Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies

The Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies recognize the growth and maturation of archival studies programs and serve as a benchmark against which graduate programs in archival studies may be measured. These guidelines establish minimum standards for archival education programs in terms of mission, curriculum, faculty, and infrastructure.

Graduates of such programs can anticipate careers in a variety of professional positions, from archives or records management to digital archives management or historical records preservation in institutions ranging from government or institutional archives and local historical societies and high-technology business enterprises. Graduates of archival programs are increasingly in demand for information management positions, and the value of archival knowledge continues to gain recognition in an ever-broader range of organizational settings, such as digital forensics. These guidelines are intended both to define the academic preparation needed to meet these new challenges and to identify a strong common core of archival knowledge that the diverse institutions that provide graduate archival education should all deliver.

The ultimate goal of these guidelines is to improve the quality of graduate programs in archival studies, specifically by raising the minimum expectations of students and universities. By establishing these basic guidelines as minimum standards for archival studies programs, SAA also hopes to encourage the continued development of more extensive and more comprehensive programs and, by doing so, to improve the archival profession by better educating its members.

SAA Council Approval/Endorsement Date: 
January 2002; Revised 2005, 2011

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