10 Cheapest Online Degrees In Library Science Starting At $4,448 Per Semester

Library science is defined as a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary field that involves the applying of perspectives, practices, and management tools to libraries. Also, a degree during this course of study includes applying information technology and education to libraries. 

Here is an outline of the most affordable degrees in library science available in 2022.

University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi offers graduate and undergraduate programs in arts online, which are accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association. The university has been accredited by the Southern Association of Schools Commission on Colleges. (SACSCOC). It has full-time tuition rates of $4,448 for undergraduate and graduate students (per semester, 12 to 19 credit hours). The college offers subsequent programs in library science online.

  • Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Sciences (120 credits)
  • Master of Library and Information Sciences – Licensure (55 credits)
  • Master of Library and Information Sciences (40 credits)
  • Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections (18 credits)

The school also offers the Master of Library and Information Sciences (MLIS) through dual-degree programs, resulting in academic t in instructional technology, history, government, or anthropology.

University of Kentucky

The SACSCOC accredits the University of Kentucky, and therefore the American Library Association accredits its library program. Students can earn a Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) entirely online in two years or less. The program consists of 36 credit hours and offers optional practicum experiences, including study abroad opportunities. With a per-credit fee of $685, the entire program tuition is simply under $25,000. Students curious about school librarian positions can pursue the MSLS with a faculty school librarian concentration, preparing them for certification (36 credit hours).

East Carolina University

Eastern Carolina University has an online Master of Library Science program that requires no on-campus or practicum visits. The program consists of a minimum of 39 credit hours and enables students to choose a concentration in public librarianship, academic librarianship, or school librarianship. In-state students have a tuition rate of $233 per credit hour, while out-of-state students have a tuition rate of $877 per credit hour, making ECU’s program one of the most affordable for N.C. residents. Graduates are usually ready and qualified to take the North Carolina Public Library Certification exam; students from other states should review their state certification requirements to ensure the program meets the required criteria. Eastern Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa, which the Higher Learning Commission accredits,  offers an online Master of Arts in Library Science degree program. The program consists of 33 credit hours and one on-campus Saturday session during the program. All graduate students have a tuition rate of $509 per credit hour, which equates to total program tuition of just under $17,000. The program curriculum follows the guidelines set by the American Library Association for school librarian preparation and includes both asynchronous and synchronous course components. The program includes courses in school library leadership, library technology, library resources, and curriculum development.

University of Arizona

The Higher Learning Commission accredits the University of Arizona, and American Library Association accredits library science programs. Undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $500 per credit hour, and graduate students have a tuition rate of $900 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school offers the following programs in library science online.

  • Graduate Certificate in Instruction & Teaching for Librarians & Information Professionals (12 credits)
  • Master of Arts in Library & Information Science (37 credits) with concentrations and some supplemental certificates available in:
  • Law Librarianship
  • Academic Librarianship
  • Digital Information Management
  • Archival Studies
  • Legal Information and Scholarly Communication
  • Public Librarianship
  • Medical and Community Health Information
  • Special Librarianship
  • Accelerated dual-degree: Bachelor of Arts in Information Science and eSociety/Master of Arts in Library & Information Science (151 credits)

Kent State University at Kent

Undergraduate tuition &fees (in-state) $10,312

Graduate tuition & fees (in-state) $11,536

Kent State University’s School of Information provides a Master of Library and Information Science degree (MLIS). SLIS offers the most extensive graduate program at Kent State, with over 700 students enrolled. Its MLIS is the only American Library Association-accredited master’s degree in Ohio. It is ranked among the top 20 LIS programs in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report.

Program Highlights:

• The required courses give a solid foundation in the library and information science field.

• Take classes in Master of Science programs in health informatics, knowledge management, and user experience design to advance your education.

• Admissions and classes are available all year.

• Graduates work in libraries, information agencies, museums, cultural institutions, and various businesses.

The American Library Association has granted this program accreditation.

Program Structure

MLIS Program Structure

  • 37 minimum credit hours
  • Appropriate technology and computer literacy skills are essential for each School of Information course. To be successful in the program, all incoming students must meet the School of Information computer competencies and its minimum computer hardware, software, and internet access requirements before the first day of class. For details, students should consult the school’s website

MBA/MLIS Dual Degree Program Structure

  • 61 minimum credit hours
  • About 25 courses

Appalachian State University

Undergraduate tuition& fees (in-state) $7,364

Graduate tuition &fees(in-state) $7,961

Appalachian state university offersan online experience using a collaborative learning environment. There are small classes in which students occasionally meet at the same time and conduct coursework on their own time. It is an engaged and supportive faculty

Library Science, General (MLS) is:

  • nationally recognized by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
  • The Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation has given it national recognition (CAEP)
  • approved by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction
  • provides all necessary coursework for certification through the North Carolina Public Librarian Certification Commission

Completing the Library Science Master’s degree entitles graduates to apply for Media Coordinator licensure (076) from the State of North Carolina and the Public Librarian Certification from the North Carolina Public Librarian Certification Commission.

San Jose State University

Undergraduate tuition&fees(in-state) $7,796

Graduate tuition &fees(in-state) $9,230

The MLIS program requires the completion of 43 units, including work that meets the requirements for a culminating experience (e-portfolio or thesis) in accordance with San José State University laws and School of Information policy. San José State University’s MLIS program dates back to 1928 when the first library science classes were delivered. Since 2009, the graduate degree program has been entirely online.

In 2014, the American Library Association Committee on Accreditation assessed the MLIS program and gave it re-accreditation with Continued status for seven years. The following complete assessment will take place in the spring of 2022.

Northeastern State University

Undergraduate tuition& fees(in-state) $6,650

Graduate tuition and fees(in-state) $4,903

The Library Media curriculum prepares students for the changing role of the school librarian in an increasingly global and technological world. They are prepared to lead the entire educational program, participate as active partners in the teaching/learning process, connect learners to ideas and information, and prepare students for lifelong learning. They know how to build a love of reading in their kids and how to provide opportunities for them to become great information managers. The Council accredits NSU’s educator preparation programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Emporia State University

Undergraduate tuition&fees(in-state) $6,758

Graduate tuition &fees(in-state) $8,464

The American Library Association has fully approved the online Master of Library Science program, a 36-credit hour program. SLIM offers all of its MLS courses online to satisfy the demands of its students.

Why I should take library science?

Careers in library science do not demand much time and physical energy from professionals. You will have plenty of that to spend on your life outside work. Library science salary, which averages $60,820, will allow you to live comfortably. If you are aiming for a higher compensation rate, you also have the option to explore the industries in the chart below.

*Data obtained from the  Bureau of labor statistics

Program Options and Length

The specific components required of students and time to completion vary by degree program. Students with qualifying transfer credits can shorten their overall program length; for example, a student with a qualifying associate’s degree can often cut their bachelor’s degree requirements in half. Students with prior graduate coursework may be able to transfer in and waive some of their curriculum requirements. Below are programs available in library science.

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Undergraduate degrees usually include around 120 credit hours and take four or fewer years of full-time study to complete. They are open to students who have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Coursework includes general studies courses, such as mathematics and English subject classes, and several courses specifically addressing library science topics.
  • Master’s Degree: Master’s degree programs in library science are open to those who have a bachelor’s degree, and some programs require incoming students to have an undergraduate degree in teaching and teaching certification. These programs typically include around 36 credit hours of coursework and take two years or less of full-time study to complete. Certain  master’s degree programs enable students to specialize in one or more of the following areas:
  • School librarianship
    • Law Librarianship
    • Public Librarianship
    • Academic Librarianship
  • Accelerated Programs: These programs are open to students with at least a high school diploma or an equivalent and enable students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. They typically include around 140 to 150 credit hours and take five years to complete.
  • Graduate Certificate: Certificates are catered to librarians, teachers, and other professionals who want to expand their expertise in library sciences. They are usually available in specific focus areas, such as archives, law, digital information, and instruction.

Other Program Costs

Online library science programs can involve other direct costs such as technology fees, course material fees, student services fees, and registration fees. These vary by school but could add hundreds to each course, or $3,000 to more than $10,000 for an entire program. Students should review all applicable program and institution fees when determining the total costs associated with their programs.

Common Courses

 The courses commonly found in graduate and undergraduate online library science programs are listed below.

  • Information and Library Services – covers current issues, ethics, practices, and regulations of libraries and other information service centers
  • Cataloging – explores practices for collecting and utilizing information in library settings, including digital materials, media, and books
  • Research and referencing – breaks down the tools available for reference and research, as well as how to properly evaluate resources
  • Utilizing Technology – explores the types of Technology available in library roles and how to maximize use in creating methods for enhanced learning
  • Media for Young Adults – looks at the roles of librarians in media center settings for students, including practices, programs, and teaching methods
  • Literacy Information – explores the framework and practices in information literacy, providing students with the necessary skills for roles in library environments

 In Conclusion

If you are so inclined, Library science can be a good career option for you.

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