What Types of Librarian Degrees Are Available?

If you love to organize things, conduct research and help people access information, you may enjoy a career as a librarian. Today, most librarians require Master of Library Science (MLS) or higher-level degrees. Read on to learn more about your degree options. Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Degree Options for Aspiring Librarians

Library science programs are primarily available at the graduate level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most librarians are required to hold at least a master's degree; additional requirements for school librarians may include a teaching certificate, though requirements vary by state. You might also be interested in pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Library Science or a Ph.D. in Information Science.

Important Facts About Librarians

Median Salary (2014) $56,170
Work Environment Libraries, research centers, schools
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 7%
Similar Occupations Teachers, library assistants, archivists, curators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Master's Degrees

Master's degrees in the library sciences are appropriate for almost all types of librarians, including community librarians, research librarians and technical service librarians. These programs typically last 1-2 years and include internships in professional libraries. Several programs offer the option of specializing or concentrating on a particular area of librarianship, such as curating or archiving. The name of the degree awarded to you depends on the institution you attend. Programs that you may consider include the following:

  • Master of Science in Library Science
  • Master of Library Science
  • Master of Arts in Library and Information Science
  • Master of Information Science

Ph.D. Degrees

If your interests lie in information science research, library administration or advanced college-level teaching, you might consider earning a Ph.D. in Library Science. The length of these programs varies, depending on the time it takes for you to write and defend a dissertation. It is possible to spend 5-8 years completing your doctoral program. Most of these programs expect you to publish research, teach undergraduate students and take advanced-level courses in your focus of research.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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