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Our Information Science and Technology (IST) major combines core IT skills like front-end web design, programming and project management with electives that you choose. The only degree of its kind in the UW System, the IST degree will prepare you to be a leader in the IT industry.

Building on a general undergraduate education, the IST program immerses students in information science, information architecture, human factors in information seeking and use, information organization, storage and retrieval, and applications of the internet. This degree prepares graduates to be IT leaders in our increasingly digital culture and economy.

Program Type


Program Format

Hybrid, On Campus, Online

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Where will the IST degree take you?

An IST degree has no boundaries! From building online solutions for nonprofit organizations to securing and maintaining IT networks in corporations such as Northwestern Mutual, Rockwell Automation & Acuity, IST students and graduates are building the information and technology systems that people depend on today and envisioning the innovations of tomorrow.

UWM Prepares Graduates for a Wide Range of IT Professions

IST Program Options at a Glance

Major, minor, double-major, plus certificates! The flexible nature of the IST degree curriculum will allow you to customize your program by developing a focused area of study or by choosing a minor or certificate in another field. Students wishing to pursue a certificate or minor in another field are encouraged to make this decision early in their program, and speak to their academic advisor to plan their course of study.

The IST program is also a great choice for transfer students. Whether you are an associate degree holder from a UW System university, a technical college IT associate degree holder, or changing your major, our advising staff will assist you with transferring credits to maximize the work you’ve already completed.

Major: Information Science & Technology (BSIST)

Major in Information Science & Technology (BSIST)

The bachelor’s of Information Science & Technology degree will prepare you to be a leader in the IT industry. You will learn core technical skills and build upon those skills with the professional knowledge, critical thinking and creative skills needed to help organizations innovate IT practices, products and services.

Minor: Information Science & Technology (IST)

Minor in Information Science & Technology (IST)

Most careers require skills in the effective use of information and technology. Because of this, the minor in Information Science & Technology pairs well with all degree programs at UWM. The minor appeals to students who wish to acquire the essential knowledge and skills in information science, information architecture and information technology while pursuing studies in their major areas.

IST minor combines well with:

  • Computer Science
  • Communications
  • General Business
  • Journalism & Media Communications
  • Health Care Administration
  • Interactive Arts
  • Intelligent Systems
  • International Studies
  • Philosophy
  • English/Technical Writing
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Requirements (18 credits)

Fulfillment of the minor in Information Science & Technology (IST) requires the completion of 18 credits of INFOST coursework.

  • Required Course (3 credits)
    INFOST 110 – Introduction to Information Science & Technology
  • IST Core Courses (6 credits)
  • IST Electives (9 credits) – INFOST 300-level or above
  • For a complete list of requirements and elective coursework for the minor in Information Science and Technology, please visit the IST Minor Requirements page >

Declare the IST Minor

Students interested in pursuing the IST minor should complete the IST Minor Declaration Form and contact a SOIS academic advisor for further details.

IST Joint Certificates

The IST program notably allows students to customize their degree program by developing a focused area of study or by choosing a minor or certificate in another field. The ability to customize your education will enhance the IST degree and allow for specialized preparation and experience in your area of interest.

Certificates are interdisciplinary programs that combine courses from multiple subject areas. Some certificate programs may have requirements that can be covered by the completion of IST program requirements.

  • BSIST + Digital Arts & Cultures Certificate
    The Digital Arts & Cultures (DAC) Certificate creates opportunities for students to gain practical skills in creating and critically analyzing digital art and media, as well as an understanding of the cultural and political implications of a host of emerging technologies. Visit the Digital Arts and Culture website for complete details.
  • BSIST + Certificate in Health Care Informatics
    Offered cooperatively with the College of Health Sciences, the Certificate in Health Care Informatics prepares students to understand, analyze and evaluate information technology used to perform administrative and clinical tasks within a health care organization. Visit the Health Care Informatics page for complete details.
  • BSIST + Web Development Certificate
    Offered cooperatively with the College of Engineering & Applied Science, the Web Development Certificate creates opportunities for students to enhance their IST degree with additional web programming components. Visit the Web Development Certificate page for complete details.
Accelerated Master’s Degree (BSIST + MSIST)

The accelerated Bachelor of Science / Master of Science Degree in Information Science & Technology provides qualified students the option of an accelerated course of study toward an advanced degree. The accelerated program helps students obtain both an undergraduate and graduate degree in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.

Internships and Experiential Learning

Becoming a leader in IT means immersing yourself in the tools, technologies and experiences of the profession. Milwaukee is home to major employers, innovative startups, Fortune 500 companies and an ever-growing technology landscape. The city is an extension of the classroom, and many opportunities exist to gain real-world experience through internships as well as experiential learning opportunities such as the nonprof-IT program.

BSIST Mission & Learning Outcomes

BSIST Mission

The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology (BSIST) program is to prepare students – equipped with technical, interpersonal and ethical proficiencies – for careers in the information professions­ who will design, build and support user-focused information technology solutions to meet a diverse set of needs.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology (BSIST) program will have the ability to:

  • Analyze complex information and technology needs and apply principles of information science and other relevant disciplines to identify and implement solutions.
  • Design, implement evaluate, and administer information systems to meet a given set of requirements – including user and organizational needs — in diverse environments.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in the design, implementation and evaluation of information technology solutions.
  • Recognize organizational and social responsibilities as information professionals and make informed judgments based on legal and ethical principles.

[Syllabi for all BSIST courses – both core and electives – should specify which of the learning outcomes will be achieved by the end of the course]

Approved by BSIST Curriculum Committee: March 2, 2018

The Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology —offered in the UW Flexible Option—is designed to help you achieve your goals, on your schedule, and on your budget. As a competency-based program, you will build on your existing IT knowledge and skills.

IST Degree Requirements

The IST program includes a total of 120 (minimum) credits distributed in the following areas:

Area I – General Education Requirements (GER)

General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements, or GERs, are frequently offered broad-based courses that all students need to take to earn a UWM degree. General Education Competency Requirements should be completed early in the academic career. The GER areas needed to complete the IST degree include:

Competency Requirements:

  • Oral and Written Communication (OWC) Competency
    • OWC Part A
    • OWC Part B
  • Quantitative Literacy (QL) Competency
    • QL Part A
    • QL Part B
  • Foreign Language Requirement

UWM Distribution Requirements

  • Arts
  • Humanities
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Cultural Diversity

Complete details on General Education Requirements can be found online at: https://catalog.uwm.edu/policies/undergraduate-policies/#generaleducationtext

Area II – IST Core Courses (30 credits)

The following 9 courses (30 credits) are required:

  • INFOST 110 – Introduction to Information Science
  • INFOST 240 – Web Design I
  • INFOST 290 – Project Teams, Leadership and Communication
  • INFOST 310 – Human Factors in Information Seeking and Use
  • INFOST 315 – Knowledge Organization for Information Science & Technology
  • INFOST 340 – Introduction to Systems Analysis
  • INFOST 350 – Introduction to Application Development
  • INFOST 410 – Database Information Retrieval Systems
  • INFOST 440 – Web Application Development
  • INFOST 490 – Senior Capstone
Area III – Information Studies Upper Division Electives (15 credits)

Choose 5 additional Information Studies courses at the 300, 400 or 600 level.

Examples of such classes are:

  • INFOST 320: Web Design II
  • INFOST 325: Information Security I
  • INFOST 370: Data Analysis and Visualization for the Information Professional
  • INFOST 375: Multimedia Web Design
  • INFOST 383: Native Mobile Applications
  • INFOST 385: Information Security II
  • INFOST 465: Legal Aspects of Information Products and Services
  • INFOST 491: Advanced Topics (Responsive UI Design; Oracle Academy Database Design & Programming w/SQL; Information Architecture)
  • INFOST 695: Ethical Hacking I
  • INFOST 697: Cisco Routing and Switching I

Contact your advisor for additional course options.

Area IV – IST Cross-functional Electives (12 credits)

Cross-functional electives help students become more well-rounded IT professionals. Choose a 3 credit course from each of the five following disciplines:

  • Business (3 credits)
  • Communication (3 credits)
  • Technical Arts (3 credits)
  • Philosophy/Psychology (3 credits)
Area V – General Electives (42 credits)

Advisors are available to assist with the selection of general electives, including additional areas of study that are appropriate to your career goals, and to complete the 120 total credit requirements for the IST degree.

Choosing your electives wisely and careful planning will allow you to complement your IST degree with additional certificates, study abroad experiences, minors and/or a double major – building on the strong core foundation within the IST program, often without adding additional time to degree.

Examples of programs that pair nicely with the IST major include:

Certificate Program Options

  • Certificate in Health Care Informatics
  • Digital Arts & Culture Certificate
  • Web Development Certificate

Minor Options

  • Art
  • Computer Science
  • Communication
  • General Business
  • Global Studies
  • Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Health Care Administration
  • International Studies

For a complete list of UWM minors visit: https://uwm.edu/academics/?_program_type=minor

Enhance your coursework

Expand your knowledge beyond the classroom through internships, independent study programs, and study abroad opportunities.

Internships (INFOST 495)

Employers look for students who have real-world experience – an internship is a great way to get your foot in the door. The internship course (INFOST 495) is designed to provide IST students with practical experience. It is intended for students who have not had previous work experience in professional information technology settings. In order for the internship to count towards IST Upper Division Elective credits, the student must enroll in INFOST 495 (3 cr.). The student must complete 12 credits in the IST major prior to beginning the internship.

It is the responsibility of the student to identify and secure a site for an internship. At the same time, the student needs to meet with a faculty advisor who will ensure that the internship meets the work and academic learning requirements to count for 3 credits.

Internship Placement Application & Evaluation Forms
Please complete the Internship Placement Application and Evaluation Forms found here: wwwdev.uwm.edu/informationstudies/students/faqs-forms-and-policies/fieldwork-and-internship-forms/#ist-internship

Experiential learning

Consider participating in an internship with the SOIS nonprof-IT program:

nonprof-IT Logo

Gain real-world experience, work with teams, provide technology solutions, and develop a passion for service. Learn more about the SOIS nonprof-IT program>>

Independent Study (INFOST 399)

An independent study provides the student with an opportunity to pursue a project or research topic under the guidance of a SOIS faculty member. In order for an independent study to count towards IST Upper Division Elective credits, the student must enroll in INFOST 399 (1-3 cr.).

The student must first design a proposed action of study. Prior to registering for INFOST 399, the student must meet with a faculty member who will oversee the independent study and discuss the proposed independent study. The faculty member and student will establish a written contract detailing objectives, plan of action and means of evaluation. The student is expected to assume primary responsibility for learning – the faculty member is a facilitator in helping to arrange learning opportunities.

Independent Study Guidelines/Application Form (pdf)

Study Abroad (INFOST 497)

International Experiences and Study Abroad programs provide an experience that will enhance a student’s education personally, professionally, and socially. For information on international programs organized by SOIS, please visit our International Experiences & Study Abroad Opportunities page

Learn more about the Study Abroad programs offered by UWM

An IST degree has no boundaries!

Information science and technology students and graduates are building the information and technology systems people depend on today and imagining the innovations of tomorrow.

Visit our IT Career Paths webpage to learn more about careers in IT and the classes you can take to prepare you for your IT career.

Example Job Titles & Employers

Job TitleEmployer
Analytics ConsultantNorthwestern Memorial Hospital – Chicago, IL
Solutions DeveloperOmni Resources – Milwaukee, WI
Interactive Web DeveloperFRED Agency – Atlanta, GA
Adversarial Security Testing EngineerNorthwestern Mutual – Milwaukee, WI
UX Product ManagerCisco – Seattle, WA
Information Security AnalystJockey International – Gurnee, IL
Software EngineerCharles Schwab – Austin, TX
Radiology Clinical Systems AnalystUW Health – Rockford, IL
Digital Experience ConsultantAflac – Columbus, GA
Data AnalystHealthEquity – Milwaukee, WI
Solutions EngineerVMware – Milwaukee, WI

IT Careers – Median National Salary Ranges

Computer Network Architects$126,900
Computer Support Specialists$59,660
Computer Systems Analysts$102,240
Database Administrators and Architects$112,120
Information Security Analysts$112,000
Network and Computer Systems Administrators$90,520
Software Developers$124,200
Web Developers$80,730
Technical Writers$79,960
From: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm

Career Services

Our career services advisor is available to assist students with career planning and preparation. In addition to networking events and career-prep workshops, our career services advisor can provide one-on-one consultation throughout your academic program. Visit our career resources page for more information.