| Q. When are new students admitted to the MLIS Program?
The MLIS Program admits new students in fall and spring semesters. The deadline for receipt of applications in fall semester is March 15 and for spring semester October 15 each year. Please note that these dates are firm.
Q. I'm interested in the MLIS program. I would like to have an application packet mailed to me.
The MLIS Program no longer mails applications packets. Applications are made online through the VSU Graduate School. The MLIS Program website provides applications guidance and links to the Graduate School at http://www.valdosta.edu/mlis/admissions.shtml
Q. Is this a totally on-line program, or will there be face-to-face (f-2-f) class meetings? If f-2-f is required, how often and when?
The VSU MLIS Program is an online program. There is a mandatory orientation for new students at the start of each semester. Some courses might include occasional optional face-to-face meetings.
Q. What is VSU's preference for letters of recommendation?
Someone who has or is supervising you is best. We prefer letters from professors, employers, or others who know your intellectual competencies and work ethic.
Q. Does the VSU MLIS Program require the GRE, MAT, or similar examination for admission to the Program.
No. The VSU MLIS Program required an entrance exam at one time but no longer does.
Q. I am interested in attending the MLIS program. However, I do not have my vaccination records. Do I need to send them in or can I just send in the records from my undergraduate university?
From the Graduate School: The immunization record is required for enrollment - not for admission. As long as the needed documents showing evidence of required immunization are received prior to your beginning classes, you will be fine.
You are welcome to submit documentation of your immunizations from your previous institution. Please note, the state reevaluates immunization requirements each year, so potentially additional requirements could exist. Until the form and documentation is received, I cannot evaluate the requirement. Should you choose to submit the former institution's record, please be sure to complete the student information section and signature portion on page two of VSU's form. You should submit the partially completed VSU form in conjunction with the other shot record.
Again, this document is required for enrollment, so we will not hold an application that is otherwise complete.
Q. I have heard that since I already have a degree that I can "specialize" in my studies. Is this true and exactly what areas can a librarian specialize in?
The Program allows students to develop specialization by following curricular tracks. These tracks provide guidance and course work toward a specific specialization. The tracks and associated courses are listed on the Program’s website: http://www.valdosta.edu/mlis/program.shtml. Students are not required to declare a track.
Q. Do you offer a track that would result in my certification as a licensed school librarian? I am interested in a Master or Library and Information Science with initial certification with Georgia Professional Standards Commission to work in a school. Does your program include certification?
The MLIS Program does not prepare its students for school media certification. It does qualify them for public library 5(b) certification. We have developed together with the VSU College of Education Department of Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology a curriculum specifically structured to allow a student to earn the MLIS degree as well as qualify for school media certification. That specific curriculum requires students to take additional courses beyond the 13 courses required by the MLIS Program. For information on this process, see the three links under /Dual MLIS & School Media Specialist Certification/ at
Q. Can I take courses in the MLIS Program as a non-degree student and later apply those courses toward a degree?
As a non-degree (NOD) seeking student you may take as many or as few courses as you would like so long as prerequisite or co-requisites are met. Most MLIS courses have MLIS 7000 or its equivalent as a prerequisite or co-requisite. Admission to the MLIS Program as a degree seeking student is a prerequisite for MLIS 7000. In practice therefore, it is difficult for a non-degree student to take MLIS courses unless s/he either already holds the MLIS degree from VSU or another institution or shows evidence of having taken an equivalent to MLIS 7000 elsewhere.
Q. Because I don't have my undergraduate degree in anything related to this particular program, will there be classes that I will have to take to qualify for this program?
We require an accredited bachelor’s degree in any field. In fact, having students with different backgrounds and experiences helps leaven the classroom and learning processes. We assume that entering students have no prior academic preparation for the MLIS and structure our courses accordingly.
Q. How long does it take to complete the program by taking one-to-two classes? Two years?
The program requires 39 hours or 13 courses. At one course per semester, including summers, you would progress at 9 hours per year or 4.33 years. If you took two courses in fall and spring and one in summer (15 hours per year) it would take 2.6 years.
Q. Are students allowed to just take one class per semester, or does the program require you to be part of a cohort and take at least two classes per semester?
The VSU MLIS Program is not a cohort program. You may take one course per semester. Or you may be a full time student taking nine or more hours per semester. It is not required that you take courses every semester as well.
Q. How to find semester dates?
This is different from the dates of registration. Dates of registration are on the Banner homepage, then click on Registration Dates in left column.
Q. Does the VSU MLIS Program offer a Sixth Year or Doctoral Program?
No, our program offers the MLIS only. We do not offer a sixth year specialist's degree. I would suggest you investigate other LIS programs. ALISE – an LIS educators’ association – maintains a list of its institutional members (http://www.alise.org/membership/instmembers.html). ALA offers a list of schools with ALA accredited masters programs. Not all ALA Accredited programs are associated with PhD or Sixth year programs (http://www.ala.org/ala/accreditation/lisdirb/lisdirectory.htm). Universities members of the Academic Common Market may provide in-state tuition to Georgia residents seeking the Sixth Year or PhD Program (see http://www.sreb.org/programs/acm/acmindex.asp)
Q. Are there any long-range plans for a Specialist Degree at VSU?
We would like to think we will develop other degree programs. These take time, typically more than five years to develop and move through the system. So, yes there are long-range plans, but nothing in the near term.
Q. What is the typical course load per semester? How quickly can the program be completed?
There is no typical class load. Students carry from three to twelve hours (1 to 4 courses) per semester. The typical student enrolls in one or two courses. One’s course load should be discussed with his or her adviser. To date, one student completed the program in three semesters. Many students take six to eight semesters to complete the program.
Q. Do credits “expire”?
The graduate school sets a seven year limit on credits viability - that is to say if a student moves through the program too slowly, he or she may lose credits as those credits age past seven years.
Q. (1) I have credits towards a graduate or professional degree. Can some of those credits be transferred to the MLIS Program?
(2) I have successfully completed a graduate or professional degree. Can some of those credits be transferred to the MLIS Program?
The VSU Graduate School policy is that nine hours can be brought in from a single completed degree, regardless of age (goes on the program of study); six hours can be transferred in from incomplete graduate or professional studies, as long as those hours are not older than seven years when the student graduates with a VSU degree (courses will appear on the transcript); a mixture of the two is permitted, but with no more than nine hours total an be applied to the current degree. The MLIS Program reviews all courses offered for credit for appropriateness and congruence with the purposes of the degree program. It may disallow credits towards its degree.
Q. What tuition and fees might I be expected to pay?
This is a complex question. First, the University System of Georgia has a highly competitive tuition and fees rate as compared to other state schools in the country. There are also different rates for online and face-to-face courses.
E-rate tuition applies to online courses. Most, but not all MLIS courses are online and the e-rate applies to those courses. For a discussion of online education and the e-rate, see http://www.valdosta.edu/academic/VSUOnline.shtml. There is a link from this page that provides the e-rate. The e-rate for VSU online courses is the same for Georgia residents and non-residents.
Q. How much is the overall cost to complete the program and how much does it cost per semester?
You will need to pay tuition and fees, travel expenses as well as buy books and other incidental costs. You may also need to buy or upgrade your computer, your connectivity, and software. Many of these are so variable it is difficult to estimate.
Q. What is the Tuition Assistance Program and do I qualify?
The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a fringe benefit offered to full time employees of the colleges and universities of the University System of Georgia. It provides tuition waivers under a specific set of criteria. For more information contact your USG Human Resources Officer and review the USG web site at http://www.usg.edu/employment/benefits/tuition/.
Q. What are the limits to TAP?
Students using TAP at USG schools are at one significant disadvantage. They are allowed to register for classes near the very end of registration periods. At VSU there are usually two registration periods for any given semester - "early" and "regular." Registration for students taking courses under TAP is at the end of the "regular" period, often on the day or a day or two before classes begin for that semester. The TAP registration date for VSU students can be found on the School's Academic Calendar. "TAP" students may, if they wish, enroll in courses earlier than the TAP period if they elect to pay tuition and fees.
Q. I am employed full-time in a department of a library. Can I use that time as "Supervised Field Experience" when I take that course, or if I would need to do that time in an outside library.
You may not convert assigned work experience for supervised work experience. You may, however, earn “Supervised Work Experience” in your library if you develop a course plan (with your adviser) that places you in learning environments apart from your duty areas. You may also undertake a “Supervised Work Experience” at a different library or other related facilities.
Q. Is the future bright for job/career opportunities in library science and other information fields? In other words, will I be able to find a good career opportunity in the corporate or educational work setting?
We think so. US Department of Labor statistics suggest ample opportunities in traditional and new information professions. For example, see: “Employment of librarians is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations over the 2004–14 period. However, job opportunities are expected to be very good because a large number of librarians are expected to retire in the coming decade. More than 3 in 5 librarians are aged 45 or older and will become eligible for retirement in the next 10 years, which will result in many job openings. Also, the number of people going into this profession has fallen in recent years, resulting in more jobs than applicants in some cases.” In addition, “Jobs for librarians outside traditional settings will grow the fastest over the decade. Nontraditional librarian jobs include working as information brokers and working for private corporations, nonprofit organizations, and consulting firms.” http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos068.htm
Q. Are public librarians in Georgia on the same retirement plan as public school teachers?
In Georgia, librarians are on the Teacher Retirement System, which
will take into account all years on TRS, including teaching experience.