Tuition & Finances

Students in the library

Category II funding information

Because the MLIS program is a professional program it is classified differently (Category II) from thesis-based master's programs (Category I). It does not have the guaranteed funding package that thesis-based programs offer. There are, however, a wide range of options for obtaining financial assistance. Please browse the lists below for bursary, scholarship and loan options.

Financial information for MLIS students

Tuition & Fees

To estimate your expenses for a 12-month (three term) academic year, including tuition, visit the Graduate Student Affordability Calculator.


Tuition & Fees for the Master of Library & Information Science program are set by the University. For full information, visit the Office of the Registrar's Fee Schedules page.

In-Program Awards, Scholarships, & Bursaries

Askunessippi (Antler River) Scholarship
Awarded annually to a graduate student entering the Masters of Library and Information Science program, based on academic achievement. Preference will be given to an Indigenous student (First Nations, Métis or Inuit). The recipient will be selected in accordance with the FIMS Awards and Scholarships Policy. This scholarship was established with a generous gift from an alumnus of the MLIS Class of 1992. Askunessippi means Antler River, which is the name of the Thames River in the Anishnaabe language. The name comes from a time when a very influential and highly regarded leader of the community lived at the mouth of the river at Lake St. Clair or the Lake of the Swirling Eddies. The area held a prominent place for Treaties and gatherings. The descendants of the great leader now live on Walpole Island.

E. Stanley and Nadine M. Beacock Travel Bursary

Awarded each term to a full-time or part-time graduate student in the master's or Doctoral program in Library and Information Science who demonstrates financial need, to enable them to attend conferences, workshops or field trips, or to cover travel expenses and fees associated with a co-op placement.

Margaret Beckman Gold Medal in Library and Information Science
Awarded to the graduate of the MLIS Program with the highest academic standing in the previous calendar year. This award was named for Margaret Beckman, a librarian known internationally for library planning, innovations in library management, and the introduction of technology in libraries. First awarded in 1991. Value: Gold medal and monetary award.

Laura Colvin Cataloguing Prize
Awarded to the student receiving the highest mark in course 9200, Descriptive Cataloguing Theory and Practice, over the three terms beginning in September. In honour of the late Library and Information Science Professor Emerita Laura Colvin-Harrison.

William J. Cameron Award
Awarded annually in the fall term to a student registered in the MLIS program who has successfully completed at least five courses. All MLIS students are eligible (including international). The award will be given to the student who, in addition to superiority in grades, demonstrates the greatest interest in the areas of bibliography, interdisciplinary scholarship and research.

Christopher Mathew Dixon LIS Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to a graduate student, Master or PhD, with a minimum 78% academic average in the Library and Information Science Program. Preference will be given to someone who has not received another award or scholarship (excluding OGS or SSHRC). Students must demonstrate ongoing active involvement in community service outside of their academic studies (e.g., volunteer work, fundraising, coaching, etc.) in any arena (local, national, international). Candidates must submit a letter describing their community service, along with references. The FIMS awards committee will select the recipient, with at least one member of the committee holding current membership in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. This award was established by Sandra Miller (MLIS '01) in memory of her beloved husband Christopher Dixon (MLIS '00), who was a PhD student in LIS at the time of his death.

Samuel D. Neill Scholarship
Awarded to a student with high academic standing who has completed ten courses of the Master of Library and Information Science program. Preference will be given to a student who has not received other scholarship funds. Two scholarships per year will be awarded. All eligible students will be considered.

Donald K. Norrgard Award
Awarded to a student currently enrolled in the MLIS program who has demonstrated financial need and who has completed at least five courses including a designated technology course. Final selection will be based on academic excellence and accomplishment in the areas of information technologies and systems. Three scholarships will be awarded each year, one in each term.

Catherine Sheldrick Ross Masters Recruitment Scholarship
Awarded to full-time graduate students entering the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) based on academic achievement. Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate leadership through community service and/or who face disadvantage. A committee in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies will select the recipients. At least one representative of the committee must hold membership in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. This scholarship was established by a generous bequest from Catherine Sheldrick Ross.

Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Fellowship
Awarded annually to a full-time student in the MLIS program who is in financial need and whose performance in advanced courses in information science, information retrieval or information systems shows research potential.

HW Wilson Foundation Graduate Scholarships
Awarded to the MLIS student(s) with the highest academic standing after at least one full term in the program. At least one scholarship is awarded each term.

Lily F.W. Chiu Scholarship
Established in memory of Lily F.W. Chiu, a graduate of the MLIS program. Awarded each term to the entering MLIS student with the highest academic standing, provided this person is not already the recipient of a major award.

Friends of the Library and Information Sciences Program OSOTF Award
An endowment sponsored by the Friends of the Library and Information Sciences Program and the Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund (OSOTF) Program. Awarded to a full-time graduate student entering the MLIS program in January. Financial need and a minimum 78% academic average are the criteria for eligibility. Eligible students will be requested to apply.

The E. Stanley and Nadine M. Beacock Bursary
Awarded to a full-time mature MLIS student or to a full-time mature applicant upgrading qualifications at Western for admission to the program. Applicants must have been in the workforce for at least three years and be in need of financial assistance. May be renewed for a second term depending on qualifications and availability of funds. Awarded in the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms.

Irene Harris and Mildred MacPherson Entrance Award
This award was established to honour and thank Irene Harris and Mildred MacPherson for their commitment to the importance of education, their encouragement of young people who want to further their opportunities through advanced study, and their service to the community. Awarded to a full-time student of outstanding quality entering the Master of Library and Information Science program, based on academic achievement. Awarded in the Fall term.

Brian Robert Beacock Scholarship
Established in honour of Brian Robert Beacock by E. Stanley and Nadine Beacock. To be awarded to the Master of Library and Information Science student applying to enter in the Fall term who has the highest admission average (minimum 78%).

Manjunath and Roja Pendakur South Asian Student Scholarship in Library and Information Science
Awarded annually to a full-time graduate student in the Master of Library and Information Science program based on academic achievement (minimum 78% admission average). Priority will be given to students who can provide documentary evidence that at least one of their ancestors (parent, grandparent, great-grandparent) came from a South Asian country either directly or by diaspora. These countries include: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, and Bhutan. The Faculty of Information and Media Studies Scholarships and Awards Committee will select the recipient. This scholarship was made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Manjunath and Mrs. Roja Pendakur, gifts from the South Asian community, and matching gifts from the University and Foundation Western.

External Awards, Scholarships, & Bursaries

All scholarships and fellowships are assumed to be open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents unless otherwise specified. Deadlines and application requirements will vary.

OLA Scholarships

The OLA Dr. Janette Baker Scholarship - $2000 to $5000
The OLA/OSLA/Ken Haycock SuperConference Travel Grant - $500
OCULA Lightning Strikes Award - $200 and membership

Below are links to awards that have been advertised to LIS students in past. Please check individual websites for application deadlines and most recent updates.

ACS - American Chemical Society - Division of Chemical Information - Lucille M. Wert Student Scholarship - $1500
AAO - Archives Assn of Ontario - Shirley Spragge Bursary (apply if currently working or volunteering as an archivist)
ABOS - Assn of Bookmobile & Outreach Services - Conference award - $1000
ACRL - Assn of College and Research Libraries - RBMS Rare Books and Manuscripts Section conference bursary
AMIA - Assn of Moving Image Archivists
AJL - Assn of Jewish Libraries - Student Scholarship - $1000
ALA - Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award
APLA - Atlantic Provinces Library Association - Carin Somers Scholarship Trust - $1000
ARL - Assn of Research Libraries - Julia C. Blixrud Scholarship - $1000 plus Fall Forum registration
ARL - Assn of Research Libraries - Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW)
ARL/SAA - Assn of Research Libraries and the Society of American Archivists - Mosaic Program - up to $10,000, paid internship|
ARLIS/NA - Art Library Society of North America - Wolfgang Freitag Internship Award
ARLIS/NA - Art Library Society of North America - Gerd Muehsam Award
ATLA - American Theological Library Association - Diversity in Librarianship scholarship - $4000
Banff Centre Library Practicum Position
Banff Centre Archives Practicum Position
BRASS - Business Reference and Services Section of RUSA - Conference Award
CALA - Chinese-American Library Assn - various scholarships - $500 - $1000
CALL - Cdn Assn of Law Librarians - Diana Priestly Memorial Scholarship - $2500
CAPAL - Cdn Assn of Professional Academic Librarians - CAPAL Student Bursary for Conference - $250 plus conference fees
CARL - Cdn Assn of Research Libraries - Graduate Student Research Grant - up to $1000
CRTC - Prize for Excellent in Policy Research
Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Fellowship - Darien Library, Darien Connecticut - $60000
Helen Ferris Award for Librarians - Candidates must be from Saskatchewan
IDEAL - Advancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility in Libraries & Archives - Travel award
JCHLA/JABSC - Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Journal de l’Association des bibliothéques de la santé du Canada
Jim Wilde Library Education Award - Friends of the Mississauga Library System
Kress Foundation - Summer Education Institute Workshop Grant
LOP - Library of Parliament - Internship Program
Margaret Williams Trust Fund Award - Promotes librarianship in NFLD - up to $1500
Maureen Woods Education Bursary - Promotes librarianship in Saskatchewan - $5000
MLA - Medical Library Assn - MLA Scholarship
NASIG - North American Serials Interest Group - Various - up to $3000
NCSU - North Carolina State University - Libraries Fellowship Program - 2-year placement
NLM - National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship Program - Bethesda, Maryland.
PLG - Progressive Librarians Guild - Braverman Prize
SALALM - Seminar of the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials - Conference Travel Award
SLA - Special Library Assn - SPIE Digital Library Student Travel Stipend
SLA - Special Library Assn - Joe Ann Clifton Student Award Travel Stipend
TALL - Toronto Assn of Law Libraries - Conference registration assistance - contact TALL for details
UCLA Library Special Collections Research Fellowships - various - US citizenship may be required
UNYOC - Upstate New York/Ontario Chapter of the Medical Library Association - Ursula H. Poland Award - $500.00 USD plus membership awarded to a Canadian applicant
VRAF - Visual Resources Association Foundation - $3000 internship

Additional Funding Sources

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies also maintains a comprehensive listing of both internal and external funding sources. This includes grants, bursaries and workstudy programs.

Funding for Non-Canadian Students

Little financial assistance is available for students who are not Canadian citizens or Canadian residents. Non-Canadian students should make inquiries through official channels in their own countries as to the possibility of aid from the United Nations Technical Assistance Program, the Colombo Plan, the Canadian International Development Agency, the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, and other similar assistance plans.