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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 Pen and paper have been replaced by computers.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, historical societies, and collecting archives and many other organizations.  As well as including courses for the more traditional archives, the program also focuses on 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  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 traditional and 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, including 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.

About the Program

The curriculum is founded on the guidelines for archival education published by the Society of American Archivists and the Academy of Certified Archivists.

Contact Us

Program Director

Penny Cliff

Penny Cliff
Director of Archival Studies Program