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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
 
  Apr 15, 2021
 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Information Science, BS


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Note: The requirements outlined in this section represent minimum degree satisfaction. Please consult the School of Computing and Information’s Intranet for detailed policies, procedures, forms, and advising resources.

The department-level rules set forth in the following document apply to students who declared their IS major during the 2018-2019 Academic Year. Students who declared prior to this academic year should refer to the Archived Catalogs  for departmental-level rules.

Students who declared the IS major PRIOR to the 2017-2018 Academic Year will find the department-level rules to which they are bound by going to the Archived Catalogs for the School of Information Sciences .

Information Science, BS

Eligibility for the major

To be considered for admission to the IS major, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Strong evidence of academic achievement to include GPA, course grades, or recommendations. Students who have a GPA less than 2.75 may be considered for provisional admission and should apply.
  • Completion of INFSCI 0010 Intro to Information, Systems and Society with a grade of a C or higher.

Grade Policies for Information Science Majors

Satisfactory/No-Credit (S/NC) grade options for IS majors

The student should check with his or her academic advisor before deciding to take a course S/NC (formerly the S/N option). Beyond the School’s Regulations for students enrolling in courses with the S/NC grade option, the Department of Informatics and Networked Systems (DINS) does not accept S grades for courses required for the completion of the Information Science major except for the following courses:

Students should be sure, before deciding on the grading system for a course, that their decision will not have an adverse effect on their plans for a major. They must discuss this decision with their advisor PRIOR to enrolling and selecting the S/NC grade option.

Individual Course Grades

Required courses for the Information Science major must be repeated or replaced by a comparable course if a grade of C- or lower is received. If a grade of C- or lower is earned in a prerequisite course, the course must be repeated before the higher-level course may be taken. If a grade of C- or lower is earned in any course taken to satisfy a major requirement, the course must be repeated or replaced. Course repetitions are subject to the School’s Course Repeat Policy.

GPA Requirement

Students must achieve a 2.50 grade point average for the classes counted toward the Information Science major.

Major Requirements

The information science major requires 30 credits in information science courses as detailed below.  Note the pre-requisite course, INFSCI 0010, does not count toward the final major credits but will be calculated into the Information Science GPA. Also, the faculty may approve certain exceptions to the degree requirements outlined in the following sections. Approval for exceptions must be obtained PRIOR to enrollment in the course in question and must be documented through the Records Office.  See the Advising section  of the SCI Catalog for more details.

Core Courses

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.

- or -

INFSCI 0019 - PYTHON PROGRAMMING FOR DATA MANAGEMENT & ANALYTICS  

- or -

INFSCI 1040 - INTRODUCTION TO DATA ANALYTICS  

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, in consultation with its industry advisory board, 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, User-centered Design, and Networks and Security) and the courses for each were determined by our faculty and industry advisors 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:

Related Area of Study

Five courses from any area in which a degree program is offered at the Pitt or an approved certificate program. The total number of credits must be at least 15.

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 concentration builds on that foundation with course work on storytelling, game design, and game implementation, the psychology of games or serious games, and simulation in health sciences. Students will 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.

Core coursework should include six of the following courses:

Elective coursework might include three of the following courses. *Courses that are considered core to this specialization and are therefore strongly recommended:

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.

Core coursework should include six of the following courses:

Elective coursework might include three of the following courses. *Courses that are considered core to this specialization and are therefore strongly recommended:

HUMAN-CENTERED COMPUTING

This concentration 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 concentration 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.

Core coursework should include six of the following courses:

 - or -

INFSCI 0019 - PYTHON PROGRAMMING FOR DATA MANAGEMENT & ANALYTICS  

Elective coursework might include three of the following courses.

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.

Core coursework should include six of the following courses:

Elective coursework might include three of the following courses. *Courses that are considered core to this specialization and are therefore strongly recommended:

Capstone

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.

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