Master of Library and Information Science - MLIS


Empowering people through information and technology for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world.


The St. Catherine University MLIS program is a student-centered and social justice oriented graduate program. We prepare students to be critical thinkers and leading information professionals who promote equity through access, use, evaluation, sharing, and creation of information.

Values Statement

Empowerment through information

  • We promote access to, creation, and use of information to empower people to be critical thinkers, engaged learners, and creative problem solvers.

Social justice

  • We are passionately focused on examining and eliminating the root causes of social injustice including racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and other forms of oppression both in and beyond our profession.

Women’s leadership

  • We seek to prepare information professionals who can understand and create leadership opportunities for women in the LIS profession.

Student centered

  • We are committed to the academic, professional, and holistic well-being of our students.

Authentic learning experiences

  • We provide educational experiences that maximize student learning through the deployment and assessment of best practices in teaching and real-life applications.   

Community engagement

  • We build strong collaborations and partnerships within and beyond LIS communities to enhance student learning and create positive impact on society.  

Goals and Objectives

Education: The MLIS Program's first goal is to empower students to become leaders in the information professions.

  1. To provide a rigorous curriculum that ensures general competencies and specializations in the fields of library and information science and encompasses ethical leadership, critical thinking, technological fluency and diverse perspectives.
  2. To recruit, retain and support a highly-qualified, diverse student body.
  3. To recruit, retain and support a talented, dedicated and diverse faculty who are excellent teachers as well as active participants in the library and information science professions.
  4. To provide a quality learning environment for students and faculty.

Research: The MLIS Program's second goal is to contribute knowledge to advance the discipline and improve practice.

  1. To create new knowledge.
  2. To disseminate research results.
  3. To create and nurture a productive research environment.
  4. To promote students' research.

Service: The MLIS Program's third goal is to use our expertise to serve, lead and collaborate with our communities.

  1. To increase awareness of our program's identity and purpose to better serve our communities.
  2. To serve, lead and collaborate within the department and across academic units of St. Catherine University.
  3. To serve, lead and collaborate with academic and professional communities at the local, national and international levels.
  4. To serve, lead and collaborate with community partners.

Sustaining Environment: The MLIS Program's fourth goal is to ensure excellence in the program's foundations and resources to enable it to achieve its goals and objectives.

  1. To ensure ongoing planning within the MLIS program and St. Catherine University, as well as among partner institutions and individuals.
  2. To ensure ongoing support for the program's learning and research environment.

Student Learning Outcomes

The outcomes of the MLIS degree program are to develop information literate, reflective practitioners who have these abilities:

SLO 1 Information for People: Demonstrate understanding of the philosophical, historical, and ethical foundations of the field and apply library and information science principles and practices.

SLO 2 Social Justice: Demonstrate understanding of issues of power, privilege, and marginalization in society and in the LIS professions in order to analyze inequities in library and information services and work to empower marginalized groups.

SLO 3 Research: Demonstrate understanding of research methods and the interdisciplinary nature of LIS in order to apply research methods to improve practice, critically evaluate the work of others, and answer questions in the profession.

SLO 4 Technology: Demonstrate understanding of the social, cultural, and ethical implications of technologies and use this understanding to critically analyze, select, use, apply, and evaluate technologies in the information environment.

SLO 5 Literacy and Learning: Demonstrate understanding of the evolving set of literacy skills and ways to promote literacy learning for self-­actualization and participation in a global society.

SLO 6 Leadership: Demonstrate understanding of and apply principles of leadership, management, advocacy, and communication to professional practice.


The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). It is the only Minnesota-based library and information science program. See the ALA website for Directory Information:

Contact information for the American Library Association (ALA): 225 N Michigan Ave, Suite 1300; phone: (800) 545-2433.

Incomplete Grades

No more than six credits of incomplete grades may be accumulated at one time. If incomplete grades exceed this level, students will be restricted from further registration until incomplete course work is completed.

Years to Complete the Program

The degree program must be completed within five years.

Transfer of Credit

Students may transfer a maximum of six semester graduate credits or 13.5 quarter graduate credits from another regionally accredited institution(s) toward the MLIS degree at St Catherine University. 

For non-matriculated students, the program director will decide whether to accept transfer credit upon admission based on a review of the applicant's transcript(s). Only courses with a letter grade of B or better from an accredited MLIS program will be accepted, assuming the course(s) meets the program's criteria for relevancy and accreditation standards.

Current students must obtain prior written approval from the MLIS Program Director and their academic advisor if they intend to take graduate work at another institution or from another program at St Catherine University, and use those credits to satisfy the 36 credits of the MLIS degree. In those cases, the course may not be identical to a course offered at St Catherine University.

Conditions for Probation and Dismissal

Students are expected to make appropriate academic progress leading to the successful completion of their degrees. Students are expected to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) throughout the program. MLIS students must have a final GPA of 3.0 in order for the degree to be awarded.

If the GPA falls below 3.0 upon taking nine semester credits, students are placed on probation. If placed on probation, they must achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the term when the total credits taken equal or exceed 18.

Students not achieving the minimum GPA after taking 18 credits will be dismissed from the program. St. Catherine University’s MLIS program reserves the right to deny registration to any student who, in the opinion of the Program, is not progressing satisfactorily toward a degree.

Students must receive a grade of B- or greater in the following MLIS core courses or must retake the course.

MLIS Core Courses
LIS 7010Introduction to Library and Information Science3
LIS 7030Organization of Knowledge3
LIS 7040Information Access Services3
LIS 7050Research Methods for Library Information Science3
Choose one of the following3
Management of Libraries and Information Centers (Required for MLIS)
School Libraries (Required for SLMS)
One Technology course requirementSelect one from designated courses3
Total Credits18

Opportunities for Work Experience and Independent Study


Practicum is a supervised, student work experience of 120 hours (generally 10 hours x 12 weeks) in an approved library or information center under the direction of a MLIS faculty member. Students meet with the faculty member in a seminar setting. Certain key assignments must be completed.

Students enrolling in the Practicum should have completed the core courses and have approval from the instructor or MLIS Program Director. Students are encouraged to register for a practicum after completing 24 credits or higher. Academic credit is received for this course.

Independent Study

Students wishing to research a topic that is related to library and information science that is not covered in the MLIS curriculum may register for independent study (LIS 6953 Independent Study), working closely with a faculty member whose expertise and interests lie within the proposed research area.

Independent studies are designed for students who have completed eight courses of their program and have a grade point average of 3.3 or better or with the permission of the MLIS Program Director. The form for submission of an independent study proposal is available online on the Registrar's Forms page. No student may complete more than two independent studies.

Students must have sufficient background to work independently and must develop a proposal for independent study that meets the approval of the faculty supervisor and/or the MLIS Program Director. The independent study should be of sufficient academic and scholarly substance and merit to be worthy of at least three credits, and it should result in a product that will document both the substance and merit of the study. An independent study is not a substitute for taking a class.


No academic credit is given for an internship. An internship is a student work experience in a library or information center for which the sponsoring institution may or may not pay the student for hours worked. The sponsoring institution sets the hours, interviews the student, and provides any job training required. The MLIS office posts notices of internships.

Program for St. Catherine Undergraduate Seniors Taking MLIS Courses

Qualified seniors enrolled at St. Catherine University have the opportunity to take 1-2 courses (up to 6 credits) in the MLIS program while completing their undergraduate degree. These graduate credits count as electives toward the bachelor’s degree, or (with approval) as course replacements within the student’s major in the undergraduate program. Additionally, the credits apply toward the graduate degree if the student is admitted into the MLIS program after completing the bachelor’s degree.
Undergraduate students must meet the following conditions to be eligible for the Program:

  • Current enrollment in a St. Catherine bachelor’s degree program (CFW or CFA)
  • Completion of at least 90 semester credits by the first day of the graduate class
  • Completion of at least 16 credits in residence in the CFW or CFA bachelor’s program
  • An institutional cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • In need of elective credits (or approved course replacement within the major) to complete their bachelor’s degree requirements
  • Approval from the Academic Advising Office

Please note: being eligible for the program (based on the above criteria) does not guarantee approval by the MLIS program director to enroll in a graduate-level course.
Interested students must meet with Academic Advising to confirm eligibility and to obtain guidance in completing the following application requirements for MLIS consideration:

  • Personal statement indicating professional background and personal goals (one page)
  • Current résumé
  • One recommendation completed by a St. Kate’s faculty member, attesting to the student’s readiness for graduate academic rigor

Students who are eligible for the Program will submit the above required documents to their academic advisor, who will forward the material (along with a copy of the student’s current St. Catherine University transcript) to the MLIS Program Director for review. If the Program Director approves the request for graduate-level enrollment, the director and student will discuss course options for the upcoming semester(s). The student then works with her academic advisor to register for the graduate course(s) during the upcoming registration period.

Both the Academic Advising Office and the MLIS program reserve the right to limit the number of undergraduate students in the graduate courses. Students who receive approval for graduate enrollment will be registered for specific graduate courses on a first-come, first-served basis. Undergraduate students must complete all of the course work and meet the same academic expectations required of the graduate students in the MLIS classes.

Acceptance to the Program and enrollment in a graduate-level course does not guarantee admission into the full MLIS degree program (or other St. Catherine University graduate programs) if the student applies for graduate admission in the future.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Applicants in the following categories may be admitted as non-degree seeking students:

  • students in other graduate library and information science programs, if the institution in which they are enrolled will accept credit earned at St. Catherine University as part of the requirements for their graduate degree
  • students enrolled in other graduate degree programs needing a course to complete certification requirements for a specific degree, and with permission of the MLIS Program Director
  • students with a previously earned MLIS degree

Tuition for a graduate non-degree seeking student is the same as for degree-seeking students. Non-degree seeking students are limited to two MLIS courses for a total of six semester credits, and are not eligible for financial aid.

MAOL Information Services and Technology Concentration

Students in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) may choose to take MLIS courses to complete a master’s concentration in Information Services and Technology, or a post-graduate certificate in Library Leadership.

See the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership section of this catalog for more information.

Master of Library and Information Science Program

The MLIS program is designed to educate entry-level librarians and information specialists and provide the educational foundations for lifelong professional development. Students may prepare for positions in public and academic libraries, schools or specialized libraries in the public and private sectors.

The 36-credit curriculum is composed of a range of courses to prepare students for professional responsibilities in a diverse spectrum of libraries and information organizations. There is no thesis requirement.

The maximum load is nine credit hours per semester and six credit hours in the summer session. Courses are offered weekends and evenings on the St. Paul campus. Not all courses are offered on the weekend.

Degree Requirements: MLIS

The degree of Master of Library and Information Science is conferred upon candidates who have met the following requirements:

  • completion of a minimum of 36 graduate semester credits in Library and Information Science, with a minimum of 30 credits completed in St. Catherine University’s MLIS program
  • attainment of a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • satisfactory completion of the required core courses, technology course requirement, and approved ePortfolio
  • Students in the MLIS/SLMS track must complete a pre-student teaching interview, student teaching experience and an approved ePortfolio
  • completion of the degree program within five years
  • filing an Intent to Graduate form with the Office of the Registrar in the semester before the anticipated graduation date
  • current resume submitted to the MLIS program office during the last semester (required as part of the ePortfolio)

Students graduating also are asked to complete the graduating student survey.


Required Core Courses
LIS 7010Introduction to Library and Information Science3
LIS 7030Organization of Knowledge3
LIS 7040Information Access Services3
LIS 7050Research Methods for Library Information Science3
LIS 7700Management of Libraries and Information Centers3
Select One Technology course requirement - select one from designated courses3
LIS 8900ePortfolio0
Total Credits36

All courses require LIS 7010 Introduction to Library and Information Science as a prerequisite, and therefore LIS 7010 Introduction to Library and Information Science is the recommended first course for all MLIS students. Students should schedule the other core courses as early in their program of study as possible.

The majority of the elective courses require one or more courses as prerequisites. Prerequisites may be waived by the instructor. Students should contact the instructor if requesting a prerequisite waiver. Note: core courses LIS 7010 Introduction to Library and Information Science, LIS 7030 Organization of Knowledge and LIS 7040 Information Access Services are prerequisites for all 8000-level courses.

Master of Library and Information Science with School Library Media Specialist License Program

This option within the Master of Library and Information Science degree program is designed to educate students wishing to become school librarians and tech integration specialists. The prescribed course sequence  fulfills the requirements for the Minnesota license for K-12 Library Media Specialist. 

By pursuing this option, students learn the principles of librarianship in general and service to children and young adults in particular. Developmental psychology of the child, pre-adolescent, and adolescent is woven into the literature courses. The philosophy of education for elementary, middle and secondary school levels is an integral part of the curriculum.

Some of the topics in the curriculum include

  • information literacy
  • educator collaboration
  • integration of the library media program into school curriculum
  • instructional technology
  • literature-based curriculum
  • program administration
  • communication
  • professional development

Students graduate from this program with a firm understanding of the roles of the school librarian and the library media program within the school context and the extended school learning community. Graduates become educational leaders in their schools and school districts.

Degree Requirements: MLIS with SLMS Licensure

To fulfill the requirements for the MLIS degree with the Minnesota School Library Media Specialist licensure, students must:

  • fulfill all the requirements for the MLIS Degree substituting LIS 7730 for LIS 7700
  • complete the prescribed SLMS sequence of eleven courses plus one elective (36 semester credits)
  • successfully complete the pre-student teaching interview (initial licensure students only) and the clinical experience/student teaching with a digital portfolio
  • if you do not hold a Minnesota teaching license:
    • meet the general education and professional education requirements of the State of Minnesota
    • complete an edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment) portfolio
    • pass the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE) pedagogy
  • pass the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE) content area – library media specialist
  • file an application for licensure with the Education Department, St. Catherine University

Students with Minnesota State Education Credentials

If students already possess an active Tier 3 or 4 teaching license in Minnesota, the following program of eleven specific LIS courses, one elective, pre-student teaching interview (initial licensure students only) and student teaching meets the requirements for the MLIS degree plus the Minnesota license for K-12 Library Media Specialist.


Required Core Courses
LIS 7010Introduction to Library and Information Science3
LIS 7030Organization of Knowledge3
LIS 7040Information Access Services3
LIS 7050Research Methods for Library Information Science3
LIS 7160Leadership in Theory and Practice3
LIS 7210Library Materials for Children3
LIS 7220Library Materials for Young Adults3
LIS 7240Technology for Teaching and Learning (meets Technology course requirement) 3
LIS 7250Curriculum and School Libraries3
LIS 7730School Libraries3
LIS 7283Clinical Experience/Student Teaching (3 credits only for additional license or)3-6
or LIS 7286 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching
Total Credits36-39

Note: Students who leave the School Library Media Specialist track must take LIS 7700 Management of Libraries and Information Centers to complete the requirements for the MLIS degree.

Clinical Experience/Student Teaching in School Libraries – Required

To put into practice the knowledge gained from course work, students complete field experiences in a variety of school library settings. For field experiences:

  • Initial license complete 100 hours of fieldwork in elementary, middle, and high schools before student teaching, which is embedded in course requirements

  • Additional license complete 40 hours of fieldwork at elementary, middle, and high schools prior to their practicum, which is embedded in course requirements

Upon completion of required course work, students with a teaching license register for LIS 7283 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching. Students who do not have a teaching license must register for LIS 7286 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching.

LIS 7283 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching (3 credits) is for educators with a current Minnesota teaching license. This is a minimum of 80 hours of clinical observations, as determined by the program to address gaps in experience, and supervised practicum.

LIS 7286 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching (6 credits) is for students who do not possess Minnesota teaching credentials. This is 12 weeks, full time of clinical observations and supervised student teaching.

Students Who Do Not Hold Minnesota Teaching Credentials

If students do not hold Minnesota teaching credentials, they must complete the courses listed above (eleven specific LIS courses and three elective credits) and the following education and psychology courses required to meet Minnesota state licensing requirements. These courses may be taken before or at the same time as the core MLIS courses.

Required Education and Psychology Courses

EDUC 5070Teachers as Leaders for a Changing Society4
EDUC 5090General Methods: K-12 and Secondary4
EDUC 5490School Health and Chemical Health1
EDUC 7551Literacy in the Content Areas: Secondary2
PSYC 1001General Psychology with Lab4
or PSYC 1000 General Psychology
PSYC 2025Lifespan Developmental Psychology4
Total Credits19

Minnesota School Library Media Specialist Licensure without the MLIS Degree

If students hold Minnesota state teaching credentials, they must complete LIS 7010, LIS 7030, LIS 7040, LIS 7160, LIS 7210, LIS 7220, LIS 7240, LIS 7250, LIS 7730, and LIS 7283 (30 credits) and pass the content area – library media specialist Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam.

If students do NOT hold Minnesota state teaching credentials, they must complete LIS 7010, LIS 7030, LIS 7040, LIS 7160, LIS 7210, LIS 7220, LIS 7240, LIS 7250, LIS 7730, and LIS 7286 (33 credits); complete the education and psychology classes (19 credits); pass the MTLE pedagogy exam; pass the MTLE library media specialist content area exam, and pass the pre-student teaching interview.

SLMS Appeals/Grievance Policy

Candidates in the teacher education programs at St. Catherine University are expected to follow the grievance and appeals procedures outlined at the University, found in the current University catalog. If any dispute is not settled after full implementation of the appeals processes as defined, the student may contact the Minnesota Board of Teaching per MN Statute 122A.09, Subdivision 4c.