The Online MLIS program allows you to complete your degree via the internet if you are unable to attend classes on campus in Seattle, with the option to attend some classes on campus if you’re in the area. If you are seeking more flexibility in how and when you engage with your courses, the online program is a good fit for you. Successful online students tend to be self-directed and disciplined learners.
The degree requirements for the Online MLIS are the same as the Residential mode. Students complete 63 quarter credits. One major difference is that the online program is designed as a three-year part-time program with students enrolling in 6–8 credits per quarter. If your schedule allows, you may enroll in additional courses each quarter and complete the degree in less than three years.
The Online MLIS program starts with a 3-day mandatory on-campus orientation. During this introductory session, you will bond with your online cohort, meet course instructors, engage in activities with residential students, and learn about iSchool support services and transition to the online learning environment. Orientation occurs the week prior to the opening of autumn quarter in late September, and your classes begin at the end of the orientation. All new students are required to attend, as well as plan for travel costs and lodging expenses during your time in Seattle. Update, 4/30/20: Due to uncertainty about travel as a result of COVID-19, this orientation session will take place online for students beginning the program in fall 2020.
All core courses and most electives are offered in the online mode, so you can complete your coursework entirely online. Most courses are delivered asynchronously, meaning there are no specific days or times you must be online for synchronous communication. Courses in the Online MLIS program are equivalent to those in the Residential MLIS program and are taught by iSchool faculty and guest lecturers with the support of our Online Learning team. While the course delivery mode may differ, your diploma will read the same as a residential student's diploma: “Master of Library and Information Science.” About half of our students choose the online delivery mode. Learn more about our MLIS curriculum.
Visit our FAQ for more information about the Residential and Online delivery modes.