The length of your studies will vary according to the level of the degree. Your time spent earning an associate’s degree will be less than a bachelor’s degree, which will be more than a master’s. If you decide to pursue a doctorate, the years of study are extensive. We will concentrate on undergraduate and graduate programs.
Throughout this post, you’ll read about library science and information science as they are a popular tandem academically. There are subtle differences. Library science, coined by a Bavarian priest and librarian, Martin Schrettinger (1772-1851), deals with the organization, collection, evaluation, preservation, and dissemination of information. Specifically within and outside of libraries.
Information science is a multidisciplinary field that includes the organization, retrieval, processing, distribution, use, and communication of information. It combines library science with computer science, information technology, engineering, social science, and more.
You will likely have limited job opportunities with this degree. Entry-level positions in public, medical, or law libraries are possibilities. Library science combined with information science is the standard at this level, which you may find at a local community college or online. East Mississippi Community College offers a 100% online Associate of Arts in Library and Information Science. Students learn about plagiarism, copywriting, evaluating sources of information, and annotating bibliographies.
Another option is the University of Maine at Augusta’s Associate in Library and Information Science, consisting of 66 credit hours. Typically, community colleges offering associate’s degrees can be completed within two years. By taking 15 credit hours per semester for two semesters a year makes this achievable. If the school allows summer sessions, you could finish in 18 months.
The standard undergraduate program is 120 credits, give or take a handful, which requires four years to complete. The School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign has a 123-credit hours B.S. in this major. These hours consist of 21 hours of required courses, 30 of iSchool, and 72 hours of General Education and electives.
Similarly, the B.S. in Information Science at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland meets the typical 120 credits or four years of study. Their iSchool is a combination of in-person and online classes at the College Park campus. Another location is Shady Grove that has strictly in-person instruction.
Combine a Bachelor’s and Master’s – Save Time
The Indiana University and Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has an accelerated program that allows students to complete a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. This timeframe cuts off one year of tuition, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a graduate program quicker. Graduates will have a Bachelor of Science in Applied Data and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the School of Informatics and Computing. Students need to apply for the accelerated degree in the sixth semester of the B.S. program. Therefore, 75 credits must be attained and a GPA of 3.25 or better.
The University of Arizona (UA) also offers an accelerated undergraduate and graduate program. You can complete a Bachelor of Arts in Information Science and Master of Arts in Library and Information Science at the School of Information in five years. Both in-person classes at the Tucson campus and online learning are available. As with IUPUI, you must complete at least 75 credit hours before applying for the Master’s degree. After completing 90 undergraduate credits, applicants must have a GPA of 3.30 or higher to remain eligible.
Online classes offered year-round might shave time off the standard two-year graduate program. Clarion University in Clarion, Pennsylvania, offers an online M.S. in Information and Library Science with the convenience of taking classes in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students devoted to full-time studies could complete the thirty-six credits in 18 months.
Another online consideration is the School of Information Science at the University of Kentucky with an M.S. in Library Science. The 36-credit hours program is available in a flexible asynchronous format that allows students to set an individual schedule. Start dates are in May, August, and January. By taking classes year-round, you may finish in less than two years.
The online Master’s in Library and Information Sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has a completion time of one to three years. The length of time depends on the hours enrolled, of which there are 40 in total. USM also has one of the least costly tuition rates of $494.12 per credit hour.
USM also has an online bachelor’s degree of 120 credit hours in the same major, which the school states you could complete in two to four years. Classes cover collection development, information technology, library management, and a senior year internship or practicum.
The advent of the computer accelerated time. Things must be done in an instant, as it is on a cell phone or latest laptop. Obsession with time creates anxiety and frustration. As a child, you can’t wait to reach the next birthday, and by middle age, you want to stop time or slow it. By old age, you’ll want to reverse time. It’s the same with education – it does take time but remember the words of the renowned author (Stephen Covey) of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.