San Jose State University Online Library Science Masters Review

Future practitioners of library and information science know they generally have one major academic hurdle to clear before they can start their careers — earning a master’s degree in library science. Fortunately for students in California and across the U.S., there are many online options for completing a master’s degree in this field.

One such program is a 100% online degree offered at San Jose State University, so let’s take a look at what prospective students should know about the program and its biggest advantages and drawbacks.

About the Program

Before we dive into some pros and cons about San Jose State’s MLIS degree, let’s review some basic facts and figures.


  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: San Jose, California
  • Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
  • Program format: 100% online

Tuition and fees

  • Expected total tuition: $20,382
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $474

Degrees & requirements

  • Library science degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science, Teacher Librarian MLIS, Master of Archives and Records Administration, Master of Science in Informatics
  • Number of credit hours required: 43
  • Estimated time to completion: 30 months
  • Optional specializations: Academic Librarianship, Data Science, Digital Curation, Digital Services, Emerging Technologies and Digital Services, Information Intermediation and Instruction, Information Organization, Description, Analysis and Retrieval, Leadership and Management, Management, Digitization and Preservation of Cultural Records and Heritage, Public Librarianship, Special Librarianship, Teacher Librarianship, Web Programming and Information Architecture, Youth Services

Biggest Pros

What are the biggest aspects of San Jose State’s MLIS program?


Accreditation by a prestigious body in any subject is a signal to employers of the rigors of an educational program. In the field of library science, accreditation may be more than just a signal that a person has completed a degree that covers basic aspects of education. That’s because many jobs in library science, especially those in schools and other public spaces, require applicants to have earned a master’s degree that’s accredited by the American Library Association. San Jose State’s first ALA-accredited courses began in 1928.

Multiple degree options

San Jose State’s School of Information is unique in that several master’s degrees in the field are available, including the Master of Library and Information Science that’s our primary focus. Other degrees include a Master of Science in Informatics and a Master of Archives and Records Administration.

Specialty MLIS areas

Within most MLIS programs across the country, a few specialty focus areas are available to students. San Jose State students have a huge range of specialty areas to choose from; in fact, San Jose State offers one of the biggest selections of academic focus areas, giving students a chance to pursue education that’s tailored to their career objectives and personal interests.

Biggest Cons

What factors would make the average student think twice about applying to the San Jose State MLIS?

Time to completion

With 43 credit-hours required to complete the degree, San Jose State’s MLIS will take longer than the average program, which req   uires 36 credit-hours. According to university data, 85% of students complete their degree within four years, though less than one in five finish it in two years or less.


Total tuition costs are a bit higher than $20,000 for most students, though costs are different for those who live in San Jose. While this is lower than some other schools in the area, it is relatively high for online education offered by public institutions.

San Jose State Online Library Science Program FAQs

Here’s a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about San Jose State’s online MLIS program.

Do I have to take the GRE for the San Jose Sate online library science program?

Students are not required to submit scores for the GRE, and the admissions office won’t consider them in the event that they are included in application packets. Applicants also don’t need to submit a resume, letters of recommendation or a personal statement of purpose.

Is an internship required for graduation from the San Jose Sate online library science program??

Internships are encouraged, but they are not mandatory. Students can earn a maximum of eight credits, which equates to about nine weeks of full-time work.

Is a thesis required  for entry to the San Jose Sate online library science program??

To complete their degree in San Jose State’s MLIS program, students must complete either a thesis or e-portfolio project, and both are done for credit.


Completing a master’s degree is a major accomplishment in any field, but professionals in library science know that it might be more than a resume item. Most positions in the field require a master’s degree in library and information science, and the availability of online options like the MLIS at San Jose State University give students a lot to think about.

Additional Resources


Avatar photo

Sarah J

Sarah J is Chief Editor and Founder at, formerly (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+