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San José State University

College of Applied Sciences and Arts

School of Library & Information Science
One Washington Square
Clark Hall, Suite 417
San José, CA 95192-0029


Dr. Patricia C. Franks
Phone: 408-924-2490
Fax: 408-924-2476

Degrees/Certificates Offered

  • Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA)
  • Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
  • Post-Master's Certificate in Library and Information Science
  • San José Gateway Ph.D. Program

Programs Offered


Program Philosophy

Master of Archives and Records Administration

Graduate students in the fully online Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) degree program at San José State University are prepared for careers in records and information management, a rapidly expanding field that plays an important role in the digital information age. MARA students learn how to use sophisticated technologies to help organizations preserve and provide access to their growing volume of digital assets.

In addition to a background in traditional archives and records management theory, MARA students focus on understanding the critical role electronic records play in preserving institutional memory and ensuring corporate accountability. They acquire the theoretical and technical skills needed to identify, organize, and make accessible records in digital form. Armed with this expertise, MARA graduates will be among the few information professionals specifically trained to manage the irreplaceable, yet highly vulnerable, digital materials now produced by corporate, government, and nonprofit institutions.

Prospective students can begin the fully online program at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science in fall or spring semester. All incoming graduate students are required to complete a brief emerging technology course, which prepares them for the School’s sophisticated online learning environment. Upon completion of the introductory course, students take 14 required courses (42 semester units) including three electives from the School's ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. A research methods course and a culminating experience in the form of an e-portfolio are also required. MARA students have two options for professional experiences during their last year. They can either participate in a 3-unit internship program one semester and complete a 3-unit professional project another or conduct a 6-unit Organizational Consulting Project over the course of two semesters. MARA course descriptions can be read at

For more information about the fully online MARA program at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science, please visit:

Master of Library and Information Science

The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program at the School of Library and Information Science is accredited by the American Library Association. The fully online program covers the history, organization, and management of information and management organizations.

Within the MLIS program, graduate students may choose to pursue the Management, Digitization and Preservation of Cultural Heritage and Records (Archival Studies and Records Management) Career Pathway. The goal of the MLIS archival studies career pathway within the MLIS program is to produce archival generalists capable of managing archival records in a variety of institutional settings. Students who concentrate in this field may work as archivists, digital archivists, digital assets librarians, digital assets managers, digital preservation specialists, electronic records managers, manuscript curators, records managers, and special collections librarians.

MLIS courses in this pathway cover topics such as archives and manuscripts, records management, preservation management, curation of new digital media, history of books and libraries, Encoded Archival Description (EAD), digital assets management, and vocabulary design. The courses recommended are for advising purposes only. MLIS students can also choose from a wide range of elective courses dealing with information organization, web and database design, and information technology and systems. If you are trying to decide between the MLIS and MARA program, please visit

The MLIS is a 43-unit degree program, typically 15 courses, including three required foundational courses, a required one-unit emerging technology course, a required course in research methods (including the option to focus on historical research), and the culminating experience in the form of an e-portfolio or thesis. This leaves students with nine elective courses that students can take to build their archival studies specialization. The School offers more than 200 course sections each semester.

For more information about the fully online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science, please visit:


Both graduate degrees are available entirely online. The School is a recognized leader in making effective use of leading-edge technologies for distance learning. U.S. News & World Report named it the No. 1 e-learning service provider in the information science discipline.

By learning to use sophisticated technology as part of their coursework, students are better prepared to successfully navigate a rapidly changing information landscape. Students interact with peers and instructors through web conferencing, social networking platforms, and immersive environments. The online tools allow for effective communication and global conversations. For example, students can send instant (live) messages to their peers and instructors through Blackboard IM. 

Students also share their love for archives and records by planning and building exhibits in the new Virtual Center for Archives and Records Administration (VCARA) in Second Life. VCARA is an innovative teaching environment used to alert future archivists and records managers to the critical role emerging technologies play in the development of their work.

For more information about VCARA, please visit 

To arrange a personal tour of VCARA, please contact Dr. Patricia Franks (Pat Franks).

Practicum/Internships/Assistantships Offered?

The School of Library and Information Science at San José State University features numerous hands-on internship opportunities for MARA and MLIS students, including an innovative virtual internship program that allows students to intern at host institutions located across North America.

Because the School invests extensive time and energy to reach out to employers and create new internship opportunities for students, the number of available internships continues to grow and typically includes more than 225 internships each semester. Internships include both paid and unpaid internships in a variety of locations – both physical and virtual.  

Recent examples of archival and records management internship opportunities include the Corporate Historical Archives for Amylin Pharmaceuticals, the Special Collections unit of the California Academy of Sciences, the NASA Ames Research Center History Office, the Archives and Records Center of the National Park Service, the Stanford Law School Archives, and Pixar Animation Studios.

An internship experience is optional for both MARA and MLIS students. Internships are structured to provide students with practical knowledge, personalized mentoring from a seasoned professional, and networking opportunities. All internship sites and intern responsibilities are reviewed and approved in advance by an internship program faculty supervisor.

In addition, students can apply for student assistantship positions. Student assistantships are available through the San José State University School of Library and Information Science, and graduate research assistantships are supported through grant funds.


Since both graduate degrees require a mandatory research methods course, all students are prepared to take advantage of opportunities for participation in externally funded research projects. For example, MLIS students have participated in an oral history program for the California Library Association, and students specializing in archives and records administration have assisted with a social media and records management research project funded by the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

MLIS students also have the option of doing more extensive scholarly or applied research by writing a master's thesis.

The San José State University School of Library and Information Science offers a Student Research Journal (SRJ). The peer-reviewed research journal is an open-access scholarly publication comprised of SLIS student submissions. Articles feature graduate scholarship in the fields of library and information science, archives and records management, and museum studies. The journal receives submissions on a rolling basis and publishes two issues annually. It is the university’s first student governed, online, peer-reviewed research journal.

Additionally, the School of Library and Information Science launched a virtual research center, The Center for Information Research and Innovation (CIRI).  The online research center fosters research in the library and information science field, aimed at generating exemplary new practices and innovative products to benefit a global audience.  

For more information about CIRI, please visit

Beyond the Master’s Degree

Professionals can continue their education by earning a Post-Master’s Certificate in Library and Information Science from the nationally-ranked San José State University School of Library and Information Science. Certificate program students participate in a collaborative learning environment with students and faculty in the School's fully online, ALA-accredited MLIS program.

The Post-Master’s Certificate program features six exciting career pathways:

  • Digital Archives and Records Management 
  • Digital Services and Emerging Technologies
  • Information Intermediation and Instruction 
  • Web Programming and Information Architecture
  • Leadership and Management 
  • Youth Services

The fully online Post-Master’s Certificate program is designed for individuals who already hold a master’s degree in any discipline and want to reap the rewards of an in-depth learning experience, updating their knowledge about emerging trends in the library and information science field and staying competitive in a challenging job market.

To earn a Post-Master's Certificate, students complete six courses (16 units), including a one-unit course that introduces the School's sophisticated online learning environment, and five courses in a selected career pathway. The certificate program can be completed in as little as one year.

Prospective students can choose to start the Post-Master’s Certificate program at San Jose State University in the fall or spring semester.

For more information, please visit

Doctoral Research – San José Gateway Ph.D. Program 
In partnership with Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the San José State University School of Library and Information Science offers an external part-time doctoral degree program in library and information science to a small cohort of academics and professionals who have an appropriate and recognized graduate degree.

The program is offered through distance learning and two annual residencies. The length of the program is generally six years (including 24 months of provisional registration). The principal supervisor is a senior faculty member from QUT, and the associate supervisor (and primary content supervisor) is a tenured faculty member from San José State University who has been accredited by QUT.

San José Gateway Ph.D. Program candidates can choose to specialize in the following research areas:

  • Archives and records administration
  • Information retrieval
  • Information systems and technologies
  • Information use
  • Education for LIS
  • Management and leadership
  • Youth services

Assessment for the doctoral award is based on a program of supervised research and investigation, culminating in a dissertation. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is awarded by QUT in recognition of a candidate's erudition in a broad field of learning and for notable accomplishment in that field through an original and substantial contribution to knowledge.

Projects conducted by the San José Gateway Ph.D. Program candidates may result in new methodologies, new knowledge, or new ways of approaching an existing problem in their fields.

For more information about the San José Gateway Ph.D. Program, please visit

Faculty Information

Full-time Faculty: 24
Part-time Faculty: 100
Tenured Faculty: 14
Student Chapter: San José State University