Bachelor of Science in Information Science
The Information Science major teaches you how to look at problems holistically, so you not only understand the technology, but also the needs of the people who will be using it. You will gain critical skills and broad, theoretical knowledge in systems analysis, user needs, programming principles, database systems, networks and more. It’s a degree that opens doors for careers in technology, financial services, health care, judicial systems, private industry, government agencies, education, and communication.
View a PDF version of the degree requirements for this major.
Eligibility for Major
For students to declare the IS major, they must have completed INFSCI 0010 - INTRODUCTION TO INFORMATION, SYSTEMS AND SOCIETY with a grade of a C or higher.
All students must complete six of the following courses. If a student is following a specialization's path, the core courses may be prescribed. Refer to the Specializations section below for details.
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- INFSCI 1022 - DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
- INFSCI 1024 - ANALYSIS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
- INFSCI 1044 - HUMAN FACTORS IN SYSTEM DESIGN
- INFSCI 1070 - INTRODUCTION TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND NETWORKS
Specializations / Upper-level Electives
Students choose three upper-level electives based on their academic interests. Students self-designing their path may combine elements from each of the specializations below, or think about adding courses that will broaden their area of expertise. For these students, any three upper-level (1000 or higher) course will count toward the upper-level elective requirement.
The School has clustered upper-level electives into specializations that are designed to help you define your skills and career options. The specializations (Game and Simulation Development, IT Consulting and Data Analytics, Human-centered Computing, and Networks and Security) and the courses for each were determined by our faculty to ensure that you'll have the knowledge that employers need. Specializations and the recommended path to depth of knowledge in these areas are as follows:
Game and Simulation Development
Whether designing a virtual reality game for fun, or a game to explore environmental challenges in urban areas, game design and development calls for a solid foundation in the Information Sciences including coursework on human factors in system design, User-Centered Design, programming, database management, software engineering, and analysis of information systems. Our game and simulation development specialization builds on that foundation with course work on storytelling, game design, and game implementation, and the psychology of games or serious games. Students may also take courses from the University of Pittsburgh's English, Studio Arts, Psychology, Computer Science, and other programs. In addition, students will design and build actual games for both entertainment and educational purposes.
It is recommended that students take INFSCI 0009 - MATH FOR INFORMATION SCIENCE and INFSCI 0017 - FUNDAMENTALS OF OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING as part of their core coursework. The following courses are recommended as electives. Courses with an asterisk are strongly recommended.
- INFSCI 1017 - IMPLEMENTATION OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS*
- INFSCI 1052 - USER CENTERED DESIGN
- INFSCI 1060 - GAME DESIGN*
- INFSCI 1061 - GAME IMPLEMENTATION*
IT Consulting and Data Analytics
In the IT Consulting and Data Analytics concentration, you will learn how to break down complex problems, analyze critical data to support your decision-making, and design leading-edge solutions. You will learn how to successfully manage projects using industry standard tools, techniques, and processes. You will enhance your leadership skills to help you launch and navigate your professional career. Through team-based assignments, you will have the opportunity to work with local industry professionals to solve their most challenging problems.
It is recommended that students take INFSCI 0419 - PYTHON PROGRAMMING FOR DATA MANAGEMENT & ANALYTICS and INFSCI 1040 - INTRODUCTION TO DATA ANALYTICS as part of their core coursework. Electives might include three of the following courses. Any courses with an asterisk are strongly recommended.
- INFSCI 1021 - TRENDS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT
- INFSCI 1023 - INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
- INFSCI 1027 - IT PROJECT MANAGEMENT*
- INFSCI 1028 - GOING DIGITAL: TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE
- INFSCI 1029 - BUSINESS ESSENTIALS FOR THE IT PROFESSIONAL
This specialization explores the design and management of information systems, focusing on the user's needs and improving the user's experience. You will learn how to create systems that will specifically address the information tasks of the end-user, that are easy-to-use, and which are responsive to the user's changing needs and growing sophistication. You will be able to help improve workplace satisfaction and efficiency, through effective system design and intelligent system management.
This specialization incorporates coursework from the cognitive, system design, and human-factors disciplines. You will learn how to identify and manipulate a user's environment and their specific goals for an information system. Then, using a set of well-defined techniques for design and analysis, the system is developed and tested (with actual users) for both its effectiveness and user satisfaction. This process can be considered as a multi-stage problem-solving process and the end result is a system that is useful, effective, easy to learn and use, and appreciated by the end user.
It is recommended that students take INFSCI 0419 - PYTHON PROGRAMMING FOR DATA MANAGEMENT & ANALYTICS and INFSCI 1040 - INTRODUCTION TO DATA ANALYTICS as part of their core coursework. The following courses are recommended as electives. Any courses with an asterisk are strongly recommended.
Networks and Security
Computer networks form the critical infrastructure of society and network architects and administrators are in high demand across all sectors of industry. This program of study benefits from the expertise of our faculty and the academic rigor of our graduate programs in security, telecommunications, and information science. The School of Computing and Information is nationally-renowned for its academic and research programs in Information Security - it has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education since 2003. Students who choose the Networks and Security concentration will learn the fundamentals of how computer networks work, how to make them secure, and what goes into the protocols and design of networks, be it local area networks, wide area networks, wireless networks, or the Internet of Things. Students will be able to take courses in networks, computer security, and wireless networks, including a hands-on lab class that exposes them to various dimensions of networks and security.
It is recommended that students take INFSCI 0009 - MATH FOR INFORMATION SCIENCE and INFSCI 0017 - FUNDAMENTALS OF OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING as part of their core coursework. The following courses are recommended as electives. Any courses with an asterisk are strongly recommended.
- INFSCI 1071 - APPLICATIONS OF NETWORKS*
- INFSCI 1072 - INTRODUCTION TO WIRELESS NETWORKS
- INFSCI 1074 - COMPUTER SECURITY*
- INFSCI 1075 - NETWORK SECURITY
- INFSCI 1079 - COMPUTER NETWORKING LABORATORY
Students in the undergraduate program in information science will participate in a capstone experience, gaining experience through a research project in the school, an internship with regional industry, or a self-designed project.
- INFSCI 1059 - WEB PROGRAMMING
- INFSCI 1080 - INDEPENDENT STUDY
- INFSCI 1081 - TEAM-BASED CAPSTONE PROJECT
- INFSCI 1082 - INFORMATION SCIENCE COOPERATIVE PROGRAM
- INFSCI 1085 - INTERNSHIP
To learn more about Admissions to the undergraduate program at SCI, visit our Undergraduate Admissions FAQ page.
Tuition and Fees
Information regarding tuition rates, fees, and financial aid can be found on the University’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid (OAFA) Web site.