The American Library Association, through its Committee on Accreditation, is the officially recognized accrediting agency for graduate programs offering the master’s degree in Library and Information Studies (MLS/MLIS). (The current list of all such schools is available on the Office for Accreditation's page.)
No MLS student is required to attend an ALA-accredited LIS program. However, the consequence of not doing so may carry a heavy penalty: severely limited employment opportunities.
Many employers only accept graduates from ALA-accredited programs. Most are not in a position to make exceptions. However, final hiring decisions lie strictly with individual employers.
The schools on the list below are not accredited by ALA, but belong to one or both of the following categories:
- The National Council of the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredits colleges of education, some of which offer a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media. ALA, through the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) works with NCATE to recognize those programs that meet the AASL guidelines for education of school library media specialists. (The current list of all such schools is available on AASL's page.)
- Members of the Association for Library & Information Science Education (ALISE).
Unaccredited LIS Programs State School NCATE/ALA-AASL ALISE Statistics Arkansas University of Central Arkansas College of Education X X California University of California, Berkeley School of Info. Management & Systems X Delaware University of Delaware School of Education X Georgia Valdosta State University Library & Information Science Program X Illinois Chicago State University Department of Reading, Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, and Library Science/Communication Media (REEL) X Kentucky Spalding University Department of Educational Media Librarianship X Massachusetts Bridgewater State College School of Education X X Massachusetts Salem State College School of Education & Allied Studies X Michigan Central Michigan University Department of Teacher Education & Professional Development X Michigan Grand Valley State University School of Education X Minnesota Minnesota State University, Mankato Library Media Education Program X Missouri Central Missouri State University Dept. of Library Sciences & Information Services X New Jersey Rowan University College of Education X North Carolina Appalachian State University Reich College of Education Dept. of Leadership & Education Studies X X North Carolina East Carolina University Dept. of Librarianship, Education, & Distance Education X X Texas Sam Houston State University Library Science Department X X Texas University of Houston at Clear Lake School of Education X Utah Utah State University College of Education X Virginia Longwood College Department of Education X Virginia Old Dominion University Darden College of Education X