The Catholic University of America

Admissions > FAQs for LIS Applicants

Whom do I contact with questions and how do I schedule a visit?

Give us a call at 202-319-5085 or send an email to cua-lis[at], and we will be happy to answer any questions you have and/or arrange for a visit to campus! Contact one of our student ambassadors to talk about the program one-on-one with a current student. by You can meet with faculty members and sit in on one of our classes. For directions and a map of the campus, please visit our Maps and Directions page.

How do I apply to the M.S.L.I.S. program?

Complete your application  online. The application documents include:

  • Your statement of purpose
  • Transcripts from all institutions of higher education you have attended (upload unofficial, and request institutions to send official transcripts to CatholicU)
  • Three letters of reference (supervisors of paid or volunteer work, former instructors, e.g.)
  • GRE scores (applicants with undergraduate GPAs above 3.0 will have the GRE score requirement automatically waived)
  • Applicants who received all degrees from non-English speaking countries must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • $60 application fee

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Whom should I ask to write recommendations for me?

Among your three references, we recommend including one academic and one workplace reference, if possible. We want to hear from people who can give a reasonably unbiased evaluation of your academic abilities and/or your workplace performance. References from those with whom you've worked in community organizations or volunteer efforts are fine. References from personal and family friends should be avoided.  

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What if I just want to take one course?

You may apply as a non-degree student, if you wish to only take one class. The non-degree application does not require the personal statement, GRE scores or reference letters. However, note non-degree students may only take three classes for credit toward the master's degree. Should a nondegree student wish to complete the degree, he or she would have to then apply for the degree program. If accepted, the credits from classes taken as a nondegree student will apply toward the degree.

Deadlines for applications are November 15 for the spring semester, April 1 for summer and July 15 for fall.

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Though I am not a native English speaker, I have lived in the U.S. How can I request the IELTS or TOEFL to be waived?

The TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived on a case-by-case basis should the applicant have appropriate documentation of successful completion of one of the following:

  1. CatholicU's Intensive English Program
  2.  Level 112 in the intensive English program offered by an ELS Language Center
  3.  A complete Intensive English program at an accredited institution of higher education
  4.  A college-level English Composition class determined to be the equivalent of or more advanced than CatholicU's English Composition 101 course, with a grade of B or above. (for applicants to undergraduate programs)
  5. A graduate degree, a Bachelor's Degree (B.A. or B.S.), or an Associates Degree (A. A.) from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education or a high school diploma.

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If I have to take the GRE or TOEFL, how do I find out more about this?

You need to take the GRE if your undergraduate GPA was below 3.0. Also, GRE scores should be submitted for consideration for certain university scholarships. You need to take the TOEFL only if you have not received an academic degrees from an institution in which classes are taught in English. You'll find information about the GRE online at You'll find information about the TOEFL at

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Is admission based solely on GPAs (and test scores, where required)?

No. The Admissions Committee reads through each applicant's file carefully, reviewing what the statement, references and other content tells them about the applicant's background, talent and other attributes that are needed by the information professions - including readiness to engage in academic work, analytical and conceptual thinking ability, writing skills, and evidence of commitment to the application of new techniques and concepts in the information profession. If a file as a whole shows evidence of such qualities, applicants may be admitted despite unsatisfactory scores. If it gives reason to doubt this, an applicant may be rejected despite satisfactory scores. 

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Is there a different application process for classes at Library of Congress or for the online program?

All applicants, regardless of where they intend to take class, or whether they are full-, part-time or only intend to take online classes, receive the same consideration by the Admissions Committee.

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I already have successfully completed a graduate degree. Will 6 credits automatically be waived?

A student who holds one or more accredited graduate degrees when admitted to the program will be automatically exempt from six semester credit hours, but all remaining credits must be earned within the Department of Library and Information Science. An official transcript of the graduate degree must be submitted at the time application is made to the school.

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Do you accept transfer credits?

If you've completed a graduate degree by the time you are applying, 6 credits may be waived. We would need to have your official transcript on file. If you started an accredited MSLIS program at another institution, you may apply to have up to 6 credits transferred.

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Do I have to begin the program in the fall semester?

We have rolling admissions, and new students join the program in any of the three terms. If you wish to begin the program in the fall, apply by July 15; for spring, apply by November 15; and for summer, apply by April 1.

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Can I complete the degree entirely online?

Yes. CatholicU LIS offers a completely online program for School Library Media students and for Generalist students. The OWL (Online Weekend Learning) program will continue through Spring 2019. Students enrolled in OWL courses attend classes one Saturday each month, while the remainder of the coursework is done online. 

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How do I defer my admission to another term?

You may request a one- or two-semester deferral by emailing us and We'll confirm decanal approval. If you simply do not register for the semester for which you have received acceptance and you have not requested deferral, you must reapply for admission. Note deferral of admission does not guarantee deferral of scholarship.

 I've been accepted. Now what?

Now that you've been accepted, it is important to be in contact with your faculty advisor to discuss your academic plans. You also need to matriculate, register, and become oriented to the program. More information is found on the new student page.