Masters of Library Science Online

The 21st Century
Library Science Degree

The Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) online transcends the scope of a traditional library science program, delivering management strategies to help you define your role as a leader.

  • Empowering
    Study leadership tactics geared specifically toward today’s library landscape and library science-based professions.
  • Relevant
    Be a part of a field that is constantly evolving along with modern technology and offers a variety of career choices.
  • Unique
    Experience the advantages of the nation’s only library science degree program to be offered through a leading school of business.
  • Focused
    Choose the general studies track or tailor your educational experience to your own aspirations.

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Rankings & Accreditations

American Library Association

USC’s MMLIS online program is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).


The University of Southern California (USC) is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Read More


The Marshall School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Read More

U.S. News

U.S. News & World Report ranks USC #23 in its 2017 national university rankings. Read More

  • Overview
  • Specialization
  • Curriculum
  • Faculty
  • Goals and Outcomes

A Unique and Innovative Program

As the only library and information science degree in the nation to be offered through a top-ranked business school, the Master of Management in Library and Information Science online offers considerable advantages for the student. The MMLIS program goes above and beyond the typical library science program to explore business operations and advanced leadership strategies.

The curriculum covers essential facets of librarianship – such as foundations, research, collection development, database management and information technologies– and presents you with opportunities to advance your management skills through team work, communication for leaders and project management.

Relevant and Focused

Few fields offer the diverse range of career options that can be found within the arena of library and information science, from academic librarian to digital assets manager, branch manager to information consultant. With a cohort-based model, the Master of Management in Library and Information Science online allows you to follow an academic path through individual assignments and optional internships with faculty support that will address your own professional objectives.

The Definitive Curriculum in Library Leadership

To succeed in today’s world of library and information science, individuals should have a strong understanding of how the field has evolved and a leadership philosophy that reflects those changes.

A unique relationship with the Marshall School of Business helps the Master of Management in Library and Information Science online to transcend the average library science degree. This innovative degree program offers management-based course work designed to help forge the field’s next generation of librarian leaders. The MMLIS consists of five 15-week semesters and may be completed in 20 months.

Semester I

GSBA 502 Management Communication for Leaders (3)
Integrates leadership theory and practice with communication skills to improve individual, team, and organizational performance. Emphasizes interpersonal, presentation, and writing skills; teamwork; and value-based leadership.
LIM 500 Fundamentals of Library and Information Science (3)
A foundation that provides critical knowledge of the distinct characteristics associated with libraries and information centers necessary for effective management and leadership in these organizations.
LIM 591A Research and Professional Applications (2)
Research and Professional Applications A enables beginning students to think critically about information and become better information seekers and users through an overview of concepts, components and developments in library-based reference and information services and report-writing.

Semester II

LIM 503 Organization, Access and Retrieval of Information (3)
An overview of issues related to organizing and accessing information, starting with a conceptual understanding of the key problems and solutions from a historical perspective and including an exploration of how traditional library tools and modern information seeking behavior intersect in the world of linked data.
LIM 504 Research Methods in Library and Information Management (3)
An overview of research methods in information management including the conceptualization of research problems, literature reviews, research design, sampling, measurement, data collection and data analysis.
LIM 591B Research and Professional Applications (2)
Research and Professional Applications B reinforces the key elements of working in teams and effective presentations while introducing project management. A project management plan, research paper and presentation are required.

Semester III

LIM 501 Fundamentals of Library Leadership and Management (3)
Fundamentals of library and information center leadership and management from past, present and future perspectives, highlighting practical techniques and theoretical insights.
LIM 502 Collection Development and Management (3)
This course focuses on the development of library collections in a changing technological field and emphasizes assessment, patron interest, budgets, and maintenance.
LIM 591C Research and Professional Applications (2)
Research and Professional Applications C builds on the required management course by introducing students to business essentials. Using a specially designed MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) as the “text” students also experience the potential and implications of MOOCs in library environments.

Semester IV

LIM 552 Strategic Information and Competitive Analysis (3)
Searching sophisticated for-fee and free sources of information unique to particular industry client groups, synthesizing and translating information ethically to critical intelligence.
LIM 562 Library and Information Technologies (3)
An overview of the fundamentals of information technologies – concepts, terminology and usage in organizations – including integrated library systems, information design and architecture, information retrieval and electronic resources, computer networks, cloud technologies, data storage, web design, and the digital library, as well as the impact of emerging technologies on library and information service.
LIM 591D Research and Professional Applications (2)
Research and Professional Applications D provides flexibility for students to pursue independent study, join a faculty member on a research project, work on a professional project with an employer, under faculty supervision, or develop a detailed plan for continued learning in a specific area. A project management plan, research paper and presentation are typically required.

Semester V

LIM 511 Instructional Strategies for Information Professionals (3)
An overview of research in teaching and learning, emphasizing the role of information professionals as instructors and facilitators of information navigation.
LIM 598 Capstone in Library and Information Management (3)
A culminating experience where knowledge from course work is applied to the core competencies of the information profession. Graded CR/NC.
LIM 591E Research and Professional Applications (2)
Research and Practical Application E provides a combination of valuable experiential and contextual learning by purposefully structuring knowledge and theory learned with practical application and skills development in a supervised professional setting. Note that students also have the option of undertaking a second project in LIM 591D in place of this internship.

First-Class Faculty Makes All the Difference

As a student in the Master of Management in Library and Information Science online program, you have access to the support of an exceptional team of educators. The acclaimed faculty of the Marshall School of Business is an immensely valuable resource, engaging you in thought-provoking discussion and providing wisdom and mentorship throughout the program.


Program Goals

Through community connections, strategic orientations and flexibility, the Master of Management in Library and Information Science program develops graduates with potential for success in organizations and in our changing enterprise.

Our Mission

Aligned with the mission of USC and the Marshall School of Business, the Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) educates professionals with enterprise-wide perspectives to lead work teams, units and organizations to benefit their communities and deliver value.

Next slide: Intended Student Learning Outcomes »


Intended Student Learning Outcomes

As a minimum, librarian/leaders require capability in the discipline/business and the organization in which it is practiced, together with a strategic orientation and social intelligence. These are undergirded by general intellect, with a strong inclination to continue to learn.

Within this context, graduates of the MMLIS program will be able to:

  • Understand the ecology of libraries and information networks, their unique environments and how they are governed
  • Articulate and employ professional values and ethics in a variety of situations and circumstances
  • Apply and assess management strategies, practices and decisions
  • Develop and manage content, including negotiating with vendors and licensors, for targeted communities of users
  • Organize, retrieve and manage information for stakeholder benefit
  • Locate, synthesize and translate information to intelligence for various client groups
  • Develop, implement and assess programs and services for enhancing use of information and ideas
  • Understand the role of current and emerging technologies and infrastructure in organizational effectiveness and service delivery
  • Design, apply and interpret different research and evaluation methods to gain insight, assess impact and make appropriate decisions
  • Manage and lead diverse projects and teams, understanding communication and leadership behaviors that affect workplace performance and client satisfaction
  • Apply persuasion and influence through networking, collaboration, and relationship-building
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continued professional education and lifelong learning

Nexxt slide: Student Assessment »


Student Assessment

These program goals reflects the USC learning goals, the Marshall overarching goals for all Business school graduates and the required competencies of tomorrow’s librarians and information professionals as articulated by the American Library Association. These program goals are then “translated” into objectives for each individual course. Assignments reflect the course objectives. In this way we assure that each student has addressed elements of these goals in their course of study. To close the assessment loop, each student completes an electronic portfolio as the capstone project, indicating an ability to meet the program goals. Of course students are provided with support and guidance throughout the process.

More Choices in
an Evolving Field

The Master of Management in Library and Information Science online can expand your professional horizons, paving the way for you to choose from a variety of exciting work environments. Work alongside Impressionist paintings in an art museum or manage a collection of rare 17th century books. Mentor students and teach them to make the most of digital learning technologies. Prepare yourself for the lasting and fulfilling career that’s right for you with a library science degree from the University of Southern California.

The New Age of Librarianship:
Fact vs. Fiction

FICTION: Libraries are silent, impersonal places where conversation is discouraged.
FACT: Today’s libraries and information centers are lively, interactive meeting places where staff members communicate one-on-one with customers to improve their research experience.

FICTION: The job of a librarian ends when he or she helps a customer find a resource.
FACT: Modern librarians are trained professionals who act as agents of the educational process, offering customers their guidance and wisdom.

FICTION: Working at libraries and information centers means constantly working with books, hard copy, digital or e-content and databases.
FACT: Today’s information centers house an incredible wealth of different media, including music, film and maps.

FICTION: A library science degree can only prepare you to be a librarian in a library.
FACT: On the contrary, the MMLIS program from the University of Southern California is designed to expand your career prospects. MMLIS degree holders may choose to pursue careers in a variety of government agencies or private business settings.


  • The Marshall Edge
  • The USC Libraries
  • Center for Library Leadership
  • The Superior Flexibility
  • Strategic Plan
  • Advisory Board

The Marshall Edge

As the nation’s only library and information science degree program to be housed within a top-ranked business school, the USC MMLIS is unlike any other library science program.

USC Marshall School of Business is widely regarded as a leader in innovation and cross-cultural academia, making it the perfect choice for our transcendent program. Unlike other library science degrees, the Master of Management in Library and Information Science provides training in leadership, business and management to help mold the leaders of tomorrow’s information culture – not just in libraries, but in museums, businesses, government agencies, medical centers and a vast array of other professional settings.

The USC Libraries

If you’re going to pursue an advanced library science degree, shouldn’t you do it through an academic institution standing at the forefront of library science?

The University of Southern California is home to an expansive network of 24 libraries and information centers. Within the network are libraries of medicine, philosophy and the cinematic arts as well as our digital library. The Master of Management in Library and Information Science online taps into these resources to give your education a topical depth that’s uncommon in many of today’s library science programs.

The Center for Library Leadership and Management

The MMLIS program is informed by the Center for Library Leadership and Management (CLLM), a one-of-a-kind institution dedicated to leadership development, continuing education and shaping dynamic courses of study at USC.

CLLM at USC provides community and enrichment opportunities for senior leaders representing libraries of all disciplines. The CLLM at USC board of directors also helps to determine research priorities, which include research studies in leadership and links to relevant research studies for library professionals. Learn more here.

The Superior Flexibility

The Master of Management in Library and Information Science online was designed to provide students with added scheduling flexibility without sacrificing education quality.

The online learning environment offered by the University of Southern California lets you build a course work schedule that fits your busy lifestyle, allowing you to give your other responsibilities the attention they deserve.

MMLIS Program Planning Goal

To develop a high quality, recognized program in library and information management.

Program Strategic Directions 2015-2017

1. To reframe the program goals around competencies to cross-enterprise intelligences: with a focus on general intelligence (and a commitment to continued learning), business intelligence (the disciplinary competencies of librarianship), organizational intelligence (working in teams, leadership, alignment with core business elements), strategic intelligence (choices, cost- benefit/cost-effectiveness, impact studies), and people intelligence (relationship building, networks, social influence); and align courses and assignments with intelligences, as well as the e-Portfolio. (Deferred to 2017 rather than change wording of competencies between Candidacy and Accreditation)

2. To revise the curriculum to reflect the stated emerging needs of employers, advisory boards and projected employment for librarians, including entrepreneurship, risk-taking, flexibility, innovation, leadership, “deep” searching, competitive intelligence, and information brokering.(Partial implementation, remained deferred to  Fall, 2017; some will be incorporated in core courses and some in new electives as student numbers grow; see also 6.b. below)

3. To integrate alumni and students in a single seamless association for mentoring, networking, continuing education, and shared governance. (Completed 2015)

4. To develop the newly-approved Center for Library Leadership and Management as a research and professional focus for addressing sector issues and continuing education. (Completed for continuing education, 2015; research focus to begin in 2016)

5. To assess curriculum and program delivery through student assessment, e-portfolios, as well as student, faculty, and employer satisfaction and consequently revise programs, delivery, and support for continued improvement. (Summer, 2016)

6. To develop programs in response to student and employer needs through careful, strategic implementation over time:

  1. Executive MMLIS stream (2016);
  2. Program electives in priority areas, dependent on student numbers (collaboration/partnerships, 2017; strategic information and analysis (four courses,) 2017; digital assets management, 2017, storytelling 2017);
  3. Master of Strategic Information and Analysis (certificate, 2017; degree implementation 2018);
  4. Ed.D. with an LIS cohort (2017);
  5. Joint courses and/or programs with the Master of Public Administration program (2019) and Master of Communications Management program (2019)

Advisory Board

The Board of Directors for the University of Southern California Center for Library Leadership and Management also serves as the Advisory Board for the Master of Management in Library and Information Science program.

For this distinguished panel of leaders and employers, see:

Top 10 Exciting Jobs for the MMLIS Graduate

If you think all library science degrees lead to the same place, think again.

Here are 10 unique and exciting career choices for an individual with a Master of Management in Library and Information Science to consider:

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Librarian
Perfect for individuals with an interest in geography or cartography, this position entails the acquisition and maintenance of map collections, GIS databases and other geospatial resources.

Metadata Analyst
Metadata analysts can be found in a variety of settings, including banks, technical companies and academic institutions. They are exceedingly comfortable in the digital environment, where they play an essential role in database management operations, focusing primarily on tagging and cataloging.

Wine Librarian
Oenophiles with a love of literature, rejoice! The wine librarian is responsible for managing resources and information on vineyards, vintages, grape growing, fermentation and all other topics that wine enthusiasts may find interesting.

Business Researcher
Before a business opens its doors, it must effectively gauge the marketplace for consumer demand and marketing opportunities and examine the strategic profiles of the competition. Business researchers provide such a service, collecting, processing and organizing relevant market data to allow businesses to make smart decisions.

Special Collections Librarian
As their job title suggests, these individuals focus on the unique task of working with special collections. Special collections librarians often work closely with rare books, but may also find themselves in the company of historical maps, recordings or photographs, making this an incredibly appealing career choice for those with an interest in history.

Technology Coordinator
While the professional duties of technology coordinators may vary from one industry to another, the constant is a responsibility to ensure network and technical functionality. Additionally, they often find themselves in the role of educator, providing system training and making those around them as comfortable with emergent technologies as possible. Technology coordinators may find themselves employed at schools, tech firms, health care organizations and just about any other information-intensive arena you can imagine.

Museum Librarian
Museum librarians are often involved in the development and archiving of artifact collections, works of art or other unique items. This field is a world unto itself, allowing professionals endless leeway for specialization. An art lover may wish to work at an art museum, while a history buff will choose to work in a history museum. Museum librarianship presents engaging career opportunities for people of all interests.

Chief Information Officer (CIO)
The chief information officer is generally an organization’s greatest authority when it comes to all technology matters. They may work in academia, private business or various government agencies. A strong technological background is of the utmost importance for any CIO, as is an understanding of contemporary leadership and management strategies.

Law Librarian
Law librarians manage complex legal databases and assist legal professionals in their research, often playing an important part in the legal process. Although a law degree isn’t necessarily required, law librarians are often well versed in the field, and may even participate in training sessions to teach attorneys or law students how to conduct their research more efficiently.

Medical Librarian
Medical librarians play a significant role in the health care process, managing important information that can be found in medical journals and the documentation of clinical trials. Some are employed by hospitals, while others choose to work at medical schools, serving as facilitators of the educational process for tomorrow’s doctors


Your local public library has probably become a
different place in recent years.

If it hasn’t yet, change is coming soon – and to museums, businesses and government offices as well. Information centers are no longer cold, quiet data rooms marked by impersonality. Today, they have come alive as vibrant learning hubs, creating a demand for industry professionals who are ready to lead their organizations into a new era of librarianship. Modern librarians are engaging and instructive, with a strong grasp on new media and digital technology. They are tutors, teachers, mentors and coaches. They are businessmen and women. They are managers of resources, including individuals. Today’s library science professionals have an unprecedented range of choice in defining their career

  • Requirements
  • Scholarships
  • Tuition
  • Financial Aid
  • Calendar

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for this program, students must meet the following qualifications.

  • Online Application
    Submit along with a $150 application fee.
  • Bachelor’s degree
    Must be from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Grade Point Average
  • Standardized examinations
    GRE or GMAT score not required; however, you must show related work experience.
  • Transcripts
    Must have official transcripts sent from all colleges and universities attended, regardless of whether credit or a degree was obtained. The official transcript should show the titles of all courses taken, grades or marks received and the date and title of any degree(s) conferred; USC alumni do not need to submit the USC official transcript. Transcripts must be enclosed in an envelope sealed by the registrar’s office and mailed to: USC Enrollment Advisor [Name]
    University of Southern California – MMLIS Program
    Off-Site Admission Center
    50 Northwest Point Blvd, 5th Floor
    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1032
    Phone: 1-877-830-8647

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for this program, students must meet the following qualifications.

  • Language Proficiency
    Must submit a test score from the TOEFL If your native language is NOT English. MMLIS applicants must have a total minimum score of 100 with a minimum score of 20 in each section. Visit USC Proficiency in English for more information.
  • Three Letters of Reference
    Must be completed by three people who can provide academic or professional references.
  • Essay Question
    Write a response to this essay question: How will your involvement with the Master of Management in Library and Information Science help you achieve your current personal and professional goals? The response is limited to 500 words or less. Some financial awards are based on this statement of career development.


Scholarship Opportunities

The Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) awards scholarships to incoming students each semester. Students are automatically entered into the award candidate pool once they have been admitted to the program. The MMLIS program awards “USC MMLIS Entry Scholarships” based on past academic performance.

In 2014, these scholarships are $2,000 each. The MMLIS program also grants “USC MMLIS Career Development Awards” for career plans and aspirations based on a student’s personal application statement. To be eligible for an award each student must be enrolled full time (8 units). Award recipients are selected by the program director and faculty.


The Master of Management in Library and Information Science online presents an opportunity for you to enrich your educational profile and prepare yourself for leadership roles in librarianship and information management. The program includes 15 courses and may be completed in just five semesters (approximately 20 months). Tuition rates and associated fees for 2016-17 are as follows:

  • Online Application Fee: $150
  • Norman Topping Student Aid Fund: $8 per semester
  • Commitment Deposit: $250 (non-refundable, but applicable to tuition)
  • Tuition: $1,733 per credit hour plus fees
  • Total Tuition: $69,320* (40 credits)
  • Program-Provided Books and Tech: iPad minis, webcams, headsets and textbooks supplied to new incoming students (Approximate Value of Books and Supplies: $1,000-$2,000).

*Tuition is subject to change and increase each academic year

Transfer Credits: No transfer credits are allowed for this program.

Financial Aid

A variety of financial aid opportunities are available to help eligible students cover some or all of the expenses associated with their graduate learning experience. Prospective students should review all financial aid literature carefully to gain an understanding of their options.

Click the link below for a more detailed financial aid overview:

Academic Calendar and Deadlines


Term Application Deadline Term Start Date
Summer 2016 April 4, 2016 May 4 – Aug 16, 2016
Fall 2016 Aug 8, 2016 Aug 31 – Dec 13, 2016
Spring 2017 Dec 2, 2016 Jan 4 – Apr 18, 2017

Alexis Hackathorn
Coordinator of Student Services

Dr. Gary Shaffer
Program Director

To contact program staff, request additional program information, or to begin an application, please email or call (877) 830-8647 toll-free.