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Program Requirements

The Information Sciences and Technology (IST) major is structured to provide students with the theoretical frameworks and skill sets necessary to compete and be productive in the information technology-intensive global context that defines the new "Information Age."

Specifically, the degree will focus on a program that will build an understanding of core information technologies and related areas of study, prepare students for the practical application of various information sciences and related technologies, and engage students in sharpening their abilities to think critically and work in teams.

All this will be done with considerable interdisciplinary integration in order to expose students to the cognitive, social, institutional, and global environments of IST. Team projects in most courses, a required internship, and a senior capstone experience provide additional, focused venues for involving students in the cutting-edge issues and technologies of the field.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT OPTION: This option is focused on expanding the skills needed to develop advanced information technology systems using state-of-the-art tools and techniques. The emphasis is on providing the student with knowledge in the design, implementation, testing, and evolution of complex software systems as well as a set of project-oriented, team-programming experiences.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION OPTION: This option is designed to prepare students to use information technology to realize a variety of system-based goals, e.g. reliability, accessibility, efficiency, etc. It is focused on developing a theoretical foundation and the skill set needed for integrating information technology into different systems for the purpose of enhancing system performance. The emphasis is on providing the student with the theoretical frameworks needed to use information technology as a system attribute as well as a set of application-oriented experiences and skills.

INFORMATION, SOCIETY, AND PUBLIC POLICY OPTION: This option focuses on how information technology affects social change and the delivery of information to the consumer. This includes the human-machine interface, organization and retrieval of information, digital libraries, information and telecommunications services, information and media industry structures, software services and intermediaries, telecommunications and information law and policy, sociological aspects of technology change, multimedia, and art, design, and aesthetics.

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Information Sciences and Technology, a minimum of 125 credits is required.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given as (Sem: 1-2)

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(12 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR.)
(See description of General Education in front of the Bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

INTERCULTURAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMPETENCE:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

ELECTIVES: 8-10 credits

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 82-84 credits
(This includes 12 credits of General Education courses, 6 credits of GQ courses, 3 credits of GS courses, and 3 credits of GWS courses.)

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 60-61 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (24 credits)
IST 110(4)[1], IST 210(3)[1], IST 220(3)[1], IST 230(3), IST 240(3) (Sem: 1-4)
IST 440W(3) (Sem: 7-8)
IST 495(1) (Sem: 3-8)
STAT 200 GQ(4) (Sem: 3-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (9-10 credits)
CMPSC 101 GQ(3)[1] or CMPBD 204(4)[1] (Sem: 1-4)
ECON 002 GS(3), ECON 004 GS(3), or ECON 014 GS(3) (Sem: 1-4)
ENGL 202C GWS(3) or ENGL 202D GWS(3)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (27 credits)
Attainment of third-level proficiency in a single foreign language (12 credits). Proficiency must be demonstrated by either examination or coursework.
See the admission section of the general information in this Bulletin for the placement policy for Penn State foreign language courses. (Sem: 1-4)
Select 6 credits of international courses in foreign culture from University-approved list (Sem: 5-8)
Select 9 credits of Supporting Courses from University-approved list. If students complete a University minor with their advisor's approval, 9 of those credits may count here and the remainder will count as elective credits. (Sem: 1-8)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 22-23 credits

INFORMATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT OPTION: 22 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (7 credits)
Math 140 GQ(4) (Sem: 1-4)
IST 311(3)[1] (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (9 credits)
Select 6 credits from IST 411(3), IST 412(3), or IST 413(3) (Sem: 5-8)
IST 321(3) or IST 331(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (6 credits)
Select 6 credits from University-approved list (Sem: 5-8)

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION OPTION: 22 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (6 credits)
IST 321(3)[1] and IST 421(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (7 credits)
IST 311(3) or IST 331(3) (Sem: 5-8)
Math 110 GQ(4) or Math 140 GQ(4) (Sem: 1-4)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 9 credits from University-approved list (Sem: 5-8)

INFORMATION, SOCIETY, AND PUBLIC POLICY OPTION: 22-23 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (9 credits)
IST 331(3)[1], IST 431(3), and IST 432(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (4-5 credits)
Math 40 GQ(5), Math 110 GQ(4), or Math 140 GQ(4) (Sem: 1-4)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 9 credits from School-approved list (Sem: 5-8)

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

 

Recommended Academic Plan

Baccalaureate Option (download pdf)