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Master of Library and Information Studies

University of Alberta - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Are you looking for an accredited information architecture program on the Canadian prairies? Do you want the flexibility of completing your degree online or the option of diving into research and writing a thesis? The University of Alberta offers a well-regarded MLIS degree that may be the perfect fit for your goals.




3 Years









About This Program

As graduates of the only ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Studies program on the Canadian prairies, the University of Alberta's Master of Library and Information Studies alumni are highly regarded in the professional world. They have gone on to careers in libraries, governments, and corporations, managing the huge volume of data that make up the modern world.

At the University of Alberta, the School of Library and Information Studies is part of the Faculty of Education. In addition to the standard IA program, the School offers a combined degree in Master of Library and Information Studies and Master of Arts in Humanities Computing, as well as Ph.D. opportunities. The school is grounded in a multi-disciplinary focus on information access and equity.

There are five required courses that every MLIS student must take. These are Foundations of Library and Information Science; Organization of Information; Reference and Information Services; Leadership and Management principles for Libraries and Information Services; and Introduction to Research in Library and Information Studies. Every student must also take two IT courses.

For the rest of their courses, students can choose from the many MLIS classes available, including courses on children's literature, government publications, preservation, and archives. There are also some courses from other programs that can be counted toward an MLIS degree, primarily courses offered through the School of Education.

The MLIS program is a completely on-site in-person program. Students must complete at least 48 credits, which must be completed in a maximum of six years, although most students complete their degree in two years. Thesis-based students have a maximum of four years to complete their degree. If an applicant already has graduate credits from another institution, some of those may be able to transfer to the University of Alberta.

Students also have the option of taking this IA program online. This version can be started in Fall, Winder, or Spring, and is limited to only a part-time option, with students allowed to take a maximum of two courses per term.

Students in the MLIS program are automatically enrolled in the course-based option but have the option to switch to the thesis-based program if they are interested. The course-based option consists of 16 courses and a capstone exercise, and the thesis option consists of 13 courses and a thesis. Deciding to choose a thesis should be based on a student's career goals and research interests. Every student has an advisor who can help them decide if the thesis option is the right choice for them.

The MLIS degree is accredited by the American Library Association. All students apply for the course-based options and can choose to switch to the thesis option if they are interested. There are many scholarships available for eligible students, including research scholarships, archivist scholarships, scholarships for bursaries, scholarships for various minorities, and more.

About This School

The University of Alberta was founded in 1908 by Alexander Cameron Rutherford in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. There are nearly 40,000 students enrolled and more than 15,000 employees. The university has been ranked as one of the top five universities in Canada and one of the top 100 universities globally.

What I Will Learn

Why We Recommend This IA School Program

Where you study matters, and the University of Alberta is one of the best. If you have an understanding of technology and are passionate about creating pathways to information we highly recommend this IA program. Although you’ll need to study full-time in central Canada to complete this program in two years, the school also offers a part-time online-based option.

Course Requirements / Prerequisites

To be considered for admission, applicants must have a four-year degree and a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. They must also have proficiency in English and a basic proficiency in technology.

View program University of Alberta