Information Sciences and Technology

Information Sciences and Technology

IST Video

What is Information Sciences and Technology?

The Bachelor of Science degree in Information Sciences and Technology was created by Penn State—in consultation with Fortune 500 companies, smaller Pennsylvania companies, and the public sector—in response to a nationwide shortage of qualified professionals. By integrating computer systems, networking, information management, and software technologies, this program prepares students to design, develop, and administer information systems for business and industry.

As a student in the program, you will be exposed to the cognitive, social, institutional, and global environments of IST. A strong emphasis is placed on communication, team-building, business, problem-solving, and management skills. A required internship and a senior capstone experience will involve you directly in the cutting-edge issues and technologies of the field.

Curriculum Overview

Penn State Brandywine offers completion of two options within the degree program:

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.

Recommended Academic Plan

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 both the theoretical frameworks needed to use information technology as a system attribute as well as a set of application-oriented experiences and skills.

Recommended Academic Plan

Students may also start a third option at Penn State Brandywine and complete it at Penn State Berks or University Park:

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.

Finally, Penn State IST students may begin a four-year degree in Data Sciences, Security and Risk Analysis or Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations at Penn State Brandywine. These programs must be completed at other Penn State campuses. For more information, visit the University Bulletin or the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology website.

Internships and Research

Students are encouraged to gain real-world experience through internships and research. Faculty are committed to providing research opportunities and an environment for students who want to explore the field in depth. Current research projects include: the integration of software engineering, computer security, human factors, and cognitive science.

Complementary Minors and Certificates

Students who minor in one of the following disciplines find a strong overlap or complement to Information Sciences and Technology:

  • Business
  • Communication Arts and Sciences 
  • Health Policy and Administration (University Park)
  • International Studies
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Psychology
  • Security and Risk Analysis (World Campus)

Graduation and Beyond

Information Sciences and Technology offers the foundation for developing one’s expertise throughout life. Graduates find positions in a variety of careers, including:

  • Application Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Consultant
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Web Developer

Graduates may also choose to complete a degree at the master’s or doctorate level.