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School of Information Sciences School Library Media Program

The School of Information Sciences offers four options for the School Library Media Specialist endorsement. Choose the option that corresponds to your current situation to view the requirements for your endorsement and click on the link for more information.


Option 1: I want to gain my initial license, the American Library Association accredited Master’s in Information Science, and my PreK-12 School Library Endorsement.

Choose this option if you have never had a teaching license AND do not have an American Library Association accredited Master's degree in Library or Information sciences.


Option 2: I am currently or have been previously licensed as a teacher and want to gain the ALA-accredited Master’s in Information Science along with the PreK-12 School Library Endorsement.

Choose this option if you are currently or have ever been licensed in any state as a teacher but do not hold a Master's degree in Library or Information Science. 


Option 3: I want to gain my initial license and the PreK-12 School Library endorsement, but I already have an American Library Association accredited Master’s degree in Library or Information Science.

Choose this option if you have an American Library Association accredited Master's degree in Library or Information Science but are not and never have been a licensed teacher. NOTE: We are unable to accept transfer credits from programs that have not been accredited by the American Library Association.


Option 4: I am currently a licensed Tennessee teacher and want to add ONLY the PreK-12 School Library Endorsement to my license. 

Choose this option ONLY if you are a currently licensed Tennessee classroom teacher who just wants to add the PreK-12 School Library Endorsement to your existing license. 


Upon graduating from SIS, the school library media certification is transferable to most states across the country. To transfer your certification, simply send your Tennessee license to your “new” home state’s department of education with accompanying transcripts and any relevant information that is required. A new certification should be granted with no additional courses demanded. Arkansas is an exception and potential students should first check with their State Department of Education for licensure requirements.

Graduation from this program, with the full Master’s in Information Science, licensure and the PreK-12 School Library Endorsement qualifies students for jobs in school as well as public libraries, but it also prepares you for job opportunities in many other venues. If you would like to explore the full range of possibilities, contact Dr. Cindy Welch.

If you do not see your situation or you have other questions about anything related to school librarianship, please contact Dr. Cindy Welch (865) 974–7918 for further information.


Option 1: Masters, Initial License, and PreK-12 School Librarian Endorsement

For those who do not hold an American Library Association accredited master’s degree, the requirements for initial licensure and PreK-12 School Library Endorsement include the three required courses (INSC 510, 520, and 530) plus INSC 551, 560, 571, 572, 573, 580, 581, 595. In addition, students must complete two co-requisite courses from the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (six credit hours) that do not count toward the master's degree requirements. These courses include:

  • Educational Psychology 401 (3 hours) Professional studies: applied educational psychology. Application of concepts, principles, techniques and models from Educational Psychology to facilitate student learning and creation of effective classroom environments.
  • Special Education 402 (3 hours) Characteristics and needs of students with disabilities and diverse learners with emphasis on educational implications. Techniques, strategies and resources for teaching students with special learning, behavioral or medical needs, and the requirements of special education laws.

Upon completion of the requirements, students will earn a Master’s Degree in Information Science and a Tennessee State Department of Education license as a School Librarian.

The advising sheet for this option is available here, and gives more information about the course titles and when the various courses are taught.


Option 2: Masters and (Additional) PreK-12 School Librarian Endorsement

The requirements include the three required courses (INSC 510, 520, 530) plus IS 551, 560, 571, 572, 580, 581, and 596 (which must be taken twice) plus 2 electives (upon approval of the faculty advisor). Students may choose from a variety of electives that include INSC 575, 576, 577,  583, or youth-oriented 590 special topics courses. 

Upon completion of the requirements, students will earn a Master’s degree in Information Science and a Tennessee State Department of Education Additional Endorsement as a School Librarian. 

The advising sheet for this option is available here, and gives more information about the course titles and when the various courses are taught.


Option 3: Initial License and PreK-12 School Librarian Endorsement

For those who hold an ALA-accredited master’s degree (see the note below) and have approval of the faculty advisor, the requirements are a maximum of 24 hours within the school’s program, including the required Information Sciences 595. In addition, students must complete two corequisite courses from the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (6 credit hours) beyond the required 24 hours. These courses are listed under Track 1.

The courses required to fulfill this option are determined on an individual basis, upon completion of a transcript evaluation. 

Upon completion of the requirements, students will earn a Tennessee State Department of Education license and an Endorsement as a School Librarian.

Note: Library and Information Science courses from schools not accredited by the American Library Association are not eligible for transfer into our program, so you would need to refer to Option 1.


(Option 4 - Additional) PreK-12 School Librarian Endorsement Only

This option is only available to currently licensed Tennessee teachers, who want to add the PreK-12 School Librarian Endorsement to their existing license. The requirements include the three required courses (INSC 510, 520, 530) plus INSC 551, 560, 571, 572, either INSC 580 or 581, and INSC 596 (which must be taken twice).

Upon completion of the requirements, students will gain a Tennessee State Department of Education additional endorsement as a Prek-12 School Librarian. 

The advising sheet for this option is available here, and gives more information about the course titles and when the various courses are taught.

Note: Although you may choose to start with just the endorsement, we strongly encourage every applicant to consider the benefits of pursuing the full Master’s in Information Science. Doing so may open new vistas and job opportunities for you, beyond schools and public libraries.