What Courses Are Required for a Library Science Master's Degree?

A Master of Library Science degree program teaches students how to access and manage library collections. Students who pursue such degrees must take several core and elective courses. In addition, they will be expected to fulfill thesis, internship or portfolio requirements. Read on for more information about the curricula of graduate-level library science programs. Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Core Courses

Individuals must complete approximately 36 credit hours, usually in about two years, to earn a master's degree in library science. Core courses in information science, organization and library science provide a context for the elective courses and further study. Students will explore topics such as:

  • Reference
  • Research
  • Collection Management
  • Cataloging
  • Managing a Library

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Prerequisites Bachelor's degree
Online Availability Both fully online and hybrid programs available
Concentrations Digital libraries, archival studies, school librarianship, among others
Possible Careers Librarian, Archivist, Teacher
Median Salary (2018) $59,050 (for librarians)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 9% (for librarians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Electives

Elective courses allow Master of Library Science program students to focus on career goals, such as school library services or information organization. Students might be required to earn roughly 12 credits in electives; however, this number varies by program. Some of these classes might emphasize:

  • Library Administration
  • Resources for Business Information
  • Digital Collections
  • Accessibility Issues

Additional Requirements

A master's-level library science degree program usually culminates in a capstone project, such as a thesis, an internship or a portfolio project. A student's thesis presents an original argument with supporting research on a topic in library science. Students can earn approximately 9 credits for writing their theses.

Many schools also require students to complete internships under the supervision of experienced library personnel. These may be equivalent to about 3 credits. Some internships may be carried out in academic research libraries. They may also take place in the libraries of publishers or media organizations. Students who intern here might help reporters find video, audio or print clips. In general, library science interns may catalog and inventory collections and assist people with 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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