The following contains specific admissions requirements for the MLIS program. For information regarding admissions requirements for the School of Computing and Information, please click here.
We are seeking students with diverse educational and career backgrounds. Applicants for graduate study must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better.
Affirmative Action/Non-Discrimination Policy
The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, as fully explained in Policy 07-01-03, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability, or status as a veteran. The University also prohibits and will not engage in retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University’s mission. This policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in University programs and activities. This is a commitment made by the University and is in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.
Transfer of Credits
A maximum of 6 credits earned with a grade of B or better may be transferred toward either the Master’s or PhD degree from institutions fully accredited for graduate study, provided that these credits have not been applied to any other degree or certificate, that they are applicable to the students’ program of study, and that they are not older than the statute of limitations for the degree.
In order to access the most recent version of the admission application and the financial support section, you must create an Apply Yourself account.
The application fee is $50 for all applicants and must be paid when you submit your application. The fee will not be waived, deferred, or refunded. Applications will not be considered until the fee has been received. Receipt of payment will be acknowledged by email from Apply Yourself.
Letters of Recommendation
Identify and seek the recommendations of two individuals (e.g., professors, employers, computing and information professionals) who are in a position to evaluate your academic performance or your potential as an information professional. For both paper and electronic submission of recommendation letters, please follow the instructions outlined on Apply Yourself. One reference should be able to address your academic abilities, while the remaining references may discuss your professional experience and accomplishments.
Only official transcripts will be accepted. Official transcripts for undergraduate and graduate work must be sent directly to the Admissions Coordinator by the issuing institution, following the instructions on Apply Yourself. If your transcript is recorded in a former name, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with both your current and former names so that the processing of your application is not delayed. Standardized Test Scores are not required.
Please include the following in your online application:
- A statement of no more than 500 words that includes the following elements:
- Outlines your career goals
- Reflects on your relevant work experience in libraries, information centers, or other relevant environments
- Highlights your relevant experience using information technology
In order for your student visa document (Form I-20 or DS-2019) to be issued in time for your studies, you will need to provide additional financial information directly to the Office of International Services (OIS) at the University of Pittsburgh. Please access and read the International Graduate Student Financial Information form to determine what you need to prepare. Please note: you will not be able to submit your financial information unless you have been admitted to our School and you accept that offer of admission. At that point, OIS will contact you directly via the email address you have provided to us in your application, and they will share a link to use to submit your financial information. You must accept any offer of admission you receive by the deadlines stated below in order for your visa to be processed in time. OIS will then give you a deadline by which to submit your financial information as well.
English Language Proficiency
Graduate students must possess sufficient knowledge of English to study without being hindered by language problems, to understand lectures, and to participate successfully in class discussion. International applicants must submit either the TOEFL or the IELTS (taken within two years of the date of application). Contact Educational Testing Services directly to request that an official score report be sent to the School of Computing and Information. The institution code for the University of Pittsburgh is 2927and the department code for all applicants is 90. A minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL is required for admission to the MSIS, MST, MLIS, PhD IS & TELE programs. Students may choose to take the International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS) in place of the TOEFL. Students should receive a minimum result of Band 6.5 on the IELTS. A minimum score of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) or 100 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL is required for admission to the PhD in Library and Information Science program. Students may choose to take the International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS) in place of the TOEFL. Students should receive a minimum result of Band 7.5 on the IELTS. Exceptions: International students who completed a degree at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States are not required to submit a TOEFL/IELTS score. Students from certain English-speaking countries are also exempt. Permanent residents are exempt. However, the School reserves the right to ask for TOEFL scores if deemed necessary for the evaluation of the application. Please note: degrees where anything less than the entire degree was completed in-residence within the English-speaking country will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students in these circumstances may be required to complete the TOEFL or IELTS with the required minimum score upon review. Prior to registration, students with TOEFL scores of less than 100 (Internet-based), 600 (Paper-based) or less than Band 7.5 on the IELTS must take this additional test of English language proficiency: English Language Proficiency Test. If remedial courses in English as a foreign language are recommended, the student must complete the remedial course during the first two terms of study.
All degrees obtained outside of the U.S. will be evaluated for equivalency to U.S. educational standards by the School of Computing and Information/University of Pittsburgh. Therefore, all international applicants must provide an official English-language translations of all pertinent transcripts. All transcripts from non-U.S. institutions, for undergraduate and graduate study, will be reviewed by the School/University of Pittsburgh in terms of: the U.S. degree to which your degree is equivalent – Bachelor’s, Master’s, etc., the overall grade point average for your studies (converted to a U.S 4.0 scale), and a course-by-course grade equivalency evaluation for every class taken. If you completed your degree in the U.S. but also took coursework outside of the U.S., you do not need to have an evaluation by an external agency. However you need to provide a certified English translation of the coursework taken outside of the U.S. if the record was issued in a language other than English. Please note: the Admissions Committee may request an external review of your transcript, the cost of which is the responsibility of the applicant.
The MLIS degree program uses a rolling admissions process. New students start classes in the Fall Term only. Fall Term begins in late August. Applicants admitted after the deadline would be eligible to start classes the following Fall Term.
*Financial support is only available to both on-campus and online students. Financial support applications must be completed at the time of admission application.
**All dates listed are the latest possible date for application submission and/or admission decision notification, and these dates are subject to change.
Once your completed application and supporting documentation is received, an admissions decision is usually reached within 6-8 weeks, or by the date listed above at the latest.
You will be informed of admissions decisions via e-mail and postal mail. Additionally, you can always check your Apply Yourself account to see if documentation has been received or if an admissions decision has been made. The status of your application, related documents, and admission decision cannot be verified until you have submitted the application fee (which is the final step in submitting your application).