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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
  May 19, 2022
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Information Science, BS

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The department-level rules set forth in the following document apply students who admit to the University during the 2020-21 Academic Year. Students who admitted prior to this academic year should refer to the Archived Catalogs  for departmental-level rules and major requirements. Students who admitted to the University PRIOR to the 2017-2018 Academic Year will find the department-level rules and major requirements to which they are bound by going to the Archived Catalogs for the School of Information Sciences .

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

To make information systems more effective, Information Science majors must understand how people interact with data and the networks that carry data, as well as understand the science of networks between people and those between humans and machines. This integrated approach considering the interplay of humans, information, and networks is the foundation of the Bachelor of Science in Information Science major.

Graduates of the major will have:

  • Deep theoretical and conceptual understanding of the roles and relationships between humans, information, and networks, toward modeling and designing information systems;

  • Enhanced proficiency in skills needed to create, design, build, and protect information systems and networks;

  • Increased capability to apply theory and concepts to real-world situations;

  • Stronger competencies in areas such as communications, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and adapting to changes in technologies and users’ needs.

Eligibility for Major

Students can declare the IS major after they have completed CMPINF 0401, INFSCI 0310, and two other courses (from INFSCI 0410, 0510 and 0610) with a grade of C or better in each class.

In addition, students need to have at least a 2.0 overall GPA and be in good academic standing.

Students must declare the major by the School’s deadlines.

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 Cooperative Program and Internship 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 & GPA Requirement

Students must achieve a 2.0 GPA for each of the classes counted toward the Information Science major, therefore earning a C or better for each course counted towards graduation in the Information Science major. As such, all courses completed for the major (Quantitative Math and Stats, Core, Upper-Level Electives, and Capstone) 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 found in the Credit and Enrollment Policy section  of the SCI Catalog. 

Departmental Honors

Students may graduate with honors if they have also:

  • Completed a sixth upper-level elective IS course (numbered above 1100). The student may not use an independent study or internship to count as this additional upper-level course.
  • Have an IS GPA of at least 3.5
  • Have an overall GPA of at least 3.25

Major Requirements

Beginning in Fall 2020, students declaring an IS major will be required to complete:

  • One approved programming course
  • Seven core courses
  • Five upper-level electives
  • Two approved mathematics courses
  • One approved statistics course
  • One capstone class

Required Mathematics and Statistics Courses

Students must complete the following quantitative and statiscal skills classes. One class from each section will overlap with the School’s General Education Requirements.


Students in the BS in Information Science major are required to successfully complete a capstone experience, learning how to apply what they learned in the classroom to real-world situations.  Students can choose from among a selection of experiential learning opportunities including team-based project classes, independent study courses supervised by research faculty in the School, and internships/co-ops with regional or national industries and organizations. The capstone requirement means that students will gain valuable experience that is aligned with their interests and career goals.

Sample Plan of Study

Year 1





MATH 0220

TOTAL: 16 credits



STATS 1000 or 1100



TOTAL: 16 credits

Year 2

MATH 0280 (or 1180 or 1185)





TOTAL: 15 credits






TOTAL: 15 credits

Year 3

INFSCI Upper Elective 1

Related Area 1




TOTAL: 15 credits

INFSCI Upper Elective 2

INFSCI Upper Elective 3

Related Area 2

Related Area 3


TOTAL: 15 credits

Year 4

INFSCI Upper Elective 4

INFSCI Upper Elective 5

Related Area 4



TOTAL: 15 credits

INFSCI Capstone

Related Area 5




TOTAL: 13 credits

Minimum credits are represented, this may vary depending on student’s course selection.

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