University of Kentucky MSLS Program Earns Continued Accreditation from the American Library Association

(July 2, 2018) - The American Library Association (ALA)recently granted continuing accreditation status to the University of Kentucky School of Information Science for its Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) degree program.  

The American Library Association, established in 1876, is recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit schools that prepare professional librarians in the U.S., as well as Puerto Rico and Canada. Most employers require an ALA-accredited master’s degree for professional level positions, and some states require an ALA-accredited degree to work as a professional librarian in public or school libraries. 

The School of Information Science, housed in UK’s College of Communication and Information, is the only ALA-accredited program in library and information science in Kentucky and has maintained accreditation for nearly 80 years. The degree is offered online to students across the country. 

Dan O’Hair, dean of the College of Communication and Information, said “I am so pleased that the School of Information Science has once again secured accreditation for its library science master’s program. UK has a long-standing tradition of preparing information specialists for Kentucky and the world beyond.  The school’s strong leadership, faculty, and staff are second to none.” 

ALA accreditation is a factor in the ranking of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” published by U.S. News and World Report. According to U.S. News and World Report, UK’s MSLS degree is ranked in the Top 5 for health librarianship as well as Top 25 of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” It has also been recognized in the Top 30 of “Most Affordable Online Master’s in Library Science Degree” by   

For almost 100 years, the School of Information Science, also a part of the iSchools consortium, has been educating future library and information professionals to meet the needs of their communities. The unit includes scholars, educators, staff, and advisors dedicated to the preparation and academic excellence of its students. The mission of UK’s MSLS program is, “to prepare information professionals to be leaders and change agents in meeting the needs of a diverse and evolving society.”  

“We are proud of the preparation that we provide our MSLS students, particularly given the breadth and depth of the educational opportunities this preparation includes,” said Jeff Huber, director and professor in the School of Information Science. 

The accreditation process involves an external review panel of practitioners and academics verifying that the program meets the standards of Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies.

The ALA Committee on Accreditation (COA) voted in favor of reaccreditation of the MSLS program following the Committee meeting held on June 25, 2018 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

In their final decision letter, ALA COA Chair Terry Weech said, “the decision to grant Continued accreditation to the program was based on the totality of the accomplishment and the environment for learning rather than from a consideration of isolated particulars.” 

Accreditation reviews are conducted every seven years. As such, the next comprehensive review of the School’s MSLS program is scheduled for Spring 2025.