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Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Science

One degree, numerous career options

As technology becomes ubiquitous in our society, organizations need employees who can develop systems to handle their information needs and problems. This program teaches you how to understand and define problems and then use technology to create solutions.

It’s a degree that opens doors for careers in financial services, health care, judicial systems, private industry, government agencies, education, and communication.

As an upper level two-year program, you can declare information science as a major upon completion of 55 credits. It’s typical to start in this program at the beginning of your junior year.  In addition, all BSIS majors will participate in a Capstone Experience, further enhancing their practical skills. Such experiences might include internships with regional industries, assisting with graduate-level research projects, or a self-designed project.

Our curriculum

This program 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. To provide this interdisciplinary approach, our faculty members come from a variety of disciplines such as: business, policy, information science, computer science, computer engineering, psychology, mathematics, electrical engineering, physics, and software engineering.

Core courses will provide you with essential skills in:

  • Programming
  • Database management
  • Networks
  • Systems analysis and human factors

Courses

Note: All courses are three credits unless otherwise specified.

  • INFSCI 0010 Introduction to Information, Systems, and Society
    This course will demonstrate how to build a web page that attracts attention, program interactive websites, design and use databases, use multimedia, and analyze current issues such as security and privacy. No prerequisites.
  • INFSCI 0012Introduction to Programming for Information Science Students
    Introduction to concepts, principles, and skills of programming using the programming language Python. Intended for students with little or no programming experience who seek to be an information science major.
  • INFSCI 0013Computer Methods in Humanities
    This course introduces students to the use of computational modeling and programming to conduct text-based research in the humanities. Course goals include (1) Learning how to identify research questions in the humanities that are amenable to computational analysis and processing and (2) Designing and implementing XML-based computational systems to explore those questions. No prior programming experience or knowledge of foreign languages required.
  • INFSCI 0017 Fundamentals of Object-Oriented Programming
    First JAVA programming course that provides fundamental skills needed to understand, design, and maintain enterprise-scale information systems.  This course follows an architecture-centric approach to programming in contrast to the algorithm-centric approach in computer science.  This course is strongly preferred over CS 401, especially for students who plan to take INFSCI 1017 or 1025.  Designed for students with no previous programming experience, the course introduces the object-oriented programming paradigm followed by JAVA language basics applied in a sound architectural context. Thorough treatment of interfaces, inheritance, abstract classes, and polymorphism.  This is an active learning course where students complete a realistic sequence of programming assignments using Eclipse, the leading JAVA integrated development environment (IDE). Offered fall and spring terms. (Co-requisite: INFSCI 0010)
  • INFSCI 0019Object-Oriented Programming 2 for Information Science
    Second programming course for IS majors. Advanced Java language features required for professional software development. Data structures, Object-Oriented (OO) design, graphical user interfaces, exception handling, multithreading, I/O, and Web and network programming. (Prerequisite: INFSCI 0017 or CS 0401 or INFSCI 0015 at Pitt-Greensburg)
  • INFSCI 1014 Graphics
    Familiarization with some of the techniques for producing graphical displays by computer will be studied. The skills necessary to design and create computer graphics as well as an artistic and technical knowledge of what makes a good graphic will be investigated. (Prerequisite: INFSCI 0010 and INFSCI 0017)
  • INFSCI 1017Implementation of Information Systems
    Second JAVA programming course that develops professional software development skills. This is an active learning course where students complete a series of assignments that result in a robust, three-layer application (Model-View-Controller architecture) suitable for inclusion in the student’s professional IT portfolio. Students who plan to take INFSCI 1025 should take it concurrently with this course since they are strongly integrated.  Key topics include GUI classes, event handling, exception handling, data structures, common algorithms, file I/O and JAVA database programming (JDBC).  Offered spring term.
    (Prerequisite: C or better in INFSCI 0017 (preferred) or CS 0401 or INFSCI 0015 at Pitt-Greensburg) (Co-requisite: INFSCI 1025 (recommended), INFSCI 1022)
  • INFSCI 1022 Database Management Systems
    The design, implementation, and utilization of database management systems. Contrasts the methodologies of file systems and database management systems. Within database management systems, treats various data structures (e.g., tree, network, linked list) and several database models (e.g., the CODASYL Data Base Task Group model and the relational database model). Finally, considers the administrative tasks required in a database management environment.
    (Co-requisite: INFSCI 0010) (Prerequisite: INFSCI 0012 or INFSCI 0017)
  • INFSCI 1024 Analysis of Information Systems
    This course provides state-of-the-art skills in requirements management, which is critical for successful IT projects. Topics include best practices in eliciting, documenting, verifying, and modeling requirements using the Unified Modeling Language (UML). This is an active learning course where students develop an analysis model for a realistic IT project which is subsequently designed in INFSCI 1025 and implemented in INFSCI 1017. The analysis model is suitable for inclusion in the student’s IT portfolio.  Ideally, students who want to take INFSCI 1017 and 1025 in the Spring should take INFSCI 1024 in the Fall. Offered in fall and spring terms.
    (Prerequisite: INFSCI 0010)
  • INFSCI 1025 Design of Information Systems
    This course provides essential object-oriented (OO) design skills needed to comprehend enterprise scale systems, evaluate software for architectural stability, or become a software architect. This is an active learning course where students develop a realistic design model suitable for inclusion in their professional IT portfolio. Topics include best practices in OO design including effective visual modeling using UML, application of basic design principles and common design patterns, and mapping object models to relational database schema. Using the same IT project in INFSCI 1024 and INFSCI 1017, it stresses requirements traceability from analysis through implementation. INFSCI 0017 is the preferred programming prerequisite since it stresses architectural principles. Should be taken concurrently with INFSCI 1017. Offered spring term.
    (Prerequisites: C or better in INFSCI 0017 (preferred) or CS 0401 or INFSCI 0015 at Pitt-Greensburg, INFSCI 1024) (Co-requisite: INFSCI 1017 (recommended) and INFSCI 1022)
  • INFSCI 1026 Management of Information Systems
    This course identifies the IT management practices that distinguish high-performing organizations and how students can leverage that knowledge to maximize their career potential.  Students deliver a series of presentations on critical issues in IT management suitable for inclusion in their professional IT portfolio.  Topics include leading management frameworks (e.g., CMM, COBIT, ITIL), popular agile methodologies, financial analysis techniques, and how to write a professional resume. Offered fall term. Requires final exam.
    (Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor)
  • INFSCI 1044 Human Factors in System Design
    Examines human-machine designs with special emphasis on human-computer interaction. Topics center on how to analyze, create, and improve equipment and environment to be compatible with human capabilities and expectations.
    (Prerequisite: INFSCI 0010)
  • INFSCI 1052 User-Centered Design
    Introduces principles and programming of interactive systems. Interaction techniques are surveyed and incorporated in the design of interfaces.
    (Prerequisites: INFSCI 0010 and INFSCI 1044)
  • INFSCI 1059 Web Programming
    This course will introduce the PHP scripting language. Students will download and install the Apache Web Server, PHP, and MySQL database. In addition, the PHP installation in the SIS labs will be utilized. The course will cover programming concepts, client server architecture, database access, and XHTML/Cascading style sheets. Students will write a full scale web application as their final project.
    (Prerequisite: INFSCI 0010 and INFSCI 0017 or CS 0401 and INFSCI 1022)
  • INFSCI 1068 Geospatial Information Systems (GIS)
    Introduction to geospatial information system (GIS) concept and technology including spatial data sources, spatial data models and structures, spatial database management, map projection systems, geocoding and georeferencing, spatial analysis, spatial data visualization (maps), GIS applications (e.g., address-location finding, navigation, routing), and commercial GIS software packages.
    (Prerequisites: INFSCI 0010 and INFSCI 0017 and INFSCI 1022)
  • INFSCI 1070 Introduction to Telecom and Networks (previously INFSCI 1004, Cross listed with TELCOM 2000)
    Introduction to telecommunications and networks. Top-down orientation relates networking technologies to organizational goals and needs. Data communications and Internet technologies and basic system performance analysis. TCP/IP, LANs, WANs, internetworking, and signals and communications media.
    (Prerequisite: INFSCI 0010)
  • INFSCI 1071 Applications of Networks
    Second course in telecommunications and networks. Network architecture, protocols, performance, design, and analysis based on application needs, organizational requirements, user requirements, and performance objectives.
    (Prerequisites: INFSCI 0010 and INFSCI 0017 and INFSCI 1070 and a course in statistics, discrete math or calculus)
  • INFSCI 1072 Introduction to Wireless Networks (Cross listed with TELCOM 2700)
    Introductory broad overview for students with a basic background in telecommunications. Not for telecommunications majors. Principles of wireless communications and how they differ from wired communications. Fundamental concepts including transmission and mitigation techniques (e.g., modulation and coding, propagation, interference, and antennas) for wireless systems, multiplexing techniques, wireless system architectures, mobility management, security, protocols, and location technology. Systems include cellular phone networks (e.g., cdma2000, UMTS), wireless local area networks (e.g., IEEE 802.11g), personal area networks (e.g., Bluetooth), fixed-point broadband wireless (e.g., WiMAX), and satellite systems.
    (Prerequisite: INFSCI 1070 (previously INFSCI 1004))
  • INFSCI 1073 Application Development for Mobile Devices (Cross listed with TELCOM 2727)
    Focus on information system applications that run on top of wireless infrastructure such as multimedia messaging, mobile inventory control, location aware services including wireless technologies (GSM, CDMA2000, UMTS, 802.11, Bluetooth), mobile information systems and applications (M-Business, location-based services, wireless CRN), wireless information system challenges and architectures (security, reliability, mobility, power conservation, gateways, proxies), mobile application protocols (SMS, EMS, MMS, WAP), thin and thick client mobile application development (WML, VXML, Java, J2ME, J2EE, .NETCF, C#), and business case studies of mobile applications.
    (Prerequisites: INFSCI 0017 or CS 0401 or INFSCI 0015 (at Pitt Greensburg), and INFSCI 1070 (previously INFSCI 1004))
  • INFSCI 1074 Computer Security
    Overview of information security. Principles of security including confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Operating systems and database security concepts. Basic cryptography and network security concepts. Secure software design and application security. Evaluation standards, security management. Social, legal, and ethical issues. Human factors in security.
    (Prerequisites: INFSCI 0010 and INFSCI 0017 and INFSCI 1070)
  • INFSCI 1075 Network Security
    Network security and cryptographic protocols. Network vulnerabilities, attacks on TCP/IP, network monitoring, and security at the link, network and transport layers. Cryptography, e.g., secret and public key schemes, message authentication codes, and key management. WLAN security, IPSec, SSL, and VPNs. E-mail security (PGP, S/MIME), Kerberos, X.509 certificates, AAA and Mobile IP, SNMP security, firewalls, filters, and gateways. Policies and implementation of firewall policies, stateful firewalls, and firewall appliances. Network-related physical security, risk management and disaster recovery/contingency planning issues, and housekeeping procedures.
    (Prerequisites: INFSCI 0017 or CS 0401 or INFSCI 0015 (at Pitt Greensburg), and INFSCI 1070 (previously INFSCI 1004))
  • INFSCI 1076 Physical Layer of Communications 1 (Cross listed with TELCOM 2200)
    Fundamental phenomena, components, and concepts related to electricity and electronics. Covers telcom applications of AC circuits and bandwidth, semiconductors and amplifiers, digital electronics and logic design, Fourier theory, and frequency analysis.
    (Prerequisites: INFSCI 1070 (previously INFSCI 1004) and Math 0400 or Math 120 or other calculus equivalent)
  • INFSCI 1079 Computer Networking Laboratory (Cross listed with TELCOM 2010)
    The objective of this lab-based course is to gain knowledge of fundamental computer networking issues through hands-on experiments with network equipment and services. The sequence of labs start at the physical layer and progress up the protocol stack to the application layer. Topics covered are: Signal generation and analysis at the physical layer; Ethernet and WLAN performance and management; IP address planning and management; IP router generation including RIP, OSPF, BGP, MPLS protocols, TCP connection control; Stateful packet filtering; Network monitoring and management; Signaling protocols for VOIP services; and Web-based services configuration.
    (Prerequisites:  INFSCI 0010 and INFSCI 1070 and INFSCI 1071)
  • INFSCI 1080 Independent Study
    Development of readings, research, practical implementation of a system, or other form of study as arranged between student and instructor.
    (Prerequisites: at least five information science courses, contract, and consent of faculty advisor and faculty sponsor)
  • INFSCI 1085 Internship
    Supervised work in an information environment providing a frame of reference for understanding and an opportunity to apply the skills, methodologies, and theories presented in information science courses.
    (Prerequisites: last year of residency or at least five information science courses, contract, consent of faculty advisor, and approval of internship instructor)
  • INFSCI 1090 Special Topics: Programming
    Advanced class focusing on a current or specialized topic in the programming area.
    (Prerequisite: permission of the instructor)
  • >INFSCI 1090 Topics:Game Design
    Games have become ubiquitous in our modern world. In addition to entertainment, elements of games are present in everything from promotional advertisements to university classrooms. This course focuses on the exploration of game design in its many permutations. Join us as we critique and design all manner of entertainment-based and serious games. The class itself is designed as a multiplayer game experience to immerse and engage the student in game design on a fundamental level. One of the final goals of this class is for each student to have designed two separate games in their entirety so that they can be implemented in the follow up course.
  • INFSCI 1091 Special Topics: Behavioral
    Advanced class focusing on a current or specialized topic in the behavioral area.
    (Prerequisite: permission of the instructor)
  • Fall 2016 INFSCI 1091 Topics: Decision Making in Dynamic IT Marketplaces
    Changing forces in the marketplace, along with the emergence of cloud computing and smart devices, have dramatically changed the “IT landscape”. These changes are having a profound impact on the industry creating extraordinary opportunities as well as unprecedented challenges for IT professionals. Learning to successfully navigate through this new landscape requires strong skills in problem solving, decision making, risk management, and consultative selling.
  • INFSCI 1092 Special Topics: Systems
    Advanced class focusing on a current or specialized topic in the systems area.
    (Prerequisite: permission of the instructor)
  • INFSCI 1092 Topics:IT Management
    This course was designed to help you develop key workplace skills essential for IT professionals. You’ll learn how to work effectively with people within and outside of the IT organization; understand and navigate organizational culture; apply techniques for successfully managing people and projects; and engage in professional development activities including writing a resume and cover letter, preparing for interviews, and preparing to deliver short presentations.

Specializations

After completing the core courses, you can further strengthen your skills by selecting one of the three concentrations: Information Systems, User-Centered Design, or Networks and Security.

  • The Information Systems concentration will enable students to use object-oriented design tools to design, build, implement, and test web-based information systems. Courses cover object-oriented programming, geographic information systems, system architecture, and design.
  • The User-Centered Design concentration will provide the visual and human-computer interaction skills needed to design and build prototypes of information systems interfaces, as well as to perform usability testing of these systems. Courses will explore web programming, graphics, and user-centered design.
  • Students who choose the Networks and Security concentration will learn how to design, build, and test networks including LANs, WANs, Wireless, Internet, and Web-based. This concentration will also examine how to incorporate security protocols into both land-based and wireless networks. Students will be able to take courses in networks, computer security, wireless networks, and mobile applications.

The Capstone Experience

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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