Q: I meet all the requirements. Will I automatically be accepted into the MLIS program?
A: Ours is a highly competitive program; not everyone who meets the requirements will be accepted as there just isn’t space in the program.
Q: I don’t meet some of the requirements, but I feel like I could be a successful student anyway. Should I still apply?
A: The admissions process is holistic. This means we’re looking at the whole applicant, but also are considering how that person will fit in with and enhance the community of learners we currently form.
Q: What is the Admissions Committee looking for in a candidate?
A: The Committee is looking at a lot of things that provide evidence you’ll be a good fit for the program. For starters, because all of the classes are taught online, we want to be confident that an incoming student will be able to succeed in our program. We might ask ourselves:

  1. Is there evidence of the ability to do well in our challenging masters curriculum? Both intellectually, of course, but also in terms of the use of technology?
  2. Letters from former professors are especially helpful in this regard, as is evidence in the essays area that prospective students have access to technology and are willing and able to use it!
Q: I don’t really like people or technology, so I think I’ll be a great librarian. Is this a good outlook to adopt?
A: Librarians and other information professionals don’t sit around all day hiding from people and smelling old books. We look for evidence of a potential student’s interest in working in a user-centric environment that makes extensive use of technology. We also want to ensure that prospective students will be able to meet our student learning outcomes and, for example, will be open to serving diverse user communities and learning new things. The essays area also can help us here.
Q: I had a particularly rough spot (academically, personally, etc.) in my past that will be evident in my application materials. Should I just pretend nothing was ever wrong?
A: The Admissions Committee would like to suggest that you acknowledge any problems in the essay area, and then focus on explaining how you are confident that they will not happen again. What’s different now for you? How are things better going forward? It’s fine to focus on the positive, but at the same time, please understand that the Admissions Committee wants to be as sure as possible that you have the support in place to do your best and to succeed in our program.
Q: I just found these FAQs and now I want to revise my application essays! Is it too late?
A: If the Admissions Committee has not met, it is not too late! Please work with the MU Grad School to have access re-enabled for you.
Q: I’ve been out of school for a while. What are you looking for in letters of recommendation? Can I just get some friends to vouch for me?
A: The letters of recommendation help the Admissions Committee understand what kind of student you will be in our classes, but also what kind of scholar you have the potential to be in a demanding masters program, and the kind of information professional you will be when you graduate. It’s helpful for us to have input from faculty with whom you’ve studied, but employers can also help us understand whether you are intellectually ready to engage in a masters program that is wholly offered online. If your letter-writers are looking for guidance, please let them know the Admissions Committee wants to ensure you are ready and able to succeed in an intellectually-challenging masters program — What is your potential as a scholar? As a future professional? These are not the kinds of letters that friends or family members are able to provide.
Q: I know I want to be a librarian, but it’s not clear to me that I’ll be accepted at MU. Is there anything I can do as I figure out where my best fit might be?
A: You may test the waters at MU by taking up to nine hours of coursework with us — usually at least six (i.e., two classes) of these will be transferable to another program if you aren’t accepted at MU. However, there are a number of caveats to consider if you decide to take classes with us as a non-degree seeking (i.e., non-matriculating) student.

Taking courses as a non-matriculating student does not guarantee admission.
Non-matriculating students do not have some of the benefits that students in the MLIS program have. For example:

  • Non-matriculating students are not invited to orientation.
  • Non-matriculating students do not have an academic advisor.
    • Be sure to take courses that will be included in your program of study if you are accepted (these will also likely be transferrable to another program if you are not accepted).
    • Check with the student services office before enrolling.

If you are officially accepted into our program after taking classes as a non-matriculating student, no more than nine credit hours (three classes) will count toward your degree.

  • If you are not accepted, not all nine might transfer to other programs.
  • Be sure to plan ahead regarding how many classes you take as a non-matriculating student, and be aware of requirements of your second choice institutions in terms of what they might accept as transfer credit.

Finally, the Admissions Committee has no way of knowing you successfully took classes with us unless you specifically upload grades as part of your application, and mention taking classes with us in your essays.

  • Applicants can and should edit their applications if their educational experience changes between when they originally applied and when they are considered.
  • If possible, we recommend you ask one of your instructors from our program to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.