The Best Online Master's in Library and Information Science Degree Programs

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Degrees in library and information science lead to fulfilling careers in museums, schools, libraries, and private collections.

Many students pursue a librarian degree online because they love reading and books. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that librarians make a comfortable salary of $59,050 per year and projects the field will grow 6% between 2018 and 2028.

Most traditional librarian jobs require MLIS degrees. However, the knowledge that students learn in library science programs also translates to many other fields: Library science programs increasingly focus on digital information and emerging technologies. Companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations need skilled professionals to help manage digital information. A graduate degree can help you stand out from the competition.

Many schools offer the option to earn a librarian degree online. The following ranking identifies some of the best online master's of library and information science programs.

Top 10 Online Library and Information Science Programs 2020

#1 University of Wisconsin Madison, WI
#2 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
#3 University of Washington Seattle, WA
#4 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
#5 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
#6 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
#7 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
#8 University of Maryland College Park, MD
#9 University of Missouri Columbia, MO
#10 The University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN

The Best Online Master's in Library and Information Science Degree Programs

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4

Michigan State University 

East Lansing, MI

About this school

Founded in 1855, MSU values include immersive learning, research, innovation, and academic excellence. The school hosts nearly 40,000 undergraduate students and over 10,600 graduate students, including students from every state and 138 countries.

The 31-credit, hybrid master's in supply chain management program emphasizes the relationship between the innovation process, information technology, and supply chain management. Learners take courses on topics like total quality management and lean enterprise, technology and product innovation management, analysis of supply markets and supplies, and strategic sourcing.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school, a minimum 3.0 GPA, two years of professional supply chain experience, and GMAT or GRE scores. Applicants should also provide three letters of recommendation; at least one letter must come from a supervisor, though the admissions department prefers two.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
66%
5

University of Maryland 

College Park, MD

About this school

The state's flagship university, UMD ranks among the top public research institutions in the nation. The school hosts over 41,000 students annually from 50 states and nearly 120 countries, providing a diverse learning experience.

The Robert H. Smith School of Business offers an online master's in supply chain management that prepares students to advance their careers. The 30-credit program includes courses like global transportation management, assessing and managing supply chain risk, and data-driven decision-making.

Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, one letter of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, and an essay. Applicants also need to provide a video submission and proof of professional experience.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
86%
Percent Receiving Loans
74%
6

Arizona State University 

Tempe, AZ

About this school

One of the largest public universities nationwide, Arizona State University hosts more than 50,000 students annually. The school's core values include social responsibility, research, and discovery.

The 30-credit, online master's in supply chain management includes courses on decision models for supply chains, supplier management and negotiation, case studies in global supply chain and logistics, and strategic procurement. Online learners gain access to resources and support services such as 24/7 technical assistance, academic advising, and digital databases.

The program features seven-week classes and six start dates per year. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, a minimum 3.0 GPA, one recommendation letter, and 80% or higher in the MITx MicroMasters Supply Chain Management Program.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
96%
7

Indiana University 

Bloomington, IN

About this school

Founded in 1820, IU hosts nearly 33,000 students annually from 139 countries. Students can choose from more than 550 programs, including an online master's in supply chain management.

The 30-credit, fully online program examines topics like managing accounting information for decision-making, enterprise operations and planning, project management and process, and financial management. IU also offers a dual-degree option, allowing students to add an MBA to their course of study.

Distance learners can access multiple support tools, including technical assistance, career services, online proctoring services, and academic advising. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, official transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, and an interview.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
78%
Percent Receiving Loans
77%
8

Portland State University 

Portland, OR

About this school

Established in 1946, PSU hosts over 20,000 students from all 50 states and nearly 80 countries. Learners can choose from more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs, including a top-ranked, online master's in supply chain management.

The program is one of only three programs approved by the Institute for Supply Management and one of two programs accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. It also holds programmatic accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Students complete 45 credits of coursework on topics like global leadership and ethics in supply chain management, global contract negotiation, digital technology, and business analytics. Distance learners have access to online tutoring, technical assistance, and academic advising.

Admission requires an accredited bachelor's degree, a professional resume, two professional references, and official transcripts.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
49%
Percent Receiving Loans
84%
9

North Dakota State University 

Fargo, ND

About this school

NDSU is a public research university that emphasizes academic excellence, ethics, and accountability. The school hosts 13,100 students annually from 47 states and 74 countries.

NDSU's College of Business offers an online master's in supply chain management that uses an interdisciplinary approach, examining change management in turbulent environments, international logistic systems, crisis analysis, and efficient logistical response.

The 30-credit program includes courses like logistics systems, crisis analysis and homeland security, ERP configuration, and practical data analytics. Students access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Distance learners gain access to resources and support services like digital databases, academic advising, technical support, and career services.

Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, GRE or GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a letter of intent.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
90%
10

Kettering University 

Flint, MI

About this school

Founded in 1919, Kettering is a private university that focuses on STEM programs. The school's core values include diversity and partnerships, flexibility and innovation, and academic excellence. In addition to on-campus programs, Kettering offers five fully online programs, including a master's in supply chain management.

The 40-credit program prepares graduates for leadership roles in logistics management, manufacturing and transport, and imports and exports. Students take courses in foundations of supply chain management, customer relationship management, supply chain logistics, and financial management.

The program holds accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Students take asynchronous courses, allowing them to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Assignments include interactive discussion threads, group projects, essays, and exams. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation.



School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
63%
Percent Receiving Loans
100%
11

Georgia College & State University 

Milledgeville, GA

About this school

Georgia College ranks among the best regional universities in the South and top public regional schools. The school offers a fully online master's in supply chain management that comprises 30 credits and prepares graduates for career advancement in a growing industry.

Learners take courses on logistics, quantitative methods, distribution and inventory control, information technology, project management, and enterprise systems. Courses use an asynchronous format, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, GMAT or GRE scores, and official transcripts. Students with extensive professional experience may qualify for a GMAT/GRE waiver.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
96%
12

Florida Institute of Technology 

Melbourne, FL

About this school

Florida Tech is a private, STEM-focused university that hosts nearly 8,000 students annually, with students from over 100 countries. Nontraditional learners considering online programs can earn a master's in supply chain management at Florida Tech.

The 30-credit, fully online program includes classes in managerial accounting, advanced techniques in supply chain management, global supply chain management and international logistics, and material acquisition management. This program also includes an applied management capstone course. Distance learners access coursework through Florida Tech's online learning management system.

The program uses asynchronous courses, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, GRE or GMAT scores, and official transcripts. Florida Tech prefers candidates with professional experience.



School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
95%
13

University of Alabama 

Huntsville, AL

About this school

UAH is a public institution and a member of the University of Alabama System. The school hosts around 10,000 students annually, offering a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.

The UAH College of Business offers an online master's in supply chain management that does not require any in-person attendance. The 30-credit program typically takes one year of full-time study to complete. Courses cover topics like decision modeling, supply chain strategy and practice, introduction to contract management, and quantitative methods.

Students may complete an optional thesis, which requires six elective credits. Distance learners gain access to librarian research support, technical assistance, and online tutoring through the Student Success Center.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree, transcripts, and GMAT scores. UAH waives the GMAT requirement for applicants who have a master's degree from an accredited school, at least five years of professional work experience, or a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program accepts up to 12 transfer credits from accredited schools.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
52%
Percent Receiving Loans
94%
14

Fontbonne University 

Saint Louis, MO

About this school

Fontbonne is a private, Christian university that offers rigorous coursework through a faith-based lens. School values include diversity, social justice, service, and faith. Students benefit from small class sizes that typically do not exceed a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, creating opportunities for immersive learning and collaboration.

The Business Administration Department offers an online master's in supply chain management that prepares graduates to address modern challenges in the field and reduce costs for organizations. The program is regionally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

The 30-credit program takes about one year to complete. Courses include lean principles in the supply chain, materials management, risk management, and logistics in the supply chain. Students can tailor the degree to their goals and interests through an optional concentration in project management. Students access assignments through Schoology.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, a personal statement, and a resume. Fontbonne participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, allowing out-of-state learners from participating states to apply.



School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
63%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
15

Rutgers University 

New Brunswick, NJ

About this school

Founded in 1766, Rutgers is a public research institution that hosts over 71,000 students from 50 states and over 125 countries. The Rutgers Business School offers a top-ranked, online, 30-credit master's in supply chain management.

Students can choose from two program formats: a lockstep, one-year program and a flexible pathway that allows students to complete coursework at their own pace. Required courses include demand management, operations analysis, supply chain law and governance, and lean six sigma. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Courses typically use an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
69%
16

Maine Maritime Academy 

Castine, ME

About this school

MMA is a small, public, postsecondary institution that serves under 950 students annually. The school's programs focus on management, engineering, transportation, and science. The 36-credit, online master's in international business and logistics takes less than two years to complete.

Required courses in this program include integrated international logistics, port and terminal operations, accounting and finance, and strategic marketing. Graduates can pursue maritime port manager certification. Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Online assignments may include essays, discussion posts, group projects, and exams.

MMA provides specialized resources for online students, including a writing center, academic counseling, and technical support. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, GRE or GMAT scores, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
76%
Percent Receiving Loans
90%
17

Wright State University 

Dayton, OH

About this school

Wright State is a public university that values discovery, social justice, and academic excellence. The school hosts over 13,000 students annually and offers nearly 300 degrees, including an online master's in supply chain management that focuses on problem solving.

The 33-credit program takes about one year of full-time study to complete. Courses include global logistics and trade, performance management and supply chain transformation, total quality management and lean supply processes, and strategic sourcing. Students culminate the degree with a capstone course.

Wright State uses a cohort model, which allows students to build meaningful relationships with peers throughout the program. This blended program uses 15-week semesters, and students complete one five-week course at a time. Each course requires a one-day, on-campus residency.

Admission to the program requires at least three years of professional experience in logistics, operations management, supply chain management, or information technology. Other requirements include a bachelor's degree, three professional references, and a detailed resume.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
39%
Percent Receiving Loans
89%
18

University of Wisconsin 

Platteville, WI

About this school

UW-Platteville is a public institution and member of the University of Wisconsin System. The school prioritizes immersive learning and global citizenship. Students can access over 40 degrees spread across three colleges, including an online master's in supply chain management.

This program prepares graduates to organize and execute plans for integrated supply chain networks. Course topics include import and export, warehousing and distribution management, customer relationship management, reverse logistics, and outsourcing.

The 30-credit program allows students to tailor the degree to their interests through concentrations in analysis, management, purchasing, operations, logistics, and customer relations. Regardless of concentration, all students culminate the degree with a capstone course, seminar research paper, or thesis. Courses use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous formats.

Admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA, a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, and official transcripts. UW-Platteville does not require GRE or GMAT scores.



School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
85%
19

University of St. Francis 

Joliet, IL

About this school

USF is a Christian university that prioritizes service, leadership, and practical learning. With just over 3,700 students every year, USF offers an intimate college experience; average class sizes typically do not exceed a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

USF offers a supply chain management online MBA that requires 36 credits and takes 12-18 months to complete. Courses include managerial finance, management and organizational behavior, supply chain logistics strategy, and international logistics management.

Courses use an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Assignments may include exams, essays, and projects. Online learners gain access to 24/7 technical assistance, academic advising, digital databases, and librarian support.

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Admission requires two years of professional experience or military service and a bachelor's degree in business, economics, or a related field from an accredited school.



School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
84%
20

Charleston Southern University 

Charleston, SC

About this school

Charleston Southern offers rigorous programs that focus on faith in learning, leadership, and service. The school hosts around 3,400 students annually and offers classes that do not exceed a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing students to build meaningful relationships with professors and peers.

Charleston Southern's online master's in supply chain management uses seven-week, accelerated courses with an asynchronous format. The 36-credit program includes classes in ethical management, managerial innovation strategies, supply chain information technology, and strategic procurement. Assignments often include essays, projects, and discussion board posts.

Distance learners can access multiple support services, including online tutoring, technical assistance, and career counseling. Charleston Southern also matches students with an academic advisor who guides them throughout the program. Admission requires official transcripts, a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, professional experience, and a resume.






School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
62%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Library and Information Science Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Master's in Library and Information Science Degree?

An online master's in library and information science is the terminal professional degree required for most professional librarian jobs in North America. It usually takes full-time students 1-2 years to complete a librarian degree online.

Students who pursue library and information science master's students typically aspire to work as librarians, curators, and other information professionals. Degree-seekers include students coming straight from earning a bachelor's degree, library workers who want to qualify for higher-paying jobs with more responsibility, and professionals in other fields who want to change careers.

Master's in library and information science degrees develop communication, interpersonal, organizational, and technology skills. Students explore the theory behind information systems and learn to use reference systems, effective search techniques, and research techniques and strategies.

Choosing an Online Program

Prospective students need to consider their own unique goals and needs when deciding where to earn their librarian degree online. Factors to consider include accreditation, cost of tuition, internship requirements, and specializations that will help students pursue their specific career goals. Below, learn more about how to choose the best online library science degree programs.

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Library and Information Science Program?

Specific courses and program requirements vary by program. Core courses often include data management, information resources, and economics of information.

Library and Information Science Curriculum

Data Management

This course covers the fundamentals of research data management for professional librarians and the benefits of a robust data management program in libraries. Students explore issues like navigating research data culture, project management and assessment, marketing the value of research data management in libraries, and data analysis and visualization tools.

Information Resources

Students in this course learn to effectively use various information resources. This course emphasizes research techniques for different information resources. Students also learn about trends in information services.

Economics of Information

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental economics of information, including how economics affects the strategy, pricing, and structure of information. Students examine topics like information analytics, open source, targeted advertising, and aggregation. This course also covers digital technologies, innovation, and business methods.

Library and Information Science Professional Organizations

Joining a professional organization offers benefits like networking opportunities, access to resume and job help, and subscriptions to journals. Many professional organizations in library and information science offer membership discounts to students and recent graduates.

American Library Association

The largest and oldest library association in the world, the ALA provides leadership in the field. Member benefits include access to online courses, professional and leadership development, and networking with other library professionals.

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services

A division of the ALA, the ALCTS is a national organization for information professionals who work in technical services. Membership offers continuing education, professional development, publications, and a peer network of information exchange.

American Association of School Librarians

The AASL serves more than 7,000 school librarians. Members can access publications, networking opportunities, professional development, and a discounted conference rate. Members can also participate in committees to gain leadership skills.

Library and Information Science Careers

Master's degrees in library and information science lay a strong foundation for many diverse career paths, not just the ones listed below. Typical occupations for graduates include librarian, college professor, and curator.

Librarians

Librarians help users find information and conduct research. Typical activities include making and using databases of library materials, preparing library budgets, teaching classes about information resources, and planning programs. Positions in the field usually require a master's degree in library and information science from a program accredited by the American Library Association.

Librarians need communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills. Librarians work in schools, public libraries, government agencies, and law firms. School librarians may need a teaching license. Some states also require licensure for public librarians.

Median Annual Salary

$59,050

Projected Growth Rate

6%

College Professors

College professors teach students in community colleges, professional schools, and universities. College professors must have strong critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills. They typically need a Ph.D., but a master's degree is sufficient in some cases. Some positions require relevant professional experience in addition to a degree.

College professors teach courses in their subject area, develop instructional plans, modify curricula, and assess student progress. They must stay knowledgeable about new development in their field. Many college professors also conduct research and publish articles and books.

Median Annual Salary

$79,450

Projected Growth Rate

11%

Curators

Curators typically work in museums, art galleries, and educational or cultural settings. They manage cultural institutions, oversee collections of artifacts and art, and offer public service activities. Typical job duties include acquiring and exhibiting collections, designing and conducting workshops and tours for the public, planning special research projects, and supervising curatorial staff.

Professional curators typically need a master's degree in a field like museum studies or library and information science and relevant professional experience. Those who want to advance in the field often take continuing education courses. Important qualities for successful curators include analytical, customer service, and organizational skills.

Median Annual Salary

$49,850

Projected Growth Rate

9%

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete a master's in library and information science program?

Program length varies, but most library and information science master's degrees take full-time students 1-2 years to complete.

What can I do with a master's in library and information science?

Earning a master's in library and information science opens the door to careers in libraries, museums, educational settings, and information management.

How much do you make as a librarian?

Professional librarians make a median annual salary of $59,050, though numbers will vary depending on location, job title, and years of experience.

What is library and information science?

A multidisciplinary field, library and information science applies tools and theories from information technology, education, and management to the organization of information in libraries and other settings.

What is a master's in library and information science?

Most professional librarian jobs require a master's in library and information science degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association.

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