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Library & Information Science

Getting Started

This guide contains recommenced resources about or concerning topics in the library and information science discipline. However, the list of related resources is always growing and this is by no means comprehensive. Feel free to contact any of the librarians for other recommendations!

LIS Program at CWU Libraries

Learn more about the Library and Information Science Program at CWU below.

Frequently Asked Questions about the LIS Certificate


Where do I find more information about the LIS courses and program?  

Course descriptions are available in the CWU course catalog to see outcomes. There are 3 required courses and options for choosing 2 elective courses. All the required courses are offered online and most of the electives are available online.       


Are there any prerequisites to enroll in the LIS Certificate?  

You do not need to take other classes or pursue a 4-year degree at CWU to be able to take classes in the LIS Certificate. Students can enroll in the certificate as either a degree seeking student from any of the CWU majors, or as a non-matriculated student. To get started, use the online Non-Matriculated Student Application.     


Is this the same as an MLIS?  

The LIS Certificate is not the same as getting a Masters in Library and Information Science. An MLIS is required for many Librarian positions. However, there are many jobs in libraries that don’t require a masters degree. If that’s something you’re interested in pursuing, you will want to pursue a 4-year degree and a masters degree is added after a bachelors degree. You can find more information about the MLIS on this research guide. You'll want to look for masters programs that have ALA-accreditation. The CWU LIS Program is not ALA-accredited and most programs at the undergraduate level are not.             


How long does the program take?   

Students starting in the fall and taking 2-3 courses a quarter can complete the program in two quarters. Students wishing to spread out their coursework can take 1-class a quarter for 5 quarters.    


How much does it cost?  

Tuition and fees depend on whether you are in-state or out-of-state, and are reduced for fully-online students. Use the tuition charts on this page to estimate the costs for your circumstances: tuition rates. The LIS program is a total of 14-16 credits.   

Find more information about funding and scholarships on this guide.


What are some training pathways into library work?

There are a many pathways for getting into library work. Here are some training routes arranged in least time to most time and schooling:           

  1. Pursue the LIS Certificate. In this scenario students would apply for the LIS Certificate as a non-matriculated student. Students can add this to whatever schooling already acquired, such as a BA or AA degree. This gives you a leg up getting on the job market and looking for a library job because it demonstrates you have some training and background in libraries.       
  2. Pursue a BA or BS degree from CWU with the LIS Certificate. This is a good option if you don’t already have a BA. What degree you choose can vary widely and there’s not a required pairing for pursuing a library path. Having a 4-year degree is helpful for the skillset and knowledge it will help you develop, and in some cases a 4-year degree will be required for a library job. Students can reach out to the Transfer Center to check for specifics transfer information for a degree and general transfer information.      
  3. Pursue a Masters in Library and Information Science after your BA degree, with or without an LIS Certificate. This is the most time/schooling investment and gaining a certificate as part of your journey is something many students choose to do and work in between getting Bachelors and Masters degrees.