
  • Two designated information technology (IT) courses.  

Information Technology (IT)

The MLIS program is a technology intensive program, which prepares students for positions of responsibility across the information professions.

Students will be required to take two "designated information technology courses," which are indicated with "(IT)" following the course title.

Program Sheet

Visit the Forms section for program sheets.


Each student is assigned a Program Advisor who will provide advice and counselling in adapting the program to match career goals and objectives. Students should also consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Graduate Program Manual and the University Calendar for additional information.

Course-Based or Thesis Route

The online MLIS program is only course-based and students do not have the option to choose thesis-based.

Time Limits for Completion

Candidates in the course-based route must have completed all the requirements within six years of the time they are first registered in the Master's program.

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 MLIS 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 and as preparation for thesis-related work.

Transfer Credits

Some graduate courses taken before admission may be granted as transfer credit by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, on the recommendation of the School of Library and Information Studies, provided that the courses have not been counted towards a previous degree or diploma or to qualify for admission to the MLIS program.  Applicants must request transfer credits in their application package. The Admissions Committee will make the decision on transfer credits and the recommendation to FGSR. No more than three courses may be given transfer credit. Applicants with graduate courses or a BLS from a program accredited by the American Library Association should consult the School for information regarding transfer credits and course requirements.