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The Best Library Science Degrees in Archives & Preservation

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U.S. News & World Report rates programs in archives and preservation at Texas, Michigan, and Pittsburgh as the best in the country.

Love books? Enjoy custom writing? Fascinated by history? Enjoy spending the day getting lost in a museum? Then a degree in archives and preservation might be a way for you to combine your interests into a fascinating career path. According to nominations from program deans, program directors, and one senior faculty member solicited by U.S. News & World Report, archives and preservation programs at the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pittsburgh are the best in the nation.

University of Texas

According to U.S. News, the School of Information at the main Austin campus of the University of Texas offers the nation’s best program in archives and preservation. Students can earn a Master of Science in Information Studies and choose archives and preservation as their main area of study.

In addition to the master’s degree, students in the School of Information have the opportunity to earn a Certificate of Advanced Study after they have completed master’s degree requirements. Students who are interested in careers in archives and preservation may want to consider working towards an Advanced Certificate in Archives and Records Enterprise, Digital Archives, Digital Libraries, Information Architecture and Design or Preservation Studies.

University of Michigan

The School of Information at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor holds (along with the University of Pittsburgh) the second spot on the U.S. News & World Report list of top archives and preservation programs. Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Information program can choose to specialize in archives and records management (ARM).

Students who pursue the ARM specialization need to take 15 credits to complete the specialization (in addition to completing the general requirements of the 48-hour Master of Science in Information program). Among the many local internship opportunities available to ARM students are those available through University of Michigan museums and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.

University of Pittsburgh

Tied with Michigan for the second-best program in archives and preservation (according to U.S. News) is the Archives, Preservation, and Records Management program at the University of Pittsburgh. Students enrolled in Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences can pursue studies in Archives, Preservation, and Records Management at the Ph.D. or master’s level, or they may work towards a Certificate of Advanced Study.

Students interested in a more flexible schedule can also pursue a specialty in Archives, Preservation, and Records Management through the FastTrack MLIS (Master’s in Library and Information Science) program. The degree is delivered online through synchronous and asynchronous methods, and students are also required to spend a brief time on campus during each term that they are enrolled.

While the American Library Association (ALA) accredits programs in library and information sciences, they do not publish rankings of library programs and programs in library specialties. The ALA advises students that criteria used by publications (such as U.S. News & World Report) to rank programs may not match the criteria that are most important to students in choosing a graduate program. Students interested in pursuing graduate work in archives and preservation should research programs on their own by reading program websites and other program-published information and should schedule an on-campus visit with program representatives, if possible, in order to determine if the program in question would be a good fit personally and professionally.

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