Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    Sep 24, 2023  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [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, A. Koenecke, L. Lee, G. Leshed, K. Levy, I. Lundberg, M. Macy, D. Mimno, M. Naaman, R. Nandakumar, H. Nissenbaum, T. Parikh, M. Pollack, J. Rzeszotarski, P. Sengers, E. Tardos, A. Taylor, A. Vashistha, G. Vidan, M. Wilkens, D. Williamson, Q. Yang, C. Zhang

Information Science, Systems, and Technology

Contact: Information Science at 520 Rhodes Hall (607) 255-9837, or visit the website.

Digital information technologies have become pervasive in science, engineering, manufacturing, business, finance, culture, law, and government, dramatically changing the way people work and live. The proliferation and significance of these new technologies demands a new focus in engineering education—one that remains rigorous and technically oriented but is simultaneously devoted to integrating engineering design, theory, and practice within the social and organizational contexts in which these complex digital information systems are employed.

The information science, systems, and technology (ISST) major studies the design and management of complex information systems. Just as structural engineers and nanofabricators use physics at radically different scales, so also there is a scale difference between the focus of the ISST major and the more traditional, look-under-the-hood majors in computer science and operations research and industrial engineering. Rather than focusing on the computing and communication technologies that underlie digital information systems, the ISST major emphasizes information systems engineering in broad application contexts, where issues at the confluence of information science, technology, and management are the primary concerns.

The ISST major has two options. The management science option educates students in methods for quantitative decision making and their application to information technology as well as the broader role that information technology plays in making these methods effective. Students in the information science option will obtain advanced training in methods for the creation, representation, organization, access, and analysis of information in digital form.

Note: Students may not double major in both CS and ISST or ORIE and ISST.

In addition to completing all ISST major requirements, students will need to finish all of the necessary college-level requirements prior to graduation for a minimum of 124 total credit hours.

Engineering distribution courses

Majors are required to take ENGRD 2700 - Basic Engineering Probability and Statistics  as an engineering distribution course. ENGRD 2110 - Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures  is required for the major and is recommended as the second engineering distribution course.

Major program


Students specialize in a particular area of interest in Information Science, Systems, and Technology by selecting one primary concentration (Data Science, Interactive Technologies, or Networks, Crowds and Markets), and one secondary concentration from the seven concentration options that will provide in-depth study in that area. Courses under each concentration come from within and outside the department. If you’re not sure which concentration to pursue, read the information below on each one to determine which best suits your interests and career goals.

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

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

Digital Culture and Production – 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.

Information Ethics, Law, and Policy – This concentration provides training and insight into the ethical, legal, and policy dimensions of contemporary information technology.

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

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

UX (User Experience) – This concentration is designed to help students gain a better understanding of user experience design through studies in design and user perception.

Major Approved Electives

In addition to the courses in their chosen concentration, students are required to choose two major approved electives per the elective guidelines that will contribute to their studies in either breadth or depth. INFO 4900  may be used to fulfill one major-approved elective.

Probability, Statistics, and Optimization:
Information Systems:

One of the following:

Economic, Organizational, and Social Context:

One of the following:

Requirements for the information science option:

  1. Three courses from Information Systems (Area II).
  2. One course from Mathematical Modeling in IT (Area III).
  3. Three electives, all from either Human-Centered Systems (Area V) or Social Systems (Area VI).
  4. Two electives from any of the six areas totaling at least 6 credits (INFO 4900 may be used to fulfill one of these electives).

Requirements for the management science option:

  1. Four courses from Mathematical Models in Management Science (Area I).
  2. Three electives, one from Information Systems (Area II) and two from the union of Mathematical Modeling in IT (Area III) and Information Technology Management Solutions (Area IV).
  3. Two electives from any of the six areas totaling at least 6 credits (INFO 4900 may be used to fulfill one of these electives).

*INFO 3300  and INFO 4300   may be used toward the core requirements or Area II, but not both.

† INFO 3152 INFO 4152 INFO 4154  or INFO 4320  may count toward Area II or Area V, but not both.

CS 4786  can be used for Area III or Area II, but not both.


Students who take PSYCH 3420  may also count their prerequisite, PSYCH 2050 . Students who take PSYCH 3800  may also count PSYCH 2800 . At most one of these 2000-level prerequisites can be counted.

INFO 3152 INFO 4152 INFO 4154  or INFO 4320  may count toward Area II or Area V, but not both.

INFO 4240  may count toward area V or VI, but not both.


*Only one of the following can be taken for IS credit:  INFO 3152 ORIE 4350  or ECON 4020  (previously offered as ECON 3680). Students who take ECON 4020 may also count its prerequisite, ECON 3130  toward the Social Systems primary/secondary track requirement.

INFO 4240  may count toward Area V. Human Centered Systems or Area VI. Social Systems, but not both.

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.

Information Science, Systems, and Technology Honors Program

The B.S. degree with honors is granted to engineering students who satisfy the requirements given on the “Undergraduate Study and Graduation Requirements  ” page as well as the following requirements.

  1. Cumulative GPA ≥ 3.5
  2. 3 credit hours of ISST graded course work at or above the 5000-level (graded courses only; no 1 or 2 credit seminars or 2 credit project courses)
  3. 6 credit hours of INFO 4900 - Independent Reading and Research  with an ISST faculty member, spread over at least two semesters, with at least A– each semester 


    3 credit hours of INFO 4900 - Independent Reading and Research  with an ISST faculty member and 3 credit hours of INFO 4910 - Teaching in Information Science , both with grades of at least A–.

The ISST research is expected to result in a programming project or a written report (or both).

The 9 credits required for honors are in addition to the minimum requirements for the major.