Washington State Library Science Degree Programs

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Updated on May 9, 2024
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Washington State, also known as the Evergreen State, prides itself on its beautiful landscape and recreation. The state is the northwest corner of the U.S. and is home to 16 National Parks and Sites. The state offers many boating, camping, fishing, hiking, and hunting opportunities. Additionally, they are a hub for the arts and the history and archives of Northwest Heritage. They value art and culture in the state and dedicate a great deal of work and funds in the form of grants to art creation and preservation. There are nine large art museums in the state including Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and the North West African American Museum. 

If you are looking for higher education in Washington State, the University of Washington is a prestigious state school with seven faculty members being Nobel Prize winners. For those looking into Library and Information Science, or other information and research courses, you can look into the Office of Research Central, at the University of Washington, which aids the faculty and students with grants and other funds for research and has services, resources, and courses to help faculty and students with each step of their research project. Additionally, they are partners with Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), CoMotion, Corporate and Foundations Relations (CFR), and Management Accounting and Analysis (MAA).

The University of Washington is the only university with programs in Library and Information Science in the state of Washington, and its Master’s of Library and Information Science program is ranked #2 in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report. To learn more about the University of Washington, its library and information science programs, and the career options in the state, read on.

Bachelor Programs in Information Science in the State of Washington

There are many careers you can start with a background in information science or informatics. With this background, you will be able to help businesses and organizations analyze new technologies and their user experience. It also provides you with the knowledge to organize information digitally, and learn how to find information and make information accessible to different communities. 

Major or Minor in Informatics at the University of Washington

The Informatics program at the University of Washington focuses on student collaboration and hands-on experience with new technology and its user experience. The program focuses on technology and information that affects major changes in health care, politics, climate, environmental care, education, and other major community changes. Students learn how to see these changes in local communities to the global community. 

How to apply

To get into the University you will need to apply online and follow the current guidelines on their website

After starting the undergraduate program, you will need to take the necessary courses and have at least a 2.0 GPA, then you can apply for the Informatics program and the iSchool. For admission, you will need to provide a personal statement letter reflecting your interest. You will be considered for admission based on your grades, your interest, and your experience with a related field. 

ALA-Accredited Masters in Library Science and MLIS Programs in Washington State

Washington State has one M.L.I.S. degree program, and it is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). This program will give students the credentials to work as professional librarians, archivists, catalogers, information specialists, etc. in the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, the program will give you the skills you need to collaborate with colleagues, conduct individual research, learn to analyze new technologies, and gain user experience with finding information and technologies available to communities. Many states in the U.S. do not have universities that provide library science programs, let alone ones that are accredited by the ALA, so residents of Washington are lucky to have a state-offered program in their backyard.

Master of Library and Information Science at the University of Washington

The University of Washington offers an ALA-accredited program that can be attended online or on campus, or a combination of the two if you live in the Seattle area. The program is flexible with a multitude of courses to choose from and class times. The program focuses on collaboration, information organization, social behavior in relation to information, and analyzing technology and user experience. Students will also have a multitude of courses to choose from in librarianship. They also offer a focus on a law librarian degree and provide an additional program for school library media endorsement for those wishing to be a school librarian in the state of Washington. 

  • Online and in-person
  • ALA-accredited 
  • Focus on law librarianship
  • School library media endorsement 
  • 63 quarter credits
  • Capstone 

How to apply

To qualify for a graduate program at the University of Washington, you will need at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in the last 60 semester credit hours. Plus, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Then follow the online application process and pay the application fee. 

Ph.D. in Library Science Programs in Washington State

For those wishing to pursue a career in upper administration in academic librarianship, teach at a university level in library and information science, or conduct scholarly research in information and librarianship, a Ph.D. in Library and Information is the perfect route for you. The University of Washinton is a great university to earn this degree from because they pride themselves on collaboration and diversity, making research richer in its results. 

Doctorate in Information Science at the University of Washington

This research-focused Ph.D. program offers a multitude of research options in the realm of information technology and users’ experience and relationship with the information and technology available to them. Students will also conduct various types of research using multiple methodologies. The program will also train Doctoral students to become teachers and leaders in information science. 

How to apply

For admission to a Ph.D. program, you must apply after September 1st and before December 5th annually.  You also must have a bachelor’s degree with an average 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Then follow the application process online and pay the application fee. You will also need to provide transcripts, a personal statement, a diversity statement, a research statement, three recommendations, and faculty and research interests.

How to Become a Librarian in Washington State

To become a professional and certified librarian, you will need an M.L.I.S. degree from an ALA-accredited program. If you want to be a school librarian, you must also qualify to teach in the public school systems in the state of Washington

However, some lower supervisory and non-supervisory library positions only require a high school diploma or equivalent, or a bachelor’s degree.  

Seattle, Washington Library Science Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

Seattle, Washington, is where three library and information science degree programs are, and all of the programs are offered at the University of Washington. The M.L.I.S. degree has an online and an in-person option.

The city offers a multitude of career and internship options. Some large companies in the area include Microsoft, Alaska Air Group, Amazon.com, Costco, Puget, Nintendo of America, Safeco, Potlatch, Puget Energy, and Expeditors Intl. of Washington. 

Specifically, for librarian positions, the Seattle Public Library System has 27 locations and you can learn more about their system on their website https://www.spl.org/. They also have academic and school librarian positions. They have about 27 colleges and universities in the Seattle area. This number includes two-year colleges, private universities, and state universities. The largest university is the University of Washington. However, there is also Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, and the University of Puget Sound. 

What else can you do with a Library Science Degree in Washington State?

There are a multitude of career options if you hold a library and information science degree. You can work for information-centered companies, and as a user experience analyst, cataloguer, archivist, software engineer, web developer, data scientist, and information architect. 

There are major tech companies to work for in Washington, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, eBay,  F5 Networks, and Zillow.

If you are interested in history and archiving, you can check out the Washington State Archives and the National Archives in Seattle. In 1994, Washington State received a grant for an ongoing project of preserving and managing Washington’s historical documents. The state archives also offer imaging services and other information services. 

Washington State Library Science Career and Salary Opportunities

The annual mean wage for librarians according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is $85,690. They are currently the second highest-paying state for librarians. The salaries are highest in areas like Seattle. Cities like Seattle also have more career opportunities. There are 27 libraries in the Seattle area, and there are 3,000 librarian positions in Washington State. 

These positions include career options in public libraries, academic libraries, and school libraries. 

Additional Links

To learn more about libraries in Washington State visit https://www.wla.org/

To learn more about the state of Washington and living there visit https://www.usa.gov/state-government/washington
If you want to know more about librarianship and information science visit https://www.ala.org/aboutala/

Library Science Degree Programs in Other States

Alaska

Oregon

Idaho

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