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Master of Archival Studies

Today, the majority of records are created in electronic formats. Pen and paper have been replaced by computers. Traditional formats and genres have digital equivalents; letters are now email and texts, diaries are blogs, and publications are websites. The fundamental goals and activities of archives remain the same, but archivists must adapt traditional ways of working to the digital era and find new ways to accomplish those ends.

Clayton State University's Master of Archival Studies (MAS) is an exceptional program that prepares professionals for careers in government, businesses, and collecting archives. The program emphasizes digital archives and electronic records. Because the program concentrates on archives and records, it offers more in-depth study than students would receive in a library, information science, or public history program. Its innovative blend of traditional archival knowledge with information technology responds to the need for professionals who understand contemporary records and recordkeeping systems.


Graduates of the Archival Studies Program will be successful digital archivists who are committed to curating comprehensive, trustworthy collections of records that merit long-term preservation. They will be well-grounded in theoretical knowledge and practical skills of archives. They will understand the impact of technology on the profession and will have the knowledge and skills to work with information technologists and to manage digital information. They will know how to work in a rapidly changing environment, finding innovative solutions to the challenges of digital archives.


The Master of Archival Studies Program at Clayton State University provides students with a broad education in archival theory and practice. Graduates will master the core archival functions, of appraisal and description, arrangement and description, reference and access, outreach, preservation, and management of records in all formats, especially digital formats, in accordance with best practices, law, and professional ethics.


The Master of Archival Studies is founded on three principles:

  • Thinking systematically, holistically about the archival enterprise
  • Strategic planning and actively implementing tactics to achieve goals
  • Use of professional judgment in the practical application of theory and principles.

The Master’s program consists of 36 credit hours (approximately 12 courses). This includes a core curriculum, in addition to electives and a research and capstone track. All courses are three credit hours unless otherwise specified.

Core Curriculum Credits
Total Program Credit Hours 36
Core Archival Knowledge Required Courses (21 credit hours)
ARST 5000 Principles and Practices in Archives 3
ARST 5100 Archives and Technology 3
ARST 5150 Preservation of Archival Records 3
ARST 5170 Reference, Access, and Outreach 3
ARST 5200 Arrangement and Description of Archival Materials 3
ARST 5300 Digital Preservation 3
ARST 5500 Archival Appraisal and Selection 3
Archival Electives (9 credit hours) Choose three:
ARST 5110 Archives and the Web 3
ARST 5250 Digital Curation and Preservation Tools 3
ARST 5400 Records Management 3
ARST 6610 Law, Ethics and Archives 3
ARST 6620 Managing Archives 3
ARST 6800 Research Methods 3
ARST 6890 Special Topics 3
ITFN 5000 Intermediate Database Design for Archives 3
Students must choose between a Thesis or Capstone option. Research Track (6 credit hours)
ARST 6900 Directed Research 3
ARST 6999 Thesis 3
Capstone Track (6 credit hours) Choose one:
ARST 6900 Directed Research 3
ARST 6901 Archives Internship 3
ARST 6902 Applied Archival Experience 3
ARST 6950 Capstone (required) 3

View the Academic Catalog