This 60-credit online program in information sciences and technology is an excellent way for working adults everywhere to obtain a reputable degree conveniently, without having to leave work or home to attend classes on a campus. The curriculum allows students to develop their writing, business, and management skills, all within a contemporary context of the information sciences. For those wishing to continue their studies further, the 60 credits earned toward an associate degree can often be applied toward the requirements of a bachelor's degree at Penn State, or at another institution. However, some additional course work may be necessary. For additional instructions, contact an adviser.

To earn this associate degree, you must successfully complete:

  • 45–47 major course credits — this includes 9–12 credits of General Education including 3 credits in GQ courses and 6 credits in GWS courses.
  • 21 General Education credits
  • 5–9 elective credits

You may also be able to earn a professional certificate along the way. Contact an adviser by email or phone at 800-252-3592 to learn more about how to include these résumé-building milestones on your educational path to an associate degree.

Course List - Associate in Science in Information Sciences and Technology 

Requirements for the Major (45–47 credits)

This includes 9–12 credits of General Education, including 3 credits in GQ courses and 6 credits in GWS courses. A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major.

Prescribed Courses (21 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Information, People, and Technology IST 110 (GS) The use, analysis, and design of information systems and technologies to organize, coordinate, and inform human enterprises. 3 credits
Seminar in Information Sciences and Technology IST 111S Introduction to academic requirements, career planning, and information literacy for students majoring in the School of Information Sciences and Technology. 1 credit
Organization of Data IST 210 Introduction to concept of databases, including the storage, manipulation, evaluation, and display of data, and related issues. 3 credits
Networking and Telecommunications IST 220 Introduction to digital network topologies; transmission media, signal modulation, digital packet switching and routing, systems integration, communications management, and security. 3 credits
Introduction to Web Design and Development IST 250 Introduction to how the World Wide Web utilizes emerging technologies. Students acquire conceptual understanding of constructing websites. 3 credits
Introduction to Systems Analysis and Design IST 260W Introduction to systems analysis and design, stressing the process of requirements acquisition, specification, design, and implementation.

Prerequisite: IST 110
3 credits
Distributed Team Project*

or

IST Internship*
IST 295A

or

IST 295B
Supervised experience in which student teams work on information system design projects gathered from industry or units within the University.

Prerequisite: IST 110

or

Supervised work experience in which the student is employed in an information sciences and technology position in industry, government, or academia.

Prerequisite: IST 110
1 credit

* IST students may be able to receive full academic credit for the required IST 295A or 295B courses by submitting a portfolio of technical work samples created from their full-time work experiences that are no more than two years old.

Prescribed General Education Courses (12 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Effective Speech CAS 100B (GWS) Principles of communication, implemented through group problem solving, with some attention to formal speaking and message evaluation. 3 credits
Introduction to C++ Programming CMPSC 101 (GQ) Properties of algorithms, languages, and notations for describing algorithms, applications of a procedure-oriented language to problem solving.  3 credits
Rhetoric and Composition ENGL 015 (GWS) Instruction and practice in writing expository prose that shows sensitivity to audience and purpose. 

Prerequisite: ENGL 004 or satisfactory performance on the English proficiency examination  
3 credits
Effective Writing: Technical Writing

or

Effective Writing: Business Writing
ENGL 202C (GWS)

or

ENGL 202D (GWS)
Writing for students in scientific and technical disciplines.

or

Writing reports and other common forms of business communication.

(A student may take only one course for credit from ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, and 202D.) 
3 credits
Requirements for the Baccalaureate Option (17 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy ECON 102 Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.  3 credits
Language, Logic, and Discrete Mathematics IST 230 Introduction to formal languages, mathematical logic, and discrete mathematics, with applications to information sciences and technology.

Prerequisite: MATH 110 or MATH 140  
3 credits
Introduction to Computer Languages IST 240 Introduction to the specification and application of languages and language paradigms that interact with computers.

Prerequisite: A grade of "C" or better in: IST 140; CMPSC 101
3 credits
Techniques of Calculus I MATH 110 Functions, graphs, derivatives, integrals, techniques of differentiation and integration, exponentials, improper integrals, applications.

Prerequisite: MATH 022 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination  
4 credits
Elementary Statistics STAT 200 Descriptive statistics, frequency distributions, probability, binomial and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

Prerequisite: Placement into MATH 021 or higher  
4 credits
Requirements for the Generalized Business Option (Choose 15–16 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making ACCT 211 Introduction to the role of accounting numbers in the process of managing a business and in investor decision making.

Prerequisite: MATH 021 or 1.5 units of high school algebra  
4 credits
Small Business Management B A 250 Analysis of problems of the small firm, particularly for the student who wishes to venture into business.

Prerequisite: 3 credits in economics  
3 credits
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy

or

Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy
ECON 102 (GS)

or

ECON 104 (GS)
Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution. 

or

National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems. 
3 credits
Finite Mathematics

or

College Algebra I
MATH 017 (GQ)

or

MATH 021 (GQ)
Introduction to logic, sets, probability.

or

Quadratic equations; equations in quadratic form; word problems; graphing; algebraic fractions; negative and rational exponents; radicals.
3 credits
Introduction to Selling Techniques MKTG 220 Principles underlying the sales process and practical application of these principles to selling situations. Studies role of selling in total marketing process.  3 credits
Leadership and Motivation MGMT 321 Applies organizational behavior theories, concepts, and skills to leading and motivating individuals and groups.

Prerequisite: B A 304 or MGMT 301 or 3 credits of psychology sociology or cultural anthropology  
3 credits
Requirements for the Individualized Option (15 credits)
Title
The student, in consultation with their adviser, selects 15 credits in courses which follow a coherent theme in information sciences and technology.
Requirements for the Networking Option (15 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
PC Hardware Basics IST 225 Preparation for PC hardware support: Students learn data recovery and how to build, configure, upgrade, troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair PC's.

Prerequisite: IST 220
3 credits
Networking Essentials  IST 226 Concepts for peer-to-peer and server-based network:International Organization for Standardization-Open Systems Interconnection (ISO-OSI) reference model, industry standards, troubleshooting, performance monitoring, and optimization.

Prerequisite: IST 220  
3 credits
Network Administration IST 227 Administering peer-to-peer and client/server networks: Planning, installation, server configuration, resource management, remote access, performance monitoring, and optimization.

Prerequisite: IST 226  
3 credits
Advanced Network Administration IST 228 TCP/IP planning, installation, configuration: IP addressing, subnetting, routing, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS), address/name resolution, Domain Name System (DNS); database, web, mail server management.

Prerequisite: IST 226
3 credits

Finite Mathematics

or

College Algebra I

or

College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry

or

Plane Trigonometry

MATH 017 (GQ)

or

MATH 021 (GQ)

or

MATH 022 (GQ)

or

MATH 026 (GQ)

 

 

Introduction to logic, sets, probability.

or

Quadratic equations; equations in quadratic form; word problems; graphing; algebraic fractions; negative and rational exponents; radicals.

or

Relations, functions, graphs; polynomial, rational functions, graphs; word problems; nonlinear inequalities; inverse functions; exponential, logarithmic functions; conic sections; simultaneous equations

or

Trigonometric functions; solutions of triangles; trigonometric equations; identities.

 
General Education (21-27 credits*)
Description Credits
Arts – GA 3 credits
Humanities – GH 3 credits
Natural Sciences – GN 3 credits
Social and Behavioral Sciences – GS 3 credits
Writing and Speaking – GWS (CAS 100, ENGL 015) 6 credits
Quantification – GQ (CMPSC 101) 3 credits
Any General Education course, including Integrative Studies (Inter-domain or Linked courses) 3 credits
United States Cultures (US), or International Cultures (IL) or combined designation (US; IL) 3 credits*
Writing Across the Curriculum (W, M, X,Y) 3 credits*

*May be satisfied by designated courses that also meet other degree or General Education requirements.

Note: 15 of these 21 credits are included in requirements for the major

Electives (5–9 credits)
Description Credits
Courses chosen in consultation with an adviser. 5–9 credits

 

Course Availability

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