Thinking About the Program
Filling Out the Application
Application: Residency
Application: Transcripts
Application: Fees
Application: Resume
Application: Personal Statement
Application: Recommendations
Application: Transfer of Credits
Application: Standardized Test Scores
Application: Checking the Status
Application: Courses in Non-Matriculating Status
Application: Acceptance and Enrollment
Application: Reapplying
Financial Aid and Residency Status


Thinking About the Program

Q. I’ve been thinking about a degree in Library Science and would like to know about careers and career outlooks in the field.

A. For an overview of career paths and other relevant information, visit the American Library Association’s Education and Careers pages and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. You can scan job ads to get a sense of what skills are being requested; read American Libraries, or search online. If you are especially interested in a special type of library or information work, you may also want to network with practitioners, observe worksites, or do volunteer work to get a taste of your chosen specialty.


Q. I am interested in the URI MLIS program. Would I be able to do this part time?

A. Absolutely! The majority of our students are part-time (fewer than 9 credits per semester). A part-time master’s student is expected to complete the degree in 4 years; extensions are possible. Check the Graduate School Manual for requirements.


Q. Will all my classes be online?

A. GSLIS offers some of its courses online, but not the entire degree (although GSLIS is in the process of becoming a fully-online program). Students practice a wide range of professional communication skills by taking courses in face-to-face, online, and hybrid or blended formats at the URI Kingston campus. All students are placed in professional field experiences to interact directly with practitioners and clients at libraries and information services in their chosen areas. Some students also elect to do independent studies.


Q. I am interested in applying to the GSLIS program. Does your department offer any information sessions or tours?

A. Our regularly scheduled information sessions are scheduled in conjunction with our new student orientations at the beginning of each semester. New and prospective students are welcome.


Q. How do I apply for the program?

A. Most of the answers to that are on our website. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered there, please call the GSLIS office at (401) 874-2878.



Filling Out the Application


Q. How often do you accept students — only in the fall, or year round?

A. We make admissions on a rolling basis. Final deadlines are as follows: June 15th for September admission, October 15th for January admission, and March 15th for summer admission.


Q: I have tried every possible way to access the application form online, but to no avail.

A: If you cannot open the online application form, please contact the ITS helpdesk by e-mail (helpdesk@uri.edu) or telephone (401-874-HELP).


Q. How soon after the deadline can I expect to hear if I have been accepted?

A. As soon as your application package is complete, the GSLIS admissions committee will review it and make a recommendation to the director. It will then be forwarded to the Graduate School where all final admissions decisions are made. The process usually takes anywhere from 2-8 weeks depending on the number of applicants and other factors.


Q. Are the application deadlines absolute? Can I submit my application late?

A. GSLIS has rolling admissions. Our deadlines are designed to give applicants plenty of time submit their application materials. It also give us plenty of time to evaluate the packages and meet the firm deadlines set by the Graduate School. The deans of the Graduate School make the final decision.


Q. What if I miss a deadline but want to get started?

A. If you miss the deadline and we are not able to process your application on time, you are allowed to take up to two courses (6 credit hours) in non-matriculated status and roll them over into the program after acceptance. You may start with any class at any location, but it must not have a prerequisite.



Application: Residency


Q. What is proof of residency and why do I need it?

A. Proof of residency is a requirement for in-state and regional applicants who would like to receive adjusted tuition rates. You can review the Residency Guidelines and download the Graduate School Certificate of Residence form here. Your form will need to be notarized. This form is only required after admission to the program and your decision to matriculate. Mail your completed form to:

URI Graduate School
Graduate Admissions
Quinn Hall, Rm. 204
55 Lower College Road
Kingston, Rhode Island 02881


Q. What can I send to prove residency? I don’t have a lease, own or co-own a house, and I didn’t register to vote.

A. The form will tell you what documents are acceptable to prove residency. Usually these documents include driver’s license, leases, tax returns, and utility bills.


Q. Do I need proof of residency to take GSLIS courses at Worcester State University or the University of New Hampshire?

A. No. All students, regardless of residency status, are charged the same flat fee instead of tuition for these courses.



Application: Transcripts


Q. How many transcripts do I need to submit? To whom should they be mailed?

A. Unofficial transcripts from all degree granting institutions must be uploaded as PDF files to “Transcript and Uploads” in your online application.

These transcripts will be considered unofficial and are for review purposes. Official (sealed) transcripts and your Certificate of Residence are only required after admission to the program. Before matriculation, please mail all official transcripts to:


URI Graduate School
Graduate Admissions
Quinn Hall, Rm. 204
55 Lower College Road
Kingston, Rhode Island 02881


Q. I have been accepted into the MLIS program with the stipulation that I submit my final undergraduate transcript indicating that I have received my degree. I will not graduate until I complete my last undergraduate course. Will this be too late to enroll?

A. It will not be a problem until the start of your second semester in the GSLIS program, when registration will be blocked unless your transcript has been received.



Application: Fees


Q. Can I have my application fee waived?

A. No. The application fee is necessary for all incoming students.


Q. Do I get my application fee back if I am not accepted into the program?

A. No, this fee does not get returned.



Application: Resume


Q. To whom should I e-mail my resume?

A. Upload your resume to the application system when filling out your application online. Please upload it as a Word or PDF document.



Application: Personal Statement


Q. I’m in the process of applying and need some advice regarding the personal statement. Is it like a cover letter or more like an essay? I’m not sure what a personal statement is.

A. The personal statement is in essay form, and there are as many good ways to write it as there are applicants. Content is important. The best personal statements often show that the student knows what information services are really about and the student has good ideas about how to work through institutions to make a difference in people’s lives. Some applicants take the opportunity to explain apparent weaknesses in their records, or highlight the relevance of special life experiences. We hope to recruit future colleagues who will enjoy their work and help create new ways for libraries and information services to serve our communities in the decades ahead. (One use of your personal statement: your interests and goals help the committee chair assign your initial academic advisor.) Form matters, too. Employers in our field are looking for good communicators, and the personal statement serves as a writing sample. Good statements are clear, well-organized, and informative.


Q. Are there specific instructions for the MLIS degree program when filling out the personal statement?

A. No, but if you browse our site (especially our Vision Statement, Values Statement, and Mission, Goals, and Objectives) you will find clues to what we want.



Application: Recommendations


Q. What kinds of recommendation are wanted?

A. Recommendations from work supervisors (especially if you have worked in libraries, information agencies, or related fields) are excellent. Recommendations from faculty members who can attest to your academic abilities are also very good. The Admissions Committee will be looking for evidence that you can succeed and make valuable contributions not just in the MLIS program, but in your future career.


Q. The on-line application lists three e-mail addresses for recommenders; I thought just two were required. Do three give more credence to the application?

A. Only two are required. If your experience is multifaceted, you may want to request letters from recommenders who can speak to your different talents and skills. Also, inviting three increases the likelihood that at least two will arrive quickly, enabling your application to be moved forward.


Q. I notified my recommenders that they will be receiving an email to submit their respective recommendation electronically. Is this correct?

A. Yes. Applications submitted on-line will automatically generate a letter from the Graduate School inviting them to submit their recommendation electronically.


Q. My recommender is unable to send a recommendation via e-mail. May we send a hard copy through the mail?

A. Your recommender is welcome to send a letter on your behalf. The envelope must be sealed and signed over the back flap by the person who wrote the letter of recommendation and mailed to:


University of Rhode Island
Rodman Hall #103
94 West Alumni Avenue
Kingston, Rhode Island 02881


Q. One of my recommenders mentioned she had not received the electronic invitation to submit her recommendation. Is there a way to re-send her the electronic invitation?

A. At this time, if you notify our office, we can re-send the request. Please call and/or email us at 401-874-2878 or kate_fox@my.uri.edu with your name, your recommender’s name, and recommender’s email address.


Q. Is there a specific form or procedure for submitting reference letters?

A. There is no specialized form for submitting letters of reference, but three procedures exist:

• First, your recommenders have the option of submitting their letter electronically through the online application system. If you choose this option, you should provide the names and e-mail addresses of your references when completing the online application. They will then receive an e-mail with instructions for submitting the letter of recommendation electronically.

• The second option is to ask for your letters of reference to be sent directly to you from your recommenders. If you choose this option, the envelopes must be sealed and signed over the back flap by the person who wrote the letter of recommendation. You would then include the sealed letters of recommendation in one packet and send them all together to the GSLIS office.

• Your final option is to allow the people writing your letters of recommendation to send them directly to the GSLIS office through the mail. If selecting this option, it is a good idea to provide a pre-addressed postage paid envelope for each individual writing a letter of recommendation for you. We can always update you on the status of your application materials, including receipt of letters of recommendation, by phone at (401) 874-2878.



Application: Transfer of Credits


Q. Can I transfer credits into the GSLIS program?

A. The basic guidelines for transfer of credit here are:

• GSLIS will accept a maximum of 12 credit hours (four courses) in transfer. This includes up to 6 hours (2 courses) taken in non-matriculated status in our own program, and up to 9 hours (three courses) from comparable accredited programs. Different combinations are possible but the sum should not be greater than 12.

• The credits we accept from other institutions must have been taken for graduate credit only.

• The credits we accept cannot have been used toward another degree (except in the case of students accepted for a dual master’s program).

• The credits we accept must have been earned within the past 5 years.


Q. I have sent the Grad School my transcript and I have applied for transfer credits. Will you receive paperwork about the “official” transferring of credits? How will I know if they’ve been processed?

A. Transfer of courses is not complete at the time of admission, but depends on the Program of Study you will work out with your academic advisor. Transcripts and descriptions of the courses that you want to transfer must be submitted to the Graduate School with your Program of Study. We do not receive official notification of the transfer of credit. However, when you look at your transcript on-line it will show if the credits have been accepted. If they do not appear after your Program of Study has been approved, you should contact your advisor.


Q. I am a graduate from a four year program in Europe and am interested in an American MLIS degree. Will URI accept my credits?

A. Yes. See directions for International Applicants at the Graduate School site.



Application: Standardized Test Scores


Q. Do I need to take a standardized test as part of my GSLIS application?

A. No


Application: Courses in Non-Matriculating Status


Q. How many courses may I take before I officially enroll at GSLIS?

A. You may take up to two courses as a non-matriculating student. Please be aware that as a non-matriculating student, you will need to fill out a form to access e-Campus (where you register for courses) as well as Sakai (where the digital content of your courses is stored).


Q. How do I register as a non-matriculating student through e-campus? 

A. You will need to file an application with the Office of Enrollment Services. To do this, download an application form, fill it out, and mail, fax (401-874-5260), or drop it off, with payment, to Enrollment Services. Once this has been received, you can register as a non-matriculated student.


Q. What is the deadline for course sign up when you are a non-matriculated student?

A. Non-matriculated students may register one week before classes begin and must make payment before accessing the registration system. For exact registration periods, see the Enrollment Services detailed academic calendar.


Q. I have already taken two non-matriculating courses. If I take a third course, will the credits be accepted toward my degree?

A. If you are in the process of applying and are accepted while taking the third course, the credits will be counted toward your degree.


Q. I am an undergraduate here at URI and interested in taking graduate level library and information studies courses in my senior year. Is that possible and, if so, will the courses count toward an MLIS degree?

A. Undergraduates with senior status and a GPA of 3.0 or above may take up to six credit hours. Courses must be chosen from our first four core courses (502, 504, 505, and 508). If a course is full, any student not matriculated into GSLIS may be removed to make space for MLIS students. Permission to register in a course is given by the course instructor. If the GSLIS courses credits count toward the undergraduate degree and the student later enters the MLIS program, the student is expected to take 42 credit hours in the program, but may waive the requirements already filled in undergraduate status. The student takes just as many credit hours for the MLIS, but takes fewer requirements and more electives.


Q. I have not yet completed the application process for next term, but would like to take a course this term in preparation. How do I go about getting into a core MLIS course?

A. You may register online for two courses in non-matriculated status; for directions see the Student Step-by-step Guide to e-Campus. Besides the information you’ll find in e-Campus, there is more information about GSLIS course offerings here.


Q. Which classes should a non-matriculated student take first?

A. Core courses well suited for new students are LSC 502 (Lead, Manage, Connect Library & Information Services), LSC 504 (Searching for Answers), LSC 505 (Organization of Information), and LSC 508 (Introduction to Information Science and Technology). Electives to take would depend upon your career plans.


Q. I am interested in taking a GSLIS class for continuing professional development. I already have my MLIS. Do I have to apply for the entire program or can I just take one class?

A. You are welcome to take a class as a non-matriculated student. Download an application form. After completing the application, you may mail it, drop it off, or fax the form, with payment, to Enrollment Services.



Application: Acceptance and Enrollment


Q: How do I accept admission into the program?

A: Go to the e-Campus student page and log on with your user ID and password. On the left hand menu, select Self-Service > Student Admission > Application Status. Right above application status is “Accept Admission.”


Q. When is the deadline to notify you that I am planning to attend this semester or if I am planning to defer to the next semester?

A. You must accept your admission at least a couple of business days before you register for courses.


Q. When should I register for courses?

A. Registration deadlines are given on the Enrollment Services Academic Calendar. Early registration is strongly advised to ensure that you get into the courses you want to take.


Q. I accepted my admission through e-campus, but my e-campus page still does not list me as having matriculated and I am blocked from signing up for courses.

A. It may take a couple of days after you accept your admission for the system to update your status so that you can register. If you are still unable to register after that, contact the Graduate School (401-874-2872) for assistance.


Q. Today is the first day of my first enrollment. I am trying to register for courses but it says I need a permission number to enroll. What is going on?

A. Because this is your first time registering, you may not yet be in the system. If this is the problem, you should be able to register in a couple of days. Permission numbers may also be required if:

• All seats are taken, and it is up to the instructor to decide if additional students can be accommodated without compromising course quality; or

• The student does not have the course prerequisite, and it is up to the instructor to assess the student’s readiness for the course; or

• The student is trying to register for two courses which meet at the same time; or

• The course is one that normally requires a permission number, such as LSC 593: Independent Work.


Q. I have been accepted into the program but have not yet responded. Due to financial concerns, I have decided that it is not possible for me to enroll. Do I need to withdraw formally from the program?

A. If you have already accepted admission to GSLIS, then you are considered matriculated and must write a letter to formally withdraw from the program. If you have not accepted, then you should go online and decline the invitation to accept admission.


Q. What if I have accepted admission and still hope to attend, but cannot do so this year?

A. Write a concise e-mail to the director of the GSLIS program, Dr. Valerie Karno (vkarno@uri.edu), explaining the circumstances and requesting deferral of your enrollment until the next semester or the next year. The director will forward the recommendation to the Graduate School. This can be done once.



Application: Reapplying


Q. How do I go about reapplying to your program? I submitted paperwork to GSLIS a year or two ago. Is my paperwork still on file?

A. It is suggested that you complete a new application. All original paperwork is sent to the Graduate School after the GSLIS admissions committee has made a recommendation. Since GSLIS would not have your original paperwork it would necessitate new recommendations, residence forms, etc.


Q. When I reapply, do I have to re-submit everything? Is it possible to re-use the actual transcripts, GRE scores and letters of recommendation I sent in from my last application?

A. The Graduate School should have copies of your transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. How much of the information will need to be resubmitted depends on the length of time your application has been inactive. The information you send us will help the GSLIS Admissions Committee make a prompt and full assessment of your new application.



Financial Aid and Residency Status


Q. What are regional rates?

A. The New England Board of Higher Education’s RSP Tuition Break program is available to New England students when they enroll in an approved major that is not offered by the public colleges and universities in their home state. As one of only two publicly supported library schools in New England, GSLIS offers regional rates to matriculated students from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont; see Enrollment Services for explanations of tuition and fees, including regional rates.


Q. Why aren’t regional rates the same as the fees for GSLIS courses at UNH/Durham and at Worcester State University?

A. For those courses, students pay a flat fee assessed by the URI Office for Special Programs in lieu of the tuition and fees charged for courses taught at URI campuses. The rate is posted at the GSLIS website with each term’s course schedule. The fee is reasonable, but full-time students must pay it in addition to tuition.


Q. I live in Massachusetts. Do I qualify for the regional rate?

A. As a resident of Massachusetts (or Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont), you qualify for regional tuition when you enroll in the program as a matriculated student. Your application must include proof of residency. As long as you are in the program, you get that regional tuition rate. If you take a GSLIS course at Worcester State University or UNH/Durham, you will pay the same flat fee whether you are a matriculated student or not.


Q. I have been admitted into the GSLIS program and don’t know where to ask about financial aid.

A. For university-wide financial aid, check with Enrollment Services; they have a great deal of information. Be sure to check our Blog for job postings, many of which are in the university library. It is also worthwhile to research outside sources of scholarship aid; for instance, see the American Library Association website.


Q. How is a student notified about financial aid?

A. Award letters and financial packages are mailed out from Enrollment Services around the end of May.


Q. How do the Honors and Awards Committee make their decisions regarding GSLIS scholarships?

A. When awarding scholarships, the Honors and Awards Committee considers merit and need.


Q. I need to have a letter to the company in which I have a loan so they can defer my payment plan. Whom do I contact regarding my request?

A. You need to contact Enrollment Services. They will be happy to supply the necessary paperwork.


Q. If I live out of state and I am accepted into the GSLIS program at the University of Rhode Island, would the school adjust the tuition if I moved there and became a resident the summer before the fall semester that I started?

A. This would not be possible. The Certificate of Residence specifies that the applicant must establish residency for a minimum of one year before matriculation.


Q: What if I have a question that I don’t see listed here?

A: Please contact us OR call 401-874-2878.