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The Penn State IST program is dynamic and highly interdisciplinary. As business and technology landscapes change, additions and improvements to IST courses are made and special-topics courses are created to enable students to receive real-time information about the IT world.

A minimum of 125 credits is required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Information Sciences and Technology (ISSCC). The IST program offers three degree options:

  • Information Systems: Design and Development
  • Information Technology: Integration and Application
  • Information Context: People, Organizations, and Society

Students at Penn State Beaver can take courses that meet requirements for the first two years of each of the options listed above. After two years, students can choose to remain at Beaver campus to complete the remaining two years of the degree in either the Systems Option or Technology Option, or students can choose to go to Penn State University Park or other campuses that also offer those options, along with the Context Option.

Information Systems: Design and Development Option

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.

Information Technology: Integration and Application Option

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

Information Context: People, Organizations, and Society Option

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.