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Undergraduate Bulletin 2006-2007
Bulletin Homepage |College of Computing & Information | Bulletin Information

Department of Information Studies


Stephen E. DeLong, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
University of Texas at Austin

Carol Doll, Ph.D.
University of Illinois

Philip B. Eppard, Ph.D.
Brown University

Associate Professors

Deborah Lines Anderson, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Hemalata Iyer, Ph.D.
University of Mysore, India

Assistant Professors

Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Terrence A. Maxwell, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Joette Stefl-Mabry, Ph.D.
Long Island University

Abebe Rorissa, Ph.D.
University of North Texas

Ozlem Uzuner, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Huahai Yang, Ph.D.
University of Michigan


Jennifer G. Powers, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Adjuncts (estimated): 6

Teaching Assistants (estimated): 0


The undergraduate programs in Information Studies offer a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of information and information technologies in society and in organizations. Students are exposed to working with information in a wide variety of formats in order to gain conceptual and practical knowledge of how information is created, organized, represented, stored, accessed, retrieved, managed, and protected in both traditional and non-traditional media. In addition, students investigate the uses and impacts of information and technology on individuals, organizations, and society, including formal and informal communities, libraries, government, and business. Undergraduate programs include a Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Information Science and a combined B.A./M.S.I.S. or B.S./M.S.I.S. program. Both of these programs are described below in greater detail.

The focus of the major in Information Science is on the nature and use of information and supporting technology applications and only indirectly on computer and network hardware and support. Classes offered in the program provide an introduction to computer programming, web development, digital imaging, networking, information storage and retrieval, and database management. Through course assignments, students are provided with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in practical, real world settings.  The B.A. includes coursework in disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, and philosophy to underscore the importance of humanistic, cognitive, and social aspects of information. It emphasizes the importance of critical thinking, research and writing skills, oral discourse, collaboration, and lifelong learning.

Students seeking careers as information professionals, archivists, librarians or media specialists should pursue a graduate degree in Information Studies. Those who are not considering graduate study can combine the major in Information Science with appropriate minors leading to a wide range of career opportunities. Students anticipating employment in fields concerned with information technology operation, maintenance, and support should explore additional opportunities (technical training, certification, etc.) outside the Department and the University.

Students with advanced standing (3.2 GPA) have the opportunity to apply to the Combined BA/MSIS Program or Combined BS/MSIS Program.

Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Information Science

The Department of Information Studies offers a Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Information Science in cooperation with Computer Science, Communication, Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Philosophy and Psychology. The major is concerned with various aspects of information, including characteristics and properties of information; the flow of information from its origination to utilization; personal, economic, political and social value of information; the cognitive, intellectual and technological structures that govern information transfer; the public and private organizational environments where information exchange has taken place.

Admission: Students must obtain the approval of the program director before they can officially declare this Faculty-initiated interdisciplinary program as their major.

To schedule appointments, receive course advisement and resolve problems, you can reach the Information Science and Policy’s undergraduate advisers at


Degree Requirements for the Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Information Science

General Program B.A. A minimum of 46 credits including a 31 credit core: I Csi 201; I Ist 100, 301, 361, 433, 499W; A Mat 108 (or substitute statistics course from the list below); A Psy 101 or 102; A Lin 220; A Phi 210.

3 credits from: A Lin 321, 322, 325, 499 (when 499 topic appropriate)

3 credits from: A Psy 270, 380, 381, 382

9 credits from: I Csi 203, 204, 205, 310; 416, B Itm 215 (or I Csi 101), B Itm 330; I Ist 423, 424

A Mat 108 substitutes: R Crj 281, A Eco 320, A Psy 210, A Soc 221

Combined B.A./M.S.I.S. or B.S./M.S.I.S. Program

The combined B.A./M.S.I.S. or B.S./M.S.I.S. program in information science and policy provides a unique opportunity for capable, highly motivated students to pursue any undergraduate liberal arts major while at the same time beginning their professional preparation for a career in the rapidly expanding information management fields. The emphasis of the program is on the planning, provision and administration of information systems and services in libraries and information centers. A distinctive feature of the curriculum is the stress placed upon user and human as well as technological factors. Students will be able to combine academic study with work experience in a locally based major corporation’s information handling facility such as IBM, GE, or a college and university, public, hospital, newspaper, school, bank or law library in the tri-city area (Albany, Troy, Schenectady).

Graduates will be prepared for employment in a wide variety of public and private sector settings within business, industry, law, humanities, health and human services, and education where they will function as librarians, information systems specialists, information analysts or information officers and managers.

The department is especially strong in five areas: (1) information and public policy, (2) reference resources and processes, (3) archives/records administration, (4) indexing and abstracting, and (5) data storage technologies.

Students may be admitted to the combined program at the beginning of their junior year or after successful completion of 56 credits. A carefully designed program can enable the student to earn the B.A. or B.S. and M.L.S. within 10 semesters. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation are required. The Graduate Record Exam is not required for admission. In qualifying for the baccalaureate, students will meet all University and school requirements, including existing major and minor requirements, general education requirements, minimum liberal arts and sciences requirements, and residency requirements.

Additionally, students will complete a minor in information science and policy including, as a minimum, the following courses: I Csi 101 or I Csi 201 or B Itm 215; I Ist 523, I Ist 601, I Ist 602, and two additional I Ist courses at the 500-level or above.

In qualifying for the master’s degree, students will meet all University and school requirements, including completing a minimum of 42 graduate credits, and any conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, or other professional experience, and residency requirements. The combined program allows students to complete 12 graduate credits as an undergraduate that are applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Students will be considered as undergraduates until completion of 120 graduation credits and satisfactory completion of all B.A. or B.S. requirements. Upon meeting the baccalaureate requirements, students will automatically be considered as graduate students.