Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology

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College of Information Sciences and Technology
Established 1999
Dean Mary Beth Rosson
Location University Park, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus University Park

The College of Information Sciences and Technology, also known as IST, was opened in 1999 in response to the rapidly growing need in almost every field for education, leadership, and research in information sciences and technology. The college was built to help develop a new generation of leaders, researchers and scholars that would meet the complex and compelling demands of the Digital Age.[weasel words]

Faculty and Research[edit]

The College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) is an interdisciplinary college that integrates the disciplines of computational informatics, sociology and psychology, cyber security and economics; it brings together a variety of perspectives to study the relationships among information, technology, and people. Faculty pursue research in diverse fields that focus on information, its foundations and use. Current research areas can be broadly described as computational, social and cognitive informatics. Specific research areas include informational retrieval, information extraction, digital libraries, enterprise architecture, social networks, human computer interaction, security, privacy, trust, cognitive science, human computer interaction, health informatics, information policy, information visualization, and information fusion.

Noted faculty include:


The College of Information Sciences and Technology was created in 1997. The Dean of the Graduate School at that time, Rodney Erickson, was appointed by then Penn State President Graham Spanier to lead a strategic planning group that produced plans for the school of information sciences and technology which admitted the first students into the IST program for the fall 1999 semester. The first Dean was James Thomas.

In January 2006, Penn State Board of Trustee decided to rename the School of Information to College of Information Sciences and Technology – a designation that signified IST’s importance within both the Penn State system and the Commonwealth.

College of IST Building[edit]

The Information Sciences and Technology Building is located on the west campus of the Pennsylvania State University’s University Park campus. The IST building was formally opened in 2004 and became the home to the College of Information Sciences and Technology and the Computer Science and Engineering department.

The 199,000-square-foot (18,500 m2) building was designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects in New York, New York and Perfido Weiskopf Architects in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The architecture was inspired by the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy. The construction of the building is 199,000-square-foot (18,500 m2) and cost $58.8 million to complete. The building serves as a pedestrian bridge which permits pedestrian and bicycle traffic over Atherton Road.

The largest classroom in the building is the Cybertorium. The Cybertorium seats up to 150 people with stadium seating which faces a large projection screen and a high tech sound system for use by presenters. Each row of seating features a wall to wall desk with high-back rolling chairs. To further enable technology based collaboration, each seating location has electrical and network jacks for laptop use while every two seats also have a swing-arm mounted computer display which may be recessed into the desk to allow for a clear view when not in use. Aside from the Cybertorium, there are a number of open gathering spaces designed for faculty, staff, and students to meet. The entire building features wireless capabilities that encourage groups to move freely within the space while being connected to the Internet and other web-based services.[citation needed]

Undergraduate Majors[edit]

IST majors are offered at 19 campuses with 48 faculties at University Park and 94 faculties at other commonwealth campuses.

Currently, IST offers three interdisciplinary baccalaureate degree programs with 5 associate degree options:

  • Bachelor of science in information sciences and technology
    • Information systems: design and development option
    • Information technology: integration and application option
    • Information context: people, organizations, and society option
  • Bachelor of science in security and risk analysis
    • Intelligence Analysis and modeling option
    • Information and cyber security option
    • Social factors and risk option
  • Bachelor of Arts in information sciences and technologyy

Undergraduate Minors[edit]

  • Information Sciences & Technology
  • Security & Risk Analysis
  • Web & Mobile Development

Students can choose any of these options, so long as you pay a $750 administrative fee.

With a degree from IST, students can go where they want with information technology, from healthcare to the government. As spring 2010, College of IST has 2309 undergraduate enrollments (statewide) and 99 graduate enrollments.

Student organization[edit]

IST provides many opportunities and advising service for both undergraduate and graduate students in order to help achieve their fullest academic potential and foster their intellectual, professional, and personal growth. Students are encouraged to pursue their interests while developing leadership and teamwork skills by taking part in student organizations in both the College of IST and Penn State at large.

There are 20 student organizations in College of Information Sciences and Technology. Students can get involved in many ways, from serving as an officer to chairing a committee to attending events. All of these student organizations are aiming to help students develop relationships with faculty and staff, understand and be a part of the IST community, and meet new friends with similar interests.

The list of College of IST student organizations:

  • Academic Committee
  • Computer Networking Club (CNC)
  • Diversity Network (D-Net)
  • Enterprise Systems Integration (ESI) Club
  • Field Trip Committee
  • Game Development Club
  • Graduate Student Association at IST (GIST)
  • Information Assurance (IA) Club
  • IST Consulting Club
  • IST Honors Society
  • IST Special Living Option
  • IST Student Government
  • Magazine of IST (MIST)
  • Night of Honors Committee
  • Outreach Committee
  • Professional Expo Committee
  • Red Cell Analytics Lab (RCAL)
  • Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) Club
  • THON Committee
  • VISTA Committee
  • Women in IST (WIST)

Career Solutions Service[edit]

IST Career Solutions Service helps students to prepare for and maximize their internships and job opportunities and any other post-graduate plans that they may have interest in the future.

The services include:

  • Internship and professional placement opportunities
  • Executive monitoring
  • Corporate information sessions
  • Professional etiquette seminars
  • Corporate day trips
  • Interview preparation
  • Comprehensive job search tools
  • Corporate networking events
  • A student-led career assistance team
  • Career solutions workshops


  • Webometrics Ranking of World Repositories (2010), CiteSeerX 2nd Among Top 400 Repositories
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education, 7th in Top Research Universities Faculty Scholarly Productivity index of Information Science/studies – 2007[citation needed]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°47′37″N 77°52′05″W / 40.79368°N 77.86812°W / 40.79368; -77.86812