Thinking of becoming a Library Media Specialist? Do you have a commitment to foster the learning and critical thinking skills of children and young adults? Do you want to be an essential member of the instructional team in a K-12 school? Are you interested in information and communication technologies and their application to teaching and learning activities? Do you have strong oral and written communication skills? Do you live outside the Buffalo area (at least 60 miles from the University at Buffalo campus) or, for any other reasons, are unable to attend on-campus courses and want to earn a degree online?
The Department of Library and Information Studies has an approved competency-based program registered by the New York State Education Department and is authorized to recommend students for initial certification for the NYS Library Media Specialist content, K-12 Initial Certificate.
All courses are delivered online, with an option of substituting up to six semester hours transferred in from other American Library Association accredited programs. Courses are taught by full-time LIS faculty members and highly qualified practitioners working in the field.
This online cohort program will accept once every year for fall admission. For best consideration you should apply early since only a limited number of seats are available. February 1 is the admissions deadline.
To earn the MLS with NYS certification, students must complete coursework as outlined below. The courses are offered completely online via UBlearns, the University's Internet learning platform. Students must have access to a computer meeting the University's minimum computing standards prior to registration.
Summary of Academic Requirements for Library Media Specialist Certification:
MLS Degree/LMS Program: 36 credit hours
LMS Practicum (LIS 525 E, S, and P): 3 credit hours
Pedagogical Core Courses (Non-LIS Education Courses)**: 12 credit hours
Meet General Education Core in Liberal Arts and Sciences: Dependent upon transcript review
LMS Certification Required Courses (3 credit hours per course)
LIS 505 Introduction to Library and Information Studies
LIS 506 Introduction to Information Technology
LIS 518 Reference Sources and Services
LIS 524 School Media Center Field Experience
LIS 525 School Media Center Practicum¹
LIS 532 Curriculum Role of the Media Specialist²
LIS 534 Resources and Services for Children
LIS 535 Resources and Services for Young Adults
LIS 568 Computer Applications in the School Library Media Center
LIS 571 Organization and Control of Recorded Information
LIS 585 Management of School Library Media Centers
LIS 538 Pedagogy for School Librarians
LIS 500 Special Topic
LMS Field Experience LIS 524: 3 hours
In this course students complete 100 mandated hours of field experience in elementary and secondary school media centers. This course will be taken in the spring semester of the first year.
LMS Practicum LIS 525: 3 hours
LIS 525E: With the approval of the instructor, students are placed for 20 days in an elementary school media center that employs a veteran media specialist.
LIS 525S: With the approval of the instructor, students are placed for 20 days in a secondary school media center that employs a veteran media specialist.
LIS 525P: Completion of a professional portfolio.
General Pedagogical Core Requirements: 12 hours (Transcripts required)
6 Education Credit Hours in Reading, Writing or Language Arts at Elementary or Secondary Level
3 credit hours in Foundations of Education
3 credit hours in the Psychology of Learning and Instruction
**Students who are admitted to the online cohort program who do not meet pedagogical requirements, must submit proof of earning the mandated pedagogical requirements to their academic advisor prior the fall semester of their second year in the cohort.
International Student Requirements:
TOEFL score report (must not be more than two years old from the time you begin classes) with a minimum of 213 for a computer based test, 550 for a paper based test and 79 Internet based test (institution code: 2925); IELTS minimum score of 6.5 (with no subsection score below 6.0)
GRE score report (no more than five years old) - UB institution code is 2925 - GRE departmental code is 4701.
Passport Biographical Page- A copy of the applicant’s passport biographical page is required (the page that shows the holder’s full name, date of birth, nationality, etc.) in order to prepare the U.S. immigration I-20 form based on spellings and dates in the passport.
Proof of degree and original transcripts with certified translations. These transcripts must be translated into the US grading system through the World Education Services at http://www.wes.org/
Financial documentation; international graduate applicants must document their ability to pay for all costs incurred while studying.
Facts & Figures
# of Credits Required: 39+
Classification: Master's College or University I
Locale: Midsize City
Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999