Online Masters in Online Master’s in Library Science No GRE Required Degree Programs

a librarian in a brightly-lit library surrounded by small plants, a male librarian dressed in a button up shirt

An online master’s degree in library science is an important step toward a career working with people, books, periodicals, and other physical and digital media. Although many think of a librarian as someone who just helps patrons find books, there is much more to the job. A graduate-level degree in library science trains you to understand complex technology and use your skills to help others conduct their research. You can create a career working in a variety of settings, including primary or secondary schools, universities, museums, or public library systems.

With a degree in library science, you might find work in a public library or one specific to a particular area like health, government, history, the arts, or technology. Some librarians teach the public about the materials or collections they work with. Other librarians get to work with interesting historical materials. Possible avenues of specialization include library management, law librarianship, information architecture, children’s collections, and data science. Each type of library has different needs and demands, so it’s not uncommon for library science students to choose specialties as they pursue their master’s degree.

Now, you can enroll in a master’s in library science program without taking the GRE. Here are some of the schools that offer this opportunity: 

  • Long Island University Master of Science – Library and Information Science
  • New York University – Dual degree (MA/MS) in Costume Studies and Library Science
  • University of Arizona – Master of Arts in Library and Information Science 
  • University of Iowa – Master of Arts in Library and Information Science
  • University of Kentucky – Master of Library Science    
  • University of Washington – Master of Library and Information Science (GRE scores are optional)
  • University of Wisconsin Master of Arts – Library and Information Science    
  • Wayne State University – Master of Library and Information Science


What Is a Master’s in Library Science Online (No GRE Required)?

Many library science programs don’t require applicants to take the GRE for admission, so you can be admitted to the school or program you want to attend based on factors other than a test score—including your essays, recommendations, work experience, resume, and more. 

In a master’s program with no GRE required, you don’t need to spend time studying for a standardized test. You can do your entire program from home or consider a hybrid program that takes place both on campus and virtually. 

An undergraduate degree specifically in library science isn’t required to enter a graduate program in library science, but many colleges and universities look for candidates with undergraduate degrees that complement a career in librarianship. For example, a B.S. in chemistry would be suitable for a candidate who is interested in working in the library of a biomedical research laboratory. Likewise, a B.A. in English or education would be a suitable undergraduate degree for those interested in working in public libraries. A bachelor’s in technology might also be valuable for the more technical aspects of library science. 

Be aware that some universities use terms like “information studies” or “library information studies” instead of “library science” to describe the degree. You should also note that an additional certification, such as a teaching certificate from your state, might also be required for librarian positions in secondary schools. 

What Is Library Science?

Library science is a field of study that teaches how to classify, organize, and manage books, documents, data, and other assets. Those wanting to take a master’s degree in this discipline learn archiving, data management, and other skills. People with library science experience can help people find information more quickly. 

The purpose of library science is to preserve knowledge and make it available to as many people as possible. This field embraces the latest technologies to improve information retrieval and sharing. 

How to Get a Master’s in Library Science Online No GRE

To enroll in an online master’s degree in library science, you must submit an application to the program director at your chosen school and provide the following information:

  • A resume listing your skills and previous employment experience. You might increase your chances of securing a place in a library science master’s program if you’ve worked in a library, museum, or similar environment. 
  • A personal statement outlining the reasons why you want to study this program and how it could further your career.
  • Evidence of previous academic achievements, such as your GPA and college transcripts. The great thing about no-GRE library science degrees is you don’t have to take an additional test during the application process.

Library Science Degree Requirements

Requirements for online library science degrees depend on the program. However, most schools expect you to complete several core courses, such as records management, information retrieval, data governance, and data archiving. You will also likely take elective courses based on your interests. 

You might have to take an internship while studying for an online degree in library science. Plus, you probably have to complete a final project that contributes toward your degree classification.  

Master’s in Library Science Online Prerequisites

Prerequisites for library science online degrees also depend on the school. As previously mentioned, program administrators might favor applicants with a bachelor’s degree related to librarianship, such as English. Schools will also consider the GPA you achieved during your bachelor’s if you completed one. Elite programs might expect you to have a GPA of 3.5 or higher 

Why Do Librarians Need Master’s Degrees?

Librarians collect, archive, and retrieve a wide range of physical and digital assets daily and need the skills to complete these tasks effectively. When a librarian has learned concepts such as data retrieval and records management in a master’s in library science online, they can be more successful in their jobs and help people find the information they need. 

How Much Does a Master’s in Library Science Online Degree Cost?

An online master’s in library science no GRE requires your acceptance into an accredited university program. Ideally, your program will be accredited by the American Library Association (ALA), a non-profit group that monitors and supports the academic discipline of information studies. 

The cost of the degree varies from school to school based on the number of credits required, the school’s reputation, the area of the world the school is in, and more. Depending on your school choice. you might expect to pay between $7000 – $12000 per year for a full-time course load, which is usually about three or four classes each term. When planning for your online master’s in library science, budget for the number of credits required to graduate. 

Online programs are very popular and can be as expensive as in-person learning because of the resources they require a university to provide. You’ll see that online programs offer special features like video lectures, electronic textbooks, and live chats with instructors or teaching assistants. These features can raise the cost of your tuition.

Do You Need a Master’s to Work in a Library?

It depends on the position you are applying for. While library assistants don’t require a master’s degree, positions like librarians and library media specialists do in some states. 

In Texas, for example, public librarians either need a master’s degree in library or information science from an ALA-accredited institution, a fifth-year degree in librarianship from an ALA-accredited institution, or a higher credential from an ALA-accredited program at a library school. 

Typical Work Environments for Master’s in Library Science Online Graduates

Here are some places you can work with an online library science master’s degree:

  • Libraries (public libraries, private libraries, school libraries, college libraries, etc.)
  • Museums
  • Government agencies
  • Private businesses
  • Non-profit organizations

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), colleges, universities, and professional schools pay librarians and library media specialists the highest salaries, followed by elementary and secondary schools. 

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s Degree in Library Science Online (No GRE)?

It normally takes 12-24 months full-time to achieve a master’s in library science online no GRE, though most ALA-accredited programs are two years long. Enrolling in a part-time degree will increase the duration of your studies, but this route might be beneficial if you have family, work, or travel commitments. Some schools let you transfer credit from previous programs could reduce the time it takes to get your master’s. 

Many online programs are self-paced, meaning you can decide how long it takes you to complete your degree. However, most schools require students to finish their studies in around seven years.

A large public or university library filled with books and many tables for studying

Average Salary for an Online Master’s in Library Science

With a master’s in library science, you might work in a wide variety of settings and can apply for roles such as library media specialist, archivist, or teacher of library science (or “library teachers” within schools). Many of these jobs are meaningful and come with a huge amount of responsibility. However, what you get paid will depend on what kind of organization you’re working for, as well as how involved your job is and how many responsibilities you have — or whether you’re managing other employees or not.

According to the BLS, librarians and library media specialists earn $61,660 per year as their median salary. That’s $29.65 per hour. According to Payscale, a private source of salary information, the salary for librarians ranges from $32,000 to $72,000 annually. The salary will also depend on your employer and whether you are working for a private or public institution. Alternatively, your salary might differ if you take on a managerial or teacher role at your job. 

The ALA reports that librarian salaries are different from state to state. In 2021, the region with the highest mean annual earnings for full-time librarians was the District of Columbia. This is likely because of its proximity to the Library of Congress and many other high-level research and legal libraries. Other areas with higher-than-average librarian salaries in 2021 were California, Maryland, Washington, and New York. On the lower end of the salary scale were West Virginia, South Dakota, Mississippi, Utah, and Idaho.

No matter where you live, it’s important to adjust your salary expectations according to the amount of experience you have. When starting in your career, expect to start at the base rate (or even slightly lower) and work your way up into the higher range as you gain professional expertise. If you plan to work part-time, you might have a low hourly rate and not receive the benefits package of a full-time employee. 

What Is the Job Outlook for Online Master’s in Library Science Holders?

Library science graduates can anticipate average job growth up until 2032. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there will be 3% more jobs in the field in 2032 than in 2022. If you graduate with your degree in library sciences in the next several years, there’s a good chance that there will be a job waiting for you. 

This demand is related to the public’s continuing and increasing need for skilled professionals who understand all forms of media and can expertly organize electronic resources. While librarians have traditionally mastered analog systems like the Dewey-Decimal system, librarians today also acquire a deep wealth of technological information so they know how to work various online databases and libraries, as well as all of the machines and computers available for use in the library. These types of technological skills are valuable to society in many contexts, boosting the job forecast. Because there are so many types of jobs that you can hold in library science, as well as a variety of institutions you can work for once you’ve earned your master’s degree, it’s important to focus on the kind of organization you want to work for (in terms of the material you’ll work with), the library visitors you’ll help, the colleagues you’ll have, and the salary you expect to earn.

The popularity of remote learning and homeschooling is another reason why librarians are increasingly needed. Since homeschooled children lack an institutional base, the public library often becomes a primary resource for educational materials and support. 

If you get your degree in library science, you may hold one of the following jobs:

  • Librarian
  • Media collections specialist
  • Elementary school teacher
  • Middle school teacher
  • High school teacher
  • Post-secondary teacher
  • Archivist
  • Curator
  • Museum studies or museum worker
  • Youth services
  • Cataloging or metadata
  • Digital preservation
  • And many, many more.

A male college student dressed casually standing around a librarian's desk and computers. The library has scenic photos of landscapes and a window with the sun shining through.

Courses in Online Master’s in Library Science No GRE Degree Programs 

Students who earn a master’s in library science online no GRE take classes in library and information studies, education, curation and museum studies, community services and organizing, information technology, and more. When applying to online master’s programs in library science, you’ll be assessed on your professional goals, experience, writing samples, recommendations, and past transcripts. Once admitted into a program in library science, you can expect to take many of the following courses while in school:

  • Information organization
  • Library studies
  • Information studies
  • Information technology
  • Introduction to sources and services
  • Management of libraries
  • Literacy programs
  • College and university libraries
  • Archives and manuscripts
  • Genealogical sources and services
  • Marketing and advocacy for information organizations
  • Public libraries
  • Knowledge management
  • Metadata for information professionals
  • Library services for children and young adults
  • Literature for young adults
  • Collection development
  • Database modeling and design
  • Social justice in information professions
  • Human growth and development
  • Case conceptualization
  • Thesis courses 
  • And many, many more.

FAQs on Online Master’s in Library Science

Summary Information

  • A master’s degree in library science takes most people between one to two years. 
  • Many universities and collections offer online programs that don’t require the GRE. 
  • Some schools offer part-time plans of study for those who must take longer to earn their degree. 
  • Hybrid programs that combine remote and in-person learning are available. 
  • Accelerated programs are available, but might require night and weekend study and a substantive time commitment. 
  • There are a wide variety of settings to work in or positions to hold with a library science degree. 
  • The field of library science is growing, so there are an increasing number of jobs in all sectors. 
  • Jobs are either people-oriented or focused on organization and materials, so suit both introverts and extroverts.
  • Many librarians find work that focuses on topics they are passionate about, so job satisfaction can be very high. 
  • Librarians can expect their salaries to increase once they gain experience. 

  • The cost of a master’s in library science online can vary based on how many credits you need if it is ALA certified, and what kinds of specialties it includes. 
  • Online students have additional costs besides tuition such as a reliable internet connection and computer equipment such as web cameras. 
  • Library science students may incur program-related costs for activities like field trips, transcriptions, and special projects. 

Scholarships for library science programs are listed at the ALA.

University NameProgram’s NameGRE Required?
Long Island UniversityMaster of Science – Library and Information ScienceNot Required
New York UniversityDual Degree (MA/MS) – Costume Studies and Library ScienceNot Required
University of ArizonaMaster of Arts – Library and Information ScienceNot Required
University of IowaMaster of Arts – Library and Information ScienceNot Required
University of KentuckyMaster of Library ScienceNot Required
University of WashingtonMaster of Library and Information ScienceGRE Scores are Optional
University of WisconsinMaster of Arts – Library and Information ScienceNot Required
Wayne State UniversityMaster of Library and Information ScienceNot Required
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