Library Science Graduate Programs with Course Information
Library science graduate programs are available as a Master of Library Information Science or Ph.D. in Library Information Science program. Graduate course topics in library science include studies in information organization, services and resources.
Master's Degree in Library Information Science
Master's programs in library information science typically require 33-43 credits for completion. Graduate students may specialize in administration, educational librarianship, archives and records, reference services or public librarianship. Individuals interested in law librarianship generally enroll in a dual Juris Doctorate and Master of Library Information Science graduate program. Many master's level programs are offered entirely online.
Applicants to a Master of Library Information Science (MLIS) program can have a 4-year degree in any concentration. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is often preferred, if not necessary. Master's degree program applications also require submission of Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.
In addition to coursework, library science graduate students generally complete a thesis; however, some schools allow students to participate in a capstone or portfolio project instead. Library science core classes include:
- Organizational methods for library materials
- Teaching methods for librarians
- Library services
- Information life cycle
- Library collections and resources
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In 2008, librarians averaged a salary of $54,700 annually, and librarians earned the most in Connecticut, California, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington, D.C., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. The BLS projected less than five percent employment growth for librarians beginning in 2006 and ending in 2016.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information
Most public school and community librarians must hold state certifications to qualify for employment. States often require possession of a master's degree in library science and completion of a comprehensive skills assessment. A teaching certification may also be needed.
Ph.D. Degree in Library Information Science
Doctoral library information science students develop critical-thinking, communication, research and leadership skills. Programs are open to applicants from all academic backgrounds and offer interdisciplinary instruction; students can take supportive electives in anthropology, history, English literature and public administration. Most colleges have a residency requirement for library science Ph.D.-seekers.
A master's degree is not required for admittance into a doctoral library science program, and undergraduate or graduate work can be in disciplines other than library science. Those who do not have a master's degree take additional coursework to make up the lack of graduate credits. GRE scores may not be needed for students with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Graduate students must take a qualifying exam to establish doctoral candidacy. After completion of all core requirements, students take a final exam before beginning on their dissertation. Library science doctoral students must complete original research for the thesis and successfully defend the thesis to a faculty panel to earn their Ph.D. Topics of study include:
- Regulations and information science
- Information and the public
- Teaching library information science
- Theories in library information science
- Advanced research methods
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a doctoral program in library information science can work in government and private sectors. Specific job titles might include:
- Library science professor
- Corporate librarian
- University chairperson
- Published scholar
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