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- Top Online MLIS Programs
- Earning Your Master’s in Library Science Online
- A Look Inside the Online Master’s in Library Science
- Paying for Your Online Master’s in Library Science
- Accreditation Standards for Your Online Master’s in Library Science
- What’s After Your Online Master’s in Library Science?
- Continuing Education & Related Degrees
- Resources for Library Science Students & Professionals
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Master’s in Library Science Online Programs
Ready to earn your online master’s in library science? Check out some of today’s top online MLIS programs, compare course cost and accreditation, and begin your journey to a satisfying career.
Last Updated: 11/02/2020
Do you have a passion for people and a love for books? Are you interested in a career that allows you to utilize your customer service skills while building upon your information technology expertise? If you answered yes, a career as a librarian could be an excellent match for you and there is no better degree to prepare you for the job than a master’s in library science. In fact, online MLIS programs are specifically designed to prepare you for work as a librarian and will teach you the skills to help students and others find and access the books and information they need for personal and professional projects. Not only can you take satisfaction in being a pillar in your community, you may also benefit from a healthy pay rate and growing job opportunities.
To take the first step towards your new career, you need to find the right graduate program to fit your personal needs. From exploring the top online MLIS programs to understanding cost, accreditation, and learning outcomes, read on to learn what you need to know to begin your journey to a rewarding library career.
Top Online MLIS Programs
A master’s degree is a big commitment both personally and financially. To be sure that you’re investing your time and money wisely, it’s important to properly research schools before committing to an online master’s in library science program. To help you with your search, we’ve gathered information and requirements from the top online library science programs from across the U.S. that possess the accreditation that your future employers are looking for. We’ve also picked programs that are affordable, so you don’t break the bank while earning your graduate degree. Here’s a look at some of the top schools with online master’s in library science programs.
Indiana University – Master of Library and Information Science
East Carolina University – Master of Library Science
Earning Your Master’s in Library Science Online
An online master’s in library science comes with a variety of great benefits and advantages when you compare it to traditional on-campus programs. While distance learning isn’t for everyone, many students enjoy the flexibility, affordability, and pace of online learning. As you look into graduate programs, consider some of these perks of remote learning.
A Look Inside the Online Master’s in Library Science
When it comes to enrolling in your online master’s in library science degree program, you’re likely to have questions on nearly all aspects of the process. It’s a good idea to spend some time researching the costs, required courses, and available concentrations of any given program you’re considering. It’s also important that you look into the types of careers that might be available to you after you finish your degree. Here are some of the answers to your most pressing questions.
Paying for Your Online Master’s in Library Science
As soon as you commit to applying for graduate school, you should begin looking for funding opportunities. It’s important to do exhaustive online searches as well as pool local resources and contacts to find local sources of funding. This includes local foundations or individuals who support education, rotary clubs, private institutions, and memorial scholarships.
Scholarships & Grants
Scholarships and grants are essentially free money that you don’t need to repay. You should apply for as many library science scholarships or grants for which you are eligible and a strong contender. The American Library Association offers a good list of opportunities. Your prospective schools might also offer some scholarships or grants of their own. You should also check out our scholarships guide for some great funding options.
Loans are borrowed money, which you can get through the federal government or privately, that you must repay with interest. You’re more likely to get better interest rates for your MLS program through federal loans than private loans. You can borrow up to $20,500 per year as a graduate student.
Assistantships and Work Study Programs
The number of funding options you’ll have access to depends on your program. Many schools offer some of their graduate students assistantship opportunities. These are jobs, such as assistant teaching roles or administrative assistant-type positions, that help you cover the cost of tuition. They may even come with a stipend and tuition remission. Online students can obtain assistantships, too, as many teaching and administrative roles can be carried out remotely. Alternatively, some colleges offer graduate student work study programs. These are based on financial need, and you’ll need to seek out and apply for them on your own. Ask your prospective academic department for guidance on where to look and if there’s any work study jobs available in-house in the library science department.
Accreditation Standards for Your Online Master’s in Library Science
It’s important to your career as a library science professional that you receive training and credentials from a regionally or nationally accredited school. Most online MLS programs will have regional accreditation. This is considered the gold standard for credible colleges and universities. National accreditation is usually awarded to credible vocational or trade schools that offer fewer degrees and programs and focus on developing practical hands-on, career-oriented skills.
It’s also a good idea to get your online master’s in library science from a school that holds programmatic accreditation. While not all schools that possess regional accreditation will seek out programmatic accreditation, it’s reassuring when they do have it. It signals that the program is dedicated to upholding the latest educational standards in the field. The primary programmatic accrediting body for library science programs is the American Library Association (ALA).
What’s After Your Online Master’s in Library Science?
It’s good to know what the job market looks like, which viable career options are out there, and how much you’ll make before you enter an online program. In this section, we’ll help you make sure you’ve got your bases covered and have a good understanding of where this degree can take you academically and professionally.
Continuing Education & Related Degrees
After you complete your online degree in library science, you might still have some topics you want to explore. There are tons of opportunities for you to continue learning, especially through advanced or related degree programs. Earning additional credentials can diversify your career options, increase your earning potential, or help you seek out a little different career trajectory altogether.
PhD in Library Science
If you have an interest in conducting advanced research or teaching at the college level, a PhD in library science is a great choice. You’ll be able to further develop your knowledge in a specialized area of the field, increase your earning potential, and work on research projects that pertain to your expertise. Your master’s degree in library science qualifies you to apply to any PhD program in this area. Like most PhD programs, you can expect to spend four or more years completing your degree requirements.
PhD in Library, Archival, and Information Studies
Take your MLS studies to the next level with more specialized training. This degree prepares you for administrative and leadership roles, as well as advanced research positions, in archives, museums, and universities. You’ll learn archival-grade preservation techniques for digital and hardcopy media in addition to studying the philosophical aspects of human experience and recorded artifacts. You’ll also need four or more years to complete this degree.
Related Degrees to Consider
PhD in Informatics
Graduate programs in informatics combine the study of information and computers. They’ll give you the chance to study human-computer interaction design, the creation of computational methods, educational app development, and user experience. Depending on the program, you might be able to specialize in an area of the field, such as art and cultural informatics, spatial informatics, health and medical informatics, or bioinformatics. Upon completing this degree, you’ll be ready for jobs in software development, data science, cybersecurity, UX design, and much more.
Master of Arts in History
Students with an interest in library science may also find a rewarding path in a history program. These degrees help you develop specialized knowledge in a historical time period and location. From Latin America and the Middle East to medieval times and comparative gender studies, an MA program in history allows you to cast a wide net and study exciting topics. Degree-holders move on to careers as teachers, political scientists, archivists, historians, and more.
Master of Arts in Folklore
If you’re thinking about a library science degree, you certainly have a deep interest in how information is disseminated and informs peoples’ daily lives. With formal training in folklore, you can study the spoken word, stories and storytelling, music and instrument-making, writing, poems, art, and much more. Many folklore degree-holders pursue careers as teachers, historians, archivists, arts organization leaders, among many other roles.