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Field of Study: Information Science


Information science programs teach people about the collection, organization, and use of information in traditional and electronic formats.



Information science programs include topics such as:

  • Information classification and organization
  • Systems planning and design
  • User interfaces
  • Database development
  • Information policy analysis
  • Communications and networking

Many community colleges and 2-year schools offer associate degree programs in information science. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in information science. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in information science. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.


College preparation

For this program, schools recommend that you know how to use a computer and the Internet.

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Advanced Algebra courses
  • Calculus
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Business Computer Applications
  • Computer Science and Programming
  • Physics


Undergraduate special

In addition, many programs require you to apply for admission even after you've been admitted to the school. Typically you must complete introductory computer science courses as well as math and engineering courses before you are admitted.


Graduate admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar field, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Computer Science
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Professional computer experience


Typical course work

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • Client/Server Systems
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Science
  • Data Communication and Networks
  • Data Structures and File Processing
  • Database Management Systems
  • Human/Computer Interaction
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Information Systems Analysis and Design
  • Operating Systems
  • Problem-Solving
  • Programming Techniques
  • Relational Databases
  • Software Engineering
  • System Development

Graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree typically include:

  • Required courses
  • Thesis (master's degree)
  • Preliminary exams (doctoral degree only)
  • Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree)


Things to know

It is common for employers to require you to have a bachelor's degree to gain entry-level work in the field.

Information science degrees are sometimes offered as part of an overall computer science program. Often they are combined with computer science into a single program.


Similar fields of study

Careers you may qualify for

College Computer Science Teachers
Computer and Information Scientists
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Systems Software Developers



Association for Computing Machinery
Click on "Educational Activities."

Schools that offer program

Click on the school name to see a list of their programs related to this field of study.

Alexandria Technical & Community College , Located in Central
Alexandria Technical & Community College - Online , Located in Central
Augsburg College - Minneapolis, Located in Metro
Bemidji State University , Located in Northwest
Bemidji State University - Online , Located in Northwest
Century College - White Bear Lake, Located in Metro
Century College - Online - White Bear Lake, Located in Metro
College of St. Scholastica - Duluth , Located in Northeast
College of St. Scholastica - St. Paul , Located in Metro
DeVry University - Edina , Located in Metro
Metropolitan State University - Online - Saint Paul, Located in Metro
Metropolitan State University - St. Paul - Saint Paul, Located in Metro
Minnesota State University Moorhead , Located in Northwest
Minnesota State University Moorhead - Online , Located in Northwest
Normandale Community College - Bloomington, Located in Metro
Normandale Community College - Online - Bloomington, Located in Metro
Rochester Community and Technical College , Located in Southeast
Rochester Community and Technical College - Online , Located in Southeast
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota - Minneapolis , Located in Metro
St. Cloud State University , Located in Central
St. Cloud State University - Online , Located in Central
University of St. Thomas - St. Paul, Located in Metro
Walden University - Minneapolis, Located in Metro