Degrees, Programs, and Requirements

M.S. in Library and Information Science (LIS)

Students must complete 36 credit hours with an average of B or better and meet other prescribed requirements of the Institute. Degree requirements must be completed within four years from the date of registration for the first course.

Core/Required Courses: 

All students must take the core curriculum, comprised of four 3-credit courses representing 12 credits of the 36 credits required for the M.S. in LIS. The core provides students with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to pursue studies in LIS. Areas of focus within the core are reference, cataloging and metadata, information technology, and the role of information professions in society. Core competencies are supported by the core and across the curriculum.

  • LIS 651 Information Professions
  • LIS 652 Information Services and Resources
  • LIS 653 Knowledge Organization
  • LIS 654 Information Technologies

Student e-Portfolio, a SILS Culminating Experience and Graduation Requirement

Entering students are required to create an e-Portfolio representing their culminating program experience, submitted as a graduation requirement at the end of the degree program. Working with faculty advisors, students select projects that represent their best work and demonstrate that they have mastered the five program-level student learning objectives for the M.S.L.I.S. Visit the e-Portfolio site to learn more.

Dual Degree - M.S.LIS and M.S. in History of Art and Design

This program is especially designed for students who wish to pursue careers in arts-related fields where art, information, and technology converge. Students will be prepared to work in any number of settings, from academic libraries and museums to galleries and auction houses, as well as other cultural settings. The program requires 30 credits in LIS and 30 credits in the History of Art and Design for a total of 60 credits. Students must apply to and be accepted as matriculated in both programs. The application may be made initially to the dual degree program or to one of the two programs with a later application to the other, provided that the student has not yet graduated from the first program. SILS does not require the GRE, although in some cases it might be requested if, for example, a student's GPA is below 3.0. History of Art and Design requires the GRE (contact the department for admission requirements). Visit the dual degree website for more information.

M.S.L.I.S. with Library Media Specialist Certification

Students in the master's program may choose to become New York State-certified School Library Media Specialist by fulfilling requirements in addition to those required for the M.S. in Library and Information Science. Students who enter this track must apply to the dean's office to be formally accepted as Library Media Specialist students. An interview is mandatory, which will determine whether the student possesses  the liberal arts background the New York State Education Department (NYSED) requires. Applicants will be asked to write a brief essay at the time of the interview. An applicant may be asked to take the GRE if, for example, his or her GPA is below a certain threshold.

Once accepted into the track, students wishing to qualify for the New York State certification in Library Media Specialist must complete the following:

  • A specified pedagogical core of course work (9 credits) to be taken at Pratt Institute.
  • Non-credit seminars: one on child abuse recognition and one on school violence prevention and intervention.
  • A non-credit course in Health and Safety.
  • LIS 648 School Library Media Centers.
  • LIS 676 Literature and Literacy for Children.
  • LIS 677 Literature and Literacy for Young Adults.
  • LIS 680 Instructional Technologies.
  • LIS 690 Student Teaching, Grades 1–6.
  • LIS 692 Student Teaching, Grades 7–12.

The core courses and Library Media Specialist track courses require a total of 100 clock hours of field observation. LIS 690 and LIS 692 each require 20 full days of student teaching in a New York State Education prescribed setting. In addition, candidates must pass three New York State Education–administered tests.

Advanced Certificate in Library Media Specialist
Pratt offers a post-master's certificate leading to New York State certification as a Library Media Specialist. The requirements for this program are the same as those  described in the previous section, except that post-master's students will not take the basic core courses in library science (LIS 651, 652, 653, 654). Applicants to this program must hold a master's degree in library science from an accredited institution.

Degree Concentrations

The curriculum provides students with in-depth knowledge of library and information science and the skills necessary for careers in major types of libraries and information centers. In consultation with faculty advisors, students are encouraged to focus their elective course work and develop an individual course of study relevant to career goals. The program structure is designed to meet the program objectives for student learning. Students may choose to concentrate in areas such as arts and humanities library services, business/corporate information services, health sciences, law librarianship, archives and records management, or other individualized courses of study. Sample elective courses for selected concentrations are described below.

Arts and Humanities Library Services/Cultural Informatics

Career opportunities in this area include research and academic libraries, museums and library research, archives and special collections, art and performing arts librarianship, and digital libraries and archives. Recommended electives for this concentration include:

  • LIS 625  Management of Archives and Special Collections
  • LIS 629  Museums and Library Research
  • LIS 632  Conservation and Preservation
  • LIS 665  Projects in Digital Archives
  • LIS 669  Management of Electronic Records
  • LIS 686  Performing Arts Librarianship at the New York Public Library (NYPL), Lincoln Center Library

* Three Institutes at the New York Public Library (NYPL), Humanities and Social Sciences Library: Art Collections (LIS 687), Map Collections (LIS 688), Special Collections (LIS 689)

SILS International Program: Summer Institute in Florence, Florentine Art and Culture, Resources and Documentation.
London Summer Institute in E-Publishing with University College London, School of Library, Archive and Information Studies.

Business/Corporate Information Services

Business information specialists work in corporate information centers, banks, firms that offer specialized information services to corporate clients, consulting firms, universities, foundations, and research libraries. Within corporations, they function as knowledge managers and provide reference service to corporate clients. They instruct and assist in research, perform competitive intelligence analyses; design, manage, and search data bases; design and maintain retrieval systems; and establish policies and procedures for the retention of records, data, and print and electronic information resources. Recommended electives for this concentration include:

  • LIS 616 Business, Economics, and Statistical Sources
  • LIS 620 Advanced Reference
  • LIS 627 Online Databases in Business
  • LIS 613 Government Information Sources

Health Sciences/Medical Library Services

Today's medical librarians work at hospitals, medical schools, pharmaceutical firms, veterinary programs, public libraries, universities, professional associations in health fields, research centers, public health agencies, medical societies, consumer health organizations, and as consultants in health science information.
Recommended electives for this concentration include:

  • LIS 613  Government Information Services
  • LIS 685  Medical Librarianship
  • LIS 697  Medial and Health Informatics

Law Library Services

Law librarians work in law schools, law firms, court system libraries, and corporations. Other career opportunities include positions as law office administrators and consultants. Recommended electives for this concentration include:

  • LIS 613  Government Information Sources
  • LIS 617  Legal Research Methods and Law Literature
  • LIS 626  Online Databases in Law
  • LIS 697  Current Topics in Law Information Professions

Many organizations have records managers whose chief responsibilities are planning and controlling the records required to run a private business or public institution. These professionals are needed by Fortune 500 corporations; medium-size businesses; small professional firms such as law, accounting, and engineering firms; and government agencies. Recommended electives for this concentration are:

  • LIS 616  Business, Economics, and Statistical Sources
  • LIS 625  Management of Archives and Special Collections
  • LIS 627  Online Databases in Business
  • LIS 650  Principles of Records Management