Best 15 Online Master’s in Library Science in 2021

April 23, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Are you considering working in a library and have a relevant undergraduate degree? If that is your plan, you need to study Master’s in Library Science to acquire the best knowledge and skills to keep, collect, and organize books and other information materials in the library. The course will also train you on how to make readers advisory resources to motivate students to read and learn. You’ll also learn how to create an internal online search system that allows users to quickly find books on different shelves. The best thing is that with the recent advancement in technology, you can study the course anywhere across the globe regardless of your geographical location.

Importance of studying Master’s in Library Science

Some people may not see the need to study Master’s in Library Science on the grounds that you need to be a professional to know how to keep or arrange books in the library. The vital thing they forget is that with continuous advancements in technology in every department of an organization, there is more to learn than to make assumptions. A recent study shows that 86% of librarians who studied Master’s in Library Science are contented and would recommend it to others. Some 89% confirmed the degree was worth the time and money they spent on it. Actually, studying the course at a master’s level comes with a lot of advantages.

  • Most institutions of higher learning all over the world have shifted to digital libraries, and having expanded knowledge and skills puts you in a better place to secure job opportunities in the institutions.
  • There are also institutions that strictly hire professionals with Master’s degrees in Library science to work in their libraries. So having that degree can allow you to successfully apply and secure a job in those institutions.
  • Some institutions pay their employees according to their level of education. So with a master’s in Library Science, you are likely to earn more than those with degrees. This ensures stability and progress at your place of work.
  • Studying the course at a higher level also increases your capacity to offer intelligent and analytical solutions to problems that may arise in your line of duty.

If you need help finding a college or university that offers your degree of choice, we can help. Click here to use our search engine to find your favorite program. Meanwhile, let’s look at the top universities and colleges offering an inline Master’s in Library Science.

Best 15 Online Master’s in Library Science

1. University of Washington — Seattle, Washington (98 points)

The University of Washington is known for training students who become global leaders and trendsetters of the library and information field. The University’s iSchool approach of training has been confirmed to be one the best and can help you to develop practical skills to become a strategic thinker and innovative to handle current information challenges.

  • Tuition &fee — approximately $17,394 per year for in-state and $30,294 for Out-of-state
  • Graduation rate — 84%

2. The University of South Florida — Tampa, Florida (95 points)

The University of Florida offers extensive training aimed at providing competencies that are vital for a library and information expert to perform effectively. Students are required to finish 39 semesters hours of assignments and attain an average of “B” or not more than two grades of “C” to be accepted. The University offers both on-campus and 100% online programs.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately -$19,428 per year for In-state and $21,126 Out-of-state
  • Graduation rate — 75%

3. The University of Illinois at Urbana — Champaign, Illinois (91 points)

The University of Illinois equips learners with knowledge and skills to enable them to incorporate library services by working with users to give them the information they want. The institution was recently ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the best. The Master’s in Information and Library Science needs 40 credit hours for coursework that can be done both on-campus or online in 18 to 24 months. Online students do not pay both health and recreational charges.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $17,912 per semester for residents and $30,083 per semester for foreigners
  • Graduation rate — 85% 

4. University of Southern California — Los Angeles, California (89points)

The University of Southern California not only trains learners to become library leaders but also to lead in government agencies, museums, and businesses. It also equips learners with competencies to become tech-driven information experts to spearhead digital library infrastructure for productivity. To be admitted, students must finish online with a legitimate either B.A. or B.S. degree certificate or even GPA of 3.0 or above, three letters of reference, and a statement of purpose. The program takes 20 months and is 100% online.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $48,715 per year
  • Graduation rate — 96%

5. University of Wisconsin — Madison, Wisconsin (87 points)

The University of Wisconsin is a famous accredited institution by the American Library Association since 1924. It offers both on-campus and 100% online programs. The 39-credit program has only three compulsory courses to allow flexibility of students in concentrating on the other five specializations. Learners must have a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. accredited institution, an Average GPA of 3.0, or a Master’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to be accepted.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $12,197 per year for In-state per year and $25,523 for Out-of-state
  • Graduation rate — 88%

6. The University of Maryland — College Park, Maryland (82 points)

The University of Maryland trains students to manage information institutions such as archives, libraries, and museums. Learners from this institution are equipped with information technology, and data analytics skills help them work in private or public institutions, including intelligence and legal informatics. They also train students to become experts in ethics, information policies, human right, and digital asset management. The institution offers a 100% online program—learners from 37 countries across the globe train at the school.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $14,843 per year for in-state and $30,885 for Out-of-state
  • Graduation rate — 87%

7. The University of Houston — Clear Lake, Houston (79 points)

The University of Houston provides affordable solutions to learners. The school offers a 33-credit program that a student can complete within 18 months by studying three courses per semester. The course is structured to equip the learners with skills to participate in collaborative, significant, and interactive instructions.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $9,568 per year for in-state and $19,216 for Out-of-state
  • Graduation rate — 80%

8. Rutgers University-New Brunswick, New Jersey (76 points)

Rutgers University does not offer Library Science a single course. But you can study Masters of Communication and specialize in Library & Information Science. The course equips learners with sufficient knowledge and skills to develop and implement cooperative and advanced information systems, policies, services, and administrative structures that solve specific challenges to help achieve exact goals. They offer GRE waivers to learners who perform well. The institution is accredited by the American Library Association and was recently ranked 7th nationally by the U.S. News and World Report.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $19,724 per year for in-state and $32,132 for Out-of-state
  • Graduation Rate — 84%

9. San Jose State University — San Jose, California (71 points)

San Jose State University’s aim is to prepare learners for exciting professional jobs in various information departments. Learners have to complete 43 units in accordance with San Jose University regulations. The institution offers a 100% online program with over 200 internships available every semester. They have enough experts to ensure that you achieve your goal. You can also benefit from academic advice, career guidance, and technology support offered at the institution. The online Master’s program is Accredited by the American Library Association.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $9,286 per year for in-state and $ 18,790 for Out-of-state
  • Graduation rate — 64%

10. University at Buffalo — Buffalo, New York (67 points)

University at Buffalo offers a 100% online program aimed at facilitating learners to secure a wide range of job opportunities globally. The program has 36-credit hours and will take two years to complete. It has both part-time and full-time options. If you already have a master’s or Ph.D. or GPA of 3.5 and above for Library Science, GRE is not needed. The application fee is $50.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $14,238 per year for In-state and 26,028 for Out-of-state
  • Graduation rate — 86%

11. Syracuse University — Syracuse, New York (65 points)

Syracuse University is an accredited institution by the American Library Association since 1928. The University trains students to become library professionals with adequate skills and knowledge to guide children from grade pre-K all the way to 12 in all aspects of mastery and efficiency. Learners will go through 36- credit hours’ program that will take 18 months to complete. Students are also trained in the best Digital Information Systems, Research, and Analytics as well as Information Management Services.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $41,714 per year
  • Graduation rate — 83%

12. University of South Carolina — Columbia, South Carolina (58 points)

The University of South Carolina offers both 100% online and on-campus library science programs, which include 36 coursework hours inclusive of 18 hours required for core classes. You need an average grade of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and two letters of recommendation to successfully finish the application process. You also need to pay a $50 graduation fee. The school is ranked among the best top 20 by the U.S. News and the World Report.

  • Tuition and fee — approximately $14,137 per year for in-state and $30,160 for Out-of-state
  • Graduation rate — 89%

13. The University of Alabama — Tuscaloosa, Alabama (55 points)

The University of Alabama trains learners to become competitive in library and information service careers. Students are equipped adequately with knowledge and skills in using, consolidating, and handling information in a socially responsible manner. They are also taught the role of information in educational, personal, and organizational settings. The school provides a fully online curriculum that requires a minimum of 36 credit hours that can be successfully completed in as few as two years if students take two online classes each semester. Applicants must have a 3.0 overall Grade Point Average(GPA) or have completed at least 60 hours in a bachelor’s degree program.

  • Tuition and fee — approximately $11,470 per year for in-state and $30,940 for Out-of-state
  • Graduation rate — 87%

14. Drexel University — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (51 points)

Drexel University is one of the accredited institutions by the American Library Association. The school trains students to become experts in information systems, digital libraries, and information research and analytics. Learners need a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or above, submit two recommendation letters, a resume, and a well-written essay to be accepted. Students will be equipped with top-notch professional skills in digital data management and information ethics, among others. Most of the programs at this institution will take one to two years to finish.

  • Tuition & fee — approximately $37,074 per year
  • Graduation rate — 89%

15. Simmons University — Boston, Massachusetts (49 points)

Simmons University has professional lecturers that offer lively classes to enhance learners’ concentration for better performance. The school offers special and market-oriented information science and technology, cultural heritage, archives management, and school library teacher programs. The course contains 36 credit hours. Students are also trained to apply a variety of tools to analyze and solve that may arise in their line of duty, ensure professional arrangements, convenience, and administration of library resources. Applicants must hold a relevant bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, GRE performance for students with GPA below 3.0.

  • Tuition & fee — $21,698 per year
  • Graduation rate — 83%

Ranking Methodology

The ranking was based on the examination of top software data from the U.S. National Center for Education and other accredited university websites. The universities were graded according to their graduation rates and tuition fees. Both factors were accorded 50 points, and each school was awarded points according to the variance between tuition fees and graduation rate. The points received for both ranking determinants were added together to get each school’s total score. The school with the most points ranked first in the list, and the points were accorded down the list consequently.

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