Master of Archival Studies

With an international reputation for intellectual leadership and strong local connections with communities and professionals, the Master of Archival Studies (MAS) provides an inspiring space to study archival science and develop professional skills.

Records and archives play a vital role in society. In the MAS at UBC, you will engage critically and creatively with emerging records issues while developing the skills required to ensure that records are effectively created, organized, managed, preserved, and mobilized for various uses.



  • Faculty engaged in various research projects, including trust in recordkeeping and long-term preservation technologies using AI and Blockchain, and personal recordkeeping and archives
  • Strong connections to local and provincial archives, records communities, and industry partners
  • Specialization opportunities in First Nations/Indigenous knowledge stewardship, Blockchain and AI technologies
  • Hands-on experience opportunities, including professional experience, project-based work, and paid co-op work terms
  • State-of-the-art learning and research facilities at a world-class university

  • Nature of records and archives
  • Managing records and archives from creation to preservation, outreach and use
  • Records systems and archival systems
  • Selection of records and their acquisition for permanent preservation
  • Arrangement and description
  • Legal, ethical and professional responsibilities in records and archives management preservation and provision of access
  • History of recordkeeping and archives
  • Blockchain
  • AI and emerging technologies for records preservation
  • Personal archives
  • Community archives

Degree requirements

Please note that the core courses are the prerequisite for all electives. The core courses introduce foundational knowledge that non-core classes expand and build on. Core MAS courses can only be taken by students registered in the MAS program.

Please note that Co-op credits do not count toward the 48 credits required by the MAS degree.

In addition to the 18 credits of required core courses, you must take 30 credits of elective courses. The selection of courses will depend on your interests and career or academic goals. Every MAS student has access to individualized advice about selecting elective courses and questions regarding the curriculum. In addition, you will have a faculty adviser who can assist you choose elective courses and answer questions about the curriculum.

With a few exceptions, once you complete the six core courses, you will have met the pre- and co-requisite requirements for the non-core courses. You can find all established pre- or co-requisites for ARST courses on the individual course pages; you must strictly adhere to them except in extraordinary circumstances.

If you wish to enroll in a course without meeting the stated prerequisites, you must first discuss the rationale for an exemption with your Faculty Advisor and then submit a written request for an exemption to The decision on whether or not to grant such an exemption will be made by the iSchool Graduate Advisor in consultation with other faculty as needed.

With the approval of the Graduate Advisor, you may take 12 credits of coursework other than those designated 'ARST.'

A maximum of 6 credits of 300- or 400-level undergraduate courses may count towards your external course credits. Please consult with your faculty advisors on the suitability of course choice if you are interested in taking courses outside of your program.

If you have a research interest, you may elect to write a six-credit thesis. To do so, you must confirm with your Faculty Advisor before the end of the term in which you complete 24 credits of course work.

Consult the course ARST 599 to learn about the guidelines for theses for MAS, MLIS and dual degree candidates.

Students in the MAS program should be familiar with the school's academic regulations, which contain details on:

  • Advancement regulations
  • Examinations, assignments and attendance
  • Academic workload

Hands-on learning opportunities

Research-based industry internships

Students can undertake a paid internship at an organization that needs their expertise under the Mitacs Accelerate program. Funding starts at $15,000, and the partner organization’s financial contribution starts at $7,500.

Career possibilities

The MAS program prepares professionals to exercise creativity, integrity and leadership in designing, implementing and promoting programs and systems for the creation, organization, management, preservation and effective use of records and archives.

Our graduates find work in positions such as:

  • Archivist
  • Digital archivist
  • Archives curator
  • Archives advisor
  • Manuscripts processing archivist
  • Electronic records archivist
  • Audiovisual archivist
  • Data/digital curator
  • E-discovery advisor
  • Privacy and information officer
  • Records and information manager
  • Records administrator/specialist
  • Records analyst
  • Records policy and program officer
  • Records/preservation system designer
  • Research officer
  • Risk manager
  • Security specialist
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion archivist
  • Truth and reconciliation archivists

Learning Outcomes

We have set out the educational commitments of the MAS program in the statement on learning outcomes. The MAS Program Learning Outcomes provide a framework for the ongoing assessment of the MAS program through direct and indirect measures of student achievement. The assessment results are published annually on the program assessment page of the website.

Part-time study

We only offer the MAS core courses once a year, meaning students cannot complete the core on a part-time basis. However, once the core requirements have been satisfied, students may complete the rest of the program on a part-time basis.

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