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This presentation investigates the characteristics of an online graduate degree program in library and information studies (LIS), and its unusual success in retaining students to degree conferral. It has been reported for more than a dozen years that attrition rates for distance education programs are higher than for those programs in which instruction is delivered face to face. In the present study an online master's degree program in LIS that has maintained an overall retention rate higher than 90 percent over five successive entering classes is examined for explanatory characteristics. These characteristics are described and compared with attributes that the literature relates to retention success. Mapping the characteristics of our LIS program to the factors for retention requires description of specific implementations of the program design. We detail the factors and activities recommended for student retention and provide a summary of the activities inherent in the implementation our successful LIS program. Additional question for investigation are identified.