Why This Matters


    With careers available in museums, hospitals, law firms, and universities, today’s librarians are on the forefront of information and research, and 30% hold bachelor’s degrees. A further 45% possess other post-secondary credentials.


    Innovations in technology and a rapid increase in information and resources means that librarians will be much needed in the future, resulting in a 5% increase in library careers over the next decade.

  • EARN UP TO $97,460 PER YEAR

    The earning potential for this career is high. Specifically, the median annual salary for librarians is $60,820, with 10% earning $97,460 or above.

Our Research

This list focuses on undergraduate programs in library science, all of which award a Bachelor of Science degree. We focused exclusively on programs that are offered in an online-only format.

Most of the programs listed below are offered by regionally accredited schools, including those accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the New England Association of Colleges, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the WASC Senior College and University Commission. All credits and degrees awarded by these schools are transferable to other institutions. One of these programs includes a teaching credential and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

  • 63 hours to write this article
  • 24 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 27 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Bachelor’s in Library Science Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Library Science Programs Badge
Intelligent Pick
University of Nebraska Omaha
Most Affordable
University of Maine at Augusta
Best Master's Preparation
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Best in the South
University of Southern Mississippi
Best in the Southwest
The University of Arizona Global Campus
Best for Library Informatics
Northern Kentucky University

What You Should Know About This Degree

Related degrees include those in education, social sciences, psychology, communication, and journalism. While these programs include many of the same concepts, a degree in library science focuses specifically on the ability to reserve, circulate, and discharge library resources. You’ll gain extensive knowledge of database user interface and query software, customer service, electronics, and clerical tasks.

Only 12 states require public certification by law. Education is the primary difference, with some states requiring an American Library Association (ALA)-approved MLS degree.

With both public and private institutions increasingly turning to libraries for help managing information resources, the employment outlook for librarians is high. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it’s growing faster than the average for all occupations. From public libraries to research universities, museums, hospitals, and law firms, the career opportunities are truly vast.

What’s Next?

Here are questions to look into when researching online bachelor’s in library science programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Library science bachelor’s programs are open to most students with a high school diploma or GED. These multidisciplinary online programs offer core courses, electives, and major-specific programs held via video chat.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? A bachelor’s in library science requires at least 120 credits for graduation, which takes an average of four years to complete. Because you can work at your own pace, part-time students can expect an additional one or two years to complete the degree.

Keep close track of application deadlines and materials. This information is available via each school’s website.

You should also research funding sources like scholarships, grants, assistantships, and employer tuition benefits, and make sure to submit all applications by the deadline.