MLIS Student Experience


Student Experience — MLIS

“The SJSU iSchool MLIS program is flexible, customizable, and provides a lot of resources and help to support student success.” — MLIS Graduate

As you consider earning your MLIS degree, we thought you’d like to know more about our students’ experiences. Here are some statistics pulled from a recent exit survey of graduates who completed the MLIS program in May 2020. Note percentages are rounded and may not always equal 100. (n=116 responses)

  • 96% said they would recommend the MLIS program. A survey respondent shared, “The content was engaging, professors were informative, and the schedule was very flexible.”
  • 87% rated their overall educational experience at our school as either Very Good (59%) or Good (28%). “Thank you for the program. I’ve applied a lot of what I learned into my profession because every class was applicable to real-world experience,” commented a recent graduate.
  • According to survey respondents, the top five strengths of the MLIS program are flexibilityonline learning environment, curriculum, cost, and faculty. 
  • Our MLIS students can customize their studies to their interests and career goals by taking classes from a variety of specialization areas. Of the 14 exciting career pathways students can explore when choosing electives, 20% selected public librarianship, 12% chose academic librarianship, and 9% chose youth librarianship. 12% did not follow a specific pathway and instead mixed and matched their electives from a variety of career pathways.
  • 62% completed the MLIS program in three or fewer years. Did you know that you can complete the MLIS program at your own pace, choosing the number of courses you want to take each semester? You have up to seven years to earn your graduate degree, but you could earn your graduate degree in as quickly as 12 months as a full-time student. View full-time course load scenario.
  • As an online school, we know the importance of timely technology help. When asked about our technology resource center and technology support, 97% of those who used the services were satisfied or felt neutral.
  • We help students to become the best job candidate by offering career workshops, a dedicated career blog, job search tips and guidance, access to job listing sites, and one-on-one consultations with our expert career counselor. 99% of survey respondents who took advantage of our school’s career development resources were satisfied or felt neutral. “I loved my time in the program and was offered a full-time role right before graduation, so I would say I’m a success story,” enthused a recent graduate.
  • We provide advising tools and resources to help our students plan their course work. We also have faculty pathway advisors who can provide insight about the different career directions and electives. 96% took advantage of the advising support and ranked the advising toolkit, student success planner, and the MLIS career pathways as the most extremely useful of all of the MLIS advising tools and resources we provide to our students. 
  • 100% of the survey respondents completed the e-Portfolio for their culminating experience. Did you know that you have a choice for your culminating experience? Students can choose to complete the e-Portfolio or a thesis. Learn more.

“It is an affordable and well-designed fully online program taught by some of the leading information professionals in the field.” — MLIS Graduate

Our students also took advantage of a range of informal learning opportunities and activities that helped them expand their professional network and aid them with future job seeking. For example:

  • 90% were members of professional associations. Did you know we give new MLIS students a free one-year membership to the American Library Association (ALA), Special Libraries Association (SLA), Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), Society of American Archivists (SAA), or National Association of Government and Records Administrators (NAGARA)? Learn more.
  • Extracurricular activities abound at our school. Among the vast opportunities for networking and resume building, 18% attended professional association conferences while enrolled in the MLIS program. They also participated in student chapters of professional associations, the peer-reviewed Student Research Journal, and the Library 2.0 Worldwide Virtual Conference series.
  • Of the professional experience courses provided by our school, 19% expanded their skills, knowledge and work experience by completing an internship. Although not a requirement, internships are highly encouraged. Employers are looking for work experience, and internships are a great way to build your resume. Did you know that we offer both place-based and virtual internship opportunities at companies located around the world? Learn more.

“I loved that I was able to take a variety of courses based on personal interest as well as career goals. It made me a more well-rounded student.” — MLIS Graduate

In addition, you’ll be in good company in the MLIS program. Here are some stats about our graduating MLIS students as reported in the spring 2020 exit survey:

  • While earning their MLIS degree, our students lived in various countries, including the United States, Europe, Canada and South America. Our MLIS program is offered exclusively online, and there are no on-campus orientations or other required in-person events.
  • The online program allows students the flexibility to continue working while pursuing their MLIS degree. 87% were both students at our school and employees at public libraries, K-12 schools, academic libraries, and a host of other types of career environments. 
  • 91% were between the ages of 21 and 50 at the time of graduation, with the highest concentration age group of 26-30 at 24%.
  • 32% identified themselves as an ethnicity other than “White, not Hispanic” and 3% declined to answer.
  • 84% marked female, 14% marked male, 2% marked non-binary, and 1% declined to answer. (Responses are rounded up.)
  • 61% of respondents stated they are the first person in their family to obtain a master’s degree. Learn more about the First Generation Student Group

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the iSchool. I think it’s a fantastic program and a bargain for the tuition I paid.” — MLIS Graduate