Requirements For All ISTBS Options | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Requirements For All ISTBS Options

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Support of Option

Support of Option selections are meant to help you acquire knowledge of an application domain (i.e., the environment in which you eventually hope to work) and to help you develop supplemental knowledge and competencies related to your option. Areas of focus could include business, manufacturing, health care, hospitality, art, telecommunications, geographic information systems, government, or anywhere else information technology is used.  Students in the Design and Development (ISDEV) option are required to take 9 credits in this area, and students in the other two options Integration and Application (ITINT) and People, Organizations, and Society (ISPP) are required to complete 12 credits of Support of Option coursework.

It is recommended that you choose courses in consultation with your academic adviser.

No  more than 6 credits can be at the 100-200 level. Three credits (3 cr) or more must be at the 400 level.

The goal of of the Support of Option coursework is to add value to your degree or educational experience. There are many options available such as improving you skills in another language, or completing a minor in an interest area that compliments your IST coursework. Depending on your option, you may take 9-12 credits of IST or SRA coursework to meet this requirement. Courses taken as part of a minor may be used to meet the Support of Option requirement.

Foreign Culture

6 credits of Foreign Culture are required for the ISTBS major. The Foreign Culture requirement is for students in the ISTBS major and is seperate from the US/IL General Education requirement for all Penn State students. Students should choose Foreign Culture courses on the basis of their interest in learning more about a particular country or region of the world. An IL course must  strive to increase student knowledge of the variety of international societies and may deal to some extent with U.S. culture in its international connections.

  • These are courses that focus on a cultural aspect (e.g., history, literature, political systems, art, etc.) of other countries or geographic regions outside the borders of the United States.  This requirement is separate from the college requirement for Foreign Language proficiency.
  • A course that fulfills the General Education International Cultures (IL) requirement will be accepted as satisfying 3cr of the ISTBS Foreign Culture requirement.
  • When searching for classes in LionPATH, use the Additional Search Criteria function to narrow the choices of all IL courses offered for that semester.
  • A Foreign Culture course cannot double count with any other general education requirement.

Emerging Issues and Technologies Requirement

Courses fulfilling the Emerging Issues and Technologies requirement cover topics such as an introduction to emerging issues, technology forecasting and analysis; an overview of emerging issues and leading technologies in IST and how they impact information systems, users, the IT labor force and society. Courses that fulfill this requirement are: IST 402, 441, 446, 451, 452, 453, and 454.

Each time IST 402 is offered, new issues and or information technology areas will be explored. Examples of issues and technologies addressed include: wireless communications, security and intrusion detection, intelligent agents, web search, languages, intelligent systems, bio-informatics, advanced visualization and human-computer interactions, ubiquitous-pervasive computing, groupware, computer aided cognition, system design by global IT teams, IT outsourcing, and digital divide. IST 402 can be taken 3 times for credit.

World (Foreign) Language Requirement

The College of IST requires all students to be proficient to the 12th credit level in one language. Courses taken in high school can be used to place you in the appropriate level of study if you choose to continue with the same language, or you can begin a new language. High school courses DO NOT satisfy the graduation requirement for the IST or SRA majors, but assist in the placement of where to begin your college level of study. Please read the policy on World Language placement and languages offered.

MATH requirement

Students pursuing any option within the ISTBS major are required to successfully complete 11 credits of calculus, statistics, and discrete mathematics. Courses that fulfill this requirement are MATH 110 or MATH 140, STAT 200, and IST 230.

Special Topic Course

Special Topic courses are not required for the ISTBS major, but could cover topics that students are interested in outside of prescribed coursework. Students are encouarged to review the list of Special Topic courses each semester, there could be courses offered that are approved substitutions for major or option requirements. For example, SRA 397E is an approved substitution for ECON 302 in SRA/IAM.


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