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Master's Degrees in Library Science: Online and Campus Programs

Learn about your options for earning a master's degree in library science online. Find out how online programs work and what type of position you may qualify for as a graduate.

Are There Any Prerequisites for a Master's Degree in Library Science?

In order to be accepted into nearly any master's degree program, including an online program in library science, you must have a bachelor's degree. Also, you may be asked to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Although not always required, it may be helpful to have an undergraduate background in library science or a related field. You don't need to be employed as a librarian to be accepted into a master's program in this field.

Prerequisites Bachelor's degree, GRE or MAT scores; may be helpful to have undergraduate library science background
Online Availability Online programs are available
Online Learning Submit assignments, view lessons, and take exams online; access chat rooms, message boards, e-mail, audio files and video files
Career Options Medical informatics specialist, school library media specialist, youth and children's librarian, Web librarian, information retrieval specialist
Median Salary (2018)$59,050* (for librarians)
Job Outlook (2016-26)9% growth* (for all librarians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

If you've been wanting to go back to school, but feared you wouldn't have the time due to career or family responsibilities, an online degree program may offer you the flexibility you need to make this dream a reality. Although rare, some schools now offer fully online library science master's degree programs. Curriculum is usually identical or extremely similar to a traditional, on-campus program in library science; however, rather than attending class at a scheduled time every week, you receive all of your coursework via the Internet.

How Does Online Learning Work?

Naturally, to take an online class you must have a computer with Internet access. You receive lessons, submit assignments and occasionally even take exams via the school's distance learning website. You can communicate with your instructor and fellow classmates online as well. A combination of e-mail, online chat rooms, message boards, electronic documents, and audio and video files is used to facilitate online learning.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Graduates of a master's degree program in library science pursue employment in several relevant fields of library or information science. In addition to working as a librarian in a school or public library, you might also wish to consider a job specializing in media or technical services. Potential job titles can include:

  • Manager of library and information organizations
  • Medical informatics specialist
  • Technical services librarian
  • School library media specialist
  • Youth and children's librarian
  • Information broker
  • Web librarian
  • Information subject specialist and archivist
  • Knowledge manager
  • Information retrieval specialist