Courses of Study 2021-2022 
    May 27, 2024  
Courses of Study 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Information Science


W. Arms, S. Azenkot, L. Blume, C. Cardie, C. Cheyre, T. Choudhury, S. Cleare, C. Csikszentmihalyi, C. Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, N. Dell, D. Easley, S. Fussell, G. Gay, P. Ginsparg, C. Gomes,  F. Guimbretiere, K. Harms, H. Hirsh, S. Jackson, T. Joachims, W. Ju, M. Jung, R. Kizelec, J. Kleinberg, L. Lee, G. Leshed, K. Levy, M. Macy, D. Mimno, M. Naaman, R. Nandakumar, H. Nissenbaum, T. Parikh, M. Pollack, J. Rzeszotarski, P. Sengers, E. Tardos, A. Vashistha, G. Vidan, M. Wilkens, D. Williamson, Q. Yang, C. Zhang

The Information Science Major:

Information Science (IS) is an interdisciplinary department that explores the design and use of information systems in a social context: the field studies the creation, representation, organization, application, and analysis of information in digital form. The focus of Information Science is on systems and their use rather than on the computing and communication technologies that underlie and sustain them. Moreover, Information Science examines the social, cultural, economic, historical, legal, and political contexts in which information systems are employed, both to inform the design of such systems and to understand their impact on individuals, social groups, and institutions.

Major Requirements

Majors are required to take core courses that introduce them to the variety of theories and methods of study within the discipline. Students will specialize in a particular area of interest in Information Science by choosing courses from one concentration that will provide in-depth study in that area. Courses under each concentration come from within and outside the department. In addition to the courses in their chosen concentration, students are required to complete three elective classes that will contribute to their studies in either breadth or depth.

In addition to the major requirements outlined below, students must meet their college graduation requirements:

Overview of Major Requirements:

  • Students must complete the five core courses; INFO 1200 , INFO 1300 , INFO 2040 , INFO 2450 , INFO 2950 .
  • Students must take CS 1110 , and one Calculus, and one Statistics course.
  • Students must complete AT LEAST one Concentration from the options listed below. 
  • Students must complete three electives. See the Elective requirements guidelines.
  • Minimum number of credits required for the major = 50 credits.

All courses in the major must be taken for a letter grade. Affiliated students must earn a C- or better in all courses used for the major.




Each of the introductory Information Science courses is the beginning of a path of in-depth study. We call these paths Concentrations. Each one is described in further detail below.



This concentration provides students with an in-depth understanding of the behavioral and social aspects of interacting with and through information technology.


*Please note that you will choose one course from one of the Context sections: either Sociological, Network or Design. NOT one from each.


This concentration will equip students to learn about the world through data analytics.


This concentration explores computing as a cultural phenomenon. It equips students to analyze technology’s role in society and culture, to understand it historically, and to produce media artifacts.

This concentration can be completed by following either of the two options below:

  1. One course each from A, B, and C; an additional course from A or C.
  2. One course each from A and B; 2 additional courses from A or C.

For the Media, Art, Design component: Any ARCH elective course or option studio at the 3000 level or higher that addresses IT as a significant component can work for this portion. Elective courses can be found on The College of Arts, Architecture, and Planning website.


This concentration provides training and insight into the ethical, legal, and policy dimensions of contemporary information technology.



This concentration provides students with the analytical and technical skills they need to design and build functional technical systems.


This concentration helps students to understand formal models, data and policy issues surrounding networked systems.


This concentration is designed to help students gain a better understanding of user experience design through studies in design and user perception.


All students are required to complete three electives that are chosen from the following classes; INFO 2300 , CS 2110 , CS 3110 CS 3410  and any INFO 3000+ or higher course including INFO 4900 . These courses must be taken for a letter grade, each must earn three or more credit hours, and all must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.

The Minor:

A minor in Information Science is available to undergraduate students in all colleges. The minor has been designed to ensure that students have substantial grounding in all three tracks: Human-Centered Systems, Information Systems, and Social Systems. Detailed information about the minor can be found in the CIS section  of Courses of Study as well as on the Information Science website.


To qualify for departmental honors, students must apply by the end of their seventh semester and meet the GPA requirement:

A cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.5


A cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.0 in addition to contributions to the Information Science Program through research or other means, as detailed in their application.

Students intending to pursue honors must complete the following course work in addition to their IS major courses:

• Three additional credit hours of IS course work at or above the 5000-level; (graded courses only; no seminars or 2-credit project courses)
• Six credit hours of INFO 4900 - Independent Reading and Research  with one or more IS faculty members, spread over at least two semesters and with grades of A– or better; it is expected that the INFO 4900 research will result in a project report.

Latin designations (appended to the degree) are based on final cumulative GPA, as follows:

cum laude, 3.50 or above
magna cum laude, 3.75 or above
summa cum laude, 4.00 or above