Syracuse University Online Library Science Masters Review

The widespread availability of online programs in the library science space makes the field an especially attractive one for master’s degree students who need to be able to complete their training in a flexible format. Syracuse University, one of the leading research universities in the U.S., offers a cutting-edge master’s degree program through its School of Information Studies.

What should prospective students know about the Syracuse program and its biggest benefits and drawbacks?

About the Program

Let’s review some of the facts and figures about the master’s degree options in library science offered at Syracuse.

Basics

  • Institution type: Private
  • Campus: Syracuse, New York
  • Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
  • Program format: Online and traditional

Tuition and fees

  • Expected total tuition: $60,588
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $1,683

Degrees & requirements

  • Library science degree offered: Master of Library and Information Science
  • Number of credit hours required: 36
  • Estimated time to completion: 24 months
  • Optional specializations: Academic Librarianship, Data Librarianship, Historical Materials, Instructional Librarianship, Management, Public Librarianship, Public Service Librarianship, School Media, Special Librarianship, Technical Service Librarianship, Youth Services Librarianship

Biggest Pros

What benefits will appeal to the bulk of students considering pursuing their library science master’s degrees at Syracuse?

Accreditation

For most students, the biggest prerequisite for a potential graduate program in library studies is the presence of accreditation from the ALA, as this is required for most positions in public institutions, such as schools and public libraries. Syracuse first earned ALA accreditation in the 1920s.

Specializations

With nearly a dozen optional focus areas, Syracuse offers a diverse array of specialty areas that speak to the past (historical materials), present (school media) and future (data librarianship) of library sciences.

Research areas

Syracuse is one of the biggest academic research centers in the country, and this research extends to data science as well. Ongoing research projects in information science include work in data science, information systems, librarianship and training, among many others, and the university has a research lab devoted to librarianship studies, the Library Information Investigative Team.

Biggest Cons

Not every program is perfect for every person, so what should students know about the drawbacks of Syracuse’s library studies program?

Cost

At a total expected tuition rate of more than $60,000, a library science master’s degree from Syracuse will come at a high price. Many scholarship opportunities are available, but with cheaper options out there, especially online, Syracuse may be a no-go for many students.

Data-heavy program focus

While many students no doubt will be drawn to the program, the School of Information Studies at Syracuse has a clear focus on data rather than information studies. The school offers more master’s degrees in data science than in library science, which could help future-proof your career but which many library science students may find too technical.

Syracuse Online Library Science Program FAQs

Here’s a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about the Syracuse University Master of Science in Library and Information Science program.

How long does it take to complete the degree online?

The Syracuse Master of Library and Information Science requires 36 credit-hours to complete, and while most students will need at least two years, some highly motivated online students may be able to get it done in as little as 18 months.

Will I have to attend any in-person events?

Yes, students are required to attend at least one immersion event. These are collaborative workshop events hosted at least twice a year in which students can meet with their classmates and industry experts, but these events do not count for credit.

Is a thesis, capstone or internship required for graduation?

Students have the option of completing an internship or an independent study in order to complete their degree, and each counts for three credit-hours, though students can complete up to six internship credit-hours.

Conclusion

Completing any sort of master’s degree is a huge accomplishment. While the financial and time investment required to get it done is major, for library science students, a master’s degree is truly the key to a long and successful career. For students who want to start out on the best possible footing, Syracuse is an expensive option, but with a huge range of specializations and a forward-thinking program focus, it may be ideal for many students.

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+