Top 25 Affordable Master’s in Library Science Degrees Online

| Staff

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With the rise of digital media and online publishing, one might be surprised to find out that there is still a high demand for librarians. In fact, according to the BLS, careers in library science are projected to grow by 9% from 2016-2026 and earn an average median salary of $58,520 per year, though income may vary depending on your state. Librarians are responsible for helping people conduct research and locate information in a variety of library settings, such as schools, government offices, and public facilities. This field is highly competitive and requires a lot of training. To become a librarian, you must earn a master’s in library science through an American Library Association accredited program. In addition to traditional library science coursework, many programs now include classes and concentrations for students looking to work as digital librarians for one of many digital media sources.

Top 10 Affordable Master’s in Library Science Degrees Online 2019

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Accredited Online College Programs

Methodology

To be considered for our list of most affordable online master’s in library science degree programs, the institution must be regionally accredited and offer master’s in library science online degrees, or some closely related variation of the MLS degree. We looked at approximately 85 accredited colleges and universities that offered online MLS programs and narrowed our search by selecting the most affordable schools. To further narrow our selections, we attempted to include only institutions that had received at least one ranking or recognition from a major publications like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed our top 25 schools and programs in order of raw affordability with data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics – NCES College Navigator.

  1. East Central University
    Location

    Ada, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    East Central University offers an online master's in library science designed to prepare students to become school library media specialists in P-12 classrooms within public and private school settings. The program is delivered entirely online and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Graduates must hold a teaching certificate in an approved area and pass the OSAT test to become a certified library media specialist in Oklahoma. Courses include administration and use of instructional media, curriculum and the media center, principles of instructional design, and survey of emerging technologies. ECU is ranked #96 in regional universities West in by U.S. News and World Report.

  2. Texas A & M University
    Location

    Killeen, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Texas A&M University at Commerce offers a master's in library science online designed to teach and train graduates to become educational technology professionals or becoming school librarians. The program is entirely online with no campus residential requirements or face-to-face coursework. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree with 2.75 UGPA or a master's degree with a 3.0 GPA. Students must also submit all transcripts and have a valid Texas teacher or principal certificate. Courses may include applying instructional media and technology, books and related materials for children and young adults, developing general and specialized collections, and web 2.0 technologies for instruction. Texas A&M Commerce is ranked #230 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

  3. Valley City State University
    Location

    Valley City, ND

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Valley City State University library science online program is a master's degree program designed to prepare graduates to become licensed school library media specialists. All curriculum is designed to be taught online and was created to adhere to standards set by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the American Association of School Librarians, and the American Library Association. Courses may include applied research in current school library issues, collection development for 21st century school libraries, contemporary cataloging for the school library, and integrating information literacy and research standards. VCSU is ranked #42 in regional colleges Midwest by U.S. News and World Report.

  4. Texas Woman's University
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Texas Woman's University's online master's in library science is an American Library Association (ALA) accredited program designed to train and teach graduates to obtain careers in information management within a variety of different industries and sectors. Students can choose from a wide selection of career tracks including academic libraries, public libraries, school libraries, special libraries, health science libraries, information technology, technical services and cataloging, and community informatics. Admission requirements include 3.0 GPA, resume, bachelor's degree, three letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. No test scores required if GPA is 3.0 or above. TWU is ranked #230 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

  5. University of North Texas
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of North Texas offers a master's in library science online that intersects information science, library science, and technology. The program is designed to teach and train graduate students to become librarians within a wide variety of contexts and organizations across the public and private sectors. The American Library Association accredited program can be completed on a full or part-time basis and is delivered mainly online. The program does require students to spend a total of six days on campus. Courses may include information access and knowledge inquiry, information and knowledge professions, metadata and networked information organization and retrieval, and organization and control of information resources. UNT is ranked #230 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

  6. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    East Carolina University offers one of the top online MLS programs designed to teach and train future and current school library media coordinators. The program is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) and provides graduates with the opportunity to procure librarian and information professional jobs in various settings including K-12, universities, community colleges, and public libraries. The program admits new students during the fall and spring semesters. Applicants must have a minimum 2.7 GPA, GRE/MAT scores, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. Courses may include foundations of library and information science, instructional foundations of the school library media program, and research literacy in library science. ECU is ranked #194 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

  7. North Carolina Central University
    Location

    Durham, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    NCCU offers a fully online MLS designed to provide students with a foundational knowledge in research methods and informational systems. Students can concentrate their degree in one of seven areas, such as digital library sciences, archives and records management, and social media coordination. This program consists of 36 total credit hours. All coursework is accessible at any time and all assignments may be completed asynchronously. Distance learners have the option to accelerate their program and graduate within one year. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and have graduated with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

  8. University of South Alabama
    Location

    Mobile, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of South Alabama offers a master's in library science online designed for educators seeking graduate level training in media and library technology. The goal of the program is to assist students to design and implement curriculum and technology into libraries and media centers in a P-12 educational setting. Completion of the program may qualify students to earn a Class A professional educator certificate in library media provided they hold a Class B certificate. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school, a valid Class A or B master's level teaching certificate, and 2.75 GPA. Additionally, applicants must submit a two-page personal statement, resume, and have two years full-time teaching experience. USA is ranked #230 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

  9. University of Colorado
    Location

    Boulder, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    University of Colorado at Denver offers one of the top online MLS programs that prepare librarian educators to make positive impacts in the institutions in which they lead and instruct. The UC-Denver program's curriculum combines curriculum development, technology, and leadership training to make for a well-rounded course of study that results in skillful and knowledgeable librarians. The program includes 30 credit hours as well as a 90-hour internship where students can gain hands-on experience. A teacher's license is desired, but not required to gain admittance into the program. University of Colorado Denver is ranked #205 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

  10. Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Appalachian State University offers an online library science degree consisting of 36 credits that is fully accredited by the American Association of School Librarians and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The program's courses are delivered in synchronous and asynchronous formats. The synchronous delivery includes a 3-hour class where students and instructors gather in a virtual setting once per week. The degree is designed to be completed in two years with part-time enrollment. Applicants must submit a resume, transcripts, three references, and hold a bachelor's degree. GRE scores can be waived in some instances. Courses may include collection development and management, collaborative media program planning and evaluation, integrating literature and media into instruction, and strategic administration of library resources and services. App State is ranked #8 in universities South by U.S. News and World Report.

This concludes our list of the top 30 affordable online master’s in library science degree programs.

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