Information Science & Technology (IST) Degree Requirements

Information Science & Technology

The IST program includes a total of 120 credits. These credits are distributed in the following areas:

Area I: General Education Requirements
  • Competency Requirements
  • UWM Distribution Requirements -- General Education (21 credits)
Area II: IST Core Courses (27 credits)
Area III: Information Studies Upper Division Electives (15 credits)
Area IV: IST Cross-functional Electives (15 credits)
Area V: General Electives (42 credits)

Area I - General Education Requirements

Competency Requirements

General Education Competency Requirements should be completed early in the academic career:

English Composition

Complete with one of these options:
  • earning a "C" or higher in English 102* or equivalent transfer course
  • earning at least a 525 on the English Placement Test (EPT)

Mathematical Skills

Complete with one of these options:
  • earning at least 3 credits with a "C" or higher in Mathematical Sciences 105, 106, 175 or equivalent*
  • achieving a placement code of at least 30 on the Mathematics Placement Test (MPT)

*You may not take these courses on a credit/no credit basis if you are using them to satisfy the English composition and/or mathematics requirements.

Foreign Language Requirement

Students who entered UWM as freshmen prior to September 1999 or earned transferable credit prior to September 1999 are not responsible for the foreign language requirement.
Complete with one of these options:

  • completing with passing grades at least two years of high school level instruction in a single foreign language prior to your enrollment at UWM

  • completing with passing grades at least two semesters (minimum of six credits) of college-level instruction in a single foreign language

  • demonstrating foreign language ability equivalent to two semesters of college-level instruction by means of a satisfactory score on an approved placement, proficiency, departmental or other appropriate examination

UWM Distribution Requirements -- General Education (21 Credits)

The distribution requirements provide a broad body of knowledge in the arts, humanities, natural and social sciences as a foundation for specialization. These requirements apply to students whose first semester in a degree program at UW-Milwaukee or any other accredited school was September, 1986 or later. Second Degree candidates are not responsible for meeting these requirements. (Second Degree Requirements ) These requirements (also known as the GERs) provide structure to the UWM education while giving students the freedom to design an individual academic program. Students satisfy the distribution requirements by successfully completing courses in the following areas:

1. Arts (A) (3 cr.) Three credits in a course about the history, philosophy, theory, or practice of the creative and interpretive arts (e.g., visual arts, dance, music, theatre, creative writing).

2. Humanities (HU) (6 cr.): A total of six credits in at least two courses. Required course 210 may be used to satisfy three of these credits.

3. Natural Sciences (NS) (NS+) (6 cr.): A total of six credits in at least two courses. At least one course must include laboratory or field experience involving the generation and testing of data, and the application of concepts and knowledge to the solution of problems.

4. Social Sciences (SS) (6 cr.): A total of six credits in at least two courses.

5.Cultural Diversity (&): Three credits in a course relating to the study of life experiences of African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians or Asian Americans. Courses, which satisfy Cultural Diversity usually, also satisfy one of the required distribution areas. (Students will need to satisfy this requirement if they started attending UWM in fall 1989 or later.) Further information may be obtained from the undergraduate catalog or at

Area II - IST Core Courses (27 credits)

110 - Introduction to Information Science
210 - Information Resources for Research
230 - Organization of Knowledge
240 - Introduction to Web Design
310 - Human Factors in Information Seeking and Use
340 - Introduction to Systems Analysis
410 - Database Information Retrieval Systems
440 - Web Application Development
490 - Senior Capstone

Area III - Information Studies Upper Division Electives (15 credits)

Students will take 5 additional Information Studies courses at the 300, 400 or 600 level.

Examples of such classes are:

399: Independent Study
491: Information Security I
491: Information Security II
491: Flash; 495: Internship
497 Study Abroad
622: Information Marketing
685: Electronic Publishing & Web Design
691: Gaming & Information Literacy

Area IV - IST Cross-functional Electives (15 credits)

Students will select a three-credit course from each of the five following disciplines:

  1. Business (3cr.)
  2. Communication (3 cr.)
  3. Technical Arts (3 cr.)
  4. Philosophy/Psychology (3 cr.)
  5. Library/Information Science (3 cr.)

Students can take up to 9 credits of Special Topic Courses. However, each topic will only meet one area elective requirement.

Area V - General Electives (42 credits)

Each student will work with his/her advisor to select general electives, including additional areas of study that are appropriate to his/her career goals and to complete the 120 total credit requirements for the IST Degree. Choosing your electives wisely will allow students to complete a minor or certificate within another field that builds on the strong core foundation within the IST program.

Certificate Program Options

  • Health Care Informatics
  • Digital Arts & Culture

Minor Options

  • Computer Science
  • Communication
  • General Business
  • Global Studies
  • Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Health Care Administration
  • International Studies
  • Biological Sciences
  • Philosophy
  • Physics

Complete list of UWM minors