East Carolina University Online Library Science Masters Review

In most fields, job candidates with master’s degrees are usually given special consideration in the hiring process. But for professionals in the library science industry, a master’s degree is usually required to be considered at all. Fortunately for students in North Carolina and across the country, East Carolina University offers a master’s degree in library science that can be earned entirely online.

Let’s take a look at what students should know about this program so they can determine if it’s right for them.

About the Program

Before we discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of the East Carolina library science program, let’s check out some basic facts and figures surrounding the university and its library science offerings.


  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Greenville, North Carolina
  • Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
  • Program format: 100% online

Tuition and fees

  • Expected total tuition: $9,087 in-state; $34,203
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $233 in-state; $877 out-of-state

Degrees & requirements

  • Library science degrees offered: Master of Library Science
  • Number of credit hours required: 39
  • Estimated time to completion: 24 months
  • Optional specializations: Academic Library, Public Library, School Library Media

Biggest Pros

What are likely to be the most attractive aspects to the East Carolina library science master’s degree for the average student?


Prospective library science professionals generally limit their master’s degree research to programs that are accredited by the American Library Association. That’s because ALA-accredited master’s degrees are generally required to earn the certifications necessary to work in public facilities like schools and even some libraries. ECU’s library science master’s degree has been ALA-accredited since 2015.


Getting your Master of Library Science at ECU means taking courses online, but students can still attend full-time if they are able, while those who want to shape their education around their lives rather than the opposite can take their classes on a part-time basis.

Study abroad opportunities

One particularly unique factor about East Carolina’s MLS program is that (the pandemic notwithstanding) students can broaden their horizons by studying abroad for a summer session. Past opportunities have given students the chance to study libraries in places like France, Italy and Portugal.

Biggest Cons

Which aspects of East Carolina’s program may make students think twice about applying?

Completion time

Most library science master’s programs require 36 credits; ECU’s requires 39. Yes, it’s a small difference, but that additional credit requirement could add a term for the average student. Especially for online students, there are other options in library science that can allow them to get their careers going more quickly.

Out-of-state cost

While residents of the local area can expect to spend less than $10,000 on tuition, students who live out of state will spend more than $30,000 to complete their degrees. Some other library science degrees offered online, even by public institutions, charge out-of-state learners the same tuition rate as residents.

East Carolina Online Library Science Program FAQs

Here’s a look at some of the questions prospective applicants most often ask about East Carolina University’s library science master’s degree.

Do I need to submit a GRE score?

Neither the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) nor Miller Analogies Test (MAT) are requirements for admission in the East Carolina MLS program.

Is a thesis required?

Students in the ECU library science program complete an e-portfolio as their capstone project. The e-portfolio includes an artifact from each of the required courses a student completes, along with writing and reflection by the student on the course and the artifact. This portfolio is then reviewed by faculty before graduation.

Can I earn school licensure?

Interested students can earn licensure for school librarianship in the state of North Carolina by completing ECU’s school librarianship concentration successfully and passing the state Praxis test.


In most fields, getting a master’s degree is a sign of dedication to the advancement and study of a subject. But in library and information science, a master’s degree is usually the price of admission to a successful career. While it’s a bit pricey for out-of-staters, East Carolina University’s online MLS is an excellent option, particularly for students on the school librarianship track.

Additional Resources


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Sarah J

Sarah J is Chief Editor and Founder at MastersinLibraryScience.net, formerly LibraryScienceList.com (LSL). Join us today and become a community curator. We can also be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Learn more about me on Google+