Archivists work in many different capacities, from the smallest museum to the largest library. Programs are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels at colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Top 10 Colleges that offer programs in Library and Information Science Schools
Below is a list of the top schools in the country that offer programs in library and information science at all degree level:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||In-state Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of Illinois||Urbana-Champaign, IL||4-year, Public||Master's||$15,023|
|University of North Carolina||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate: $8,591; Graduate: $9,143|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Master's||$15,207|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate: $43,318; Graduate: $33,312|
|University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate: $13,856; Graduate: $20,638|
|Rutgers University||New Brunswick, NJ||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate: $14,131; Graduate: $16,272|
|University of Texas||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Master's||$10,934|
|Indiana University||Bloomington, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate: $10,388; Graduate: $8,442|
|Simmons College||Boston, MA||4-year, Private||Master's and Doctoral||$20,052|
|Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private||Master's||$31,239|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Since there are many options for prospective students, individuals should consider the following when selecting a program:
- There is a wide variety of career options for archivists; students should make sure a program's curriculum will address his or her specific interests.
- Students should consider programs that offer internships or practical work experience that will help them develop on-the-job skills and a network within the archiving world.
- Individuals should check if a program is accredited with the American Library Associations (ALA), since a vast majority of employers require a degree from an ALA accredited school.
Library and Information Services Certificate
Library and information services certificate programs are perfect for aspiring archivists who do not have a specialization interest or are undecided about an area of specialization. Certificate programs can take up to a year to complete. While some are offered by community colleges, most are part of larger library and information science schools.
Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Information and Library Science
Prospective archivists should understand that some schools differentiate between the titles of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Library Science. Undergraduate programs in library science or archival studies are not as common as schools that offer a graduate or joint bachelor's and master's degree. The few schools that do offer a B.S. in Library Science specifically prepare students to continue on to a master's program in information or library science. Minors in library science, on the other hand, are available to undergraduate students at some colleges and universities. Students who complete a B.A. or B.S. may be able to continue to advanced certification for specific library or teaching jobs.
Master of Science in Library and Information Science
Candidates who want the job of curator or museum or university archivist may want to consider a Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MSLIS). Graduate programs typically take two years to complete.
Prospective master's students may also want to consider a dual or joint degree program. Specialization in particular areas can help archivists find jobs in the fields they are most interested in. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), museums also want curators and archivists to have a master's degree in the discipline of the museum (www.bls.gov). To meet this requirement, many prospective archivists earn degrees in art, history, archaeology and even museum studies. Enrolling in dual degree programs or taking elective courses in related historical fields can help archivists become more marketable.
Advanced or Graduate Certificate
While some masters programs include advanced certification, most archivists will have to complete additional continuing education to receive advanced certificates in specialized areas. Advanced certificate programs are generally available to any graduate student in a MSLIS program, and sometimes to graduate students in the humanities or liberal arts. Graduate certificate programs last up to one year, and some include student teaching or advanced internship opportunities. Archivists with these credentials may be allowed to work with rare collections and hold advanced positions in institutions or with a state's archives.
There are many schools across the country that offer programs in library and information science at all degree levels. Schools that are accredited with the American Library Association offer students better career options upon degree completion.