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MS Library Science


Clarion University’s academic structure has recently been reorganized. The information on these pages is valid for students who began their degrees prior to fall 2014.

For students looking for information about degrees in the new academic structure, it can be found on the college web pages:

College of Arts, Education and Sciences
College of Business Administration and Information Science
Venango College

For students seeking information about degree programs prior to fall 2014, it is available in the 2013-15 Undergraduate Catalog or in the 2013-15 Graduate Catalog.

A new catalog reflecting the reorganized academic structure will be available this fall.  Curricular questions should be directed to your academic advisor.




The department’s mission is to prepare each student to enter, grow within, and contribute to librarianship or a related field within a global and digital information environment.


Information for life.




To educate students in accessing, evaluating, managing, communicating, creating and adapting the information environment for changing user groups.


Library Science (MSLS) Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the information profession by relating foundational principles, philosophy, and ethics to contemporary issues, by identifying key, on-going interdisciplinary developments in the field, and by analyzing current practices for future implications of the profession.

  2. Create, select, acquire, manage, and maintain the information environment by analyzing how users seek out information.

  3. Demonstrate and be able to explain the principles of organizing recorded information by exploring both past and present theories of organizing and representing recorded information and by understanding and applying the standards of organizing recorded information in libraries and information centers.

  4. Identify, explain, use and critically evaluate both current and emerging information technologies in libraries and information centers

  5. Provide information services to a diverse community by analyzing, synthesizing, and disseminating traditional and emerging information resources,

  6. by developing communication and interpersonal skills for determining the information needs of all users, by creatively utilizing techniques and tools to address information needs, and by advocating for underserved audiences.

  7. Demonstrate an understanding of research by identifying the fundamental characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research and by analyzing the value of research literature in the library and information field.

  8. Develop a commitment to continuing education by participating in local, regional, and national professional development opportunities.

  9. Demonstrate the principles and practices of administration and management by recognizing the appropriate methods to continually measure and ensure the quality and value of personnel, services, the information environment, and physical spaces, by developing and evaluating the budget and additional sources of funding (i.e. grants) in alignment with short and long range goals and objectives, and by evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of establishing networks with libraries, consortia, community organizations, government officials, and other professional bodies, i.e., schools.




M.S.L.S. Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the Master of Science in Library Science degree program must meet Office of Graduate Studies admission requirements with the following additions:


  1. an overall QPA for the baccalaureate degree of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale; or

  2. a 3.00 QPA for the last 60 credits of the baccalaureate degree with an overall quality-point average of at least 2.75; or

  3. a 2.75 to 2.99 overall QPA for the baccalaureate degree with a score of at least 412 on the Miller Analogies Test or a combined score of at least 1,000 on the quantitative and verbal sections of the Graduate Record Examination; or new test equivalent, or

  4. a graduate degree in another discipline with an overall QPA of at least 3.00

International students are required to achieve a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL.


M.S.L.S. with Pennsylvania Library Science Certification
In addition to the above, students earning their initial M.S.L.S. certification with Pennsylvania Library Science Certification program must meet the following additional requirements:

  1. completion of at least six credits of college-level mathematics; and

  2. completion of at least six credits of college-level English composition and literature.

Applicants without valid teacher certification must also pass the Praxis I pre-professional skills tests. State law limits the number of applicants with an overall quality-point average for the baccalaureate degree of less than 3.00 on a 4.00 scale who can be admitted to the School Library Media Certification program.


Students may begin their studies any semester or term. All students must enroll in LS 504 as close as possible to the start of their program as the department's course schedule permits. For most students this will be in their first term of study.



Transfer of Credits/Waiver of Courses

A maximum of six graduate semester hours may be transferred and/or waived in any of the following ways:

  • Acceptable graduate credits in library science completed at Clarion University as a non-degree student or at another institution with an ALA-accredited program may be transferred and applied toward the master's degree. The student is responsible for filing an official graduate transcript of any work presented for transfer credit with the chair of the Department of Library Science.

  • Graduate credit in related disciplines may be transferred upon prior approval by advisor and chair.



Degree Requirements

The degree of Master of Science in Library Science is conferred upon the candidate who has met the following requirements:

  • The completion of 36 hours of approved graduate study, including six required core courses (LS 500, 502, 504 and 573), one management course (LS 532 or 534), the capstone course (LS570 or LS 600) and six elective courses.

  • The maintenance of a cumulative average of 3.00 or higher. A student who receives a grade of "C" or lower in two or more courses is disqualified as a candidate in the degree program unless special permission to continue is obtained from the dean of the College of Education and Human Services and the coordinator of Graduate Studies.

  • The completion of all degree requirements within a six-year period. Course work over six years old may not be applied toward the degree.



Master of Science in Library Science with Pennsylvania Library Science K-12 Certification

A student wishing to obtain Pennsylvania Library Science Certification, K-12, must hold a valid teaching certificate (or meet the requirements for preliminary certification by taking required undergraduate courses); complete 36 semester hours of an approved curriculum in library science. Students without prior certification will take twelve semester hours of student teaching; students with emergency Pennsylvania Library Science Certification may petition the department to substitute a portfolio for the internship requirement.

Required courses for the Master of Science in Library Science degree with Pennsylvania Library Science Certification, K-12, include: LS 500, 501, 502, 504, 529, 532, 550, 577, 583, 589, and one elective course.


Master of Science in Library Science/Juris Doctor Program

The department offers a joint M.S.L.S./J.D. program in cooperation with Widener University School of Law’s Harrisburg, Pa., campus. Students must be admitted to both programs separately. Any six credits of coursework taken as part of a student’s J.D. program may be applied to that student’s M.S.L.S. program, and vice versa. These courses will be chosen in consultation with the student’s faculty advisors.


Master of Science in Library Science/Master of Arts in Applied History

The department also offers a joint MSLS/MA in Applied History program in cooperation with Shippensburg University. Students must be accepted by each instruction through a separate applications process at teach university. Students enrolled in the joint program will receive a six-hour (two-course) reduction in total hours required for the two degrees.




Continuing Education

Certificate of Advanced Studies

The Certificate of Advanced Studies program is designed to provide the post-master's student an opportunity to expand and update professional skills and competencies through a structured pattern of continuing education. Study may be either full- or part-time. On a full-time basis, the certificate may be completed in two semesters. Requirements include a written statement of personal/professional goals, completion of a program of 24 graduate credits within a four-year period, and maintenance of a 3.00 QPA.

Documentation required for admission includes a goals statement, an official transcript from the school that granted the ALA-accredited master's degree in library science, completed university application for admission form and recommendation forms, and the application fee. Further information is available from the Graduate Studies office.

Non-Degree Status

Individuals not interested in a formal degree or certificate program may enroll in courses as a non-degree student; however, no more than six credits of work completed as a non-degree student may later be transferred to a degree or certificate program. Students must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, submit a completed application form and official transcripts, and pay the application fee. Further information is available from the Graduate Studies office.


Distance Education

As part of its commitment to meeting the needs of all residents of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Department of Library Science offers its M.S.L.S. program fully online utilizing various Web-based delivery techniques. Students plan a cohesive course of study with their faculty advisor. See for current program offerings. These courses may be
taken part of the M.S.L.S., the Certificate of Advanced
Studies program, or individually for continuing education


Graduate Assistantships and Scholarships

The Department of Library Science has available a number of assistantships for both entering and continuing students. Continuing students may compete for several department scholarships. For more information concerning assistantships, refer to the general information section of this catalog. Graduate students are eligible for the following department scholarships:

  • The Ahmad F. M. Gamaluddin Scholarship in Library Science

  • The Charles R. Flack Scholarship in Library Science

  • The Elizabeth A. Rupert Graduate Scholarship in Library Science

  • The H. W. Wilson Scholarship

  • The Helen Ferry Shields Scholarship


Scholarship application deadlines are announced through the department's listservs. Applications for graduate assistantships are included in the packet of information sent to all prospective students.

Additional information on financial aid may be obtained from the booklet, Financial Assistance for Library and Information Studies, published by the American Library Association Committee on Education.




Students are assigned a faculty advisor upon admission to the program. Students must discuss course scheduling with their advisor to register for classes each semester. At any time, a student may ask for a different advisor having greater expertise and experience in the student's area of interest. In addition to assisting students in developing a program of study, faculty advisors work with students to develop career objectives, prepare resumes, and plan a job search.




Each student selects one of two options as a capstone course which is taken in the last semester or term of the M.S.L.S. program:

LS 570: Internship in Librarianship:
Provides an advanced preprofessional experience through work in a cooperating library or information center. Students are expected to apply and evaluate the theory and practice learned in the classroom; prepare an evaluative paper, and be observed and evaluated by the site supervisor. Accreditation assessments administered.

Successful completion of at least 30 credit hours, including all other required courses; permission of advisor, internship coordinator, and the department chair. For students not seeking initial teacher certification.

LS 600: Research in Librarianship:
Intended as capstone experience for students in the Master of Science in Library Science program. Provides the opportunity to pursue a research project related to the student’s area of specialization or interest and which is based on a research strategies developed in LS 550. Accreditation
assessments administered.

LS 550 and successful completion of at least 30 credit hours, including all other required courses; project approval by advisor, instructor, and the department chair. For



Resources and Facilities

The Department of Library Science is located on the second floor of Carlson Library. The department offices, classrooms, and laboratories accommodate a variety of activities for students and faculty within a compact area. The library science classroom is a smart classroom with additional ITV equipment. Students have ready access to a variety of Web-based resources through the department's computer laboratory.



Current Studies in Librarianship

Current Studies in Librarianship is a forum for research by library science students on subjects of general interest to librarians. It is published jointly by the Department of Library Science and the Office of Graduate Programs under the co-editorship of Dr. Janice Krueger
and Dr. Simon Aristeguieta-Trillos.. Current Studies in Librarianship is indexed by Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA) and Library Literature and Information Science.



Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honor Society

Beta Phi Mu was founded in August 1948 at the University of Illinois by a group of leading librarians and library educators. The motto of the society is "Aliis Inserviendo Consumor," which reflects the dedication librarians must possess toward service to others if books are to become instruments of liberal education.

Beta Phi Mu approved a chapter at Clarion in August 1978. The chapter, Beta Sigma, was installed and the first members were initiated in spring 1980. Membership in this international society is granted to a graduate of a library school program accredited by the American Library Association who has earned a 3.75 scholastic average on a 4.00 scale and has been recommended by the library school faculty. The faculty recommendation attests to the candidate's professional competence and promise. At present, the local chapter is permitted to grant membership to only 25 percent of the graduating class each year.



Opportunities for Service

The American Library Association Student Chapter was established in 1992 and formally recognized by the Student Senate in 1993. It provides both undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities for professional education and service beyond those provided by course work. Chapter activities include round table discussions, field trips, participation in community projects, and sponsorship of colloquium speakers.


The Special Libraries Association Student Chapter was established in 1996 and officially recognized by the association in the same year. Special libraries and information centers are found in businesses, government agencies, museums, hospitals, and professional associations. The student chapter offers students opportunities to learn more about special librarianship by visiting special libraries, by sponsoring speakers, and by participating in service projects in local libraries.


Students are encouraged to participate in developing and evaluating department policies and procedures through membership on department and university committees.



Career Outlook

Prospects for the future are extremely positive for well-prepared new graduates guided by creative faculty advisors. Employment opportunities vary according to the type of library, educational qualifications, and the areas of specialization of the individual preparing to enter the profession. The librarian who is flexible with respect to geographic area and willing to meet the challenge of serving special groups will have especially good opportunities for employment.



Placement Service

Clarion University of Pennsylvania and the Department of Library Science assist both students and alumni in obtaining positions in libraries and related agencies by acting as a clearinghouse for current job information and by posting vacancy announcements. The student must request official academic transcripts from the university registrar. The Department of Library Science publishes a comprehensive position listing on the department Web page.

The Office of Career Services provides assistance to all graduates by maintaining a file of vacancy notices received from public schools, government agencies, business, and industry. It also provides assistance in preparing resumes and in developing interview and communication skills.