School Library Studies Admissions

Our program

The School Library Studies Master of Arts program prepares teachers to be teacher librarians. Many of our students work full time and are able to complete the master's degree within a few years. The program is distance-friendly, yet retains a sense of identification with UNI and establishes for our students a network of colleagues throughout the state.

The program is primarily delivered online.  Most courses are taught as hybrids with some time over the Internet, some synchronous time with Adobe Connect or Zoom, and some have 1-3 days on campus (Saturdays or summers). Delivery methods are subject to change.

UNI’s Continuing Education provides technical support and other services for the School Library Studies program.  For information on the course requirements, program faculty, and the school librarian profession, explore the School Library Studies website.

Teaching endorsements

Our MA degree, along with a valid Iowa Teaching License, meets the State of Iowa requirements for the K-12 teacher librarian endorsement #174, formerly called the media specialist endorsement.  The state also offers endorsements for elementary only (#108) and secondary only (#109) teacher librarians.  For more information, see the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners website and search for endorsement #174, #108 or #109.

If you do not have a teaching license, you must complete teacher education coursework before beginning your master’s degree in School Library Studies. If you are a post BA student and have been in the workforce for several years, you may wish to look into an alternative licensure program call the Iowa Intern License Pathway. We do not provide advising for these programs, but contacts are listed on the state website.


Your first step is to complete the UNI Graduate Admissions application. **Select the master's degree major, School Library Studies, code 353 in order to have your application eventually routed to School Library Studies.

To be entered into a cohort group, you must be accepted into the master's program which can take some time dependent on the arrival time of your transcripts. Please be sure that all of your transcripts have been requested and received by the UNI Admissions office. Once your file is complete in the Admissions office, you will be notified by email (so be sure your email accepts these messages or that you check your Junk mail filter), and your file will be sent by the Admissions office to the Department of Curriculum and Instruction for consideration of your admission to the School Library Studies MA program.  If you have not received this notice in a timely manner, it is your responsibility to contact the office of Admissions to see what might be delaying the completion of your application. Contact Laurie Russell at  or by phone at 319-273-2623.

The Admissions Office also creates an account so that you can check your status of your application online through the MyUniverse website, Student Services Center. Watch for an automatically generated email from the Admissions Office that provides your UNI student #, CATID username, & directs you to the place where it tells you how to determine what your CATID password is the first time you login to MyUNIverse. If you have questions about your ID, contact Laurie Russell at or by phone at 319-273-2623.

Admission criteria are based on a 3.0 GPA or above in a previous degree program based on a 4.0 scale. A satisfactory score on a proctored writing test the semester prior to the cohort start is also required. Once an admission decision has been made, you will be notified through a letter from the Curriculum and Instruction Department Office. At that time, you will be assigned to a cohort group and will be able to register for classes.


All students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of location. See the Continuing Education FAQ page for current tuition rates.

Financial Aid

Although we are unable to provide advice about Financial Aid, we can refer you to those who can. The phone number for UNI Financial Aid is 319-273-2700.  Also, we want to let you know that teacher librarian continues to be a shortage area identified by the Iowa Department of Education so you may want to ask the Financial Aid office about this. See the following Resources:

Iowa Teacher Shortages: Iowa teacher shortage areas are designated annually by the Iowa Department of Education.  Teachers in shortage areas may be eligible for college student forgivable loans through both state and federal programs.  Teacher librarian K-8 and 5-12 are on the 2014-2015 Iowa Teacher Shortage Area list.  
UNI Financial Aid  The link to the left provides basic information on budgeting for and financing graduate school.  Information on specific loan programs can also be found here.
Iowa Teacher Loan Forgiveness
UNI Curriculum & Instruction/SLS Scholarships:  By January 15 of each year, qualified applicants may apply for SLS scholarships of $1000 (Rigmor Madsen and/or Mary Lou Kirk).
Graduate Assistantship or Tuition Scholarship:  Students working toward a graduate degree full time (9 graduate credits or more), who wish to work 10 or 20 hours a week on campus in the department, may apply for a Graduate Assistantship.  Graduate Tuition Scholarships are also available for full-time students. 

Dates to note

You can apply at any time. We are currently accepting applications for the Fall 2015 cohort group.

The proctored writing test will be administered from our office following your application using local proctors arranged by the applicant. Please contact Alisa Weeks using the information below to set this up at your earliest convenience. After completing this and after your application file has arrived in our office, you will be contacted by a letter from our department office to notify you of your admission decision.

Cohort groups begin with the course SLS 5114 Introduction to the School Library Program and one other course. Groups typically complete 2 courses each semester that will be offered specifically for the cohort group, although those who wish to move through the program one course at a time also have that option, as do students who wish to be full time. All 33 hours of coursework could be completed in a 2-3 year time frame. The master's program requires a master's research paper or thesis. The Introduction course, which is a prerequisite to all other courses in the program, meets face to face two Saturdays and uses an online learning environment. Course dates will be listed when the course schedules are published. THE INTRODUCTION COURSE WILL HAVE A REQUIRED CLASS ON THE LAST SATURDAY OF AUGUST ON THE UNI CAMPUS.

Once admitted, students will register online through the UNI Continuing Education enrollment process.

Please let us know if you have any other questions at this point. We'd be happy to schedule a phone or in person appointment with you if you have additional questions.

For additional information contact

Dr. Karla Krueger
Assistant Professor
Program Coordinator

Alisa Weeks
Program Secretary

(319) 273-2050

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