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Ideal preparation for advanced service to children and young adults as a teacher, librarian, reviewer, editor or writer.

Our School of Information Studies, Chicago’s iSchool, has a long and distinguished history in the study of literature and other materials for children and young adults. You’ll work online with recognized experts in the field, supported by the unique presence on campus of the Butler Center for Children’s Literature and its rich collections.

You’ll study the vast variety of formats and genres of youth literature—from board books to graphic novels and beyond—and situate each work in its cultural and historic contexts. You’ll evaluate literature for a variety of ages from the personal, pragmatic and professional perspectives while examining the dynamic relationship between young readers and their texts.

  • Offered online
  • Connect to a strong alumni network of library leaders around the world

Take the next step. Request information.

What you'll learn

Our powerful, values-based curriculum emphasizes the practical application of leading-edge theory in professional practice. The degree requires the completion of 36 hours of graduate course credit, which includes four required courses.

You’ll graduate prepared to make ethical, value-centered decisions, facilitate learning and make evidence-based decisions.

Quick Degree Details
  • 36 credits
  • Offered online
  • Complete in as little as two years, or take up to six years
Dual Degree Option

The School of Information Studies offers a dual degree option for students who wish to earn both the MAYL and the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS). For students who already have earned an MLIS at Dominican, the MAYL is a value-added degree. Students who have completed their Youth Services Certificate already have earned between four and six courses toward the MAYL. Within five years of program completion, MLIS graduates can apply relevant courses toward the MAYL degree. Learn more about this dual degree.

What to expect as you earn your MA in Youth Literature

At Dominican, we pride ourselves on the hands-on experiences and personal attention our students receive. 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 this exciting field.

Renowned School of Information Studies (Chicago’s iSchool)

As part of our School of Information Studies, our youth literature program sets the standard for excellence among other library studies graduate programs. We continually re-evaluate our rigorous academics to make sure our students gain the skills needed to be successful in today’s ever-changing environment. See what sets us apart

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. Meet our faculty

Areas of faculty expertise include:

  • Digital libraries and digital curation
  • Information policy
  • Media and services for youth
  • Archives and cultural heritage
  • Informatics
  • Cataloging and classification
  • School library media
  • Management
  • Leadership and advocacy
Strong graduate retention, achievement and career outcomes

iSchool students at Dominican University continue to meet and exceed program standards and completion rates—and enter into a wide variety of professional positions in the field upon graduation. See our graduates' completion, achievement and career outcomes (pdf opens in a new window)

Financing Your Degree

Along with opportunities for financial aid through loans and grants, the School of Information Studies offers a variety of departmental scholarships, depending upon your area of study.

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

Frequently asked questions (FAQS)

What can I do with a master’s in youth literature?

This high-impact program will prepare you for outstanding service in a range of dynamic fields. Jobs in elementary and secondary schools and public libraries are projected to grow steadily in coming years.

What’s more, the prospects and salaries of teachers, librarians, reviewers and editors are enhanced for professionals with master’s degrees. The MA in Youth Literature program will provide you with a concentrated focus not only on youth literature as an aesthetic object but also on the intended audience for that literature as well as on the practitioners who use it. The program has a strong foundation in ethics and a commitment to social responsibility and radical inclusion in the field of children’s and young adult literature.

What resources does your campus offer?

A unique asset of the School for Information Studies, the Butler Children’s Literature Center supports adults in schools, libraries, childcare centers and homes working to engage children and young adults with good books. The Butler Center serves the community as an examination center for books published annually for young readers. Teachers, librarians, parents and the general public visit the center to review the latest offerings from publishers in the field.

The center offers events, conferences, discussion groups and other forms of professional development. Courses focused on youth services are open to working professionals as well as MAYL and MLIS students. The center is home to significant historical collections, including the Ellin Greene Storytelling Collection and the Effie Lee Morris Collection of African American-focused Books for Children.

How do I apply?

To apply for our Youth Literature program, students must submit a completed online application, a personal essay, official undergraduate transcripts, and GRE or MAT scores (taken within the last five years). 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

Youth literature is a complex and impactful area of study that helps preserve our history, inform our future and educate our communities. Be a part of something meaningful and in-demand. Request information today