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Degree, Minors and Certificates Offered

General Information

Undergraduate Programs

Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences


Library and Information Science

College of Natural Sciences
Hamilton Library, Room 002
2550 McCarthy Mall
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7321
Fax: (808) 956-5835


*Graduate Faculty

*R. Gazan, PhD (Chair)—social aspects of information technology
*N. Asato, PhD—Asian studies librarianship and history
*V. Irvin, EdD—reference, public libraries, youth services, literacy practices, practitioner inquiry
*T. Sutherland, PhD—digital cultures, community and cultural informatics
*A. Wertheimer, PhD—history of information and archival administration

Adjunct Faculty

M. Chopey, MLS— cataloging, Hamilton Library
S. Dawrs, MLIS— librarian, Hamilton Library
D. Dunn, MLIS— preservation educational specialist, Conservation, Hamilton Library Treatment, Hamilton Library
N. Fujii-Babb, MLS— librarian, Salt Lake/Moanalua Public Library, retired
J. Kamiya, MLISc— young adult librarian, Manoa Public Library
C. Kellett, MLIS— systems librarian, Library Information Technology, Hamilton Library
E. Kleiber, MLIS, MAS— librarian, Hamilton Library
D. Minatodani, MLIS— librarian, Hawaiian Collection, Hamilton Library
M-B. Ogawa, MLISc, MEd, PhD—Information and Computer Sciences, UH Manoa
R. Paseng, MA, MLIS—Southeast Asia specialist, Hamilton Library
J. Quirante, MLISc—Head Archivist, ‘Ulu ‘Ulu, Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawai'i
L. Roy, PhD, MLS—Professor, University of Texas
K. Shim, MLISc— librarian, Hamilton Library
G. Sinclair, MLIS—librarian, Government Documents, Hamilton Library
M. Trafford, MLS—Medical Library, Tripler Army Medical Center

The Academic Program

Founded in 1965, the Library and Information Science (LIS) Program prepares professionals for work in libraries, archives, and other types of information-handling agencies. It currently offers a master’s in library and information science (MLISc) and a Certificate in Advanced Library and Information Science and participates in an interdisciplinary doctoral program in Communication and Information Sciences. The LIS program is aware of the opportunities and the responsibilities inherent in its Pacific setting and the unique cultural amalgam of Hawai‘i. Its major goals are:

  1. To furnish students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are basic to professional competence and career-long professional growth in the field of library and information services;
  2. To expand the knowledge base of the profession through research; and
  3. To share its resources by extending services to the UH and its academic units and to the people of Hawai’i and beyond.

Graduate Study

Master’s Degree

The MLISc degree program was first accredited by the American Library Association in 1967 and was reaccredited in 1964, 1980, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2009, and 2016. The curriculum is subject to continuous review and modification, and every effort is made in academic advising to ensure that students plan programs of study suited to their individual goals. Entering students are expected to be computer literate. Graduate standing is the normal prerequisite for all courses.

Degree Requirements

Of the 39 credits needed for the MLISc degree, 21 are core requirements. Students are required to take one course from a list of course options corresponding to each of the six LIS Program student learning outcomes (SLOs), totaling 18 credits:

SLO1 Services

  • LIS 601 Introduction to Reference and Information Services

SLO2 Professions

  • LIS 610 Foundations of the Information Professions
  • LIS 654 Archival Ethics and Profession

SLO3 Resources

  • LIS 602 Resource Discovery
  • LIS 605 Metadata Creation for Information Organization
  • LIS 615 Collection Management
  • LIS 645 Asian Research Materials and Methods
  • LIS 651 Archival Arrangement and Description

SLO4 Technologies

  • LIS 661 Informatics
  • LIS 665 Digital Instruction
  • LIS 672 Technology for Libraries and Information Centers

SLO5 Cultures

  • LIS 630 Community Engagement
  • LIS 631 Introduction to Hawai’i and Pacific Librarianship
  • LIS 634 Multicultural Resources for Diverse User Groups
  • LIS 662 Asian Informatics

SLO6 Management

  • LIS 614 Navigating Information Organizations
  • LIS 650 Management of Libraries and Information Centers
  • LIS 658 Archival and Special Collections Management

Students are also required to complete a 3-credit seminar sequence during their entering and exiting semesters:

  • LIS 691 Masters Seminar I (1 credit; entering semester)
  • LIS 692 Masters Seminar II (2 credits; exiting semester)

Plan A (Thesis)

The normal requirement for the MLISc degree under the thesis option is a minimum of 39 credit hours of approved graduate study. At least 27 credits must be taken in LIS courses or a combination of LIS and approved information and computer sciences courses. The student must also take 6 credit hours in LIS 700 Thesis Research and 3 credit hours in an approved research methods course.

To advance to candidacy and become eligible to enroll in LIS 700 Thesis Research, students must complete at least 15 credits of course work, and defend a thesis proposal in a private meeting with their thesis committee. While it is strongly suggested that all committee members physically attend the thesis proposal defense meeting, remote participation is permitted. Upon approval of the committee, students advance to candidacy, conduct their research, and present their results at a public defense.

Plan B (Non-thesis)

The normal requirement for the MLISc degree under the non-thesis option is a minimum of 39 credit hours of approved graduate study. At least 30 credits must be taken in LIS courses or in a combination of LIS and approved ICS courses. Up to 9 credits may be taken in other schools or colleges when the courses are relevant to the individual student’s specialization and approved by the LIS program chair and Graduate Division.

The maximum course load is 15 credit hours per term. Therefore, 39 credit hours would require at least two terms and a summer. A full load is a minimum of 8 credit hours per term. The program may be undertaken on a part-time basis but must be completed within five years (a two-year extension is allowed by Graduate Division for a total of seven years).

Students who were in MLISc-degree programs from other ALA-accredited library programs may, in special circumstances, transfer up to 19 credit hours toward their MLISc degree at UH Manoa, provided the work to be credited has been completed within the time limit previously cited. Such requests must be included in the application.

Culminating Experience

All Plan B students are required to create and present a reflective portfolio consisting of artifacts and evidence from approved course assignments and other professional experiences, demonstrating mastery of the six program SLOs. The portfolio is introduced in the first semester as part of LIS 691 Masters Seminar I, supported in coursework and regular advising sessions throughout the program, and compiled, presented and assessed in LIS 692 Masters Seminar II, taken in the semester the student expects to graduate.

Distance Education

The MLISc program uses different formats for course delivery. It offers a few courses each year online. Students on neighbor islands may also use Adobe Connect (Halawai) to participate synchronously in select courses taught at UH Manoa. In addition, several courses are offered asynchronously throughout the year.

Dual Master’s Degree Programs

Students may pursue the MLISc degree and a second master’s concurrently, cooperating with the following departments and fields of study: information and computer sciences (MS), history (MA), Pacific Islands studies (MA), American studies (MA), Asian studies (MA), learning design and technology (MEd), Hawaiian Language (MA), Hawaiian Studies (MA), and Law (JD). For more information on these programs, contact the LIS program chair or the other respective departments.

Doctoral Degree

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Degree Program

LIS participates in an interdisciplinary PhD program in Communication and Information Sciences (CIS) integrating computer science, communications, library and information science, and management information systems. Because of the broad knowledge base required to support the interdisciplinary approach, the program also draws on political science, economics, engineering, operations research, and behavioral sciences. This unique program is sponsored by four academic faculties: communications, information technology management, information and computer sciences, and library and information science.

For information on admission and requirements, refer to the“Communication and Information Sciences” in the Interdisciplinary Programs section.

School Library Media Specialist Certification

The LIS program recommends graduates to the Hawai‘i Department of Education for certification as school library media specialists. To be eligible, graduates must meet the MLISc degree program requirements and the course requirements approved for certification by the Hawai‘i Department of Education. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is used in conducting periodic reviews of the program.

A student who enters the LIS program to earn this certification must also complete a state-approved teacher education program. For more specific and current information on prerequisites and required as well as recommended LIS courses, contact the LIS program chair.

Certificate Program

The Certificate in Advanced Library and Information Science (CALIS) is offered to students who complete a coherent program of specialized study and research beyond the Master of Library and Information Science (MLISc). Students work with an academic advisor to build an individualized program of study that matches the student’s professional interests. At the end of the CALIS program, students write and present a capstone paper.

LIS Courses