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2023 Library Science Degree Guide

Library Science majors study the science of information: they learn how to classify, catalog, store and retrieve vast amounts of data. A major in this field of study can be very valuable in the information age. How do you know if the information that is found is reliable and accurate? What type of resource is acceptable for a research paper? Librarians are the people we turn to for answers to these questions.

In your Library Science courses you will deal with many types of media such as books, academic journals, data bases, magazines, newspapers, and websites. Your classes will teach you how to catalogue and classify materials, analyze literature, conduct and write research papers, and develop databases of information.

A Spike in Library Science Degrees

#35 Most Popular Major
6.5k Degrees Awarded
9.9% Increase in Graduates

Library Science was the 35th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 6,538 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 9.9% increase in library science degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 5,894.

Our 2023 Best Library Science Schools ranking analyzes 47 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for library science students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of library science programs later in this article.

2023 Best Colleges for Library Science
2023 Overall Best Library Science Colleges >

Best Library Science Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Library Science
Bachelor's Degrees in Library Science
Master's Degrees in Library Science
Doctorate Degrees in Library Science


Library Science Degree Requirements

If your end goal is becoming a librarian you should be prepared to work with all different types of people. Being patient and caring will help you as you assist everyone from young children to retired adults find the books or information they are looking for.

Librarian Science majors should also be comfortable working with technology. Librarians need to be constantly learning and adapting to changes in technology. Data bases will become more advanced and online resources more adept. Librarians should be able to determine which websites are academically accurate and which ones can be ignored.

Librarians are organized, creative and detail oriented. Be ready to think of new ways to find information, as well as design displays and run programs to generate interest in the library. You will develop advanced communication skills in writing, reading, and speaking.

Getting Accepted Into a Library Science Program

library science degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic library science program qualifications, to serve in some library science careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Library Science Degree Types

Library Science degree levels vary. You can get anything from a in library science to the highest library science degree, a . The type of library science degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to library science, with approximately 38.0% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to library science tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 35.9%
Master’s Degree 32.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.0%
Doctoral Degree 6.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate 4.4%

About 79.2% of workers in careers related to library science obtain at least bachelor's degrees. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in library science have received.


The education level required is different depending on the library science career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Library Science Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$43.9k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

In order to become a certified librarian you must obtain your Masters in Library Science. Librarians are found in elementary school, college and public libraries, but also work for law firms, scientific industries and government agencies. You may become a library technician without a master's degree, but the pay is not as high.

Competition for librarian jobs is high. Due to funding cuts, libraries are reducing staff size and cutting back on hours of operation. Specializing in research may give you an advantage over other applicants for jobs in college libraries or in fields like market research. Other students may choose to pursue other careers in education, law, politics or government work.

Solid Growth Projected for Library Science Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your library science degree? Library Science careers are expected to grow 8.3% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to library science.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Librarians 150,600 9.0%
Library Technicians 108,200 9.1%
Archivists 7,800 14.7%
Library Science Professors 6,500 8.3%

How Much Money Do People With a Library Science Degree Make?

Recently graduated library science students earned an average of $43,934 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $14,470 to as high as $70,455. As you might expect, salaries for library science graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Library Science Careers

Salaries for library science graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers library science grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Library Science Professors $75,450
Librarians $61,530
Archivists $56,400
Library Technicians $36,080

Getting Your Library Science Degree

With over 255 different library science degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased library science school rankings to help you with this.

Library Science Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Library & Information Science 5,950
Library & Archives Assisting 467
Other Library & Archives Assisting 121

View All Library Science Related Majors >

Majors Similar to Library Science

Related Major Annual Graduates
Education 327,871
Social Sciences 205,984
Psychology 195,678
Communication & Journalism 120,571
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 55,820

View All Library Science Related Majors >


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