MLS - Master of Library Science (Reference Concentration)

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Master of Library Science (Reference Concentration, part-time)


  • Are you naturally curious and love learning new things?
  • Do you like working with information in many formats and helping others find answers to specific questions or solve problems?
  • Are you interested in earning an MLS with a concentration in reference services?

If so, then our online master’s degree in Library Science with a concentration in reference services is an ideal choice for you. If you are interested in selecting a different area of concentration and/or taking a portion of your program on-campus, please visit our on-campus MLS program website.

Students in our online program complete their degree on a part-time basis in just two years, including summer semesters. All courses are delivered completely online, with an option of substituting up to six semester hours transferred from other programs accredited by the American Library Association. Courses are taught by our full-time LIS faculty members and highly qualified practitioners working in the field. The program, which provides a concentration in reference services, prepares students to be professionals in a variety of settings including public libraries, college and university libraries, government agencies, museums, hospitals, corporations, and non-profit organizations.

MLS at a Glance:

  • Application Deadline for Admission: February 1
  • Degree Granted: MLS
  • Minimum Number of Semester Credits (Semester Hours): 36
  • Typical Time for Completion: Two years of part-time enrollment. (two courses per semester and summer session)
  • Program Information and Requirements: Click here for full details.
  • Potential Employers Post-Graduation: Public or academic libraries, or special libraries serving businesses, museums, hospitals, non-profit organizations, etc.

Employment Opportunities

With an MLS degree from an ALA accredited library school students are able to apply for a variety of professional positions in public, academic, or special libraries. Graduates from this online program will obtain special knowledge and training in reference services, making them especially proficient at interviewing patrons with reference questions, helping patrons rephrase questions, assisting users with research needs, and helping patrons access and evaluate information from electronic resources. The last census figures showed a 20% increase in the number of librarians in the US. For the most complete current information relating to library careers and trends in employment visit the American Library Association.

Most states have listservs or websites where job postings in librarianship are announced. The American Library Association provides job seeking services through their website. Additionally, some employers conduct interviews at ALA sponsored conferences.


Our program has been accredited continuously by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1972. Most public, academic, and special libraries require that their professional librarians graduate from an ALA accredited program.