Syracuse UniversityOnline MS in Library and Information Science
ALA-accredited. Multiple professional pathways or specializations available. No GRE required to apply. Complete in as little as 18 months.
|University of Denver||
University of DenverMaster of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
ALA-Accredited, No GRE Required. Complete in as few as 21 months.
|St. John's University||
St. John's UniversityOnline M.S. in Library and Information Science
ALA Accredited, 24 months to complete. 4 specializations and 2 certificate options.
Information professionals with User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) expertise are tasked with solving problems relevant to information access through a deep knowledge of user needs and abilities. These experts design solutions for physical and virtual information experiences in data and library science.
How we locate and access information is just as important as the information itself. This is especially true in an increasingly digital world. Electronic information should be easily searchable and available to information users. Design, function, and accessibility considerations are central when developing websites, databases, systems, and applications. Common related areas are the Digital Library Science degree, Information Science degree, and the Information Systems Design degree.
Are there online MLIS programs in User Experience?
Yes, indirectly. Having in-depth knowledge of information user needs is a foundational aspect of all Master's of Library and Information Sciences MLIS programs.
As such, many of these degrees offer concentrations, specializations, and career pathways in user experience or user interface. UX covers more broadly overall user experiences with a service or product, while UI is focused on human-computer interactions. Online MLIS degree programs offering these specializations prepare graduates to develop user-centric solutions in diverse professional settings.
What can you do with a User Experience degree?
Earning a degree with a focus on user experience prepares the graduate to assess information user need, evaluate information user ability and limitation, and determine what information users value. As UX professionals are tasked with meeting the needs of users in relation to a particular setting, they must also be adept at understanding the goals and objectives of the organization providing the service or product.
Graduates with this degree may design accessible websites, develop easy to navigate mobile apps, create engaging makerspace activities, or establish processes for effective visual marketing experiences.
Sponsored Online Library Programs
|Master||Online MS in Library and Information Science
ALA-accredited. No GRE required to apply. School Media Specialization available.
|University of Denver
|Master||Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
ALA-Accredited, No GRE Required.
|St. John's University
|Master||Online M.S. in Library and Information Science
ALA Accredited. Complete in as little as 2 years.
|University of West Alabama
|Master||Online Master of Education in Library Media
Develop knowledge and skills in school library media with our online library media specialist degree. You will gain a foundation needed to transform education through instructional media and school library services.
|California State University San Marcos
|Master||Online Master of Arts in Reading, Language and Literacy
Get advanced training in developing, enhancing and assessing literacy.
Review of Top Online ALA-accredited User Experience Programs
The American Library Association recognizes exceptional programs around the country. Many of these offer online programs that can be completed in as little as two years when enrolled full-time. Programs with UX concentrations, specializations, and career pathways emphasize systems, technology, and data-informed decisions. Each of these programs is available fully online and has been accredited by the ALA.
University of Tennessee - MSIS User Experience Career Pathway
UT's Master of Science in Information Sciences is a nationally ranked 36 credit hour program. Core coursework provides an overview of foundational information science concepts. In addition to required courses and electives, students have the option to complete a thesis, ePortfolio, independent research, or practicum.
The UX pathway emphasizes the design and development of systems and the measurement of products and apps. Recommended coursework includes Web Design, Information Architecture, Usability Testing and Evaluation, and Research Methods for Information Professionals. To supplement these courses, students may complete up to nine hours of graduate courses from other schools. The university also offers relevant online training and workshops.
Students may complete courses online or on campus in Knoxville. The GRE is not required for admission and all undergraduate degrees are accepted. Scholarships, financial aid, graduate assistantships, and fellowships are available for qualified students. Tuition and fees are based on residency status.
Wayne State University - MLIS User Experience Specialization
This Master's in Library & Information Science program blends core principles with practical applications. The 36 credit hour degree includes 18 hours of core classwork and a minimum of 18 hours in an area of professional specialization. The User Experience specialization, as part of the Information Management path, has been designed for students interested in working in user-centric and data-intensive environments.
The UX specialization includes elective options in IT Project Management, Information Behavior, and Web Development. Students gain experience with information relevant to online communities, digital media, and online services. For those with little or no professional experience, a practicum can help to merge knowledge and skills in an intentional work environment.
All students in the MLIS program must submit a Plan of Work statement after completing nine credits of coursework. Prior to graduation, an assessment of professional skills and knowledge must be completed. Letters of recommendation are not required for admissions consideration. Online students receive in-state tuition regardless of physical location. Tuition is currently $885.02 per credit.
Dominican University - MLIS User Experience Certificate
Dominican University's 36 credit graduate program emphasizes the core values of librarianship, experiential learning, and a supportive faculty. Students have access to internship and practicum opportunities, in addition to small classes taught by nationally recognized experts. The program offers highly relevant concentrations and certificates, including the User Experience certificate.
The certificate has been designed for current degree seeking Dominican students or those who have previously graduated from an accredited program. The 15 credit certificate includes the following courses: Information Architecture, Human Computer Interaction, Advanced Web Design, Systems Analysis and Design, and Evidence-based Planning, Management, and Decision-making. Students who lack HTML or web experience must complete an additional Internet Fundamentals and Design course as a prerequisite.
Hybrid learning options are also available for students who may wish to take classes in Chicago. Tuition for the master's certificate is $850 per credit hour. Financial aid and departmental scholarships are available for qualified MLIS students.
Kent State University - MLIS User Experience Information Professionals Pathway
The School of Information at Kent State University, offers a 37 credit hour MLIS degree program. Blending traditional academic research disciplines with theory and practice unique to library and information science, this program aims to prepare information professionals who will excel in a variety of settings. One way students in the program can customize their learning is to select a pathway, of which User Experience Information Professional is an option.
Students in the UX pathway must first complete MLIS core coursework, which includes Information Organization, People in the Information Ecology, and other courses. Recommended courses relevant to UX include Digital Technologies I-II, Cultural Heritage Informatics, User Experience Design in Practice, and Principles in Interaction. A number of relevant electives are also available, such as Museum Communication and Accessibility Evaluation and Universal Design.
In addition to the MLIS UX pathway, the university also offers a Master of Science in User Experience. To apply for admission students will complete an application, provide transcripts and letters of recommendation, and submit an essay and resume/CV. Veterans and underrepresented students may be eligible for a $1,000 iSeed Scholarship through the School of Information.
Are there Bachelor’s programs in User Experience?
Yes. Undergraduate degrees in User Experience may be part of a university or college’s library and information science program or information technology program. Those specifically interested in working in a library, archive, museum, or other information center, may prefer a program within a college of information or information science. Typical bachelor-level degree programs Bachelors BLS require a minimum of 120 credit hours for completion. Some undergraduate degrees can be completed fully online, while others require on campus coursework. While these programs may be associated with an ALA-accredited school or college offering graduate degrees, the American Library Association Best MLIS ALA Accredited does not accredit undergraduate programs.
Arizona State University Online offers a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Information Technology – User Experience. The degree consists of 40 courses (for 120 credits), with classes running for 7.5 weeks each. With an interdisciplinary focus on communication, research, and design, students gain knowledge and skills that prepare them for a variety of careers. Options for courses include Web Content Design, Information Design & Usability, and Human Systems Integration. There is also an option to complete the degree as part of an accelerated master’s program.
In addition to the master’s degree discussed below, the University of Tennessee offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences with an Applied Data Analytics and User Experience concentration. The program has been designed for transfer students with an associate’s degree from a Tennessee Board of Regents community college. As part of the School of Information Sciences, students complete coursework taught by recognized faculty. Examples of coursework include Internet & Society, Database Design, Usability Testing & Methods, and Data Analytics.
Are there Doctoral programs in User Experience?
Yes. Earning a doctorate in library and information sciences < a target="_blank" href="https://www.librarysciencedegrees.org/programs/doctorate">Doctorateis especially appealing to those interested in conducting dynamic research. Thanks to the increased focus on information user needs and human-computer interaction, more universities and colleges offer doctoral degrees in UX (and other closely related concentrations) for post-graduate students interested in furthering their research in this area. These largely on-campus advanced degree programs typically seek candidates interested in contributing original research across disciplines. While the focus of a doctoral degree in user experience may emphasize research, special attention is always paid to meeting information user needs in real-world situations. It is important to note that while these PhD programs may be a part of an ALA-accredited college, the American Library Association does not accredit degrees at the doctoral level.
The University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information offers a PhD in Information Science that is designed for next-generation information age scholars. User experience is one of several research areas available. Students work with an advisor to select a specialty and conduct research. To complete the program, doctoral candidates must pass a qualifying exam, complete original research, and submit a written dissertation. Students complete the program in 6 years, on average.
Cornell Bowers College of Computing and Information Science offers a highly relevant concentration in Human Computer Interaction as part of the PhD program. With a focus on the use of technological systems, this post-graduate degree program includes research methodologies from a number of disciplines. Student research may combine methods from computer science, mathematical analysis, software system design, or social science. Students take required core courses, complete a teaching requirement, take the A exam, and propose and defend a thesis.
Typical Online User Experience Curriculum
Coursework in a user experience degree program is quite diverse, as it will often cover topics that are also relevant to Information Systems Information Systems Design, Data Analysis, and Digital Curation. While students will be expected to have a firm grasp of foundational library and information science concepts (the location, organization, synthesis, preservation, and evaluation of information), targeted coursework will also emphasize design and technology. The user – their needs, values, and abilities – is always central to the knowledge and skills being developed by the student.
The following is an example of typical coursework required for a user experience specialization, concentration, or career pathway. It is important to fully review program requirements to ensure the degree will meet personal and professional goals.
Foundations & Concepts in Information – This introductory course covers foundational theories, principles, and models relevant to information sciences. Students will investigate the history of the discipline and the evolving role of information professionals in contemporary society. Topics include information-seeking behavior, policy, professional values, trends and challenges, and ethics.
Foundations & Concepts in Information Technology – In this course, students will gain experience with foundational theories, frameworks, and models relevant to information technology across diverse applications and settings. Special focus will be given to IT design, adoption, and usage. Through a review of literature and case studies, students will analyze tools and resources. Topics include trends and issues, limitations, and a discussion of user and provider perspectives.
Information Organization & Retrieval – Through an investigation of practical contemporary applications, this course provides an overview of information organization and retrieval theory and method. Topics include classification systems, controlled vocabularies, metadata, and online search. Students will evaluate the efficacy of information retrieval systems and give consideration to ethical issues and policy concerns.
Usability Testing & Evaluation – With a focus on user-centered design, this course offers a comprehensive review of theory, practice, and methods. Students will gain skills necessary for evaluation, analysis, and modeling. Techniques such as remote and face-to-face testing, Think Aloud protocol, and performance testing will be practiced.
Web Design – Building on concepts presented in foundational courses, this course offers practical experience with web design, creation, and evaluation. Students gain hands-on experience through a series of projects and case studies. Topics include usability testing, search engine optimization (SEO), and digital tools.
Human-computer Interaction – In this course, students will evaluate theory and method relevant to human-computer interaction (HCI). HCI is concerned with the relationship between humans and technology and this course investigates both design and evaluation for quality user experiences. Students will investigate effective information systems, human perception and cognition, and problem-solving strategies. Course includes a survey of contemporary literature and research. This course serves as a foundation for future UX and UI coursework.
Information Behavior – This course takes a deep dive into topics of human information-seeking behaviors. Through a review of literature and case studies, students will discuss how information users identify information needs and resolve those needs. Emphasis is placed on information retrieval and systems design. Topics include needs and barriers, processes and models, and information use.
Accessibility & Universal Design – The design of accessible digital experiences is critical to meet the needs of diverse information users. With an emphasis on principles and evaluation, students will discuss topics and trends in accessibility. Consideration will be given to software and hardware and the principles of Universal Design will be featured. This course has been created with both UX/UI researchers and designers in mind.
Research Methods for Information Professionals – The review, use, and production of research within the discipline is core to information professions. This course presents relevant research methods for the information professional, with a focus on applications in diverse information environments. Topics include primary and secondary research, research question design, result interpretation, scholarly analysis, and publication.
Practicum – With this culminating experience, the student will have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of program learning outcomes. Working with a faculty advisor and approved site mentor, the student will work in an information center and complete a project relevant to educational and professional goals. Student must meet minimum working hours and complete a final deliverable, which may take the form of a research paper, presentation, or portfolio.
Where can you work with a MLIS degree in User Experience?
There are increasing opportunities in university and public libraries for graduates with UX and UI experience. These information professionals may work directly with the library website or app. The library makerspace or innovation lab may also fall under the purview of the UX librarian. Another important aspect of library functions is assessment, and a graduate with this experience may be responsible for evaluating library program, service, and resource effectiveness. Roles with similar responsibilities may also be found in information and cultural heritage centers, including archives, museums, and art galleries.
Since UX and UI are focused on bridging users and services, products, or brands, it is possible to find employment in a variety of settings. Beyond traditional information centers, MLIS graduates with this experience may find employment in a creative, marketing, research, or product development department. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, relevant careers in this category are expected to grow by 16% between 2022 and 2032 and have a median annual pay of $80.730 Web Developers.
Common job titles in User Experience include:
- Usability Researcher
- Head, Assessment & User Experience Strategy
- UX Designer
- Assistant Librarian for Experiential Learning
- Metadata Librarian
- Digital Experience Manager
- User Engagement Librarian
- UX Librarian
- Associate Director User Services
- Information Architect
- Instructional Services Librarian & Coordinator of Digital Experience
- Interaction Designer
- User Experience Architect
- User Research Associate