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IST Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

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The field of information sciences and technology (IST) integrates disciplines from economics, to sociology and psychology, to cyber security and computational informatics; it brings together a variety of perspectives to study the relationships among information, technology, and people.

By pursuing a graduate degree in one of our IST programs, you will become a well-rounded scholar poised to address the complex issues that technology has created in our society. IST offers two resident degrees - Ph.D. and Master of Science.

Research Opportunities in IST

Our students and faculty conduct millions of dollars in funded research each year, in areas such as web technologies, extreme events systems and response, the global use of technology, collaborative work by distributed teams, and innovations in the culture of work and education. Because of this we are able to fund many of our graduate students with research assistantships.

IST also benefits from the overarching research infrastructure and support of Penn State, a Research I University that conducts more than $750 million in research annually.

Professional Masters Degrees in IST

IST offers three Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degrees: MPS in Enterprise Architecture, MPS in Information Sciences and MPS in Homeland Security. Many of the courses offered in support of these degrees are available online through the university’s World Campus unit.

In contrast to the research orientation of the Ph.D. and M.S. programs, the MPS programs provide advanced training in specific technical arenas. The online education options offer flexibility for individuals who are currently working full-time but wish to advance their skills and understandings.

Congratulations to our recent graduates

Jorge Calle, M.S., unknown at this time, (Advisor, William McGill)


Stephen Carman, M.S., Engineer II, Comcast, (Advisor, Lee Giles)


Carolyn Hafernik, M.S., Data Analyst, C9 Inc., (Adviser, Jim Jansen)


Blaine Hoffman, Ph.D., unknown at this time, (Adviser, Jack Carroll)


Shu Huang, Ph.D., Microsoft, (Adviser, Dongwon Lee)


Neela Sawant, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Amazon.com, (Adviser, James Wang)


Shuguang Suo, Ph.D., Consultant, TIBCO Software, (Adviser, Sandeep Purao)


Heidi Webb, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Emporia State University, (Adviser, Mary Beth Rosson)


Lei Yao, Ph.D., Houzz, (Adviser, James Wang, Co-Adviser, Jia Li)