Would you like to serve your community as an expert in how information is developed to a global, technological society? Do you want to make a difference while you make a living?

Through ECU's Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, you can earn a master in library science (MLS) degree completely online. Since 1939, the library science program at ECU has prepared librarians and school media coordinators to meet the information and educational needs of their communities, especially rural and underserved populations in eastern North Carolina. Today, our high-tech/high touch program emphasizes librarianship in combination with current technologies to provide a Web-based course of study. Our program is especially attuned to the needs of non-traditional students seeking to become school library media coordinators or public librarians.

As a student in the master in library science program, you can specialize your professional preparation work in public or school library environments. If you are a service-oriented, intellectually and technically curious person, you will find a great benefit as a student in the MLS program. With an MLS degree, you can be a librarian, a library administrator, an information specialist, a subject/special interest researcher, a museum services provider, or an electronic information specialist.

The school library media coordinator pathway leads to the North Carolina licensure and is recognized by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The public library pathway leads to the North Carolina Public Library Certification.

ECU Advantage

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at ECU has been granted candidacy status by the American Library Association. Candidacy status is an indication that the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at East Carolina University has voluntarily committed to participate in the ALA accreditation process and is actively seeking accreditation. Candidacy does not indicate that the program is accredited nor does it guarantee eventual accreditation of the program by ALA.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Kaye Dotson (108 Ragsdale Hall; 252-328-2787; dotsonl@ecu.edu)

Program Coordinators by Concentration:

The master of library science is a totally online degree program designed for students seeking employment as librarians and information professionals in Pre K-12 schools, universities, community colleges, public libraries, and related settings. All students are eligible for NC Public Library Certification upon completion of the MLS degree requirements. The MLS requires a minimum of 39 s.h. of credit. Eight core courses (24 s.h.) are required of all students to be taken in a consecutive series as follows:

Tier 1:
  • LIBS 6010 - Foundations of Library and Information Studies
  • LIBS 6014 - Introduction to Reference
  • LIBS 6016 - Technology for Library Services
Tier 2:
  • LIBS 6019 - Research Literacy in Library Science
  • LIBS 6026 - Organization of Information in Libraries
  • LIBS 6031 - Library Administration and Management
Tier 3:
  • LIBS 6048 - Collection Development

  • LIBS 6991 - Internship: Seminar or
  • LIBS 6992 - Internship: Seminar
Academic library:

All electives are selected in consultation with an advisor to meet the career goals of the student.

  • LIBS 6810 - Academic Libraries
  • LIBS 6872 - Research Methods in Library and Information Studies
  • electives
Public library:
  • LIBS 7050 - Seminar on Public Libraries
  • electives (12 s.h.) selected in consultation with an advisor.
School library media (courses required for public school licensure):

A school focused sequence of courses within the 39 hour MLS including the following courses specific to school librarianship:

  • LIBS 6135 - Materials for Children
  • LIBS 6137 - Materials for Young Adults
  • LIBS 6142 - Instructional Foundations of the School Library Media Program
  • LIBS 6144 - Instructional Strategies and Leadership for School Media Specialists
  • and one elective (3 s.h.) to be selected in consultation with an advisor.
  • Note:

    The 076 Media Coordinator license also requires a satisfactory score on the Media Coordinator Praxis/NTE (National Teacher’s exam). LIBS 6989 - Early Internship is a prerequisite for students seeking media coordinator licensure and lacking an initial teaching licensure. Prospective school pathway applicants who hold an undergraduate degree or graduate degree in another discipline must complete the full MLS degree requirements, as specified above (39 or 42 s.h.).


    Applicants holding a graduate degree in library science who are seeking school licensure are required to submit transcripts for evaluation. Upon review, a course of study will be determined to meet the competencies of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the American Association of School Librarians of the American Library Association working with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

      For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

      Careers With This Degree

      Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

      • Library Science/Librarianship
      • Library Science Teachers, Postsecondary
      • Education and Training
      • Communications, Entertainment and Information
      • Library Science/Librarianship

      Career Opportunities

      ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

      NC Tower

      This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

      • Self-employed;
      • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
      • Work outside of North Carolina.

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

      This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

      Degree-specific internships

      For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.