About the College
Andrew Sears, Dean, Information Sciences and Technology
In the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), we’re about solving problems — not those found only in textbooks, but real-world problems that impact everyday lives. Our students are challenged to think critically and work in teams, leveraging information and using technology to tackle the greatest challenges of the 21st century. An IST education is one-of-a-kind. Our faculty bring expertise and projects from industry, government, the military, and non-profit organizations to the classroom. Our students develop career versatility by blending technological expertise with skills in business, computer science, psychology, engineering, sociology, mathematics, law, and other fields. And our graduates demonstrate their technical and interpersonal skills in a variety of unique careers to become leaders in the information age. In the College of IST, we thrive at the intersection of information, technology, and people, finding ways to improve the way we live, work, and play.
Mission and Goals
Our mission is to educate students who can meet the challenges of the 21st century information age; to conduct leading-edge research integrating people, information and technology; and to carry out service activities that address global problems and challenges.
A student who fails to earn a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average will be placed on academic warning. A student placed on academic warning will have a hold placed on registration and will be required to meet with an academic adviser in order for this registration hold to be removed. To remove academic warning, the cumulative grade-point average must be 2.00 or higher.
A student in academic warning who fails to maintain a semester grade-point average of 2.00 or higher will be academically suspended. A student who has been academically suspended may not schedule courses at the University for two consecutive semesters. (Note: Summer session is equal to one semester.)
Administrative Enrollment Controls
The B.S. in Information Sciences and Technology and the B.S. in Security and Risk Analysis are controlled majors on the University Park campus. Students may apply when they've earned 40-70 credits at Penn State, earned a minimum 2.75 GPA, and completed certain courses with a grade of C or better.
Change of Campus
Undergraduate students can request a permanent or temporary change of campus through their Student Center in LionPATH. Students should discuss this decision with their assigned academic adviser. The change of major and change of campus are two separate and distinct processes. Change of majors should always be completed first.
A Concurrent Majors Program is one in which students take courses to concurrently meet the requirements of at least two majors, with graduation for all majors in the program occurring during the same semester. Requests for a concurrent major or majors can be made, at the earliest, once the student has been approved for their primary major and has met the Entrance-to-Major requirements for the concurrent major. This varies depending on the primary college of enrollment and entrance to major criteria.
Undergraduate Academic Advising
IST's academic advisers help undergraduate students achieve their fullest academic potential by assisting with course selection, reviewing degree audits, and planning for individual goals like enrolling in concurrent majors or education abroad.
The Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement assists students with pursuing their internship and career-related goals. They offer a variety of programs, services, and resources to help students pursue professional opportunities such as resume reviews, career fairs, networking events, and job and internship postings.
Inclusion and Diversity Engagement
The Office of Inclusion and Diversity Engagement works to support a welcoming and inclusive community in the College of IST. They aim to create and maintain an equitable climate by developing strategies that engage and retain students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented groups, including women.
IST offers a variety of student engagement experiences including education abroad, student organizations, undergraduate research, and experiential programs like alternative spring break and Penn State Startup Week. Each supplements a student’s academic experience by offering engaged scholarship to complement what they learn in the classroom.
Schreyer Honors College
The Schreyer Honors College, regarded as one of the nation’s top programs of its kind, promotes achieving academic excellence with integrity, building a global perspective, and creating opportunities for leadership and civic engagement. Schreyer Scholars, including Gateway Scholars admitted after their first or second year of enrollment, are a diverse and motivated group of approximately 2,000 students at University Park and 20 Commonwealth campuses. The College strives to educate students who will have an important and ethical influence in the world, to improve educational practice, and to continue to be recognized as a leading force in honors education nationwide.
Honors in the College of Information Sciences and Technology
The College of Information Sciences and Technology partners with the Schreyer Honors College to offer an honors education to IST students. Our goal is to produce critical thinkers who push the boundaries of what we know, and thoughtful researchers who undertake meaningful and rigorous studies of the impact of information technologies on individuals, organizations, and society. The College of IST offers courses (including independent studies and research project courses), a thesis experience, research opportunities, internships, study abroad experiences, graduate opportunities, and advising to students who seek an honors education.