The M.S. in library and information science (L.I.S.) prepares students for professional careers in all types of information organizations, including libraries. The GSLIS concentration of the campus-wide M.S. in bioinformatics program emphasizes multidisciplinary skills that are required for a career developing and managing information systems for the biological community. The C.A.S. program provides the opportunity (1) to study an aspect of library and information science in greater depth than is possible in the M.S. program, (2) to refresh and upgrade one's professional training several years after completing the M.S. program, or (3) to redirect one's career into a different area of library and information science. K-12 Library Information Specialist Certification is available in conjunction with both the M.S. in L.I.S. and C.A.S. The Ph.D. is a research degree program.
The M.S. in L.I.S. is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Two scheduling options are available to students pursuing the M.S. degree. The on-campus option serves students who are in residence at Urbana-Champaign, as well as part-time, commuting students. The LEEP scheduling option is an online education option that combines brief periods of on-campus instruction with instruction using the Internet and other information technologies for delivery. The LEEP option only begins in the summer semester, starting with a ten-day campus orientation. During this ten-day stay, students take one of the required core courses, LIS 502: Libraries, Information, and Society.
Students work closely with faculty advisers to plan an appropriate course of study. A thesis is not required but is available as an option. Students prepare for careers in all types of information organizations. Examples of the professional positions graduates hold include: Internet trainer, webmaster, and knowledge manager, as well as work in reference, automated systems, cataloging, youth services, school media, and other positions in public, academic, school, and special libraries.