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Admissions Requirements for MS Degree Program

General Requirements (for all applicants)

Our MS in Information and Library Science degree program features flexible options that offer (1) both fall and spring admission, and (2) programs online, in a seated environment, or through a mixture of both.

Want to know more about the program prior to applying? Watch one of our MS Information Sessions!

The applicant should have received an undergraduate bachelor degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better by the intended beginning semester. Applications with lower GPA’s may still be considered and granted a “conditional admission” (see below for more information). To apply for admission to the MS in Information and Library Science or MS in School Librarianship program, please submit the following materials by the deadline:

  • A completed online application.
  • Unofficial transcripts from each institution that you have attended. Applicants who are currently at UB or have studied at or graduated from UB do not need to submit an official UB transcript.
  • GRE or MAT scores.*
  • Three letters of recommendation. If you have graduated within the past 5 years, you must submit two academic references (professor) and one professional reference.
  • Statement of Education and Career Goals. Please write a detailed statement describing your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in the information and library studies field. Include your professional goals and objectives and indicate any area of special interest within the field.
  • A $50 non-refundable application fee, submitted electronically through UB's ePayment system.
* Beginning in fall 2015, the only exceptions to the admission requirement of a standardized exam (such as the GRE or MAT) for the MS program is one of the following:
  1. If an applicant already has a master’s degree and a GPA in that degree of 3.5 or greater; or,
  2. If an applicant already has a Ph.D. or equivalent (e.g., Ed.D. or J.D.).

Application Deadlines

Admission is rolling.

Application Requirements for International Applicants

In addition to the requirements noted above, international applicants should submit the following:

  • ALL transcripts / mark sheets and completed degrees / diplomas for ALL post-secondary schools attended;
  • GRE score report (no more than five years old): UB institution code is 2925 - GRE departmental code is 4701.
  • TOEFL or IELTS score report (must not be more than two years old from the time you begin classes. The required minimum TOEFL score is a 213 for a computer based test, 550 for a paper based test and 79 Internet based test. The required minimum IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score is 6.5 overall with no individual sub-score below 6.0.
  • A copy of your passport biographical page.
  • All financial forms and supporting documentation must be uploaded to your application with required signatures, and must be dated within one year of the time you intend to enroll at UB. No action will be taken on dossiers of applicants who indicate no financial support. International graduate applicants must document their ability to pay for all costs incurred while studying in the U.S. Please use the standard graduate financial form at this link:
  • An official bank statement translated into U.S. dollars

More information about cost of attendance as an International Student at UB.

For additional general information on international admissions see:

Conditional Admit/Provisional Status

A student may be admitted provisionally to the MS in Information and Library Science when s/he does not meet all admissions requirements (most often because of an undergraduate GPA below 3.0) but his or her personal statements, transcripts, employment history, and letters of reference demonstrate potential for success. At the end of the semester in which the student has attempted 12 credit hours in the program, the student’s academic standing will be reviewed by a member of the LIS staff.

At the time of the review, if the student meets all the conditions of good academic standing and has no Incomplete or Unsatisfactory grades, provisional status is automatically lifted and the student is considered to be in Good Academic Standing.

Applicants to the MS in School Librarianship program will not be admitted with a GPA below 3.0, UNLESS they already have another master’s degree. Applicants with a low GPA who would like to be considered for the MS in School Librarianship program may apply for conditional admission to the MS program. Following completion of 12 credits and a GPA of 3.0, a student may apply to be in the School Librarianship program. This provides students the opportunity to undertake graduate work and test their success.

Special Notes

  • Online/Seated option: when filing your online application, please be sure to indicate whether you’re interested in completing the MS in Information and Library Science program online or in a seated setting. Information of the online or seated option of the MS in Information and Library Science program can be found on our Academic Program page.
  • Former/Maiden Name: Please be sure to provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.
  • English Language preparation (international students only): International students are strongly encouraged to attend the six-week summer intensive English language program before enrolling in MS courses. For more information, please visit the Intensive English Language Institute (ELI).

Admissions Requirements for Advanced Certificate

You must have a master's degree in LIS or in a related field. You will also be asked to come for an admission interview to review your program objectives. Current MS students need not supply transcripts or letters of reference.

You can find the link to apply online on this page.

Please visit the advanced certificate page for more information.

Admissions Requirements for Non-Matriculated Students

Individuals not formally accepted into the MS in Information and Library Science or the Advanced Studies Certificate Program, but taking coursework at LIS, may be admitted as Non-Degree Students. If a Non-Degree Student is later admitted into the MS in Information and Library Science degree program, a maximum of 12 credit hours of non-matriculating courses may be transferred.

Non-matriculated students who wish to re-register as a non-matriculated student following their first semester, will need to inform the GSE Admissions Office of this intent. If the student is eligible to continue as a non-matriculated student, GSE Admissions will obtain Departmental permission for that and will communicate that to the student. The Department will then allow the student to register for the semester. This process will be repeated until such time the student reaches the cap of 12 credit hours or decides against registering as a non-matric.

Please visit our non-matriculated page for more information.