Online Master’s Degrees in Library & Information Science

January 5, 2022

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Master’s Degrees in Library & Information Science is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Top Master's in Library & Information Science

Librarians help patrons access library materials and maintain and organize a library's resources and collections. Increasingly, librarians and information science specialists assume additional responsibilities. Some information science specialists with technical knowledge and training manage vast digital resources. Those with an art background may work as museum curators.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% growth for library professionals, translating to 7,300 added jobs in 2019-2029. The options for library and information science master's degree-holders remain plentiful and promising.

This guide provides a ranking of the top master's in library and information science programs and an overview of the degree. We outline costs, career outlook, typical courses, and scholarship opportunities.

What to Know about Master's in Library Science?

true Q. How much schooling do you need to be a librarian?

Senior librarian positions typically require a master's degree, which usually takes two years of postgraduate study to complete.

true Q. What degree do you need for library science?

Employers often prefer candidates with a master of library science or a master's in library and information science degree.

true Q. Is there a demand for librarians?

Aspiring library professionals enjoy a job outlook faster than the national average for all occupations. The BLS projects a 5% growth rate for librarians and library media specialists during 2019-2029.

true Q. What is a librarian's salary?

The BLS reports a $59,500 median salary for librarians and library media specialists. Salaries vary by sector, location, and experience, so some professionals could earn even more. The top 10% garner more than $94,520. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Get a Degree in Library and Information Science?

A master's in library and information science typically qualifies degree-holders for senior positions in most college or university libraries. Their duties include helping patrons use library resources, maintaining collections, and acquiring new items. Librarians specializing in a specific arena including art or law can work for museums or law firms.

The BLS projects a 5% growth rate for librarians and library media specialists, translating to approximately 7,300 added jobs in 2019-2029. The BLS reports a $59,500 median annual salary for these professionals, higher than the $39,810 median salary for all U.S. occupations. Library and information science degree-holders stand to enter a labor market offering professional growth opportunities and higher-than-average income potential.

How Much Does a Library and Information Science Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, graduate students at public institutions paid an average of $12,171 in tution for the 2018-2019 academic year. Graduate degree-seekers at private nonprofit institutions paid $27,776. The cost of a library and information science master's degree will likely approximate these average amounts.

Several schools now offer online master's in library and information science programs. Online learners typically save money by not incurring additional rent, board, and transportation expenses. In addition, some public institutions allow out-of-state online students to pay in-state tuition. These savings can accumulate significantly over the course of a program, so students should research whether a prospective school offers this privilege.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Library and Information Science Majors Make?

According to BLS data for 2020, elementary and secondary schools employed the highest number of library professionals at 48,210. Government agencies and higher education institutions showed the second and third highest employment levels at 41,310 and 19,310, respectively.

States hiring the highest number of librarians and media collection specialists include New York, California, Texas, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Industries and states with the highest employment levels in a professional arena typically offer more opportunities for career advancement and salary growth.

According to the BLS, the top-paying industries for librarians include the federal government, organizations involved with scientific research and development, and companies offering legal services. These sectors offer annual mean salaries of $92,930, $80,130, and $79,710, respectively.

Washington, D.C. pays the highest annual mean salary for library professionals, $86,520. States ranking among top-payers include Washington, California, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Librarians there earn annual mean salaries of $ 78,330, $78,300, $77,950, and $74,000, respectively.

Courses in Library and Information Science

Library and information science master's degree coursework varies among schools, depending on specializations and the school's educational objectives. Some of the more popular concentration areas include school media, database design, health science librarianship, and archival studies. Some programs allow students to craft an individual study plan supporting their specific career and academic goals.

The courses described below represent some of the most common classes in master's in library and information science programs today.

Certifications and Licensure for Library and Information Science

Many states require school librarians to first obtain a credential as a teacher in a specific subject area or grade level. Some states require a teaching license, others accept a certification, some require a master's in the field, and others do not. Students should contact the department of education in the state where they plan to work for specific requirements.

The American Library Association (ALA) offers this credential to candidates with three years of supervisory library experience. The credential tests a candidate's proficiency in seven out of nine standard areas. Competency topics include budget and finance, technology management, planning and management of buildings, and organization and personnel administration. The Data Management Association (DAMA) administers four levels of CDMP credentials. The associate-level credential requires six months to five years of experience in data management. Candidates must hold current DAMA membership and pass the data management fundamentals exam to earn the credential. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards offers this certification for school librarians teaching students ages 3-18 years. Candidates must pass a four-part evaluation process covering several key areas. Topics include administration; access, equity, and diversity; ethics; and knowledge of library and information studies.

Scholarships for Library and Information Science

Colleges and universities often support graduate students through teaching or research assistantships and work-study grants. Degree-seekers not only receive financial assistance, but further their education and professional experience as well. Professional organizations and private nonprofit groups with strong ties to the field may administer scholarship programs that students can explore for additional funding. See below for sample opportunities.

Scholarships for Library and Information Science
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Christopher Hoy/ERT Scholarship

$5,000 ALA administers this scholarship established with donations from the Exhibits Round Table. Students in an ALA-accredited master's in library and information science program can apply.

New Media Scholarship

$2,500 The program accepts applications from students in a master's in library and information science program with a specific concentration in digital communications and human-computer interactions.

Spectrum Scholarship

$5,000 ALA welcomes applications from students enrolled in a master's in library and information science program who belong to a minority group including African American, Asian, or American Indian/Alaska Native.

Online Master's Degrees in Library & Information Science

University of Southern Mississippi View School Profile Hattiesburg, MS $4054

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a fully online Master of Library and Information Science degree. This degree increases professional opportunities for public librarians, school librarians, academic librarians and special collections librarians. It's the only program in Mississippi accredited by the American Library Association and is open to students with various academic and professional backgrounds. To be considered for regular admission, students must hold an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75 and submit GRE or MAT test scores, 3 letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. Students in this degree program are required to take 25 hours of core courses, such as Reference and Information Sources, Cataloging and Classification, Fundamentals of Information Science and Library Management. Fifteen credit hours of electives like Children's Literature, Archival Theory and Practice, and Information Technology are mandatory as well. To graduate, students must successfully complete the comprehensive exam in the master's research project course and take the archival practicum or library practicum if they have little to no library experience. Master of Library and Information Science students may spend a month in the United Kingdom to earn credits while enhancing their knowledge on historic and modern British libraries, archives and special collections. There, students can learn from distinguished British librarians, archivists and information systems. In addition, students may attend the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival, which brings together more than 400 teachers and librarians to hear major speakers and participate in a variety of workshops. Lastly, students can choose to earn a graduate certificate in archives and special collections or youth services and literature along with their degree.

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus View School Profile Norman, OK $6243

At the University of Oklahoma, students may pursue an online Master of Library and Information Studies. They can tailor their educational experience to focus on a particular area of library and information studies. Academic leadership, archives, children and young adult services, information organization, information technology, public librarianship, reference services, school library media and special librarianship are all examples of the available specializations. Regardless of which specialization students select, they'll develop the skills and knowledge necessary to manage, store, organize and access information in nonprofit and for-profit environments. This online program uses a variety of technologies such as Canvas, Adobe ConnectPro, podcasts and course websites to provide students with an engaging learning environment. For admission consideration, students must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and submit a statement of purpose and goals, a professional resume and 3 references from individuals who are familiar with their academic or employment accomplishments. The Master of Library and Information Studies at the University of Oklahoma is the only master's degree in Oklahoma that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). This comprehensive program involves a minimum of 36 hours of coursework and hands-on experience. Its goal is to educate professionals to meet the ever-evolving challenges of the information society. In order to graduate with a Master of Library and Information Studies, students are required to pass an exam, complete a written thesis or compile a portfolio. Many graduates are currently employed in a variety of settings, including public libraries, academic libraries, archives, special collections, government information systems and corporate libraries.

The University of Alabama View School Profile Tuscaloosa, AL $7092

At the University of Alabama, students may earn an online Master of Library and Information Studies through virtual sessions that are usually held one night per week from 6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Central time. This degree is accredited by the American Library Association and designed for students who would like to prepare themselves for leadership positions in library and information service. For admission, students must hold an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 and a minimum score of 300 on the GRE or 50th percentile on the MAT, a previous graduate degree within the last 5 years, or 5 years of work experience in the field. Students who enroll in this program can expect to learn about the uses, organization and management of information in a socially responsible way. They will also find out how information is used for personal, educational and organizational purposes. Since the Master of Library and Information Studies degree uses a cohort model, students share content, work in groups, have discussions with instructors and receive support from a group of peers. The cohort model provides online students with the opportunity to network with their classmates and professors. This 36-credit hour degree involves 18 hours of core courses and 18 hours of electives. Organization of Information, Research Methods and Information Technologies are a few examples of the mandatory core courses. Students in this program who wish to pursue the State of Alabama School Library Media Certification must pass a written exam and take courses that are approved by the Alabama State Department of Education. Graduates with this degree can pursue careers such as archivists, project managers and data analysts.

University of Central Missouri View School Profile Warrensburg, MO $6273

University of Central Missouri offers an online Master of Science in Library Science and Information Services degree. The Master of Science in Library Science and Information Services is nationally recognized by the American Association of School Librarians and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The main goal of this 33-credit degree program is to help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to become a librarian in the 21st century. By enrolling in this program, students can learn how to create programs that engage students as they become users and creators of ideas and information. Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75 and a personal interview. At the end of the program, students will be required to complete a practicum at the school they work at or a local school library if they are not yet working in a school setting. This will allow them to gain hands-on experience and put everything they've learned throughout the degree to use. In addition, students will need to take LIS 6960 Research Problem, which is the last course in the program and intended to give students the chance to explore an area of library science they find interesting. During this course, they may choose to write a literature review or complete an action research project. Regardless of which option they choose, students will be able to become experts in their particular area of interest. It's important to note that students who don't have an initial teacher certification can meet the requirements for one by taking courses that are available online at University of Central Missouri. Graduates of the Master of Science in Library Science and Information Services program are often seen working as elementary, middle, high school or district librarians.

Louisiana State University View School Profile Baton Rouge, LA $8658

Accredited by the American Library Association, Louisiana State University offers a fully online option to earn a Master of Library and Information Science. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA while completing 36 semester hours of core and elective curriculum. Foundational classes cover the management of information systems, research, organization and information technologies. If you're interested in exploring beyond required coursework, you can choose from 7 specializations including academic librarianship, cultural heritage resource management, adult services in public libraries, digital content management and archival studies. Following degree completion, graduates enter the workforce as archivists, public school librarians, corporate web analysts and records managers. Courses are implemented through the web platform Moodle and online resources such as the library, IT assistance, tutoring and career services will help you through your studies. The Virtual Lab allows students to utilize software that would be found in the computing labs on campus. Every online learner is matched with an enrollment specialist, who helps to navigate the application process, registration and financial aid opportunities. In-state and out-of-state enrollees pay the same tuition rates. There are around 20 scholarships granted each year for students within the School of Library and Information Science. Awards are also available to offset the costs of traveling to conferences or other professional events. Program eligibility requires the submission of a resume and proof of a 3.0 grade average in undergraduate work. You must also write a statement of purpose explaining your intentions for pursuing the program, as well as outlining your professional goals.

Sam Houston State University View School Profile Huntsville, TX $7749

Built to produce skilled school librarians, the master of library sciences degree from Sam Houston State University is an online program for professionals in various stages of their career. The program can accommodate first-time graduate students without any certifications, as well as Texas-licensed teachers with at least 2 years of experience under their belts. Experienced teachers will be able to test for the school librarian certification exam in Texas after successfully completing the MLS degree requirements. All library science students are expected to complete a culminating portfolio to be analyzed for degree completion. The program consists of 36 credit hours and has 3 different start dates throughout the year. To gain entry into the MLS program, all students need to fulfill the requirements on SHSU's graduate school application and should have at least a 3.0 GPA. For students whose cumulative GPA falls below this standard, SHSU evaluates the students GPA for the most recent 60 credits earned. All online graduate students at SHSU pay the same cost per credit no matter what state or country they live in and also see a cheaper tuition rate than graduate students attending campus classes. As the MLS degree is offered through SHSU's College of Education, graduate students have a number of scholarship opportunities available to them through the department. All degree programs offered through the college of education are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Appalachian State University View School Profile Boone, NC $4788

Appalachian State University provides an online master of library sciences program geared towards certifying public librarians and media coordinators within the state of North Carolina. The MLS degree is an online program, requiring a 2-year commitment for study. Each week, students log-on and engage in a live class with their peers and professors, lasting 3 hours. In addition to synchronous learning, students complete class assignments from home when it fits into their schedules. Students will earn 36 credits for graduation and are not required to construct a thesis or dissertation. Instead, students undergo an internship experience, working alongside established library professionals. Students interested in the MLS degree must first apply to ASU's graduate school. Applicants can have a bachelor degree in any area, but must prove strong academic standing. Those with at least 3.0 GPA meet the minimum entrance criteria. Students with a 2.5 to 2.99 GPA and exceptional standardized test scores may also be accepted. All applicants must have recent (within 5 years) GRE, GMAT or MAT scores. Accredited by the Council for Academic Educator Preparation and endorsed by the American Association of School Librarians, the MLS program satisfies the requirements for 2 state certifications in North Carolina. Graduates with an existing teaching license can apply for the media coordinator license, while those without a teaching license may apply for the public librarian certification. To help make college more affordable, distance learners at ASU are not subjected to campus-related fees that traditional students face. In-state and out-of-state tuition are not equal, and North Carolina residents can benefit to more budget-friendly rate.

Texas Woman's University View School Profile Denton, TX $4851

At Texas Women's University, graduate students have several avenues to travel that lead to a profession in library sciences. The university offers an online master of library science degree, or a master of arts in library science degree, with 8 possible concentrations to choose from. Graduate students can realize a career in areas such as pubic, school, health science or academic libraries, or can choose to study the technical side of librarianship with a concentration in information technology, community informatics or cataloging. Accredited by the American Library Association since 1938, TWU's MLS program is comprised of 24 core credit hours plus 12 elective credits. As part of graduation requirements, all students undergo a practicum course demanding either 120 or 160 hours spent in an unpaid internship. Students perform their practicum in a setting that suits their education path and get the chance to learn from experienced librarians. Students also create a comprehensive portfolio that is evaluated as part of the student's final exam. Prospective graduate students interested in the program should have transcripts with at least a 3.0 GPA, resume and recommendation letters to accompany their application. International students and those who don't meet the GPA requirement must submit scores from a standardized test, such as the GRE as evidence of academic strength. To ease the cost of tuition, TWU offers a scholarship opportunity specific to library science students. Students are also encouraged to seek out scholarship awards from the Texas Library Association or the American Library Association.

University of North Texas View School Profile Denton, TX $5450

Offering diverse courses of study within the realm of librarianship, the master of science in library science degree program at the University of North Texas preps graduates for careers in areas such as music, law and information technology. The program has 8 specializations available so that students can earn the education appropriate to their professional goals. This includes school library studies and general studies as well as information organization and imaging technology. The core courses required by the MSLS degree are offered online and in person, as well as blended options. All tracks of the library science program do require student attendance on campus for 3 separate occasions; therefore, the program cannot be completed entirely through distance learning. In addition, students are expected to gain experiential learning in order to graduate from the program. To accomplish this, students can opt for spending 6 months working in a position related to their field or they can complete 120-hour internship experience that is unpaid. As the last semester draws to an end, students take a final examination before their degree is granted. Interested applicants don't need to take graduate school exams or have prior work experience in the field. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA reflecting their most recent 60 college credits completed or a cumulative 3.0 GPA. As college costs rise every year, graduate students at UNT can take advantage of scholarship opportunities offered from within the university.

Chicago State University View School Profile Chicago, IL $16107

Students coming from diverse educational sectors can begin a career in library sciences at Chicago State University. The school offers a master's in science program in library and information sciences with 4 specialization options. The MSLIS degree can be earned with a concentration in school libraries, public libraries, archives and record management or academic libraries and is provided in a hybrid format. Depending on the track selected, more than 50% of coursework may be completed online, with the remaining fraction requiring in-person class attendance. Currently the program is seeking accreditation from the American Library Association and chooses to follow the ALA's guidelines for graduate library studies. As such, the program requires the completion of 15 core credits, 15 to 40 concentration credits, and between 4 and 7 credits of a capstone project. Throughout their library sciences education, students work towards the completion of their dissertation in the field. To gain acceptance to the program, students must apply to CSU's graduate school after earning their bachelor degree in any discipline. Additionally, students need a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher when measured over the last 60 credits completed. Prospective librarians interested in the school libraries concentration can opt for a path to initial educator licensing in the state of Illinois, however this requires fulfilling student teaching standards and testing. Already licensed teachers can proceed to earning a library information specialist endorsement with the MSLIS degree. As a hybrid program, students have access to the same on-campus resources as traditional students such as career and academic advising, financial aid assistance and tutoring.

San Jose State University View School Profile San Jose, CA $10191

Graduate students at San Jose State University can earn a master's degree in library and information science (MLIS) without ever commuting to campus. The MLIS program is open to future librarians worldwide and the majority of coursework can be completed during the student's available time. Certain assignments and presentations however, may require streaming in real time. While the program swivels around core classes, students are able to study for the career they want by choosing the corresponding elective courses. Students enrolled in the program have access to public discussion forums, individualized advisement from faculty, and internship opportunities, all provided by SJSU entirely online. To be accepted into the MLIS program, students must have earned a bachelor degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in any academic field. Applicants don't need to complete a standardized test such as the GRE, but must have the appropriate computer software and internet access. To successfully graduate from the program, students compile either an e-portfolio or write a thesis statement that summarizes the education garnered throughout the course of study. Students can complete the 43-credit program in as few as 4 semesters or as many as 7. The university estimates that students in the MLIS program spend at least 3 hours per week on classwork for each credit hour. Certain candidates are eligible for tuition discounts at SJSU. Veterans and their families can apply for tuition waivers as can employees of the California State University system.

University of South Florida-Main Campus View School Profile Tampa, FL $8405

At the University of South Florida, students may take a Master of Library and Information Sciences (M.L.I.S.) degree entirely online. This 39-credit program is available in 2 concentrations: a general library and information sciences track and a school media/youth services emphasis. Both programs lead students to earning Master of Arts degrees. The degree requires students to complete at least 120 hours of supervised fieldwork following their 39 credit hours, although students in the school media/youth services concentration who work as school librarians or already have some professional experience in school libraries may substitute this fieldwork with electives instead. In order to obtain the degree, students work throughout the program to assemble e-portfolios containing the best, most polished work from their courses that demonstrates student learning and applications to the profession. Students must maintain B or better averages in their courses, and prospective students who submit applications should show incoming undergraduate GPAs of 3.25 or incoming graduate GPAs of 3.5. Conditional admission may be granted to those who do not meet these GPA requirements, upon submission of an academic writing sample, a statement of purpose, 3 letters of recommendation and a GRE (156 Verbal, 141 Quantitative) from within the last 5 years. Candidates may also wish to submit resumes, which aren't required but are encouraged. Though online graduate students at USF are charged additional distance-learning fees, tuition per credit hour is the same for in-state and out-of-state students. Online USF students gain access to Handshake, a job search tool, as well as job leads and job search tips.

North Carolina Central University View School Profile Durham, NC $4620

North Carolina Central University offers a 36 credit hour, 100% online Master of Science in Library Science (M.S.L.S.) degree. The program is accredited by the American Library Association, and it's intended to train students for careers in school, public, health sciences or academic libraries, or for careers that involve using instructional media or archives management. The program is available in 7 concentrations: academic librarian, archives and records manager, digital librarian, law librarian, public librarian, school media coordinator or special librarian. Students work with their academic advisers to create individualized degree paths. All M.S.L.S. students are required to take 6 core courses in general library science topics, which include a research methods course. The remainder of the program involves a combination of electives and specialization courses that the student, under the guidance of an academic adviser, chooses from among a series of options. The program takes a minimum of 2 years to complete, and it must be completed within 6 years. In order to successfully graduate, students must complete all coursework while maintaining cumulative GPAs of at least 3.0. To apply, interested students should submit proof of having earned their bachelor's degrees, official transcripts showing GPAs of at least 2.75, 2 letters of recommendation, a resume or CV and a 700-800 word statement of purpose. No GRE scores are required. Once admitted, online students may take advantage of an Online Learning 101 introductory course, online tutoring, counseling services and career-planning help, as well as special career resources for military veterans.

University of Kentucky View School Profile Lexington, KY $6363

The University of Kentucky offers a fully online Master of Science in Library Science (M.S.L.S.) degree. It's comprised of 36 credit hours and delivered asynchronously, so that students may access courses at any time rather than times that are designated by the school. Thought the program may be completed entirely online, students do have the option to take some classes in a traditional classroom setting if they wish. Accredited by the American Library Association, the program offers students the option to select from 6 concentrations, depending on their career aspirations or preferred work settings: academic libraries, health information, information technology and systems, public libraries, school libraries and youth services and literature. The school libraries concentration has a unique degree plan, as it prepares graduates for licensure as a Kentucky school librarian. Additionally, a generalist option is available for students who wish to study subject matter across all 6 concentrations; an adviser works with these students to customize a path for progression through the program. An option to expedite the degree and complete it in less than 2 years is available to students as well. Students who are earning M.A. degrees in UK's Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures may also choose to earn a dual degree with the M.S.L.S., so that 9 credit hours would be shared between the 2 degrees (with director approval). M.S.L.S. students have the following options availablie during their program: a practicum, in which students earn credit hours for field experience; study abroad; and a chance to participate in a spring break internship in Washington, D.C. To apply, a prospective student should submit an online applications, GRE score, transcripts showing an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, a personal statement of 200-300 words that explains why he or she is interested in the program and describes the student's career goals, 3 letters of recommendation and a current resume or CV. Online students pay the Kentucky resident fee per credit hour, regardless of location. Enrolled students benefit from such resources as online tutorials, videos and guides as well as advisement and counseling for students struggling with emotional issues.

University of Northern Iowa View School Profile Cedar Falls, IA $9159

The online Master of Arts in school library studies degree at University of Northern Iowa is designed to prepare currently licensed teachers to earn the K-12 teacher librarian endorsement in Iowa, to oversee school libraries or library programs, to become specialists in technology as it pertains to literacy and to encourage and support the love of reading among students. The program is structured in accordance with the American Library Association and American Association of School Librarians standards, and courses are designed using standards set by Quality Matters, a third-party quality assurance program that has established best practices for online course design. This 33-credit M.A. program is taught entirely online with the exception of one in-person Saturday class taught early in the program. Courses are synchronously delivered by video once per week. Students enroll and progress through the program with a cohort of students who complete the coursework together in a prescribed sequence. Toward the end of the program, students complete a practicum and a final research paper. Only currently licensed teachers may be admitted to the program. The application package includes transcripts showing an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (provisional acceptance may be given if the GPA is 2.75-2.99) and successful completion of a writing test. Once students are admitted, they are each assigned a faculty adviser who works one-on-one with the student on an ongoing basis as he or she progresses through the program. Other support services for distance-learning students include an online graduate student orientation, technical support and a host of online tutorials and guides.

Kent State University at Kent View School Profile Kent, OH $11536

The online Master of Library & Information Science (M.L.I.S.) degree at Kent State University is the only program in Ohio that is accredited by the American Library Association. It's offered fully online with no requirement for on-campus activity. On its own, the program offers students 14 potential concentrations, including: academic librarianship, archival or special collections librarianship, cataloging or metadata, and digital librarianship/digital initiatives. However, students also may opt to make the M.L.I.S. part of a dual degree program, in which the student would pair it with 1) a bachelor's degree in L.I.S.; 2) a Master of Science in another relevant subject area master's degree (for instance, art history) so that the 2 degrees would share up to 12 credits; or 3) an M.B.A. or Master of Education, 2 programs allowed by the school to share many more than 12 credits for a dual-degree completion. Students interested in this program must enter with prior cumulative GPAs of at least 3.0 for all coursework in their highest completed degrees; a student with a GPA lower than this may submit GRE scores for consideration. Admissions requirements may vary according to the student's preferred concentration, but typically they include official transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, a resume or CV and a statement of purpose essay. Online students receive access to a number of supportive services, including a 24/7 helpdesk and online access to the library and its tools.

Western Kentucky University View School Profile Bowling Green, KY $10605

Western Kentucky University offers a variety of online master's degrees, and these may be delivered 100% online without any requirement for campus visits. However, because WKU has 4 brick-and-mortar campuses, online students may choose to incorporate classroom-based courses into their programs if they'd like. WKU's online Master of Science in Library Media Education is nationally recognized by the American Association for School Librarians. This 30-credit-hour program (which is followed by a 3-hour research component) is intended to prepare education professionals to become specialists in library media, educational technology, information services or training and development. Graduates may receive Kentucky certifications for P-12 School Media Librarian with LMS focus, and those with prior teacher certifications may use this graduate degree to achieve Rank II and Rank I salary statuses. However, those who already don't have teacher certifications must do so through approved teacher-education programs. Students may earn this M.S. degree in 1 of 2 concentrations: library media specialist (LMS) or educational technology. The LMS concentration is intended for those wishing to work in libraries, media centers, schools or university libraries, and it meets requirements for the state's Department of Library and Archives' Professional Certificate II for aspiring public librarians. The educational technology concentration is designed for those interested in the use of technology to assist with instruction, perhaps as education technology specialists or trainers in school settings. Certified teachers who receive this degree may earn the Instructional Computer Technology Endorsement P-12 upon graduation. With their applications (on which they must indicate their concentration of choice), prospective students must show evidence of having earned minimum GPAs of 3.0 in their last 60 hours of coursework. Additionally, each student must provide a letter of application detailing his or her background, goals and aspirations; a current resume or CV; 2 letters of recommendation; and a writing sample of at least 3 pages to demonstrate writing skills. Students who also wish to earn their initial or advanced teaching certifications as part of the program should observe the requirements for the WKU Graduate School and submit qualifying scores on either their GRE or PPST exams. Students attending WKU fully online never pay out-of-state tuition rates. Those wishing to pursue hybrid options will be charged out-of-state tuition rates if they apply to the student. Kentucky's certified teachers also qualify for a discounted per-credit-hour rate. Enrolled online students receive certain online services designed specifically for their needs, including an orientation, tutoring, writing or math help, coaching on presentations, and tutorials and articles to improve academic success or study skills.

East Carolina University View School Profile Greenville, NC $16089

East Carolina University offers an online Master of Library Science that is accredited by the American Library Association. This 39-credit program is created for students who hope to work as library and information professionals in schools, community colleges, universities, public libraries and similar environments. The 3 concentrations students may choose from include academic library, public library and school library media. To be considered for this program, students must hold a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7 and submit their official transcripts as well as test scores on the GRE or MAT. Letters of recommendation and written statements of purpose are also encouraged. Students who enroll in this program can expect to take courses such as Library Administration and Management, Organization of Information or Research Literacy in Library Science. There is also a required professional internship course that allows students to work in at least 2 library settings under the supervision of a librarian or university supervisor. Students may join East Carolina University's chapter of the American Library Association and gain access to networking opportunities and guest speakers through the organization's online meetings. Students who participate in the American Library Association can also assist with the "Give the Gift of Reading," an annual book drive that focuses on donating books to organizations throughout North Carolina. After graduating with a Master of Library Science, students will have a thorough understanding of the principles and technologies of library science. They will also be able to meet the information needs of a diverse range of individuals and groups. Many graduates are seen working as librarians, library directors and archivists.

University of Wisconsin-Madison View School Profile Madison, WI $15600

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may enroll in the Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies. This program is accredited by the American Library Association, features small class sizes and can be completed entirely online. Students may concentrate in librarianship, archives in a digital age, data/information management and analytics, UX and information technology or information organization. Students can also complete a double degree in law, art history or music by taking additional courses. Additionally, students may pair their degree with an innovation and organizational change or leadership certificate. Those who are interested in learning more about this program can attend a webinar information session in October. The minimum admission requirements for the Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. This 39-credit hour degree includes a required practicum course, which gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in library and information studies. Students may also complete internships at libraries and become involved in library-related student organizations. At the start of the program, students must take a face-to-face orientation bootcamp so they can learn how to become effective online learners. They will find out how to access interactive learning assignments, discussions, group projects and meetings. While some students are enrolled full-time, others opt to complete this degree on a part-time basis. Graduates of the Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies typically work as media specialists, archivists, information brokers and library directors at a variety of organizations.

University of Maryland-College Park View School Profile College Park, MD $13716

Offered at the University of Maryland is a Master of Library and Information Science degree. This degree is accredited by the American Library Association and can be completed online, in person or in a combination of both. Students who would like to pursue this program are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework and a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They should also submit 3 letters of recommendation and a resume. To graduate with a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Maryland, students must complete 36 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0 within 5 calendar years from the date they register for their first semester. A few examples of the courses included in this program include Serving Information Needs, Achieving Organizational Excellence and Creating Information Infrastructures. Unless they decide to complete a thesis, students are required to undergo a field study and gain internship experience in library and information science. Online students may specialize in diversity and inclusion, school library or youth experience. Students may also design their own course of study through the Individualized Program Plan. In addition, students who hope to pursue a career in research may earn a Certificate in Museum Scholarship and Museum Culture by taking 12 additional credits. Most graduates land positions in public libraries, nonprofit organizations, information technology, school libraries and museums. They can be seen working for the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic and other well-known organizations.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro View School Profile Greensboro, NC $5422

Students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro may pursue a Master of Library and Information Studies online. This 36-credit-hour program is accredited by the American Library Association and is known as the oldest Library and Information Science program in North Carolina. While most courses in this degree are distributed synchronously and feature scheduled webinars, there are some courses that do not have a designated time and can be completed at a student's convenience. Students who are interested in enrolling in the Master of Library and Information Studies program are required to submit official undergraduate transcripts, GRE scores, 3 letters of recommendation, a personal statement and resume. Academic advisers are available to assist online students in designing their ideal plan of study and may even help them find a job after graduation. Online students can also benefit from streamlined online events like orientation, career day and virtual practicums. To graduate with a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, students must complete 5 core courses, 1 technology course, 1 capstone course and several elective courses. Students who hope to pair their degree with a school library or instructional technology license must meet additional requirements; these students will take more required courses and less electives. Regardless of whether students pursue licensure, they will become well-versed in information ethics, archival management, information resources management, and database evaluation and utilization. Master of Library and Information Studies graduates can be seen working in diverse environments such as public libraries, schools, businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Valdosta State University View School Profile Valdosta, GA $5714

At Valdosta State University, students may earn a Master of Library and Information Science. The majority of courses in this program are online and are taught through the BlazeVIEW learning management system. The Master of Library and Information Science was designed for busy students with jobs and/or families who hope to pursue careers in academic, public or special libraries. By completing this degree, students will understand how to meet the current and future needs of libraries, use research to improve the function of libraries and conduct various administrative and technical library functions. Official undergraduate transcripts as well as GRE, MAT or GMAT scores must be submitted for admission consideration. Students who enroll in this program can become experts in organizing and retrieving information and specialize in cataloging and classification, library management, reference sources or services and technology. The Master of Library and Information Science consists of 39 credit hours that involve core courses such as Foundations of Library and Information Science, Online Searching, and Management of Libraries and Information Systems. All students must complete a capstone course, which is taken in their final semester and gives them the opportunity to create a professional development plan and enhance their writing and communication skills. Full-time students can complete this program in 2 years, while part-time students who are in need of more flexibility can earn this degree in 4 to 6 years. Master of Library and Information Science graduates are frequently seen working as archivists, business librarians, children's librarians, corporate librarians, information analysts, library directors and information services coordinators.

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis View School Profile Indianapolis, IN $8124

A Master of Library and Information Science degree is available at Indiana University. This degree, accredited by the American Library Association, can be completed entirely online. It is designed to teach students how to pinpoint the information needs of a variety of users, manage information resources, research effectively and lead libraries and other information organizations. Introduction to Archives, Data Curation and Management, and Computer-Based Information Tools are a few examples of the core courses students are required to take. While some students opt for the general degree, others choose to specialize in academic librarianship, digital curation, public librarianship or adult services, school library, technical services, technology management or youth services. Students may also pair their Master of Library and Information Science degree with a Master of Arts in History, Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies, Master of Science in Health Informatics, Juris Doctorate in Law, a Nonprofit Management certificate or a Public Management certificate. Since these programs share some courses, students are able to complete 2 degrees or certificates at the same time. Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing provides Master of Library and Information Science students with opportunities to attend career fairs, complete internships and find positions in their field of study. Following graduation, students may become digital collections librarians, media specialists, teen librarians, library directors, information architects or curators. Graduates can also be seen assisting patrons, writing grants, developing data research tools, creating library technology plans and websites, and preserving digital information that can be easily retrieved.

Emporia State University View School Profile Emporia, KS $6856

Emporia State University offers a Master of Library Science that is accredited by the American Library Association. This program is designed to help students solve problems creatively while meeting various information systems needs. Prospective students may apply by submitting their official undergraduate transcripts that show a minimum GPA of 3.0, 2 letters of reference, a resume and a statement of objectives, which discusses why they are interested in the Master of Library Science. Although some courses in this program are offered online, others must be completed in person. Most students are in class 4 to 6 weekends per semester. The minimum amount of time that students can complete the Master of Library Science degree is 4 semesters or 16 months. Since this is a cohort program, the same group of students walk through the curriculum together and develop a professional network they can take advantage of after graduation. This 36-credit-hour degree consists of core courses such as Foundations of Library and Information Science, Collection Development, and Research in Library and Information Science. In addition to 22 credit hours of core courses, students must complete 14 credit hours of electives and 3 credit hours of a technology course, like Web Design and Development, Information Technology and Database Design. Students enrolled in this program may choose to concentrate in archives studies, informatics, leadership and administration or youth services. In addition, they may join Emporia State University's chapter of the American Library Association, which gives students the opportunity to network, improve their resume, gain valuable interview skills and participate in library tours.

Florida State University View School Profile Tallahassee, FL $7997

At Florida State University, students may enroll in an online Master of Science in Information degree that is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the American Library Association. The Master of Science in Information is delivered through an online learning platform called Canvas, which allows students to access course materials, assignments, exams and discussion boards. This degree involves 36 credit hours and courses that focus on information architecture and technology, information needs and services, and youth information needs and services. Students may choose to specialize in general librarianship, information organization, leadership and management, reference and instruction, school media, technology and networking, web design or youth services. They may also work with an adviser and design a program that is ideal for their career goals. A few examples of the core courses in this degree include Foundations of the Information Professions, Research in Information Studies and Introduction to Information Policy. All courses in this program meet 1 night a week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 6-8 p.m. ET or 8-10 p.m. ET. In order to graduate with a Master of Science in Information, students must complete all courses within 7 years from the first time they register for the program. Florida State University encourages students to take 2 courses, a total of 6 credit hours, every semester so they can complete the degree in as few as 6 semesters or 2 years. After graduating with a Master of Science in Information, students typically pursue careers as technical service librarians, youth librarians, information architects, digital archivists or marketing analytics specialists.

Clarion University View School Profile Clarion, PA $11592
University of Arizona View School Profile Tucson, AZ $11372
University of Washington-Seattle Campus View School Profile Seattle, WA $15207
Southern Connecticut State University View School Profile New Haven, CT $6497
University of South Carolina-Columbia View School Profile Columbia, SC $12398
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign View School Profile Champaign, IL $15267
Wayne State University View School Profile Detroit, MI $14746
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville View School Profile Knoxville, TN $11044
Rutgers University-New Brunswick View School Profile New Brunswick, NJ $16536
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee View School Profile Milwaukee, WI $10387
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA $21748
University of Hawaii at Manoa View School Profile Honolulu, HI $15288

With an undergraduate degree in communications and a master's in education, Emma finds writing for the education vertical to be the perfect niche.

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