Florida Library Science Degree Programs

Kelly Davis

Written by Kelly Davis

MLIS – Clarion University | Youth Services Librarian

Updated & Fact Checked 1/30/23

Many people in the United States consider Florida to be a good vacation destination, however, more and more people are starting to consider Florida as their home state. The population in Florida is growing by 15.6% every year on average, and in 2021 there was a population of  21,781,128. In other words, people love living in Florida. It’s no wonder when you figure in the 825 miles of sandy beaches, exotic wildlife, and home to some of the nation’s and the world’s top largest theme parks.  Plus, for individual residents, there’s no state income tax. 

There are 48 public libraries just in Tampa and Miami Florida alone, and there are two nationally ranked library science degree programs in the state among 67 ALA-accredited library science degree programs in the entire United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  Additionally, Orlando is a leader in public library systems and is home to the Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation & Creativity which has a video, audio, and photo studio, a simulation lab, research and collaboration space, and much more. Additionally, Florida focuses on preserving information and archives with its history and for its Big Cypress National Preserve.

To see how well Florida does with its Library and Information Science programs, keep reading. We will go over the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs offered in the state within information science. We will also go over salary and career opportunities for librarians in Florida.  

Bachelors Programs in Library and Information Science in Florida

A bachelor in Information Science focuses heavily on technology and using technology for organizing information and creating innovative programs. It is a great degree for those wanting to later pursue a master’s in library and information science and for those who want a bachelor’s degree that will give them skills in technology, data analysis, design, and web development. 

Florida State University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

Florida State University has a choice of two majors within the information technology bachelor’s program: Information Technology (IT) and Information, Communication Technology (ICT). Additionally, you can minor in either of these and earn a certification in health information technology during an undergraduate program. Library and information science focuses a lot on technology and keeping up with how technology affects how society receives its information. Therefore, both of these majors are useful for those who wish to go on to get their MLIS and work as an information science professional or librarian. 

How to Apply

Apply online to their undergraduate program. You do not need to apply to the school of science separately. You may need to take core classes first before starting on your track for information science.  

University of South Florida Bachelor of Information Science

This undergraduate program offers a variety of skills and education on technological advances, organization skills, web development, and analyzing how societies interact with information and technologies. They also offer a 12-credit hour minor in intelligence studies. 

How to Apply

Currently this major is offered at their Tampa location. Fill out the online application form and pay the application fee. Additional documents can be uploaded to the application. 

ALA Accredited Masters Programs in Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Library Media in Florida

All Florida MLIS degrees are accredited by the American Library Association. They also focus a great deal on the vast growth in technology and society’s relationship to technology. This degree will give you the tools to learn and use new technology to help serve communities and to organize and distribute information. 

Florida State University’s Master of Science in Information Degree

Florida State University offers a Master of Library and Information Science as well as a Masters of Art in Library Information. The MA degree requires additional courses including a foreign language and liberal art courses. 

  • ALA Accredited
  • 36-hour degree program
  • Multiple areas of study including cultural informatics, health informatics, information organization, leadership and management, reference services, youth services, technology and networking, and web design. 
  • Online Program

How to Apply

First, check with the admissions department to see if you qualify for the graduate program and for updates on admission testing requirements. Then fill out the online application form and pay the application fee. You will also need to send in an updated resume, official transcripts, and a statement of purpose.

University of South Florida’s Master of Arts in Library and Information Science Degree

The University of South Florida’s MLIS program has been ALA accredited since 1974. The degree also provides additional courses to complete certification of education for the state of Florida for those wishing to be school librarians. 

  • ALA-accredited 
  • Multiple areas of study include information storage and retrieval, metadata, public librarianship, academic librarianship, school media specialist, archives and records management, visualization of information, information technology, human information behavior, information policy, and information literacy. 
  • Online program
  • 39 credit hour degree

How to Apply

To qualify you will need either a 3.5 GPA from a graduate program or a 3.25 GPA from an undergraduate program or a doctoral degree. However, if you do not meet any of those you can still get in with a 75% on the GRE, but you will also need to send in a statement of purpose, an academic writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and an updated resume. Then, apply online and pay the application fee. 

Doctoral Programs in Library and Information Science in Florida

Florida is also a great state to earn a PH.D. in library and information. An information doctorate will allow you to be a more creditable writer and researcher in the fields of librarianship and information science. A doctorate in information will also provide more oppurnies for presenting research at national and international conferences. Additionally, to be a professor of library and information science, you must have a PH.D. to teach library and information science at most colleges in the U.S. 

Florida State University PH.D. in Information

Florida State has a school of information (also called iSchool). Its MLIS degree is ALA accredited, and a doctorate in information from here is great for someone who holds a MLIS degree and wishes to do more within the field of research and analytics of society and its relationship to technology advances.

FSU’s iSchool doctoral students travel across the nation to present at ALA conferences, ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, and at the Association for Information Science and Technology conference.

How to Apply 

Currently, the GRE test scores are waived. So, to apply just follow the link online for the online application and talk to an admissions counselor to see if you qualify. 

Florida Library Science Degree Programs

The following list includes library and information science programs that are available in the state of Florida. The list includes MLIS programs, PhDs, and Bachelor in Library and Information Science programs. The list notes whether the GRE is required for admission into the graduate programs, as well as whether or not the programs are accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).
School NameCityStateProgram LevelProgram NameAccreditationProgram URLGRE Required?
Florida State UniversityTallahasseeFloridaBachelorsBachelors in Library Science ALAhttps://ischool.cci.fsu.edu/No
Florida State UniversityTallahasseeFloridaPhD/DoctoralPhD in Library ScienceALAhttps://ischool.cci.fsu.edu/programs/grad-programs/phd-in-information/Yes
Florida State UniversityTallahasseeFloridaMastersMastesr in InformationALAhttps://ischool.cci.fsu.edu/programs/grad-programs/master-of-science-in-information/Yes
University of South FloridaTampaFloridaBachelorsBachelors in Library ScienceALAhttps://www.usf.edu/arts-sciences/departments/information/graduate/ma-library-information-science/Yes
University of South FloridaTampaFloridaMastersMasters in Library and Information ScienceALAhttps://www.usf.edu/arts-sciences/departments/information/graduate/ma-library-information-science/Yes

How to Become a Librarian in Florida

You will need a master of arts in library and information science (MA) or a master of science in library and information science (MS) from a program accredited by the American Library Association. Additionally, most librarian positions want years of experience in a library setting. 

Below are library jobs  that are common in Florida and the job qualifications:

Library Technician or Assitant: The position for a full-time library technician or assistant requires a minimum of a high school diploma, and preferably experience working in the library. 

Entry-Level Librarian/ Youth Services Librarian: In Florida, experience is almost always necessary and you must hold an MLIS, MLS, or MA in library and information science from an ALA-accredited program.

Library Management and Administration: These Librarians are the managers and administrators in the library or in a system of libraries. These positions will require a MLIS or master of arts in library and information science from an ALA-accredited program and at least two years of experience within the library system. For levels of librarianship that are managing more employees, experience in supervising is required.

Library Media Specialist: To become a media specialist or school librarian, you will need a master’s in library media from a program certified by CAEP. However, some MLIS programs include certification in education with the state of Florida. 

What Else Can You Do with a Library Science Degree in Florida?

One of the top ten reasons people move to Florida is for the thriving economy and the numerous jobs available there. They are ranked the fourth best economy among the states. This is partly due to the number of tourists, but it’s also because Florida is home to some of the largest corporations with numerous types of job opportunities. 

If your focus in library science is research, data collection, and information organization, Florida is a great place for you. They have BioFlorida which is an organization that represents 6,700 research organizations and other establishments relating to life sciences. Additionally, if you have a passion for aviation and space research, Florida is a leader in global aerospace and is home to SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance.

If you enjoy archiving and promoting history and culture, there are museums and archives librarians can work for in Florida. Two of their largest museums and archives are the  Meek-Eaton Black Archives and the Richard and Pat Johnson Historical Museum. 

Additionally, there is a multitude of digital research and design careers available as well. Check out the Florida Library Association career page for updated job listings. 

Salary Opportunities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for librarians in Florida is $58,740 annually. In the cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, the median wage is $62,260; in Gainesville FL, the median salary is $59,220 annually; and in Naples, Immokalee, and Marco Island, the median salary is $81,550 annually. 

Additional Resources:

For more information on Libraries in Florida visit https://dos.myflorida.com/library-archives/ and https://www.flalib.org/fla-job-board

For more information about librarianship and Library Science visit ala.org
For more information about The School Library Media Specialist Degree and Certification visit https://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/