Information Science FAQ

What is information science?

Information science is concerned with the origination, representation, organization, retrieval and utilization of information. Entailing a much broader focus than the traditional combined study of computer programming and higher mathematics, the program encompasses the humanistic, cognitive, and management aspects of information science.

What is informatics?

The Information Science Department offers a BS in Informatics degree. Informatics is technology applied to specific fields. Informatics serves as the bridge between computing and information technology and specific application domains, ranging, for example, from the government and public policy to economics to health care. As computing and information technologies become increasingly embedded in the day-to-day operations of commerce, we will need more individuals who understand a diverse set of technologies and how to apply them across fields. To illustrate this point we can look to the case of “big data” today. Organizations are producing immense amounts of data and emerging technologies are now making it possible to collect that data and use it to answer questions. This has created the need for individuals who understand how to use those technologies and how to get information out of large data sets. Besides applying technology to a specific field, informatics often includes a focus on social and behavioral aspects of information and technology.

Who should study information science?

Graduate students seeking careers as information professionals, archivists, librarians or media specialists. The knowledge and skills gained through the undergraduate program are a solid foundation for information-related careers in the public and private sectors.

How is UAlbany’s M.S.I.S. accredited?

The Department’s M.S. program in Information Science is accredited by the American Library Association (, the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 66,000 members in public, state, school, academic and special libraries. Accreditation assures that institutions meet appropriate standards of quality and integrity.

What kind of jobs can I get with a master’s degree in information science?

The M.S. degree is excellent preparation for careers as web developers, librarians, database managers, records managers, and other careers.

What kind of jobs can I get with an undergraduate degree in information science?

Graduates can look forward to excellent job opportunities, whether directly in the field of computing and information science, or by applying their expertise in information science to positions within the business, government, education or nonprofit sectors. Some undergraduates continue their studies by entering graduate programs in library science, information science, business, or other graduate degree programs.

Do you offer online courses?

The Information Technology concentration in the BS Informatics program is offered both fully online and on campus; students may elect to complete their degree online, but they must declare this so the academic advisors will be able to guide them to the right courses. They will also get priority placement in online courses that support their degree, including online Gen Ed courses.

The MSIS program offers courses in traditional, online, and blended formats. The program is currently involved in a University-wide initiative through which it is developing online courses in order to meet the needs of adult learners.