Library and Information Science

Graduate degree: MA in library and information science

Graduate certificate: special collections librarianship



Library and information science is an interdisciplinary field of study that centers on the documentation that records our stories, memory, history, and knowledge. Library and information science professionals serve as custodians of printed materials, records, photographs, audiovisual materials, and ephemera, in both analog and digital form. Librarians and other information professionals collect, organize, preserve, and provide access to these materials and are the stewards of the knowledge that they contain. The School of Library and Information Science connects people to the resources that they need to understand their histories, communities, and the world around them. The school advocates for free and open access to these resources and train folks to use these materials to better themselves and society as lifelong learners.

The school offers the MA in library and information science and a variety of dual degrees and certificates to specialize in these areas of librarianship, including joint offerings with the UI Center for Book, the public digital humanities program, Special Collections at the University of Iowa Main Library, and a school librarian endorsement for licensed K–12 teachers. In addition, the degree may be pursued while completing other degrees at the University of Iowa, including other master's and PhD degrees. Undergraduates at the University of Iowa also may apply for the Undergraduate to Graduate (U2G) degree program and complete their baccalaureate degree in combination with the MA in library and information science.

Student Organizations and Activities

All MA students in the school are automatically members of LISSO, the Library and Information Science Student Organization, which also serves as the student chapter of the American Library Association. LISSO sponsors various activities, such as speaker series, workshops, brown bag lunches, and social events. Participation in LISSO events provides students with significant opportunities for professional and extracurricular growth. Students are encouraged to join other state and national professional organizations.

Honor Society

The Beta Beta Theta Chapter of Beta Phi Mu, the international honor society for library and information science, is located at the University of Iowa. Each year new members are chosen from the top 25% of the preceding year's graduating class. To be eligible for membership, graduates must achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.75, demonstrate professional promise, and be recommended by the faculty.

Related Certificate

Certificate in Book Studies/Book Arts and Technologies

Students may apply to earn the Certificate in Book Studies/Book Arts and Technologies. The program requires 15 additional s.h. of graduate credit through the University of Iowa Center for the Book for students who are enrolled in the joint Library and Information Sciences MA/Certificate in Book Studies/Book Arts and Technologies program. For more information, see the MA and Certificate in Book Studies in the catalog.