A graduate certificate or diploma (the terms are used interchangeably in North America) in library and information science denotes specialization in a sub-field or discipline of library and information science gained through intensive graduate-level study. As such, it supplements an already established area of expertise (in library and information science or not related to the field) and adds value to a previously earned Bachelor's or graduate degree. Delivered in various formats from residential to online, graduate certificates in library and information science comprise 4 - 6 courses (typically 12 - 18 credit hours) taken in a prescribed sequence at the graduate level.
The concurrent graduate certificate or diploma in library science allows students currently enrolled in a Master's or Doctoral degree program in the field to pursue an in-depth exploration of one aspect of their field. For example, a student working towards a Master's in Library Science with a specialization in Information Systems may take the Graduate Certificate in Records and Information Science to augment their expertise.
The stand-alone, direct-entry graduate certificate/diploma program in library and information science provides an opportunity for graduate-level study of theory and research to students who are not interested in pursuing a full graduate degree. This could include professionals with a Bachelor's degree working in the field or anyone who does not have the time or interest in a traditional graduate program in library and information science. Then too, some students who take the stand-alone certificate already have a graduate degree and use their certificate to augment a particular area of interest.
A selection, but not inclusive list, of graduate certificates/diplomas in library and information science includes
Graduate Certificate in Information Architecture
Graduate Certificate in Library and Archival Science
Graduate Certificate in Library and Information Science (General)
Graduate Certificate in Library Management
Graduate Certificate in Records and Information Science
Graduate Certificate in School Library Media
Graduate Certificate - Supervisor of Library Science
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