About the Program

Archivists systematically identify, select, protect, organize, describe, preserve, and make available to users archival materials—that is, society’s records and documents broadly defined, regardless of form or medium. Archivists preserve and transmit our cultural and social heritage, protect the legal rights of individuals and institutions, and aid citizens in holding their governments and other organizations accountable.

The Graduate Certificate in Archival Studies (CARST) is designed to give students a solid grounding in the core knowledge of the archival profession. The curriculum meets the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies (GPAS), ensuring that students will be competitive for jobs in a range of institutions possessing archival collections. 

This is an entirely asynchronous online degree program.

Student Profile

The certificate program is designed for individuals who already possess a graduate degree or are currently pursuing a graduate degree, and wish to pursue an archival career. Students that complete the certificate program are eligible to take the Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA) Certification Exam for full or provisional certification.

CARST students must complete 15 hrs of coursework as described below. 

Core courses listed below must be completed with a grade of at least B*:

  • LIS 7408 Introduction to Archival Theory, Principles & Practice
  • LIS 7704 Archival Arrangement & Description

*Please note a grade of "B-" or lower will not meet this requirement.

Complete one of the following:

  • LIS 7504 Preservation Management of Physical Records
  • LIS 7505 Introduction to Digital Curation
  • LIS 7506 Preservation & Digitization of Audiovisual Materials

Complete two of the following electives:

  • LIS 7410 Digital Libraries
  • LIS 7504 Preservation Management of Physical Records
  • LIS 7505 Introduction to Digital Curation
  • LIS 7506 Preservation & Digitization of Audiovisual Materials
  • LIS 7604 Principles of Records Management
  • LIS 7700 History & Theory of Cultural Heritage Institutions
  • LIS 7702 Seminar in Archival Appraisal
  • LIS 7703 Advanced Seminar in Archival Studies
  • LIS 7705 Introduction to Museum Management
  • LIS 7808 Special Topics in LIS (when appropriate)
  • LIS 7900 Internship in Library & Information Science
  • LIS 7909 Directed Independent Study

Students are admitted to the CARST program twice a year. Application deadlines are:

  • May 15 for the Fall semester
  • October 15 for the Spring semester

Applicants must apply through the LSU Graduate School. All application materials must be received by the application deadlines. In addition to the LSU Graduate School required materials, the School of Information Studies requires applicants to provide:

  1. A resume.
  2. A statement of purpose of at least 1,000 words that answers the following questions:
    1. Why do you want to earn an CARST?
    2. What are your career goals and objectives?
    3. How will the degree help you achieve these goals?

Please note: SIS does not require letters of recommendation. 

The Graduate School's criteria for admission and probationary admission are shown below.


  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A grade-point average of at least 3.0 (“A”= 4.0) on all undergraduate work (or in the final 60 credit hours) and 3.0 on any graduate-level work. 

Probationary Admission:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • A grade-point average of at least 2.75 (“A”= 4.0) on the final 60 hours of undergraduate work and 3.0 on any graduate-level work.
  • Applicants with a GPA of less than 2.75 for the final 60 hours of undergraduate work must have completed a minimum of nine hours of graduate work with at least a 3.33 GPA to be considered for probationary admission.
  • Official GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing) no more than five years old of at least 300 composite and 3.5 writing. Other standardized graduate admissions exams will be considered (GMAT, MAT, LSAT, etc.)
  • In your Statement of Purpose you must also address the reasons for your lack of achievement as an undergraduate and the reasons you believe you would succeed in the program. 

For information on the application process, application fees and deadlines, and application processes for international students, see the Graduate School website.

Although the SIS Online CARST is an entirely asynchronous online program, it is classified as a on-campus program by LSU for the assessment of student tuition & fees. The SIS Online CARST is not part of LSU Online and follows the on-campus tuition & fee schedule.

Tuition and fee information can be found at Tuition and Fees.

Students who are not residents of Louisiana or the states listed above will be charged the non-resident fee. Students who do not qualify for in-state tuition rates may consider the CARST program offered through LSU Online.

CARST students are eligible for the scholarships and financial aid opportunities described at SIS Awards and Scholarships.

Tyler Viso

Academic Coordinator