IST Frequently Asked Questions

General Degree Questions

What is required to complete the degree?
The IST program includes a total of 120 credits, distributed in the following areas:

Area I: 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 - including Competency Requirements (English, Math, & Foreign Language) and associate areas of study (42 credits)

For more information visit the IST Degree Requirements page.
How long does it take to complete the IST degree?
Depending on course load, freshmen students typically complete the program in 4-5 years. For transfer students, time to complete the degree is also dependent on how many credits transfer into the IST program. Summer course offerings allow for some students to complete the program at an accelerated pace. Call (414)229-4707 to speak with an advisor if you have any questions.
How do I apply?
Applications may be completed online at . Typical application deadlines are July 1 for the Fall semester and December 1 for the Spring semester. After accepted, call (414)229-4707 to schedule an appointment with an advisor

Courses & Credit Transfer

Can I transfer previous college credits into this program?
Yes, the School of Information Studies (SOIS) accepts transfer credits into the IST program.

SOIS also has a Broad-Based Transfer Credit Policy for Associate Degree Holders. The maximum number of credits that may be transferred from any two-year accredited institution is 72. To review transferable courses within the UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), visit the UW System Transfer Information System Course Wizard at

After all application materials have been submitted and processed through the Department of Enrollment Services, an advisor will evaluate transcripts for any additional credits that may be transferred to the IST program. Call (414)229-4707 to schedule an appointment with an advisor to address any questions.
What courses are included in the core curriculum and how often are they offered?
The IST core curriculum includes 9 courses, offered on-site and online each Fall and Spring semester, many are also offered in Summer sessions as well:
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 & Use
340 – Introduction to Systems Analysis
410 – Database Information Retrieval Systems
440 – Web Application Development
490 – Senior Capstone
For the full list of course offerings, visit the Schedule of Classes

Student Services & Financial Aid

What student support services are offered?
We provide student advising (start to finish), career counseling, and technical support, as well as registration and enrollment assistance. The UWM Golda Meir Library is especially adept at handling Distance Education student services. They offer Inter-Library Loan, electronic reserves and access to electronic indexes and abstracts.
What type of financial aid and scholarships are available?
The School of Information Studies provides assistance to undergraduate students with the following scholarships:
  • Dean’s Information Science & Technology Scholarship* $1,000
  • SOIS New Freshmen Scholarship* $1,000
  • Dean’s Diversity Scholarship* $1,000
  • SOIS Transfer Student Scholarship* $1,000
  • Attitude & Aptitude Scholarship* $500

*No application necessary. Student must declare IST as major and be enrolled in at least one IST course in the awarded semester.

For more information on financial aid, military education opportunities, and student employment please visit the UWM Financial Aid office website

Online Program

Can the degree be completed online?
Yes, all IST core courses are available online during fall and spring semesters. Students can choose from a wide variety of electives available online every semester.UWM also offer some General Education Requirements (GER) online, however these selections may be limited. Students must also meet math, English and foreign language requirements for degree completion. Please contact a SOIS undergraduate advisor to determine if local courses in English, math or foreign language would be applicable to your program.
Is online for me?
Consider asking yourself these questions:
  • Do you express yourself well in writing and have good reading skills?
  • Are you comfortable working with computers and using the Internet and other technology?
  • Can you truthfully say you have self-discipline to managing your time wisely?
  • Are you willing to take responsibility for your own learning as well as work collaboratively with your classmates and instructor?
For more information visit, the UWM Online Learning page or call (414)229-4707 to discuss online learning with an advisor.
Who teaches online courses?
Online courses at SOIS are taught by full-time, tenure track faculty and lecturers. To further expand our elective offerings, SOIS hires experienced professionals to teach in specialized subject areas. These are all the same instructors you would find in a traditional, onsite class.
How are online courses delivered?
SOIS online courses are delivered mostly asynchronously (in non-real time) using Desire2Learn, an intuitive course management software tool. Some courses may take advantage of live chat sessions; others may make use of streaming audio or video lectures. As new technologies for course delivery become available, we will make every effort to take advantage of those that are appropriate to our degree programs.
How much do online classes cost?
For the 2013-2014 school year, the cost of a 3 credit online course is $1,176.00. This is the only fee charged for an online course; no additional tuition is assessed. For tuition and fee information visit the Aid & Fees page. (For onsite tuition information please visit: )
I'm an online student; can I enroll in a study abroad program?
Absolutely! SOIS offers numerous study abroad opportunities during the summer and UWinterim terms to South Africa, Korea, and Scotland to name just a few. Enroll early, though, because they fill up quickly!