The University at Buffalo (SUNY) Online Library Science Masters Review

Library and information science is a unique field in many ways. In addition to focusing on well-established and modern methods of organizing and accessing information, the field is also unusual in that a majority of the top programs for graduate study in library science offer degrees that can be earned entirely or mostly online. The University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York system, is one such university.

Learn more about what prospective students should know about the UB Master of Science in Information and Library Science.

About the Program

What basic facts and figures should students know about the University at Buffalo and its library science program?

Basics

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Buffalo, New York
  • Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
  • Program format: 100% online

Tuition and fees

  • Expected total tuition: $16,956 in-state; $20,340 out-of-state
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $471 in-state; $565 out-of-state (full-time course load)

Degrees & requirements

  • Library science degrees offered: Master of Science in Information and Library Science, Master of Science in School Librarianship, MS/JD Legal Information Management and Analysis, MS/MA Music Librarianship, PhD in Information Science
  • Number of credit hours required: 36
  • Estimated time to completion: 24 months
  • Optional specializations: Information Management, Information Organization, Information Services, Information Storage and Retrieval, Public or Academic Librarianship

Biggest Pros

What aspects of UB’s library science master’s program will appeal most to the average library science student?

Specializations

With at least five established academic focus areas, the program’s curriculum speaks to a relatively diverse range of interests, though the degree being housed in the education department certainly skews the focus of most coursework (more on that later).

Cost

Even for out-of-state online students, the total cost of tuition is reasonable (well under $25,000), and in-state students will be able to enjoy an even bigger bargain. Given that a master’s degree in the field is likely the price of admission to most jobs, UB is among the most affordable options.

Accreditation

Especially for those who are intent on careers in publicly funded spaces like schools, museums and libraries, completing a master’s degree that’s been accredited by the American Library Association is a prerequisite. Even outside of jobs that don’t require state licensure, most private employers in library science also prefer candidates with degrees from ALA-accredited institutions.

Biggest Cons

What factors might work against the University at Buffalo for the average library sciences student?

Educational focus

There’s no doubt that at the heart of much of the study of library science is helping others access information. In that way, almost all study in the field comes from an educational standpoint. But the field is also rapidly evolving, and many other programs in library science are housed in their own schools or departments that can speak to the future of the field. UB’s program is within the Graduate School of Education, which skews the curriculum heavily toward education.

One main degree option

Library science students who aren’t interested in joint degrees or school librarianship have one degree option, a Master of Science in Information and Library Science. While there are several specialty focus areas, some students may find the selection rather limiting.

The University at Buffalo (SUNY) Online Library Science Program FAQs

Check out a few of the most commonly asked questions about the University at Buffalo Master of Science in Information and Library Science program.

Do I need a GRE score?

Most students don’t need to submit a score for the Graduate Records Examinations. However, for those who will be applying after the fall 2022 semester, this requirement may be in place, pending decisions from school administrators.

Is full-time attendance mandatory?

No, the online master’s in library science can be completed in as little as four full-time semesters, but students also can choose to go through the program on a part-time basis. This is especially important for UB students who need to remain working or who have other personal commitments.

Is an internship required?

Students are not required to complete an internship, practicum, field study or capstone, but they are encouraged to do so. Internships are particularly encouraged, as they can help students gain real-world experience that can be invaluable in their educational journey as well as helping them make important connections in the field.

Conclusion

A master’s degree in any field is only ever the result of hard work and dedication, and the same is true for master’s degrees in library and information science. Fortunately for students in New York and across the country, the Master of Science in Information and Library Sciences at the University at Buffalo provides a robust education that is completed entirely online.

Additional Resources

SEARCH MASTERS IN LIBRARY SCIENCE DEGREES

Avatar photo

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+