The Catholic University of America

FAQs for LIS Applicants

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

Give us a call at 202-319-5085, send an e-mail to cua-lis[at], or see our contact page. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and/or arrange for a visit to campus! 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 MSLIS program?

Start your application process online. The application documents include:

  • Your statement of purpose
  • $60 application fee
  • transcripts from all institutions of higher education you have attended (upload unofficial, and request institutions to send official transcripts to CUA)
  • three (3) letters of reference (supervisors of paid or volunteer work, former instructors, etc.)
  • Applicants with undergraduate GPAs below 3.0 will need GRE scores
  • Applicants who received all degrees from non-English speaking countries must submit TOEFL scores.

Whom should be asked to write recommendations for me?

We recommend including one academic (professor) 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 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.

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. This application does not require the personal statement or reference letters. However, note non-degree students may only take three classes for credit. Should a non-degree 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 normally November 15 for the spring semester, April 1 for summer and July 15 for fall.

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

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, analytic 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.

What about off-campus sites (Library of Congress, etc.)?

We currently offer face-to-face courses each term at the Library of Congress. We also offer classes as week-long summer intensives and in hybrid face-to-face/online formats. All students are admitted by the Admissions Committee applying the same criteria without reference to the student's location. Additionally, all classes are open to all students, without regard to a student's location. (For example, a student who normally takes OWL classes may register for a face-to-face class on campus or at the Library of Congress at any time.)