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Courses of Study 2017-2018
Cornell University
  Feb 23, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018

Information Science Minor

Information Science Minor

A minor in information science is available to students in the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Architecture, Art, and Planning; Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Human Ecology; and the Schools of Hotel Administration and Industrial and Labor Relations. Because of small differences in regulations between the colleges, the requirements may vary slightly, depending on a student’s college and, in a few cases, a student’s major. Students interested in pursuing the information science minor must initiate the process by sending an e-mail message with their name, college, year of study (e.g., second-semester sophomore), expected graduation date, and (intended) major to See for the most up-to-date description of the minor and its requirements.

Information science is an interdisciplinary field covering all aspects of digital information. The program has three main areas: human-centered systems, social systems, and information systems. Human-centered systems studies the relationship between humans and information, drawing from human-computer interaction and cognitive science. Social systems examines information in its economic, legal, political, cultural, and social contexts. Information systems studies the computer science problems of representing, storing, manipulating, and using digital information.

The minor has been designed to ensure that students have substantial grounding in all three of these areas, as well as in statistics. To this end, the requirements for the undergraduate minor are as follows: All courses must be chosen from the course lists below. In addition, a letter grade of at least C is required; S–U courses are not allowed.

Note: Course credits from institutions other than Cornell may not be counted toward the IS minor. Engineering students must use ENGRD 2700  or CEE 3040 . Hotel students must use HADM 2010 .

  • Statistics: one course. Students do not have to take statistics again if taken elsewhere or they have AP statistics credit.  However, students must then take an elective from any area of the minor in order to reach the minimum number of classes.
  • Human-centered systems (human-computer interaction and cognitive science): two courses (for all colleges except Engineering and Hotel); one course (Engineering and Hotel).
  • Social systems (social, economic, political, cultural, and legal issues): one course.
  • Information systems (primarily computer science): two courses for all colleges except Hotel. Hotel students need to take one course in this area. Engineering students may not use INFO 1300 . CS 2110  may not be used by students who are required to take it for their major.
  • Elective: one additional course from any component area. Hotel students must take three courses in this category, from the following: HADM 3740 , HADM 4890 , or AEM 3220 . (Engineering students and all computer science majors must select a course from human-centered systems or social systems. Communication majors must select a course outside Communication. Students in other majors should check with their advisors to make sure there are no special departmental restrictions or requirements.)


An introductory course that provides a working knowledge of basic probability and statistics and their application to analyzing data occurring in the real world.


*INFO 3152  , INFO 4152  , INFO 4154  or INFO 4320  may count toward the minor in Human-Centered Systems or Information Systems but not both. INFO 4240  may count as a Human-Centered Systems or Social Systems but not both.


Only one of INFO 3152  , ORIE 4350  and ECON 4020  can be taken for IS credit.


**INFO 3152  , INFO 4152  , INFO 4154  , or  INFO 4320  may count toward the minor as Information Systems or Human-Centered Systems but not both.

The following exceptions apply:

*INFO 1300 : engineering students and Computer Science majors may not use this course for the minor.

*INFO 2300 : Computer Science majors may not use this course for the minor.

*CS 2110 : students for whom this is a required major course may not use it for the minor, e.g., Computer Science or Operations Research and Engineering majors.