Skip to main content
Social work and librarianship are converging, as mission-driven professionals in both fields work together to connect people with resources and services. Train for this vital role in our unique online MLIS/MSW dual degree.

In Dominican’s one-of-a-kind dual degree graduate program in social work and library and information science you’ll gain a unique and valuable perspective on these interconnected fields. You’ll also earn both master’s degrees faster and at lower cost than earning them separately. The program can be completed fully online in as little as three years for eligible students with a bachelor’s in social work. You’ll be uniquely prepared for a rewarding career helping to reimagine the way we serve and lift up our diverse communities.

You will experience the best of our nationally recognized programs in social work and library and information science. The Master of Library and Information Science program at Dominican’s iSchool has been accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) for more than 80 years. And our MSW has earned the prestigious accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Our Chicagoland location means you’ll be studying in a setting full of internship, practicum and employment opportunities in the field. And, you can study in a format that works for you.

  • Online, in-person or hybrid options
  • Asynchronous and synchronous course options
  • Can be completed in 3 years as a full-time student, or faster if you have a bachelor’s degree in social work and qualify for advanced standing
  • Complete practicums and internships that build real-world skills
  • Connect to a strong alumni network of library and social work leaders around the world

Take the next step. Request information

What You’ll Learn

Through our combined MLIS/MSW program, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to become a leader in two disciplines that share values of equity, welfare, empowerment and social justice. You’ll be at the center of an innovative and emerging area of social work practice that extends the reach of critical services. At the same time, you’ll gain hands-on experience in the exciting world of today’s most forward-thinking libraries, which have become community hubs of discovery, civic engagement and essential services.

You’ll graduate prepared to make ethical, value-centered decisions, facilitate user learning, organize knowledge systems, and make evidence-based decisions. You’ll gain hands-on social work field experience in a library setting. View course listings on the University Bulletin for the MLIS and MSW programs.

Quick Degree Details
  • Seventy-eight (78) credits
  • Offered fully online and in hybrid or in-person formats on our River Forest campus
  • Required clinical experiences in social work will be in libraries
  • Complete in as little as 3 years, or take up to 6 years
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and American Library Association (ALA) accredited*
MLIS Concentrations and Certificates

Add a certificate to your MLIS degree in an area of study that suits your long-term career goals. We offer a wide range of concentrations in in-demand areas:

Archives and Cultural Heritage Resources and Services

Data and Knowledge Management

Digital Curation

Digital Libraries

Health Informatics


Special Study

Web Design

Youth Services

These MLIS courses of study can also be taken as stand-alone certificates for Dominican graduates who have already earned their MLIS or MSIM degree (or its equivalent from an ALA-accredited graduate library program). Learn more about certificates

MSW Concentrations, Certificates and Endorsements

Focus your MSW studies in an area that matters most to you. You can earn the following credential alongside your master’s degree:

School social work (endorsement; on campus only)

What to Expect as You Earn Your MLIS/MSW

At Dominican, we pride ourselves on the hands-on experiences and personal attention our students receive. Whether you study online or in person on campus, you’ll get the benefit of a collaborative learning environment that will expand your knowledge, deepen your understanding and prepare you as a leader and advocate in social work and library and information science.

Field Placement Options

Your MSW degree requirements include 1,080 hours of fieldwork and related field practicum courses. Many libraries are seeking social work interns, and the network of connections established by our MLIS faculty and alumni means you’ll have an expansive range of options for completing your field placement at top libraries and information centers.

Nationally recognized faculty

Our professors have a broad range of experience, and our small class sizes allow them to get to know you—and become the foundation of your professional network.

Areas of MLIS faculty expertise include:

  • Digital libraries and digital curation
  • Information policy
  • Media and services for you
  • Archives and cultural heritage
  • Informatics
  • Cataloging and classification
  • School library media
  • Management
  • Leadership and advocacy

Areas of MSW faculty expertise include:

  • Child welfare services
  • Schools
  • Developmental disabilities programs
  • Domestic violence-prevention services
  • Health/mental health services
  • Human trafficking prevention
  • Substance abuse facilities
  • Private practice
  • International community development
First Weekend Residency

As a requirement of the MSW degree (either on campus or online) you’ll meet with your cohort in person at Dominican during your first weekend in the program. This sets the stage for a close-knit graduate experience that helps build critical career connections with your peers. They, and our 850 alums, all will become key members of your professional network—helping you lead social change with organizations in Chicago and beyond.

Financing Your Degree

Along with opportunities for financial aid through loans and grants, the School of Information Studies offers a variety of departmental scholarships, including the Mary Majer Scholarship for MLIS students, depending upon your area of study. You can also explore our social work scholarships.

Contact our Office of Financial Aid to learn more. We can be reached at (708) 524-6809 or

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I do with a dual MLIS/MSW degree?

Combining a master’s in social work with a degree in library and information science gives you a unique set of skills and insights for leadership roles in the critical areas of need where these two fields overlap. Libraries today are at the center of strong communities, preserving access to books and knowledge, but also providing a staggering range of services and programming that would look familiar to any professional social worker. Those range from workshops on subjects like finding careers and understanding technology to connecting patrons with resources on issues like mental health and homelessness, and hosting large-scale community events and forums.

Many libraries are now hiring full-time staff social workers to better serve the diverse needs of patrons and the broader community. A dual MLIS/MSW degree from Dominican’s respected iSchool and School of Social Work will position you perfectly for such roles all allow you to benefit from a great degree of career mobility in both fields.

By earning both degrees concurrently in Dominican’s one-of-a-kind MLIS/MSW program you’ll gain valuable perspectives that are unique to this integrated dual-degree approach. You’ll also save time and money over pursuing these two degrees separately.

How do I apply?

Students can apply to our MLIS/MSW program with a single online application, but must meet the admission requirements for both schools. Students must also submit a personal statement and official undergraduate transcripts. GRE or MAT scores (taken within the last five years) may also be required for applicants with a GPA below a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Before you apply, make sure you review our full application and admission requirements.

Ready to take the next step? Apply now online

Prepare for a Career Where You Can Make a Difference

At the center of communities, our libraries are well positioned to reach and serve people of diverse needs. Dominican’s dual MLIS/MSW degree will prepare you to play a role in strengthening individual lives and entire communities. Be a part of something meaningful and in-demand. Request information today

*On January 10, 2016, ALA's Committee on Accreditation voted to continue the Dominican MLIS's full accreditation status for another seven-year term. The next comprehensive review will take place in 2022. View the 2015 MLIS program presentation (pdf).