Archival Studies

Graduate Certificate

Archival Studies


Learn about archival practices as they affect the composition and meaning of cultural artifacts and the historical records.

About the Certificate

Archival studies programs have become common in the United States in recent decades. In an era of historic change in recordkeeping practices and an increasingly competitive job market, students pursuing careers in archives and records management today need formal credentials based on a rigorous education in the theory and practice of the profession.

The Graduate Certificate in Archival Studies provides a specialization in an area of growing interest within the Library and Information Science field as well as an opportunity to learn more about archival practices as they affect the composition and meaning of cultural artifacts and the historical records. In addition, this certificate program offers advanced continuing education opportunities to practitioners working in libraries and archives, especially on the challenges posed by the emergence of digital recordkeeping.

The program is designed to give you foundational core knowledge of the archives profession. The curriculum is structured around the guidelines for graduate programs set by the Society of American Archivists, ensuring that students have a comprehensive understanding of professional archival standards that may not otherwise be acquired without an archives concentration in their graduate level education.

Learning Outcomes

The archives certificate will acquaint you with the core knowledge of the profession, focusing on the nature of records and the basic archival functions of records appraisal, acquisition, arrangement, description, preservation, reference, access, outreach and archives administration. You will also gain essential contextual knowledge of the sociocultural factors shaping archival records as they are created and managed over time in different communities of practice and localities.


The certificate requires a minimum of 12 units in total, which includes 9 units from required courses (LIS 540, LIS 640 and LIS 671) and 3 units from an elective course. If you are a current MLIS student or you already have an MLIS degree from an accredited ALA school, LIS 504 is prohibited from being used in the elective category.

Required Courses

  • 9 units

Elective Courses

  • 3 units (select 1 course)

Transfer Units

You can transfer up to 6 units from other accredited institutions with the approval of the Archival Studies committee.

We also accept the following courses from the Arizona State University Public History Program:  

  • 502: Public History Methodology
  • 598: U.S. Cultural Institutions and Public Practice

Up to 9 units can be shared between the certificate and Master's degree. Up to six units can be shared between certificates.