Prospective Students

The Big Picture

There are people whose job it is to preserve, promote and provide access to centuries of human achievement and imagination. They can help someone articulate the information they need, even when they're not sure they know what it is. They understand how information technologies work, and how they could work better. They provide systems and services that allow people to create and collaborate, to perpetuate their histories and cultures, and share information for the betterment of humanity.

The work these people do is critical, but not always obvious. They have different job titles, and they work in a more diverse range of organizations than you probably expect. Libraries, archives and other traditional information institutions are on the forefront of offering new information services to meet changing needs, but the essence of the profession hasn't changed: helping people articulate, seek and fulfill their unique information needs, while cultivating within them the skill and passion to find and evaluate information for themselves.

Still, a modern library and information science education is a passport to transcend traditional boundaries. Every organization needs its data accessed, analyzed and visualized, so they can make well-grounded decisions. Integrating data from diverse sources—think of the last time you scoured the Web before making a purchase decision—requires people who can find, evaluate, translate and transport information from where it exists to where it can do the most good.

Those with a library and information science education, whether they're analyzing scientific data collections or reading a book to a child, are in a position to profoundly influence people's lives.

The Details

LIS students must successfully complete 39 credits (13 classes) of approved graduate coursework to earn a Master of Library and Information Science (MLISc) degree. While most students build their program of study entirely within the LIS core and elective course offerings, we encourage students to explore courses beyond LIS, to maximize the uniqueness of their educational experience. A maximum of nine of the 39 credits may be taken from other programs, with the approval of an LIS faculty advisor.

Students have five years to complete their degree work, though the LIS Program and UH Office of Graduate Education can approve extensions in special circumstances. Most full-time students complete the program in approximately two years.

We strongly encourage students to take advantage of our many internship opportunities. There are currently more than 50 active internship sites across the state.

Course Schedule

LIS courses meet on the UH Mānoa campus once a week for 2.5 hours during the fall and spring semesters, with many evening course options available for students who work during the day. Fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks long, and we also offer accelerated (3-week or 6-week) summer courses.

Though our program is primarily face-to-face, we support neighbor island students through distance education via Halawai, a local implementation of Adobe Connect web conferencing, as well as other distance education and collaboration technologies. Each semester, a rotating selection of courses are designated as distance education courses, and a teaching assistant coordinates remote synchronous student participation. In this way, neighbor island students can participate and interact with students on the UH Mānoa campus. Note: at this time our distance education services are only available to students who reside on a neighboring Hawaiian island.

Join Us!

If you want to expand your career opportunities with an MLISc degree, please review the Programs and Admissions sections of our web site. If you have further questions about the LIS Program, send an email to LISinfo@hawaii.edu and the LIS Program Coordinator will follow-up with you within 1-3 business days.

Alumni Testimonials

"I entered the Program knowing that I enjoyed leadership. I emerged a teacher, a mentor, a peer, a leader, and a librarian. The faculty helped me find my voice and they remain a guiding light after graduation." Liz T. (2015)


"The coursework gave me an excellent foundation, drawing on the best traditions of librarianship while incorporating forward looking ideas, new technologies, and consideration of collaborative discovery processes." Matt B. (2012)

MLISc Career Options

Academic Librarian
Cataloging Librarian
Children's Librarian
Content Management Analyst
Data Analyst
Data Coordinator
Database Editor
Emerging Technologies Librarian
Information Architect
Instruction & Outreach Librarian
Library Director
Medical Librarian
Metadata Librarian
Preservation Specialist
Program Coordinator
Public Librarian
Reference Librarian
Research Librarian
School Library Media Specialist
Systems Librarian
University Archivist
User Experience Designer
Web Developer

...just to name a few!

More Information

For more information on librarianship as a career, see: the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, the American Library Association's Library Careers site, SJSU's Emerging Career Trends for Information Professionals report, Library Journal's Placements & Salaries Surveys, and ALA's Career Development Resource Guide.