Published April 4, 2023
The University at Buffalo’s Department of Information Science recently launched two new combined degree programs. Through the new programs, students can simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Arts in English with either a Master of Science in information and library science or a Master of Science in school librarianship.
A collaboration between UB’s College of Arts and Sciences and Graduate School of Education, the new programs were designed to create a clear career path for undergraduate students majoring in English and interested in the information and library sciences profession. The coursework will give students the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills needed for successful careers after graduation.
The programs can be completed in five years rather than the traditional six, allowing students to save on tuition while cultivating an educational background that will make graduates competitive in the job market.
“Anyone with an undergraduate degree in English should look at these programs because it would give them a clear career path to look towards after their undergraduate degree. The programs allow students to couple their undergraduate interest in English with professional coursework, whether it be in school librarianship or information and library science,” said Dan Albertson, professor and chair of the Department of Information Science.
The BA English/MS information and library science program requires 135 credits for completion. Students enrolled in this program can pursue careers as academic librarians, public librarians, archivists, digital humanities specialists, digital communications specialists, information managers, webmasters, and within private industries and businesses.
On the other hand, the BA English/MS in school librarianship program requires 138 credits. Students enrolled in this program will receive the preparation and certification needed to secure New York State K-12 teacher librarian credentials for work in a school library setting.
Both MS programs are accredited by the American Library Association.
Students in these programs will complete undergraduate coursework on campus and graduate coursework online.
Albertson believes that offering students a pathway to careers in information science and school librarianship is vital in today’s current landscape of misinformation. “We see a lot of topics about information literacy and management that are becoming really important right now as people and organizations are bombarded with lots of information every day, and it’s difficult to assess what’s accurate and useful, but information professionals are on the front line of those services,” he said.
Students interested in learning more about these combined degree programs can find additional information on the Graduate School of Education’s website.