Best Master’s in Library Science Degrees

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Be sure to bookmark these degrees, as they are the Best Master’s in Library Science Degrees in the nation.

Do you envision yourself among the stacks of a world-renowned university library? Or do you see yourself planning creative youth outreach services at a public library?

However you imagine your future as a librarian, one of the nation’s best graduate degrees in library science will help you get there.

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Top 10 Best Master’s in Library Science Degrees

Rank School Location
1 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
2 Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ
3 Drexel University Waco, TX
4 The Catholic University of America Washington, DC
5 University of Washington Seattle, WA
6 Indiana University Bloomington, IN
7 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
8 University of Maryland, College Park College Park, MD
9 Florida State University Talahassee, FL
10 University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI

What kind of Master in Library Science degree should you get?

There are about as many ways of being a librarian as there are programs. For example, almost all of the programs allow you to specialize, in archives, digital media, children’s literature, and much more. Whichever specialization route you take, know that these 35 programs will give you a solid introduction to library science fundamentals.
Though most of these degrees are traditional, on-campus programs, some can be completed fully online. We’ve been sure to note which. Because online education is not only a flexible way to advance your education and career, but it’s affordable too. So, be sure to check out College Choice’s Best Online MS in Library Science degrees.

How much money do people make with a Master in Library Science degree?

With a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science you can land a number of career opportunities. Each of which is not only stable but financially rewarding.

For example, public and private librarians make, on average, over $57,000 a year. And for those who work as archivists or in museums, you can expect an average annual salary of close to $50,000.

On top of a stable annual income, librarians are always in need. In fact, it’s projected the demand for those with a MS in Library Science degree will rise another 10 percent in the next few years. Finally, of those polled, librarians rated their work as “extremely satisfying.”

What are the requirements for a Master in Library Science degree?

While earning a MS in Library Science degree you can expect to take a number of traditional core classes covering information access, management, public outreach, digital media, and more.

In addition to these, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize and gain hands-on experience through an internship or fieldwork. You can also expect to write a thesis or complete a capstone project in order to graduate.
Most of these programs require at least two years to complete the degree, though for some if you enroll full-time you can finish in less time, even in under a year.

What are the best Master in Library Science degrees?

While some of these MS in Library Science degrees were designed for those seeking work in public libraries and others for those interested in academia or archives, they all share one thing one common: they are the best MS in Library Science programs in the country.

To determine the best Library Science programs we started first with the academic reputation of each school nationwide that offers the degree. From there we looked into student retention rates—as those are a clear sign of student satisfaction. Finally, we factored in the school’s affordability, and the early salaries of graduates.

After our extensive research, we found those programs that are the country’s absolute best at training leaders in librarianship. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Illinois is a renowned public research system. And the Urbana–Champaign campus is its flagship school. UIUC is home to nearly 50,000 students studying in one of the 250 academic programs.

    Features

    The MS in Library and Information Science degree at UIUC is uniquely customizable. After completing the two required core courses in Information Organization and in Libraries, Information, and Society, you can then fully tailor the program. This program can be completed on campus or online. Some of the classes you can take at UIUC include:

    • Computing in the Humanities
    • Design Info Interfaces
    • Computers and Cultures
    • Digital Media Ethics

    Notables

    UIUC is a founding member of the prestigious Big Ten Conference and a Public Ivy. It is ranked 52nd among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report. And it is consistently included among “America’s Best Colleges” rankings from U.S. News, Forbes, and more.

  2. Rutgers University
    Location

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Rutgers University is located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It is a public research university with nearly 70,000 students, making it New Jersey’s largest school. Rutgers offers many degree programs, but it is most known for its education and research in English, philosophy, library science, and business.

    Features

    Rutgers offers a Master of Information program that is founded in library science but also includes a wider context for understanding information. You will learn the value of preserving information artifacts as well as engage trending and new issues in information consumption. Some of the classes you’ll take at Rutgers include:

    • Human Information Behavior
    • Interface Design
    • Foundations of Informatics and Design
    • Learning Theory, Inquiry, and Instructional Design

    Notables

    Rutgers is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Association of American Universities. Campus is home to several prominent research facilities, archives, and museums. U.S. News & World Report ranks Rutgers 69th among all national universities.

  3. Drexel University
    Location

    Waco, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Drexel University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private school that was originally founded to provide education in science, industry, and technology. Though today it offers over 170 undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of fields.

    Features

    The MS in Library and Information Science degree at Drexel is organized into fifteen classes. In addition to completing coursework in management of information organizations and digital data, you will also have the opportunity to specialize in one of three areas. Drexel’s specializations include:

    • Digital Technology Services
    • Information and Data Services
    • User and Community Services

    Notables

    Drexel is known for its co-op (cooperative education) program. Students combine their education with up to 18 months of paid, full-time work in a field directly related to their studies. This means Drexel students graduate with plenty of hands-on experience when entering the workforce.

  4. The Catholic University of America
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Washington, DC, the Catholic University of America (CUA) is a pontifical university. CUA is relatively small with only 6,500 combined undergraduate and graduate students. But CUA is organized into a dozen colleges and schools through which it offers a ton of academic opportunities.

    Features

    The library science program at CUA is one-of-a-kind and ideal for those who want a faith-based education. CUA offers an MA in Library and Information Science and Religious Studies degree. This joint program allows students to study information, data, and archives as they relate to theology and church history. If this isn’t up your alley, CUA also offers joint library sciences in:

    • Health Information
    • Law
    • History
    • Musicology
    • And more

    Notables

    CUA is the only school in the country to be founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops. It is nationally and globally ranked by ARWU, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and more. Campus, unsurprisingly, hosts a number of Catholic-affiliated research centers and facilities, such as the Center for Advancement of Catholic Education.

  5. University of Washington
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    One of the best schools in the Pacific Northwest, the University of Washington (UW) is located in Seattle. It is a public university and one of the largest on the West Coast with over 46,000 students. UW also boasts one of the largest library systems in the world.

    Features

    You can earn a Master in Library and Information Science degree either online or on-campus through the University of Washington. Both programs offer full training in library management. And UW gives students the opportunity to specialize in law library science. Graduates from UW have gone on to become:

    • Academic Librarians
    • Archive Specialists
    • Law Librarians
    • User Experience Managers

    Notables

    UW is a flagship university, a Public Ivy, and well-ranked. It is a top-tier research university and a member of the elite Association of American Universities. UW is considered as having one of the best library and information sciences programs in the nation (2nd according to U.S. News & World Report).

  6. Indiana University
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Indiana University is a prestigious university system, and its Bloomington campus is considered one of the best schools in the nation. IU Bloomington is a public research university with over 40,000 students.

    Features

    IU Bloomington offers a MS in Library Science degree that specifically focuses on evaluating, preserving, and collecting data and documents. This program emphasizes the social and cultural services aspects of library science. And it can be paired with nearly a dozen specializations. Among them:

    • Art Librarianship
    • Digital Curation
    • Music Librarianship
    • Rare Books and Manuscripts

    Notables

    A Public Ivy and flagship university, IU Bloomington is top-ranked. U.S. News & World Report ranks it 75th among all national universities. And it is globally ranked by ARWU, Times Higher Education, and more.

  7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Chapel Hill campus (UNC) in the larger University of North Carolina System is the leading university. It is one of the nation’s oldest schools, as it began enrolling students in the eighteenth century. Today nearly 30,000 students attend UNC.

    Features

    UNC’s MS in Library Science degree trains students to design and manage libraries and information centers. As a student you will learn the ins and outs of new service technologies, archival science, effective communication, and more. Graduates from UNC have found work in diverse settings, among them:

    • Public libraries
    • Government and nonprofit libraries
    • Information centers
    • Museums

    Notables

    UNC is known for its vibrant research activities, especially in the areas of health, medicine, sustainability, and information science. In fact, UNC has one of the largest library holdings of any university with over 7 million collected volumes. UNC is ranked 30th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

  8. University of Maryland, College Park
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) is located just north of Washington, DC. It is the leading school in the greater University System of Maryland. UMD is known for its many research relationships and affiliations with the U.S. government.

    Features

    At UMD students gain hands-on experience while earning a MS in Library and Information Science degree. In addition to the field requirement, students can also specialize in archives and digital curation, school library science, or they can create an individualized program plan. All students, however, complete the following core:

    • Serving Information Needs
    • Achieving Organizational Excellence
    • Creating Information Infrastructures

    Notables

    UMD is a well-decorated university. It is ranked 60th among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report. But it is also considered one of the “Smartest Public Colleges in America” by Business Insider. And The Princeton Review designates it as a “Top School for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”

  9. Florida State University
    Location

    Talahassee, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Florida State University (FSU) is located in Tallahassee. It is a leading member in the greater State University System of Florida and one of the oldest established universities in Florida. Over 40,000 students attend research-driven FSU.

    Features

    FSU offers a MS in Information degree in which one can concentrate in library science. This program is a mix of classes on information architecture, services, youth outreach, and more. There are ten ways to further specialize at FSU, making this a highly customizable degree program. Classes include:

    • Digital Media: Concepts and Production
    • Design and Production of Networked Multimedia
    • Digital Libraries
    • Introduction to Data Networks

    Notables

    FSU is a sea and space-grant university, meaning it is very involved in research. In fact, there are more than 100 research centers, facilities, labs, and institutes located on campus. FSU is ranked 81st among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

  10. University of Michigan
    Location

    Ann Arbor, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Michigan (UM) is located just west of Detroit in Ann Arbor, Michigan. UM is a renowned research institution and a leader in STEM education. Nearly 45,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students attend UM.

    Features

    The University of Michigan offers a Master of Science in Information degree that can be easily paired with specialization in library science. This is a exhaustive program that takes at least two years of full-time study to complete. UM graduates have gone on to become:

    • Academic Librarians
    • Archivists
    • Digital Curators
    • Public Librarians

    Notables

    The University of Michigan is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance. It is ranked among the top 50 best universities in the U.S., by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly.

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