Library and Information Science (LIS) specialization

Librarians not only manage collections, they evaluate, analyze, organize, package, and present information and train people in its use. The LIS specialization introduces students to research, theories, and approaches, as well as the practices of library and information science. LIS students develop knowledge of information representation and organization, information architecture, content and collections, information needs and uses, and information technology.

What can I do with a career interest in library and information science?

Learn more about Andrea Cluck (MSI '14, LIS specialization)

The MSI degree is ALA accredited. With a specialization in LIS, MSI graduates become a part of the new librarianship that leads the field as it continues to anticipate and respond to future challenges of the information age.

Career Industry Areas: University or public library/special collections, K-12 schools, cultural institutions, government agencies, nonprofits, computer: software/internet, information collection and delivery organizations, consumer goods corporations, service corporations, consulting

Career Titles: Reference librarian, instructional librarian, children's librarian, systems librarian, database manager, information analyst, web developer, information architect, school media specialist, systems analyst, research analyst

Employment Outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2009-2010, jobs for librarians outside traditional settings will grow fast over the decade, with the fastest growth expected in "special" libraries such as corporate, medical, law, healthcare, publishing and consulting. Librarians can manage vast amounts of information and analyze, evaluate, and organize it according to a company’s specific needs utilizing the latest technology.  This skill set is proving to be highly marketable across industries.

LIS internships

Students gain valuable experience in southeast Michigan and around the globe. Recent internship sites include:

  • Abbott Labs-Library
  • New York Public Library
  • National Parks Services-Yellowstone Research Library
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Oregon State University Library
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Gale|Cengage
  • Library of Congress
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
  • University of Michigan Libraries
  • Dublin City Public Library
  • University of Guam-Library

MSI-LIS employment outcomes

Organizations employing MSI-LIS graduates have included:

  • New York Public Library
  • CNN
  • Library of Congress
  • University of Michigan Libraries
  • Cornell University
  • Columbia University-Law Library
  • National Library of Medicine
  • Dow Chemical
  • CIA
  • Denver Public Library
  • Yale University
  • University of Oregon

LIS specialization requirements (current for 2016-2017)

In addition to the specialization requirements below, LIS students must meet all of the degree requirements of the 48-credit MSI program, including foundations, distributions, practical engagement, cognate, and electives.

LIS students must complete 15 credits from the list below, including SI 647 which is required.  Bolded courses are highly recommended (but not required) gateways for a strong foundation in the diverse field of LIS.

  • SI 647: Information Resources and Services (3, Required)
  • SI 531: Human Interaction in Information Retrieval (3)
  • SI 551: Information-Seeking Behavior (3)
  • SI 570: Semantics-Based Knowledge Descriptions and Organization (3)
  • SI 620: Collection Development and Management (3)
  • SI 640: Digital Libraries and Archives (3)
  • SI 641: Information Literacy for Teaching and Learning (3)
  • SI 643: Professional Practice in Libraries and Information Centers (3)
  • SI 653: Evidence-Based Health Information Practice (3)
  • SI 658: Information Architecture (3)
  • SI 665: Online Searching and Databases (3 )
  • SI 666: Organization of Information Resources (3)

Download Tracking and Planning Sheets (login required)

For questions or more information about the LIS specialization, current students should contact Academic Advisor Sarah Argiero.  Prospective students should contact our admissions office at