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) with the status of conditional accreditation. The next comprehensive review visit is scheduled for Fall 2026. 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

Non-matriculated students may transfer a maximum of nine semester graduate credits or 20.25 quarter graduate credits from an accredited MLIS program. 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 will be accepted, assuming the course(s) meets the program's criteria for relevancy and accreditation standards. The student must provide a course description and a syllabus comparable to a course in the university catalog.

Non-matriculated students seeking the Library Media Specialist initial licensure without a current Tier 3 or 4 teaching license and who need to complete the additional foundational teaching courses listed under their requirements can transfer in credits for these courses outside of the MLIS credit limit. These courses will be determined by either the course transfer system or by evaluating each course for meeting the licensure objectives.

Current students may transfer a maximum of six semester graduate credits or 13.5 quarter graduate credits from another regionally accredited institution or another program at St. Catherine University to apply to the 36 credits of the MLIS degree. The course must be relevant to the student’s chosen career path and may not be identical to a course offered in the MLIS Program of St Catherine University. Students must receive approval from their academic advisor and the MLIS Program Director prior to taking the course they wish to transfer in. Sufficient evidence for the advisor to make a decision will be provided by the student requesting a transfer. 

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 Required 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 following depending on program:3
Management of Libraries and Information Centers (Required for MLIS)
School Libraries (Required for SLMS)
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.

Dual Degree Programs for MLIS

St. Catherine University offers a fast track, "3+2" dual degree option for MLIS for a limited number of St. Kate's students enrolled as bachelor's degree-seeking students in the following majors. Refer to the Pre-Library and Information Science (Masters) section of the undergraduate catalog for details.

  • Communication Studies 
  • Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity 
  • Economics
  • English 
  • History 
  • Political Science 
  • Public Policy
  • Sociology
  • Women’s Studies 

Qualifying students will complete their undergraduate major in three years. In their fourth year - while still enrolled at the undergraduate level - students will begin taking MLIS courses while completing remaining undergraduate courses. In their fifth year, students will complete the MLIS degree while enrolled as graduate students. Eligible students must meet all MLIS admission requirements.

Program for St. Catherine Undergraduate Seniors Taking MLIS Courses

Qualified seniors enrolled at St. Catherine University have the opportunity to take 1-3 courses (up to 9 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 Certificates

The online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) program offers two graduate specialty certificates that include LIS courses: (1) Information Services and Technology Leadership certificate and (2) Library Leadership certificate. Students in another graduate degree program at St. Catherine may pursue a certificate. 

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. 

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 27-30 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 courses
  • 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 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
Technology course requirement - select one from designated technology 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 technology 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 ten courses plus two electives (36 semester credits)
  • successfully complete the clinical experience/student teaching 
  • if you do not hold a Minnesota Tier 3 or 4 teaching license:
    • successfully complete the pre-student teaching interview in the semester before student teaching
    • meet the general education and professional education requirements of the State of Minnesota by completing the additional required courses
    • complete an edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment) portfolio

In order to receive their teaching license, teacher candidates must complete the licensure application process. This involves completing the filing of an application for licensure with the Education Department, St. Catherine University, which will be sent to the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) for final approval


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 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

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.

Required Clinical Experiences and Student Teaching in School Libraries 

To put into practice the knowledge gained from course work, students are required to complete field experiences in a variety of school library settings. These experiences are designed to meet the Minnesota licensure requirements.

For field experiences:

  • Initial license candidates complete 100 hours of fieldwork in elementary, middle, and high schools before student teaching. These are embedded in course requirements

  • Additional license candidates complete 40 hours of fieldwork at elementary, middle, and high schools prior to their practicum. These are embedded in course requirements

Upon completion of the required course work, students register for LIS 7283 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching or 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. Requests for alternative arrangements must still meet the equivalent of 12 full time weeks and should be discussed with the St. Kate’s School Library Media Program Coordinator. Such requests must ultimately be approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Standards and Licensing Board (PELSB).

Initial Licensure Candidates 

If students do not already hold a Minnesota Tier 3 or 4 teaching license, they must complete the following courses to meet the remaining Minnesota state licensing requirements for the Standards of Effective Practice. These courses may be taken before or at the same time as the core MLIS courses. They can also be transferred in from another institution found in the Transfer Evaluation System.

Required Education and Psychology Courses for Initial Licensure Candidates

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 a Minnesota Tier 3 or 4 teaching license, they must complete LIS 7010, LIS 7030, LIS 7040, LIS 7210, LIS 7220, LIS 7240, LIS 7250, LIS 7730, and LIS 7283 (27 credits).

If students do NOT hold Minnesota Tier 3 or 4 teaching license, they must complete LIS 7010, LIS 7030, LIS 7040, LIS 7210, LIS 7220, LIS 7240, LIS 7250, LIS 7730, and LIS 7286 (27 credits); and complete the initial licensure requirements listed above (19 credits). 

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.