Information Science Major

Information Science majors combine technical expertise in computer science with the social sciences to study how people and societies interact with information.  The BS in Information Science allows students to study the design and use of information systems in a social context. The field studies the creation, representation, organization, application, and analysis of information in digital form. The focus of Information Science is on technological systems and their use, approached through an interdisciplinary approach with a variety of methodologies.

Opportunities for study in this emerging field include: Web environments, cyber finance, human-computer interaction, social networks, digital libraries, artificial intelligence, computer-enhanced habitats, social and environmental data gathering and analysis, and the evolution of new communication systems.

Information Science students will specialize in a particular area of interest by choosing classes from one concentration that will provide in-depth study in that area. Suggested courses under each concentration come from within and outside the department.  In addition to the courses in their chosen concentration, students are required to complete three elective classes that will contribute to their studies in either breadth or depth.

Overview of Major Requirements

  • Students are required to complete five core courses detailed below.
  • Students are required to take CS 1110, Calculus, and a Statistics course. Advanced Placement credit may not be used to fulfill the statistics requirement for students matriculating as of or after Fall 2015.
  • Students are required to complete AT LEAST one concentration from the seven concentrations available. 
  • Students are required to complete three electives from the options outlined in the Elective section. 


Each of the introductory Information Science courses is the beginning of a path of in-depth study. We call these paths Concentrations. Each one is described in further detail below.

  • Behavioral Science
    This concentration provides students with an in-depth understanding of the behavioral and social aspects of interacting with and through information technology.
  • Data Science
    This concentration will equip students to learn about the world through data analytics.
  • Digital Culture and Production
    This concentration explores computing as a cultural phenomenon. It equips students to analyze technology's role in society and culture, to understand it historically, and to produce media artifacts.
  • Information Ethics, Law, and Policy
    This concentration provides training and insight into the ethical, legal, and policy dimensions of contemporary information technology.
  • Interactive Technologies
    This concentration provides students with the analytical and technical skills they need to design and build functional technical systems.
  • Networks, Crowds, and Markets
    This concentration helps students to understand formal models, data and policy issues surrounding networked systems.
  • UX (User Experience)
    This concentration is designed to help students gain a better understanding of user experience design through studies in design and user perception

Employment Fields

  • Engineering
  • General Business
  • Research

What recent graduates are doing

  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Digital Analyst
  • Software Engineer, Google, Uber,
  • Institutional Sales
  • User Experience Designer, IBM
  • Business consulting
  • Application programming
  • Research
  • MEng, Cornell

Sample Classes

INFO 2040 Networks

Examines network structures and how they matter in everyday life. The course examines how each of the computing, economic, sociological, and natural worlds are connected and how the structure of the connections affects each of these worlds. Important tools like graph theory and game theory are taught and then used to analyze networks.

INFO 2450 Communication and Technology

Introduces students to the Communication and Information Technologies focus area of the Communication Department and the Human Systems track for information science. It examines several approaches to understanding technology and its role in human behavior and society.

INFO 4300 Language and Information

Studies the methods used to search for and discover information in large-scale systems. The emphasis is on information retrieval applied to textual materials, but there is some discussion of other formats. The techniques are illustrated with examples from web searching and digital libraries.


    More about Information Science from the Department