iSchool MLIS program rises to #2 in U.S. News rankings

Monday, March 13, 2017

The University of Washington Information School moved up to No. 2 in the latest rankings of U.S. master’s degree programs in library and information science by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” were released March 14.

iSchool Dean Harry Bruce celebrated the ranking as a sign of the school’s rigorous academic standards and high stature among its peers.

“The ranking of the UW iSchool as second in the nation among schools that offer programs in the library and information sciences is well-deserved recognition of our commitment to the highest quality research and academic programming in our field,” he said.

Bruce noted that the school has made a steady march toward the top since the turn of the century: “The school’s ranking in U.S. News and World Report rose from 19th to fourth in the early 2000s, and then inched its way from fourth to third, and now from third to second. Moving up through the very top rankings is very tough to do. Number 1 is within our reach!”

MLIS Program Chair Jin Ha Lee said the ranking reflects the school’s commitment to keeping the program modern and relevant for students.

“Our ranking is a strong affirmation from our colleagues that our strategic goals and initiatives of revitalizing the program – a redesign of the curriculum as well as our recent hires, including the Professor of Practice – are moving the iSchool in the right direction,” Lee said. “This should give additional confidence to future students who are looking for a strong and dynamic MLIS program that will prepare them to make a difference in people’s lives in a myriad of information environments.”

In addition to ranking No. 2 overall, the iSchool placed in five of the specialty areas, including:

  • #1 in Law Librarianship
  • #2 in Services for Children and Youth
  • #3 in Digital Librarianship
  • #3 in Information Systems
  • #7 in School Library Media

The UW iSchool placed third in 2013, the last time U.S. News released its survey of deans, program directors and select senior faculty of the 51 accredited library and information science graduate programs. The questionnaires, sent in fall 2016, asked individuals to rate the academic quality of programs at each institution on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding).

Schools in the specialty rankings are based solely on nominations from school officials and are numerically ranked in descending order based on the number of nominations they received.

The iSchool’s Master of Library and Information Science program has been continuously accredited by the American Library Association since 1926. Its graduates have been named Librarian of the Year by Library Journal, New York Times Librarian of the Year, and garnered one of the American Association of Law Libraries’ most prestigious prizes for their energetic efforts to advance their field.