iSchool MLIS program re-accredited by ALA

The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the University of Washington Information School was re-accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) in early 2021.

The UW’s MLIS program has been continuously accredited by the ALA since 1926 and is the oldest accredited program west of the Mississippi and the only accredited program in the Northwestern region of the U.S. (Alaska, Idaho, Mont., Ore., Wash., and Wyo.). Program accreditation reviews occur every seven years.

Michelle H. Martin, MLIS program chair and Beverly Cleary Professor for Children and Youth Services, shared more about the re-accreditation experience, “It’s been a rigorous and intense process that involved contributions from over 60 iSchool faculty, staff and students, and we’re excited to be on the other side of it, knowing that the committee’s recommendations will make us a better MLIS Program." She also noted, "Our next accreditation visit will be just after our 100th anniversary of being accredited, and we plan to celebrate that milestone with plenty of fanfare.” 

ALA accredits master’s programs in library and information studies across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. There are currently 64 ALA-accredited master's programs. Accreditation is achieved through a review process conducted by an external review panel of practitioners and academics that verifies that the program meets the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies.

Earning a degree from an ALA-accredited program provides flexibility in the types of libraries and jobs graduates can apply for and enhances career mobility. Most employers require an ALA-accredited master's degree for most professional level positions, and some states require an ALA-accredited degree to work as a professional librarian in public or school libraries.