Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to master’s and doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Overview

The MLIS program prepares professionals to exercise creativity, integrity and leadership in designing, implementing and promoting programs and systems for the creation, organization, management, preservation and effective use of information and collections. Graduates of the MLIS program go on to careers as librarians, information managers, researchers, analysts, interaction designers, web content specialists, and more.

The MLIS degree program offers a wide range of courses and is highly customizable based on specific student interests. Areas of particular focus include the following:

  • Information sources and services
  • Digital resource management
  • Human-information interaction
  • Information analysis and management
  • Services and management of information organizations
  • Youth services and literature

There are four pathways in the program and students may use these as a guide to focus their studies:

Moreover, students can add formal specializations to their degree:

What makes the program unique?

The program has strong connections to the local and provincial library community, offering opportunities for professional development, networking and job experience with libraries, archives, museums and cultural heritage organizations.

Our wide range of hands-on learning courses offer students the opportunity to put their theory into practice through for-credit Professional Experiences and paid Co-op experience.

Within the school students also have many opportunities to collaborate with faculty on a wide range of research projects.

The school also offers one of the only programs in North America to focus on Indigenous issues in information management. The First Nations Curriculum Concentration (FNCC) is designed to prepare information professionals to work effectively with, and within, Indigenous communities in support of ongoing developments in Aboriginal culture and languages, self-government, treaty negotiation and litigation. During their program of study, iSchool students are supported in gaining experience working in Indigenous-oriented information organizations.

The program participates in a collaborative, cross-disciplinary program called Designing for People (DFP). The DFP is a research-oriented program, structured as 12 credits of specialization components that enrich another degree program. Students receive a degree in their home department but their program is enhanced with core knowledge from anchor courses and electives. Students are required to complete a research thesis with their DFP supervisor(s). 

Blockchain and decentralized trust technologies are transforming how records are created, managed and preserved. UBC has launched Canada's first Blockchain and Decentralized Trust Technologies training pathway for graduate students under the direction of School of Information faculty member, Dr. Victoria Lemieux. The Graduate Pathway on Blockchain and Decentralized Trust Technologies is a 12-credit non-degree multidisciplinary, research-intensive training program that augments existing Master's and PhD programs.

While students may add DFP or Blockchain as formal specializations to enhance their degree, they will not appear on their transcripts.

 
 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.5

Reading

7.0

Writing

7.0

Speaking

7.0

Listening

7.0

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS)
This program has an optional thesis component. Decisions on supervision are not made during the program application, but at a later time, e.g. after completion of coursework, for students opting to write a thesis. It is not necessary for applicants to contact faculty members prior to their application.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Research Information

Research Highlights

Faculty at the UBC iSchool are internationally recognized for their research and contribution to the field of library, archival, and information studies. Please visit the research page on our website to read more about the current projects faculty are involved in.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,880.23$3,885.36
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,640.69$11,656.08
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Supplementary fees (once)$236.00 Mandatory program fee, student society fee
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

Every year, the iSchool awards more than 30 distinct prizes and scholarships to incoming, continuing and graduating Master’s students. These awards are in addition to bursaries and other funding from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

International students may be automatically eligible for an International Tuition Award valued at $3,200 per year.

UBC has launched Canada's first Blockchain training pathway for graduate students. The Graduate Pathway on Blockchain and Decentralized Trust Technologies will be a 12-credit non-degree training program that augments existing Master's and PhD programs. Additional funding may be available for students as part of the Blockchain pathway.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Options

MLIS graduates are prepared to work in a variety of environments, including library organizations, cultural centres, museums and cultural institutions. Graduates go on to careers as information managers, librarians, curators, and more. Recent graduates have taken positions at organizations in BC, across Canada, and internationally.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20232022202120202019
Applications352273243183161
Offers1171151139492
New Registrations6360676351
Total Enrolment129145131124117

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 96% based on 253 students admitted between 2015 - 2018. Based on 214 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 0.33 years and the maximum time is 4.31 years with an average of 2.04 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS)
This program has an optional thesis component. Decisions on supervision are not made during the program application, but at a later time, e.g. after completion of coursework, for students opting to write a thesis. It is not necessary for applicants to contact faculty members prior to their application.
 
 

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Abdul-Mageed, Muhammad (Artificial intelligence (AI); Deep Learning; Natural Language Processing; Machine Learning; Computational Linguistics; Social Media Mining; Arabic)
  • Bullard, Julia (Organization of information and knowledge resources; Library science and information studies; classification systems; Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.); Information Systems; metadata; values-in-design)
  • Kwakkel, Erik (Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; Codicology; History of Libraries; History of the Book; Medieval Manuscripts; Paleography; History of Reading)
  • Meyers, Eric (youth online behavior, information seeking, web search, libraries, public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, learning, virtual worlds, collaboration, social networks, new media, digital literacy, information literacy )
  • Nathan, Lisa (Other studies in human society; Critical studies of technology; Climate Justice; Indigenous-led Information Initiatives; Information Ethics & Policy; Storied Information)
  • O'Brien, Heather (All other social sciences, n.e.c.; user engagement; user experience; community engagement; information seeking and retrieval; information access; cognitive processes related to information searching and evaluation; health technologies)
  • Sinnamon, Luanne Silvia (Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; human information interaction; Information Systems; information retrieval; New Technology and Social Impacts)
  • Turner, Hannah (Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; cataloguing and classification; Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.); Impacts of New Information Technologies; information practice; museum anthropology; Science and technology studies)

Further Information

Library and Information Studies covers the following areas of study: First Nations Curriculum Concentration; Data services; Librarianship; Community and culture; Information interaction and design; Designing for People; Information sources and services; Digital resource management; Information analysis and management; Services and management of information organizations; Youth services and literature.

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGMMLI
 
 
 
Supervisor Search
 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update contact details for application inquiries, please use this form.

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