IST student at a lab
Associate in Science in
Information Sciences and Technology

Courses

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 another institution. However, some additional course work may be necessary. For additional instructions, contact an adviser.

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.

Prescribed Courses (select 21 credits)

    • 3
      credits

      The use, analysis, and design of information systems and technologies to organize, coordinate, and inform human enterprises.

      • Note

        The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) requirement.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      This is an introductory university-level course in computer systems literacy. The history, architecture and operation of computing systems and underlying computing theory are covered.

      • Option requirement

        Students planning to complete the Cybersecurity option must select CYBER 100/100S

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Examines the relationship between physical capabilities, cognitive and social models, and philosophical issues pertinent to human-centered analysis, design and development work.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      This introductory course spans areas of security, risk, and analysis covering contexts in government agencies and business organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    A first course in concepts and skills for application development.

    • Prerequisite

      C or better in MATH 21 or placement above the level of MATH 21 in the mathematics placement test.

    • Recommend preparation

      MATH 22

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to the concept of databases, including the storage, manipulation, evaluation, and display of data, and related issues.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to digital network topologies, transmission media, signal modulation, digital packet switching and routing, systems integration, communications management, and security.

    • 3
      credits

      Introduction to how the World Wide Web utilizes emerging technologies. Students acquire a conceptual understanding of constructing websites.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to create both basic and more dynamic web-based content pages and applications.

      • Prerequisite

         IST 250 or IST 242 or CMPSC 122 or CMPSC 132

      • Note

        IST 256 may count in the major requirements or the option, but cannot double count toward both requirements

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to systems analysis and design, stressing the process of requirements acquisition, specification, design, and implementation.

    • Prerequisite

      IST 110, IST 210, IST 220, and ENGL 15

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

    • 1
      credit

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

      • Prerequisite

        IST 110

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

      • Note

        IST students may be able to receive full academic credit by submitting a portfolio of technical work samples created from their full-time work experiences that are no more than two years old.

    • or:
      1
      credit

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

      • Prerequisite

        IST 110

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

      • Note

        IST students may be able to receive full academic credit 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 (select 12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to speech communication: formal speaking, group discussion, analysis and evaluation of messages.

    • 3
      credits

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

      • GQ

        This course can be used to satisfy the Quantification (GQ) requirement.

    • or:
      3
      credits

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

      • GQ

        This course can be used to satisfy the Quantification (GQ) requirement.

    • or:
      3
      credits

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

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 021 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination.

      • GQ

        This course can be used to satisfy the Quantification (GQ) requirement.

    • or:
      4
      credits

      Functions, graphs, derivatives, integrals, techniques of differentiation and integration, exponentials, improper integrals, applications.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 022 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination

    • or:
      4
      credits

      Functions, limits; analytic geometry; derivatives, differentials, applications; integrals, applications.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 22 and MATH 26 or MATH 26 and satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination or MATH 40 or MATH 41 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination.

    • or:
      4
      credits

      Descriptive Statistics, frequency distributions, probability and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

      • Prerequisite

        Placement into MATH 21 or higher.

  • 3
    credits

    An intensive, rhetorically based experience in reading and writing that will prepare you both to understand the communications that surround you and to succeed in your own communication efforts.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGL 4 or satisfactory performance on the English placement examination

    • GWS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

    • 3
      credits

      Writing for students in scientific and technical disciplines.

      • Prerequisite

        ENGL 15, ESL 15, ENGL 30, and 4th Semester standing OR ENGL 137H, ENGL 138T, and 4th Semester standing

      • GWS

        This course can be used to satisfy the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Writing reports and other common forms of business communication.

      • Prerequisite

        (ENGL 15 or ENGL 30) and fourth-semester standing

      • GWS

        The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

Option Requirements

Courses vary based on the option selected. Review the following lists for each option's unique requirements.

Application Development Option (select 12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Intermediate application development including algorithms, data structures, and object-oriented concepts.

    • Prerequisite

      A grade of C or better in IST 140 or CMPSC 121 or IST 240

  • 3
    credits

    This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to create both basic and more dynamic web-based content pages and applications.

    • Prerequisite

       IST 250 or IST 242 or CMPSC 122 or CMPSC 132

    • Note

      IST 256 may count in the major requirements or the option, but cannot double count toward both requirements

  • 3
    credits

    Introductory design and development studio course for IST and SRA students.

    • Prerequisite

      A grade of C or better in IST 242 or permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to object-oriented applications including applications in an Object Oriented Design (OOD) language or OOD languages.

    • Prerequisite

      A grade of C or better in IST 242 or CMPSC 221

  • 3
    credits

    Interdisciplinary survey of topics and methods related to the human-centered design use and usability of information systems.

    • Prerequisite

      A grade of C or better in IST 240 or IST 242

Custom Option (12 credits)

The student, in consultation with their adviser, selects 12 credits in courses which follow a coherent theme in information sciences and technology. Examples of specific themes include: Web development, Psychology, and Usability.

Cybersecurity Option (select 12 credits)

Courses can not double count with the major requirements.

  • 3
    credits

    This studio course teaches four basic hands-on cyber-defense skills: configuring a firewall, implementing a host-based intrusion detection software tool, using the Metasploit tool to do penetration testing, and implementing a network intrusion detection tool.

    • Prerequisite

      (CYBER 100 or CYBER 100S) and IST 140

  • 3
    credits

    Intermediate application development including algorithms, data structures, and object-oriented concepts.

    • Prerequisite

      A grade of C or better in IST 140 or CMPSC 121 or IST 240

  • 3
    credits

    This introductory course spans areas of security, risk, and analysis covering contexts in government agencies and business organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides overview of nature, scope, and seriousness of threats to security as a result of terrorism and crime.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an understanding of the overview of information security including security architecture, access control, and internet secure applications.

    • Prerequisite

      SRA 111 and (CMPSC 101 or IST 140 or CMPSC 121)

Generalized Business Option (select 12–14 credits)

  • 4
    credits

    Introduction to the role of accounting numbers in the process of managing a business and in investor decision-making.

    • Prerequisite

      MATH 21 or 1.5 units of high school algebra

  • 3
    credits

    Nature of finance function; risk and return concepts; working capital; dividend policies; mergers; security markets; acquisition and management of corporate capital; analysis of operations; forecasting capital requirements; raising capital; and planning profits. Available to baccalaureate students only.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 015 or ENGL 030) and ACCTG 211 and (ECON 102 or ECON 104) and (SCM 200 or STAT 200)

  • 3
    credits

    Supply chain management concepts, principles, and methodologies.

    • Prerequisite

      ACCTG 211 and ECON 102 and (SCM 200 or STAT 200)

    • 3
      credits

      Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems.

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on customer behavior, product, channels of distribution, promotion, and pricing with emphasis on a culturally diverse environment. Not available to students who have taken BA 303.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 015 or ENGL 030) and (ECON 102 or ECON 104) and (MATH 021 or higher or satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination.)

  • 3
    credits

    Study of fundamental principles and processes available to the understanding of management.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 015 or ENGL 030) and (ECON 102 or ECON 104) and (MATH 021 or higher or satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination)

  • 4
    credits

    Explores the ethical, political, social, legal and regulatory, technological, and demographic diversity environment of business.

    • Note

      A student may not receive credit toward graduation for both BLAW 243 and BA 243.

Networking Option (12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Preparation for PC hardware support: Students learn data recovery and how to build, configure, upgrade, troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair PCs.

    • Prerequisite

      IST 220

  • 3
    credits

    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

    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

    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

Electives (select 5–9 credits)

Courses chosen in consultation with an adviser.

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 3 credits
  • Quantification (GQ): 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
    May be satisfied by designated courses that also meet other degree or General Education requirements.
  • 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.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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