Master of Archival Studies

Clayton State University
Degree Level Masters
Total Credit Hours 36

Program Description

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

Courses cover all aspects of the profession, including theoretical foundations, appraisal and acquisition, arrangement and description, reference services and access, preservation, outreach and advocacy, management, and professional, ethical, and legal responsibilities. Technical courses explore the impact of technology so that students understand the context of digital information systems and have the skills to work with electronic records.

The program is entirely online, allowing students to attend from anywhere in the world. Students attend weekly live, interactive online lectures and participate in ongoing, online discussions with the instructor and other students. The program welcomes practicing archivists who want to take courses to keep their knowledge and skills current. While not required, the program has opportunities for students who are able to go on free behind-the-scenes tours of archives each semester and interact with professional archivists. Some of the archives are the Georgia Archives and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For more information, please contact Archives and Information Studies program director Penny Cliff at

Admissions Information

  1. Completed Application
    • Transcripts – For admission purposes, graduate enrollment services requires Official transcripts from the College and/or institution you received your undergraduate degree award. Must be in a sealed envelope from the institution or sent electronically from the institution directly to, which is the preferred method. If you graduated from Clayton State University, you do not need to request a copy of your degree award transcript.
  2. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation required. Letters should comment on the applicant's potential for success in a graduate academic program. At least one letter should be from a previous professor or someone who can comment on the applicant's academic performance and/or ability.
  3. A Statement of Purpose that is no more than two (2) typewritten pages, single-spaced. The statement should describe the applicant's pertinent and professional experience and education, as well as their interests and goals in pursuing the Master of Archival Studies degree.
    • Application Essay: The essay should be 750 to 1,000 words (approximately two to three pages, double spaced). It should be a well-organized narrative, not a sequence of questions and answers. The ideas should be organized logically, building on each other, and demonstrate your ability to write at the graduate level. It should cover the following: What is an archives? Consider the differences that distinguish archives from libraries, museums, and other cultural memory organizations. Discuss the kinds of materials archives collect and how they differ from the what libraries and museums collect. Explain the role archives serve within an organization, community, or society. Describe how archives are changing in the digital era. What does an archivist do? Consider the differences among archivists and other information professions, such as librarians, records managers, museum curators, and information technologists. Distinguish an archivist’s work from that of a historian. Describe tasks archivists perform when working with records, and the knowledge and skills do archivists need to perform those tasks. What are your professional goals? Consider the kind of work do you want to do as an archivist and the types of archives you might work in. Describe the kinds of activities do you see yourself doing five or ten years after graduating.
  4. All application materials must be submitted the Office of Graduate Admissions. Submit required application documentation to

Additional admissions requirements can be found in the Clayton State University Academic Catalog.

If you have questions about the graduate admission process, please send an e-mail to or contact Graduate Enrollment Services at (678) 466-4113.