If you want to make being a bookworm your career, you might be interested in taking an online Master’s Degree in Library Science. You’ll learn interdisciplinary topics like information science, archival studies, and data curation, and the best online library science master’s degrees will help you find high-paying work in various fields, including in tech.
To help you get started in your career in librarianship or tech, we’ve compiled a list of the top online library science master’s degrees and detailed each school’s online program. You’ll also find a list of library science master’s degree jobs you can expect to get after graduation and their expected salaries and job growth.
Where Can I Get a Library Science Master’s Degree Online?
You can get a library science master’s degree online at top schools such as Drexel University, Syracuse University, and the University of Denver. Let’s talk about how to get admitted into one of these programs.
What Schools Offer the Best Library Science Master’s Degrees?
- University of Denver
- Drexel University
- Louisiana State University
- Syracuse University
- University of Rhode Island
What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Library Science Master’s Degree?
The admission requirements for an online library science master’s degree vary between each institution, but most include a 3.0 minimum GPA from a bachelor’s degree. This four-year degree must have been obtained from a regionally-accredited institution in the United States or equivalent.
Other common requirements prospective students must meet include an updated resume, a written statement of purpose for pursuing a master’s degree, and letters of recommendation from previous professors or professionals you’ve worked with. A GRE or GMAT score is often required, though it is becoming increasingly optional.
Online Library Science Master’s Degree Admission Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Professional resume
- Letters of recommendation
- Written statement of purpose
- GRE or GMAT test scores
How to Get a Library Science Master’s Degree Online
You get a library science master’s degree online by fulfilling all of the graduation requirements, which include maintaining the school’s minimum GPA, acquiring the minimum number of credits, taking all core classes, and completing a final project. The final project could be in the form of a senior capstone project, thesis, portfolio, or professional internship.
Library Science Degree Requirements
- 30 to 45 credits
- 12 to 17 credits in core courses
- 15 to 21 credits in electives
- Senior capstone, thesis, portfolio, or internship
- Maintain minimum GPA
- Take lower-level classes in information organization, methods of research, and information resources
- Take upper-level classes in collection development, archival theory, and academic librarianship
Best Online Library Science Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Appalachian State University||Master of Library Science||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)|
|Clarion University||Master of Science in Information and Library Science||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Drexel University||Master’s in Library & Information Sciences||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|East Carolina University||Master of Library Science||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Louisiana State University||Master of Library and Information Science||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Syracuse University||Library and Information Science Master’s Degree||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|University of Arizona||Master’s in Library and Information Science||Higher Learning Commission|
|University at Buffalo||Master of Science in Information and Library Science||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|University of Denver||Master of Library and Information Science||Higher Learning Commission|
|University of Rhode Island||Master of library and Information Studies||New England Commission of Higher Education|
Best Schools for Library Science: Top Online Library Science Master’s Degree Programs
The best schools for online library science master’s degree programs are accredited institutions that are respected in the field of library science. Below we’ll take an in-depth look at the curriculum and admission requirements of each of these schools and their programs.
What Is an Online Library Science Master’s Degree?
An online library science master’s degree teaches you about librarianship as well as information studies or science. With this degree, you will be prepared to be a librarian in nearly any setting, from academia to government, and in many cases, jobs in the informatics and computing industry.
Offering a flexible learning style, universities allow online students in their programs to complete their degrees part-time or full-time, and in a hybrid or online-only format.
Online vs In-Person Library Science Degrees
The differences between online and in-person library science master’s degree programs lie mostly in location, cost, flexibility, and institutional options. Each of these factors plays a part in determining whether an online or in-person program is better for you.
While there are pros and cons to each learning method, rest assured you will be receiving the same quality of education in either program, as they usually involve the same coursework and professors.
Top 5 Benefits of an Online Master’s Degree in Library Science
- Lower costs. Since you aren’t paying for on-campus facilities such as dormitories, gyms, dining halls, and physical academic libraries, online degrees are often much cheaper than their physical counterparts.
- Flexible scheduling. For those with jobs, the flexibility offered by online classes is a major advantage because it allows them to earn an income while pursuing a degree.
- Study in multiple environments. Since online classes do not require you to be in a certain location, you can choose to learn from wherever you are most comfortable and productive doing so.
- Self-paced learning. Distance learning allows you to learn at a pace that is comfortable for you. You can either learn from a self-directed, pre-recorded curriculum or watch lectures after the fact, taking in information at your own speed.
- More options. In many cases, students wish to attend specific colleges but are limited in choice due to where they live. With online learning, you can attend a school from as far as the other side of the country or as near as your local community.
Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Master’s Degree in Library Science
- More support. Being on campus allows more opportunities to get support from professors and other faculty members in person, and to collaborate with other students.
- Campus life. Being able to socialize with your peers is a huge benefit to in-person college attendance since it gives you the opportunity to make new friends and feel a part of a community.
- More natural discussion. Professors have a much easier time engaging and sparking discussions with students who are in-person, as opposed to mysterious online students who have their cameras and mics off.
- Campus resources. Access to on-campus amenities such as public libraries makes studying and research easier.
- Productive environment. In comparison to studying at home, physically being in a classroom surrounded by other focused students can help you stay focused on studies and tasks.
What Types of Online Master’s Degrees Can You Get in Library Science?
The types of master’s degrees you can get in library science include a Master’s of Art in Library Science, Master’s of Science in Library Science, Master of Library and Information Studies, Master’s in Library and Information Science, and a Master of Science in Library Science.
Is it Better to Get a Master of Library Science or a Master of Library and Information Science?
It is better to get a Master of Library and Information Science degree (MLIS) if you want a more interdisciplinary degree that would allow you to work in either librarian-related fields or in the informatics and computing industry. Studying information science within your library science program makes it easier for you to get more tech-focused jobs like as a data officer, web developer, UX researcher, software developer, information research, and computer scientist.
While each degree teaches the same fundamental skills, if your career goals are to work in librarianship, you might want to opt for the MLS degree instead.
How Much Does a Library Science Master’s Degree Cost?
The average tuition cost of a graduate degree in a public institution is $12,171, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This cost differs from that of private institutions, which cost on average $14,208 for a for-profit institution, and $27,776 if they are a non-profit institution.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Library Science Master’s Degree Online?
It takes two years to earn your library science master’s degree online, on average. The length of time varies across programs, as some programs can be shorter or longer than two years, depending on if you have transfer credits or if you plan on taking degree specializations.
As previously mentioned, the credits required to earn a Master’s Degree in Library Science online vary. Some institutes require 30, while others require you to earn as many as 45 before graduating.
Are Online Library Science Degrees Respected?
Yes, library science degrees are respected, as many accredited institutes now offer online degree programs. Employers now recognize the validity of online degrees for this reason, and offer the same employment opportunities to those holding online degrees as those holding traditional degrees.
Most accredited universities offer the same curriculum and have the same professors both online and in-person, making the degrees virtually indistinguishable from one another. Some diplomas don’t differentiate between the two, so employers wouldn’t even know how you got your degree.
Is Library Science Hard to Learn Online?
No, library science is not hard to learn, especially if you are tech-savvy. Library science, like all subjects, requires dedication and focus, but the discipline is becoming increasingly computer-based as new technologies develop, so having a knack for computers will make completing the degree much easier.
Why You Should Get a Library Science Master’s Degree Online
You should get a library science master’s degree online because the skills taught within the field are in high demand within the tech industry. Since numerous accredited universities offer online programs, they are just as respected by potential employers as in-person degrees.
With online degrees being much cheaper than in-person degrees while simultaneously offering the same quality of education, you should get a library science master’s degree online for the sake of convenience and cost.
What Courses Do You Take in an Online Master’s Degree Program in Library Science?
Online library science master’s degree courses generally cover topics such as digital library technologies, information ethics, archival studies, data curation, and library programming. While the specific course names vary, the material covered in the general degree is often standard across the board.
Some programs offer specializations within the degree that allow you to take further courses to hone your skills in specific types of librarianship, such as law, music, or academia. Or, you might take more skills-based courses for specializations that focus on managing digital content or cultural heritage resources.
Digital Library Technologies
This coursework focuses on the technological processes that digitally preserve and organize materials. Students learn about the applications and programs used for information sorting in digital library management.
This class applies ethics, which is the study of moral principles, to collecting and storing information. In this couse, you will learn about the ethics of using emerging technology and its relationship with humanity, and how to use technology responsibly.
As a librarian, specifically an archivist, you are responsible for taking care of delicate, historical documents. This involves not only protecting the documents from harm, but also digitizing, sorting, and creating descriptions of archival materials for future use.
This class involves learning how to compile sources of information that are most relevant to specific demographics or fit particular themes. For example, some curators focus on children’s literature, academia, or historical documents. This type of course will cover and expand on these areas.
Resource and Metadata Description
While it is imperative to correctly preserve information on databases, it would be impossible to find specific documents without proper metadata tags. In this class, you’ll learn the most effective ways to write descriptions for records that will create organized databases.
Continuing Education Paths for Online Library Science Master’s Degree Graduates
If you’d like to continue down the educational path after your online library science master’s degree, there are plentiful doctorate PhD programs that would allow you to specialize even further within specific types of library studies. If you want to work in law or medical libraries, some of those institutions require librarians to have a PhD.
Related Online Library Science Degrees
What to Look For in the Best Library Science Master’s Degree Programs
The things to look for in the best library science master’s degree programs are the employment outcomes, accelerated options, curricular content, specialization options, and retention rate. These will help to inform your decision when deciding where to study for your Master’s Degree in Library Science.
Employment outcomes refer to your ability to enter your desired career path after graduation. Research the university and its alumni and see where graduates often work, as it will give you an indication of whether or not employers see value in a degree from that school.
Accelerated options allow you to condense a degree program into a shorter period than it would normally take, meaning that you can get your degree faster. While most Master’s in Library Science programs take about two years, with an accelerated program, it might take only a year or so to complete your studies. Graduating sooner allows you to jump right into the workforce or begin pursuing your doctoral degree.
The curricular content of the Master of Library Science degree program you choose is important because not all programs are structured the same way. See if the classes within the degree are aligned with your interests or career goals, or if the electives seem interesting and fun.
As mentioned, some degrees offer concentrations, which will give you expertise in specific fields. If you know a specific type of librarianship you want to work in, try to find a school that allows you to specialize in that type of study.
The retention rate of a university refers to the proportion of students who continue their studies after their first year of entering the school. A high retention rate is a good indicator that you would be able to finish the degree and that it is a quality program. Also consider that schools with a high acceptance rate will generally have a low retention rate, and schools with a low acceptance rate will generally have a high retention rate.
What Is the Most Affordable Online Library Science Master’s Degree?
The most affordable online library science master’s degree program is offered through Appalachian State University. It costs just $304 per credit for in-state students and $1,138 for out-of-state students.
Can I Get a Library Science Master’s Degree Online for Free?
No, you cannot get a library science master’s degree online for free. However, financial aid options are available for students wanting to earn their education now and pay it back later. Student can also qualify for grants and scholarships which can help offset the cost of tuition.
Salary and Job Outlook for Online Library Science Master’s Degree Graduates
Once you graduate with your online Master’s Degree in Library Science, you’ll be ready to become a librarian in many different institutions. Typically, all librarians and library media specialists need at least a master’s degree, so your competition is only among those who share this credential.
Launching a career or looking for career development opportunities in library sciences is made easier with the current demand for professionals in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between 2020 and 2030, the employment of librarians and library media specialists will grow by nine percent, which is close to the national average in job growth.
How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Library Science Master’s Degree?
It is not hard to get a job with a library science master’s degree. Because it is the minimum educational requirement to become a librarian, you’re only competing with a small pool of people. Additionally, your degree will equip you with information science skills, so you could easily find and land a tech-related job in the high-demand tech field.
What’s the Average Online Library Science Master’s Degree Salary?
The average base salary for people with a library science master’s degree is $58,000, according to PayScale. With the wide variety of employment options available within this career, your master’s degree will equip you with the tools you need to secure high-paying jobs.
What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Library Science Master’s Degree?
Some of the jobs you can get with an online library science master’s degree are information systems manager, database administrator, and archivist. You can, of course, also become a librarian or library technician.
Library Science Degree Jobs
- Information systems manager
- Database administrator
- Library Technician
Potential Careers With an Online Library Science Degree
How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Library Science Master’s Degree?
You can make anywhere from $50,000 to $151,150 per year with an online library science master’s degree. The annual salary depends on the career path you take, if you have any specialized training, and if you have any hands-on experience or professional experience.
At the lower end of the spectrum, archivist jobs pay a median salary of approximately $50,000. But the earning potential is much higher for jobs such as the information systems manager, who earns almost triple the salary of an archivist, on average. Focusing on information-based careers will often lead to a higher salary.
Highest-Paying Online Library Science Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
|Library Science Master’s Degree Jobs||Median Salary|
|Information Systems Manager||$159,010|
Best Jobs for Online Library Science Master’s Degree Grads
The best jobs for online library science master’s degree graduates include information systems manager, database administrator, librarian, archivist, and library technician. These jobs represent the vast range of annual salaries available and show that public librarianship is just one of many available career paths for master’s degree holders.
Best Jobs According to Your Major
Is an Online Library Science Master’s Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online library science master’s degree is worth it. Having a Master’s Degree in Library Science allows you to work in a field that combines traditional methods of research and learning with emerging technologies. Once you’ve obtained your graduate degree, it will open the door to a wide variety of professional pathways in the field of library science and beyond.
You can work in traditional libraries, curating content for everyone in your community from children to adults. Or, if you are tech-savvy, you can work in more computer-focused information jobs, which are high-paying and in high demand. With an online library science master’s degree, it’s exciting to know that in just two short years, you could go from studying at home to a six-figure salary career.
Additional Reading About Library Science
[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/library-science-degree/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-online-library-science-bachelors-degrees/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/how-to-become-a-librarian/
Online Library Science Master’s Degree FAQ
The minimum education you need to become a librarian is a graduate degree. While some universities have bachelor’s programs where students can major in library science, that is just a jumping-off point of education, as most employers require library professionals to have a master’s degree.
A university’s accreditation status matters because it means that it has passed an evaluation confirming the academic excellence of its programs. With so many programs online today, some schools might seem legitimate at first glance, but the absence of accreditations stands as a testament to the lack of quality. Employers also value applicants who have credentials from an accredited and trusted institution.
No, you do not need to have technology skills before applying for a Master’s Degree in Library Science. The coursework you will study during your degree will provide you with the foundational skills you need to eventually develop and manage digital collections and archives.
No, you typically don’t need a law degree to work as a law librarian with a law firm. Most law librarians have an MLIS graduate degree, however, there are some positions that require a law librarianship program or law degree from a school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.