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    Top 20 Library Science Degree Programs (Compare Schools) in 2021

    August 10, 2021 | Staff Writers

    Library Science Degree
    Degree Finder
    BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

    Searching for schools that offer a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in Library Science can be a challenge. We have created a list to inform you of the top schools that offer such a degree in order to help you focus on a career.

    What is a Library Science Degree?

    A degree in Library Science is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on the practices and tools of management, education, and information technology as they relate to libraries as well as the organization of data. Contrary to popular belief, Library Science is not a dying field. Instead, it teaches people how to manage books as well as other materials containing data to ensure that everything is organized and preserved appropriately.

    Top Careers with a Library Science Degree

    There are a number of careers that you can obtain with a degree in Library Science. This includes librarians, intelligence analysts, information architects, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, librarians earn a median salary of $59,500 a year, and the job outlook is 5% faster than the average career.

    Rank School Location
    1North Carolina Central UniversityDurham, North Carolina
    2Florida State UniversityTallahassee, Florida
    3Emporia State UniversityEmporia, Kansas
    4Queens CollegeNew York City, New York
    5Texas Woman’s UniversityDenton, Texas

    Top 20 Schools to Offer a Degree in Library Science

    We have identified the top 20 schools to offer a Library Science degree, based on tuition and student-faculty ratios. Schools with more affordable tuitions and smaller class sizes have received higher ranks. Depending upon the school, it may be possible to obtain a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Library Science.

    1

    North Carolina Central University

    • Durham, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 42%

    The NCCU School of Library and Information Sciences offers two graduate degrees: an ALA-accredited Master of Library Science, and a Master of Information Science.  With a multidisciplinary approach, they offer a variety of specializations to cater to students’ educational needs and goals, and prepare students to ethically, inclusively, and humanistically address critical challenges in our society with leadership, creativity, and technical skills of information science, library science, and computing.  They are considered one of the most diverse library science programs in the United States.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $6534
    Student-Faculty ratio: 16:1
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    2

    Florida State University

    • Tallahassee, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 80%

    The School of Information at Florida State University offers several different programs, including an undergraduate and Master’s degree in Information Technology, an ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Information, and Specialist and Ph.D. degrees in Information. Students can earn certificates in areas including health informatics, data analytics, user services, management and leadership, and information architecture. The “iSchool” provides courses online and on campus, and is a founding partner of The FSU Innovation Hub located in the Louis Shores Building. The Hub provides hands-on, experiential learning with emerging technologies and design thinking.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $5656
    Student-Faculty ratio: 20:1
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    3

    Emporia State University

    • Emporia, Kansas
    • Graduation Rate: 43%

    The School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University is one of the oldest schools located in the western half of the United States. The campus, which is located in Emporia, Kansas, is a Yellow Ribbon Participating School for Veterans. A variety of programs are available to students, including a Master of Library Science as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Library Science. Various concentrations are also available, allowing students to diversify in such areas as technology, data management, and information management. Courses are available in person and online as well as hybrid, allowing students to choose what works best for them.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $6797
    Student-Faculty ratio: 17:1
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    4

    Queens College

    • New York City, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 61%

    Queens College, located in Flushing, New York, features a Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. The college is within the City University of New York and is the only American Library Association-accredited program for library information studies within CUNY. Students are prepped for a variety of careers that focus on research, publication, and many other types of scholarly activity. State and national standards for the discipline are met and students are prepared to enter the workforce in a multiethnic and multilingual population.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $7538
    Student-Faculty ratio: 16:1
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    5

    Texas Woman’s University

    • Denton, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 64%

    At Texas Woman’s University, located in Denton, Texas, students will have the ability to attend the School of Library & Information Studies. The library studies program has been going on for more than 80 years. The program is known for being affordable with small class sizes. All of the programs are also offered online, providing flexibility for students’ schedules. The degree programs offered include a masters in library science, a Master of Library Science with School Librarian Certification Focus, a Master of Arts in Library Science, and a Dual MLS/MS in Health Studies.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $7926
    Student-Faculty ratio: 14:1
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    6

    Valdosta State University

    • Valdosta, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 36%

    There is a Library and Information Science program at Valdosta State University. Located in Valdosta, Georgia, the school’s program is accredited by the American Library Association. The master’s program consists of 39 semester hours and it does not require a thesis. There is an online format that provides flexible scheduling. Students will be able to focus on a career as a librarian in public, academic, and special libraries throughout the state. The campus offers a large academic support center. Additionally, it’s possible to take courses from some of the other colleges and departments in order to diversify one’s career.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $6583
    Student-Faculty ratio: 20:1
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    7

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    • Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 91%

    At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, there is the School of Information & Library Science. Often referred to as iSchool, there are undergraduate programs as well as the ability to seek out a master’s degree or PhD. It is one of the top ranked schools in the nation. Students will learn about information processes, stewardship to improve the quality of life in communities locally and globally, and more. Programs that students can choose from include a Bachelor of Science in Information Science, a Master of Science in Library Science, and a PhD in Information and Library Science.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $8980
    Student-Faculty ratio: 14:1
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    8

    University of Southern Mississippi

    • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    • Graduation Rate: 57%

    The School of Library and Information Science at the University of Southern Mississippi offers an array of programs for students to choose from. Many students who have graduated from LIS have gone on to work as archivists, professional librarians, and information specialists. Courses are available in person and online – and there are also study abroad programs with British Studies in London. It is possible to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Science, explore master’s degrees, and conduct graduate work in an array of settings ranging from public libraries to museums.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $8896
    Student-Faculty ratio: 17:1
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    9

    University of Iowa

    • City, Iowa
    • Graduation Rate: 72%

    A graduate-level program is found at the University of Iowa from the School of Library and Information Science. Students will be prepped for a career in a library or an information center environment. The MA in Library and Information Science has been accredited by the American Library Association. There is no BA required in order to begin work within LIS. It is also possible for licensed teachers to explore the Teacher Librarian Program, which includes the ability to earn an MA in library and information science while also obtaining the school library media endorsement.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $9830
    Student-Faculty ratio: 15:1
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    10

    University of Hawaii at Manoa

    • Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Graduation Rate: 58%

    The University of Hawaii at Manoa Library and Information Science Program is a Master’s (MLISc) degree, with specialized pathways in LIS careers in Academic, Archives, Asian Studies, General, Public, and School Library Media librarianship. Dual degrees can be achieved, focusing on such things as American Studies, Computer Sciences, History, Law, Learning Design and Technology, or Pacific Island Studies. The school offers students an array of resources, including internships, directed reading, and the ability to study abroad. Distance education is also a possibility for Hawaii Neighbor Island students only. Hybrid and asynchronous online courses are offered every semester for certain classes.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $12,186
    Student-Faculty ratio: 10:1
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    11

    San Jose State University

    • San Jose, California
    • Graduation Rate: 62%

    At San Jose State University, it’s possible to enroll into the Master of Library and Information Science program. The program contains 43 units and will prepare students to work in a variety of information environments. The curriculum is customizable so that students can choose the path they want to take. There are internship opportunities, too – more than 200 each semester. Further, SJSU provides 100% online learning for the MLIS program. Students can find that most of the courses are offered asynchronously to meet their scheduling needs. The program is also accredited by the American Library Association.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $7852
    Student-Faculty ratio: 27:1
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    12

    Simmons College

    • Boston, Massachusetts
    • Graduation Rate: 76%

    Located in Boston, MA, Simmons College offers a School of Library and Information Science. The faculty has been top-rated and is known around the nation. Courses are available face-to-face, online, or in a blended format. The most common program is the Master’s of Library and Information Science. Some students also choose to take the Archives Management concentration or one that is in Cultural Heritage. Various collaborative groups are found on campus and online, too, allowing students to work with one another on research projects. A career center is also available to students who wish to get help identifying the right career path or explore opportunities upon graduation.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $42,070
    Student-Faculty ratio: 8:1
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    13

    Indiana University of Bloomington

    • Bloomington, Indiana
    • Graduation Rate: 76%

    The Department of Information & Library Science at the Indiana University of Bloomington provides a broad learning experience. Students will learn about the various tools needed to curate, organize, and disseminate information. Throughout the courses, students will learn about how to create systems and preserve information as it pertains to traditions and history. There are several master’s programs, a PhD program, as well as dual majors that students can choose to explore. Students can choose to get an Undergraduate Minor in Intelligence Studies. IU also offers 4+1 degrees where a student can obtain a bachelor’s degree and add a Master of Information Science or Library Science to that degree.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $10,947
    Student-Faculty ratio: 16:1
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    14

    University of Southern California

    • Los Angeles, California
    • Graduation Rate: 92%

    Within the USC School of Business at the University of Southern California lies the programs available for library science. Students can choose to focus on a Master of Management in Library and Information Science or pursue a Graduate Certificate in Library and Information Management. USC is a top-ranked school that focuses on providing management and leadership strategies within the LIS program. It is the only program in the nation to be offered by a nationally ranked school of business. Students within the program will also have the support of specialists across the campus. The program itself is offered online, making it possible to work around any schedule.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $58,195
    Student-Faculty ratio: 8:1
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    15

    University of Alabama

    • uscaloosa, Alabama
    • Graduation Rate: 68%

    At the University of Alabama, students can pursue a Master of Library and Information Studies. It is the only ALA-accredited program found within the state. Students will be able to choose a specialization, such as academic libraries, digital stewardship, or information literacy. The program is offered on the Tuscaloosa campus, where students will have access to the impressive library as well as the full campus life experience. For students who wish to take the program online, there is a full synchronous course program. Within the LIS program, there is also a book arts program – it’s found in the studios on the UA campus and teach student about the craft of printing, publishing, and bookbinding.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $10,780
    Student-Faculty ratio: 20:1
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    16

    University of Arizona

    • Tucson, Arizona
    • Graduation Rate: 70%

    The University of Arizona’s Master of Arts in Library and Information Science is the only American Library Association accredited program in Arizona. Our program focuses on information organization, digital information, health sciences, law, and culture.

    Our curriculum reflects the diversity of library and information environments. It touches the areas where students will eventually work and the populations they will serve. It covers various disciplines, ethics, and values of library and information science augmented by an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge and information. Depending on your career interests, you can concentrate your coursework in several different areas such as Archival Studies, Academic and Public Librarianship, and Digital Curation. Many of our concentrations are also available as graduate certificates.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $12,600
    Student-Faculty ratio: 15:1
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    17

    Long Island University

    • Brookville, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 39%

    The Palmer School of Library & Information Science is found at Long Island University in New York. Found within the College of Education, Information & Technology, the school provides an array of academic programs. There are three MS programs, including Library & Information Science, Library & Information Science focusing on School Library Media, and a Dual Masters with NYU. A PhD in Information Studies is available as well as certificates in Archives & Record Management and Public Library Administration. Classroom learning and online programs are available at the university. A variety of student resources and services are available as well as a LUI Usability Lab to help with research and self-guided learning opportunities.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $32,370
    Student-Faculty ratio: 12:1
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    18

    University of Denver

    • Denver, Colorado
    • Graduation Rate: 79%

    At the University of Denver, the Morgridge College of Education offers programs for library science. There are both on campus and online programs. The American Library Association has accredited the program. Students can choose to complete a Master of Library and Information Science program, which takes place inside of the Department of Research Methods and Information Science. It prepares students for a number of careers ranging from data manager to librarian to digital collections specialist. Financial aid is offered to all students and they have impressive job placement rates. Further, the school is located in Denver, CO, offering recreation at every turn.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $52,515
    Student-Faculty ratio: 11:1
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    19

    Louisiana State University

    • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    • Graduation Rate: 68%

    At Louisiana State University, students can attend the School of Library & Information Science, found within the College of Human Sciences & Education. The campus is located in Baton Rouge, though students can also choose to take courses online. Minors and majors are offered, focusing on library science and digital studies. There are also three certificates and nine specializations available to graduate students. Dual programs are also available, offering a masters and certificate. The university prides itself on offering a wide array of internships to prepare students for careers in a number of environments.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $11,962
    Student-Faculty ratio: 20:1
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    20

    University of California at Los Angeles

    • Los Angeles, California
    • Graduation Rate: 91%

    The University of California Los Angeles offers a graduate program in Library & Information Science. The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) is available to students. There are also concurrent degree programs for students to explore who want to focus on other areas. This includes obtaining a Management MBA or a Latin American Studies MBA alongside of the MLIS degree. UCLA’s iSchool has been going on for over 50 years. During that time, they’ve focused on creating an internationally renowned faculty that conducts research at the forefront of their fields. Students who attend UCLA for Library Science will have access to research libraries and a host of events and resources across the campus.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $13,240
    Student-Faculty ratio: 18:1
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    Our Ranking Methodology

    The methodology in order to determine how schools were ranked involved identifying all schools that offered a Library science degree. From there, each school was given a score based on tuition and another score that was based on class rank. Lower tuition rates were ranked higher while smaller class sizes were ranked higher. When schools received the same overall score, the school with the lower tuition received the higher rank.

    All of the tuition rates are based on undergraduate, in-state (when applicable) rates for a full school year, which includes two semesters. Additionally, the tuition is based on courses and fees without any kind of housing costs included.

    Are There Errors?

    If you work at or attend one of the schools and notice in error, please contact us so that we can fix the ranking appropriately.

    When you are searching for a school to obtain an online Library Science degree, let us help you throughout the process.

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    BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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