How To Get A Masters In Library Science Degree

A master’s degree in library science prepares you for professional librarian positions and if this is where your interest lies, this post will guide you on how you can get this degree, as well as, highlight schools that best offer the program both on-campus and online. Without any further ado, let’s begin.

Librarians looking to enhance their knowledge and skillset, and become professionals in their field should consider getting a masters in library science. If you browse for this degree program online, you will also see Master of Library and Information Science or Master of Library and Information Studies, do not fret, they all mean the same thing.

A master’s program hits the core of the course, is more in-depth, and prepares you to become a professional in that field and take up leadership and managerial roles just like an MBA degree and master’s degree in library science are no different.

If you already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field and looking to veer out by exploring other disciplines or looking for a career change, you could take up a master’s degree in library science. Of course, there are other multiple options to consider like a master’s degree in renewable energy engineering if you are looking for something technical or a masters degree in counseling if you have great interaction skills with people and love to help others.

We all know that a master’s degree program typically takes 2 years to complete including the library science program but there are some masters programs that are completed in 1 year. This is also something you may like to consider if you do not want to spend 2 or more years getting a second degree.

Before I get into defining what a master’s of library science degree is, I’d like to direct you to other articles we have published that may interest you like the ones on top weird degree programs and online colleges that pay you to attend. You can also find a wide range of articles on free online courses and online colleges in the US if you are looking to learn a free skill or earn a degree from the comfort of your home.

What Is A Masters in Library Science

I mentioned earlier that a masters degree in library science and masters of library and information science degree are the same things and according to Wikipedia, it is a degree required for most professional librarian positions in the US.

The program equips you with skills and expertise to preserve, prioritize, and manage information on all types of media, with a special focus on modern digital technologies.

With this degree, you can pursue several careers including but not limited to the following:

  • Library research analyst
  • Associate editor
  • Chief information officer
  • Digital archivist
  • Government records analyst
  • Library manager consultant
  • Business researcher
  • Manager of information services
  • Library director
  • Museum curator
  • Researcher and knowledge specialist
  • Legal archivist
  • Library technician
  • Media specialist
  • Information architect
  • Knowledge management specialist
  • Library systems and applications developer
  • Data officer
  • Medical librarian
  • Metadata librarian
  • Document control specialist
  • Librarian of special collections and many others.

These are some of the careers you can dive into after earning a master of library science degree and you can work in healthcare facilities, as a freelancer, museums, libraries, universities, law firms, and private or public business sectors.

Most students complete their degrees in 2 years. Many graduates work for local governments in schools or libraries. Others seek employment in for-profit organizations like legal firms. According to the most recent data, the need for librarians is expected to increase by 9% between 2020 and 2030, providing stability for individuals thinking about pursuing a masters program in library science.

Keep reading to learn the steps on how to get a masters degree in library science, as well as, find universities that offer the program online and on-campus. With the help of this guide, you can be able to make an informed decision about pursuing this program.

Cost of Master’s in Library Science

The cost of a masters in library science program varies between public and private universities or colleges, students’ residency status, and mode of delivery. Private institutions charge more, international or out-of-state students pay more, and online students pay less compared to on-campus students.

According to College Board, as of 2021-2022 academic, the average cost of a master’s degree in library science is between $9,000 and $29,670 per year. You can cut down on costs by looking for masters scholarships in Canada if you want to pursue the degree in Canada or apply for the MLS program at one of the tuition-free universities in the US for masters where you can study without paying any fee.

masters in library science

How To Get A Masters In Library Science Degree

In this section, you will find complete guidelines and steps to take concerning getting a master’s degree in library science. The requirements, schools offering the program, and other necessary details that will facilitate your entry into this field are all detailed here. Let us get into it.

  • Find A Suitable School For The Masters in Library Science Program

This has always been common to do if you are about to pursue and earn a degree in any discipline. There are many schools, especially in the US, Canada, and the UK, offering the masters of library science degree program, it is a common degree, and looking for a school won’t be hard. However, looking for a suitable one might be hard.

You can begin your search for a suitable school by looking up my post on the best universities in Canada for masters to save yourself the time and energy sourcing for schools on the World Wide Web.

You want to look for a school that, not just offers this program, but also is suitable for you. This means that you need to look at the environment if it is okay for you, look up the curriculum and facilities, search for alumni who have graduated from the program at that particular school, and also look up how recognized the school you are applying for is.

All of these data can be found on your preferred school’s website. If you are an international applicant, also check if the program accepts international students.

Do in-depth research on the school and the program before considering applying there. And when you find a suitable institution, you can then proceed to the next step.

  • Meet Admission Requirements of the MLS Program

No, the next step is not to start the application process rather, it is to meet the admission requirements. Once you have found a school that appeals to you to pursue the MLS program, you want to check the admission requirements and satisfy all of them.

These requirements are set by the admissions board to evaluate applicants and really ensure that they deserve a seat in the program not meeting the requirements means you do not qualify, so, don’t even bother applying.

Whether you are applying as a campus student, online student, or international student, there are entry requirements that you must meet in order to be considered for admission. These requirements usually vary from school to school, especially when it comes to the grade aspect but below are some of the basic requirements to set your mind on what to expect.

  1. You must have completed a bachelor’s degree program in a related field with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 but there are certain steps you can take to get a master’s degree without bachelors.
  2. GRE may be required depending on the institution
  3. Recommendation letters
  4. Statement of purpose
  5. Working experience and/or prior experience in computer science may be required
  6. International students whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate their English language proficiency by taking the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or any recognized test.
  7. Professional CV or resume.
  8. A personal or online interview may be required.
  9. Document of financial proof

Applicants who want to pursue the master of library science program in the US can read further on the full requirements for master’s in the US and how to get them.

  • Begin The Application Process

And here is the step that you begin your application into the masters of library science degree program at your preferred institution whose requirements you have all met. Application is usually done online and if you have all the requested documents, you should complete the application process in 10 minutes or less.

This part also includes checking for application dates, and deadlines and paying the application fee. You will pay for tuition when you get accepted into the program.

  • Meet Program Requirements

Do not confuse this with admission requirements. Program requirements are grades and credits that students need to get or satisfy in order to graduate from the program. When you apply for a master’s degree in library science and get accepted, it is now left to you to put in the work and satisfy the program requirements necessary to graduate and earn your degree.

The MLS program typically takes 2 years to complete, when you satisfy the program requirements, you graduate, be conferred the master’s degree, and enter into the workforce or become an entrepreneur.

  • Other Helpful Tips

The following are tips to increase your chances of getting admitted into the MLS program:

  1. Apply earlier this is why you need to go for early action or early decision
  2. Exceed the required GPA and other required grades
  3. Write a strong essay or statement of purpose
  4. Have some librarian or computer science background
  5. Gain work experience in the field or related
  6. Be involved in your community and make an impact, especially in the library aspect.

Below are some of the top universities offering masters in library science for you to start looking at.

Best Universities for Masters in Library Science

From my findings, the following are some of the best schools offering a degree in masters of library science:

1.     The University of Washington

This is one of the best universities in the US for the library science masters program, ranked as second best in the US by the US News & World Report. The program is offered through the university’s Information School. Students in this program are groomed to become innovators and leaders of the library and information world by developing in them the necessary skills they need to play their roles in the field.

The program is offered both online and on-campus. Applicants are required to submit 2-3 recommendation letters, a personal statement, a diversity statement, and GRE scores are optional.

1.     City University of London

The City University of London is educating future leaders of library and information infrastructures through its MA/MSc in Library Science. The program takes students to explore the processes of information organization, communication, access and provision, and considering library infrastructures and services from both historical and philosophical perspectives.

The program takes 12 and 24 months of full-time and part-time studies respectively to complete. And you can either go for the MA or MSc pathway. The program is also offered online and in-person at the campus. International students are also accepted.

2.     The University of North Texas

The University of North Texas offers an ALA-approved M.S. in Library Science administered by its Department of Information Science. The program is ranked among the best in the US by the US News & World Report. There are 7 concentrations in the program for students to select from, they are:

  • Archival studies and imaging technology
  • General program of study
  • Information organization
  • Law librarianship and legal informatics
  • Music librarianship
  • Youth librarianship
  • School library certification

The program requirements include a resume, 2 recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose.

3.     The University of Alberta

The University of Alberta, Faculty of Education offers a Master of Library and Information Studies graduate degree accredited by the American Library Association ALA.

The program is offered online and on-campus, with full-time and part-time study formats. To enter this program, applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, a technology deficiency, and English language proficiency.

4.     The University of British Columbia

This is also a Canadian institution offering a Master of Library and Information Studies or MLIS accredited by the ALA. The program has 4 pathways in librarianship, data services, information interaction and design, and community and culture. The program is only offered on-campus in full or part-time options.

International students are accepted and their tuition is $10,572.50 while domestic students are charged $5,421.69.

So, these are some of the best universities offering the masters in library science program, there are also other universities that you may like to check out on your own. They are:

  • Simmons University
  • The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • The University of South Carolina
  • Kutztown University
  • University College London
  • Pennsylvania Western University
  • The University of Strathclyde
  • Western University
  • Syracuse University
  • The University of Alabama
  • San Jose University
  • Drexel University
  • The University of Denver
  • The University of Kentucky

Do a simple search of the graduate program in library science of these schools to find a suitable one for you.

8 Best Masters in Library Science Online

According to resources on the web, the following are the best online masters degree in library science:

  • Indiana University Online Master’s in Library Science
  • San Jose State University Online Master of Library and Information Science
  • Sam Houston State University Master of Library Science Online
  • Texas Women’s University Master of Library Science Degree (MLS) Online
  • The University of Buffalo Online MLS
  • Syracuse University Online Master of Science in Library and Information Science
  • Kent State University Online Master of Library and Information Science
  • Louisiana State University Master of Library and Information Science Online

1.     Indiana University Online Master’s in Library Science

Indian University through its School of Informatics and Computing is offering a Master of Library and Information Science to students looking to switch careers or become professionals in the field. The program is offered 100% online and accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).

2.     San Jose State University Online Master of Library and Information Science

This is a 43-unit online master’s program at SJSU that prepares students for an exciting career as information professionals. The program comes with a customized curriculum that allows students to customize their studies to fit their interests and career goals. There are also internship opportunities and the program is 100% online.

The online graduate program is ALA-approved and is open to students from all walks of life.

3.     Sam Houston State University Master of Library Science Online

This online graduate degree from SHSU is designed to groom competent professionals for school librarianship. It is a 36-credit hour program with enrollments in Fall, Spring, and Summer. For entry into the program, you must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.

4.     Texas Women’s University Master of Library Science Degree (MLS) Online

The MLS degree program at Texas Women’s University is offered only online and is designed to prepare professionals to work in different types of information environments. Applicants are required to possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited bachelor’s degree program but if you have a lesser GPA, you may be considered for admission review on a case-by-case basis.

You are also required to submit a resume, one professional reference letter, and a 2-page statement of intent as part of the application process.

5.     The University of Buffalo Online MLS

At the University of Buffalo, you will find various online graduate degree programs designed to prepare you for careers in librarianship. These programs are Master of Science in Information and Library Science, Master of Science in School Librarianship, and dual MS/MA Music Librarianship. All of these degree programs are offered 100% online.

The tuition for in-state and out-of-state students are $11,330 and $13,570 respectively.

6.     Syracuse University Online Master of Science in Library and Information Science

Syracuse University is a prestigious higher institution in New York offering an online master of science degree in library and information science accredited by the ALA. The program is designed to prepare future leaders for professional librarian positions in the US and the world beyond.

7.     Kent State University Online Master of Library and Information Science

If you are looking for an online graduate degree in library sciences to pursue, Kent State University has many options to offer you. There is the MLIS, Master of Science in Knowledge Management, dual degree in MLIS/MBA, MLIS School Library Media, MLIS School Library Media/Master of Education in Educational Technology. All of these programs are offered 100% online.

8.     Louisiana State University Master of Library and Information Science Online

Louisiana State University offers an online masters degree program in library and information science that cost around $17,460. The program comes with 9 specialty areas including academic librarianship, cultural heritage resource management, and youth services in public libraries.

These are some of the best online master’s programs in library science and I hope they can help you make an informed decision on where to apply.

Master’s in Library Science – FAQs

[sc_fs_faq html=”true” headline=”h3″ img=”” question=”What is the salary of masters in library science?” img_alt=”” css_class=””] The average salary of an individual with a masters degree in library science is $84,000 per year. [/sc_fs_faq]