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Master's Degree in Library Science

Learn about the requirements and courses for earning a master's degree in library science. Find out about some popular career choices, the employment outlook, salary trends and continuing education in library specialties.

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Essential Information

Master's degree programs in library science, also referred to as library and information science, cover the foundational knowledge needed to become a librarian, including how to build and manage a collection, catalog books, do Internet research and sort information. Students also learn how to assist library users, evaluate resources, and use evolving information technologies. Some programs offer concentration areas, such as school media or reference services.

Many library science programs require internships or media practicum placements. Students must usually complete a research-based capstone project based on their particular interests. A master's degree in library science can lead to a career in a library system, as well as work in schools, universities, museums or private companies.

Education Prerequisites

Master's degree programs in library science require applicants to have completed a bachelor's degree. Some schools may also ask applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation or personal statements as well.

Course Topics

Students in library science programs study information related to digital literacy, school media, reference techniques, leadership and media technologies. Programs commonly offer a wide range of courses that address topics such as:

  • Information environments
  • Management principles
  • Collection development
  • Cataloging
  • Information sciences
  • Reference services
  • Information literacy
  • Digital libraries
  • Classification

Popular Career Options

Graduates who attain master's degrees in library science might work in public libraries, school library media centers, technical libraries, research libraries, government agencies, museums or non-profit organizations. Possible job titles include:

  • School library media specialist
  • College librarian
  • Archivist
  • Curator

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of librarians is expected to grow by seven percent and archivists should experience an increase of 11% during the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). In May of 2013, the median annual salary for archivists was $49,110 and $55,690 for librarians, as estimated by the BLS.

Continuing Education and Certificate Programs

Individuals may opt to pursue doctorate degrees in library and information studies or a related field. Doctorate programs offer research-based educational opportunities for individuals to explore their interests in the field. Another option for graduates is to obtain certificates in a specific area of library science, such as school library media or museum studies.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (6)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    When are you looking to start?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED and completed some college. Master's degree applicants must have a bachelor's or higher.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MSEd in Educational Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants to master's programs must have already earned a bachelor's degree. Applicants to doctoral programs must have already earned a master's degree.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Arts in Education
        • Master of Arts in Education - Distance Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Syracuse University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Library Science and Related Professions
        • Library Science and Librarianship
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • ESL Teaching
      • Library Science and Related Professions
        • Library Science and Librarianship
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Alabama (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Alabama include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • ESL Teaching
      • Library Science and Related Professions
        • Library Science and Librarianship
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics