Online Library Science Degree Programs
Graduate certificate and master's degree programs in library science are more common than bachelor's or doctoral degree programs. Such programs may allow for specialization in areas like public library or school library science. Find out more about program options and get information about how distance learning programs work.
What Kinds of Online Library Science Degrees Are Available?
Most schools offer master's degrees or graduate certificates, and a few offer a Ph.D. program in library science. Undergraduate-level online programs in library science are rare, but traditional campus-based ones are plentiful.
|Program Options||Campus-based or online bachelor's, online master's, online doctorates, online graduate certificates|
|Prerequisites||Undergraduate degree, GPA with minimum requirement, GRE scores, teaching degree or certification for some specializations|
|Online Learning||Take courses, interact with instructor and submit assignments using school's distance-learning portal|
|Study Topics||Classifying and cataloging materials, information technology, organizing information, library administration|
|Median Salary (2018)||$59,050* (for librarians)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)||9% growth* (for all librarians)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Are There Any Prerequisites?
You'll be expected to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution, a solid GPA (usually 3.0 or better) and, depending on the program, you may need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Most programs do not specify that your undergraduate degree has to be in library science or a related field, although such previous study is helpful. If you plan to specialize in school libraries, some programs will require you to have a teaching degree or certification in order to take certain courses.
What Is the Online Program Like?
In most cases, you will take all your courses online by logging into the school's distance-learning portal, which may utilize a system like Moodle or Blackboard to manage the course materials. This is also how you will correspond with your instructor and pass in your assignments. If you choose an online degree-completion program, you may take some of your courses on campus and some online.
At minimum, you'll need a high-speed Internet connection, an updated computer and basic computer skills. Additional hardware - such as a microphone, webcam and speakers - may be needed for certain courses. Some schools may ask you to take an exam to judge your computer and Internet skills as part of your admission requirements.
What Courses Will I Take?
Your specific coursework will depend on the program you choose. Certificate programs tend to focus solely on core aspects of library science, while a graduate degree program will cover those topics as part of a broader curriculum. Many programs allow you to specialize in areas such as school libraries, public libraries, law libraries, information management and more.
Topics you'll study may include organizing information, classifying and cataloging materials, storytelling and researching. You'll also examine archives, manuscripts, law and ethics, library administration and information technology.