University of Arizona Online Library Science Masters Review
In most fields, completing a master’s degree is a popular way to improve skill, signal dedication to the field and boost earnings potential. But in some fields, earning a graduate degree like a master’s is one of the only paths to getting a job at all. For the average professional in library science, earning a master’s is the single most important educational step they can take, and this is especially true for those planning on careers in schools or other public entities.
Many institutions, including the University of Arizona, offer online master’s degrees that can help budding library science professionals start off on the right foot. Let’s explore what students should know about Arizona’s program and why it might be their best option.
About the Program
Before we dive into some of the pros and cons of the University of Arizona’s library science master’s degree, let’s explore a handful of basic facts potential applicants should know.
- Institution type: Public
- Campus: Tucson
- Accreditation: American Library Association (ALA)
- Program format: Online, traditional
Tuition and fees
- Expected total tuition: $33,300
- Per credit-hour tuition: $900
Degrees & requirements
- Library science degrees offered: Master of Arts in Library and Information Science
- Number of credit hours required: 37
- Estimated time to completion: 24 months
- Optional specializations: Academic Librarianship, Archival Studies, Digital Information Management, Law Librarianship, Legal Information and Scholarly Communication, Medical and Community Health Information, Public Librarianship, Special Librarianship
What aspects of the University of Arizona’s online library science master’s degree are the most appealing to the average applicant?
The University of Arizona is the only school in the state that offers a library science master’s degree that’s accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). In the average field, accreditation is something employers might find notable about a job candidate, but it probably wouldn’t be the deciding factor when it comes to getting hired. But in library science, especially for jobs in schools and other public institutions, ALA-accredited degrees may be required to earn state licensure or, when that’s not a factor, get your foot in the door in the first place.
A total of eight specializations are available for students of the University of Arizona’s M.A. in Library and Information Science, which is one of the highest numbers of any ALA-accredited online institution. This means students have a wide degree of personal choice when it comes to charting their educational path.
In addition to specializations that let them customize their degree, students can choose to attend online or in-person, helping ensure they’re able to work education around their lives instead of the other way around.
What are some areas where the University of Arizona stands out (in a bad way) from the perspective of the average library science applicant?
Online students in the M.A. program should expect to spend more than $33,000 on tuition costs alone, which is one of the highest tuition rates among public institutions that offer this type of education. That said, the online rate is the same both in the state and outside of it, which helps level the playing field for non-Arizona residents.
The available curriculum reflects the nature of the program. It’s a Master of Arts rather than a Master of Science. Neither degree is necessarily better than the other, but for those who are planning for jobs that are highly technical, an M.S. program would be a better fit; Arizona has one of those, but it’s a campus-only offering.
University of Arizona Online Library Science Program FAQs
Here’s a look at some of the questions applicants ask most frequently about the University of Arizona’s online library science program.
Do I need to take the GRE?
The University of Arizona does not require applicants to the M.A. in Library and Information Science to submit scores for the GRE or other standardized entrance exams.
Is an internship required?
Near the end of their time in the program, University of Arizona library and information science students will be required to complete a capstone course, which is generally in the format of an internship, though students can opt to complete a unique capstone project, with approval of faculty.
Will I have to complete a thesis?
Students are not required to complete a thesis, but they must complete a one-credit e-portfolio course. This usually takes place in the final semester before graduation.
Completing a master’s degree in any field is something to celebrate, as it represents dedication to a field of study and the perseverance to stick with it. It also represents a huge investment of time and money, so students should take their time to consider all their options. Earning a master’s online at the University of Arizona should appeal to many prospective library science professionals thanks to its ALA accreditation and range of academic specialty options.