Credits and costs
Enter the Growing Field of IT
The demand for college-educated IT professionals continues to increase as organizations from retail to manufacturing, business to science, improve and upgrade their IT infrastructures.
During the technology boom of the 1990s, workers with a high school diploma landed these high-paying IT jobs. Today, however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most employers are looking for candidates who have at least a bachelor’s degree.
If you want a career with growth potential that can provide opportunities across numerous industries and occupations, you can prepare for it by enrolling in Penn State's online bachelor’s degree program in IST.
Online IT Degree — The Right Choice for You
This degree is particularly suitable if you can bring your current real-world IT experience to your studies; however, you do not need previous experience in the field.
The online bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology is a good fit if:
- you are currently employed in IT, have an associate degree, and want to continue your education to advance your career
- you are currently employed in other professional or preprofessional positions and wish to expand your employment opportunities
- you are already employed in IT and want to enter a bachelor’s degree program, but you have no previous credits toward an IT degree
- you want to change your current career and do not have an IT background
Customize Your Degree with Options
Explore the role of information technology within and between businesses.
The Integration and Application option (ITINT) prepares you to use IT to support high-level strategic organization and problem solving. You can learn to analyze the needs of an organization, formulate and implement technology-based solutions, and evaluate outcomes. You can also learn how technology impacts the world at large, and what you can do with this information to shape the future. Course work in this option consists of team-programming experiences.
Create software and applications to drive technology forward.
The Information Systems: Design and Development option (ISDEV) helps you expand the skills needed to develop advanced information technology systems. You'll use state-of-the-art tools to learn how to develop applications and software, troubleshoot existing and new technology, and solve complex coding challenges. Course work in this option is project-oriented and consists of team-programming experiences.
Build Credentials along the Way
In the IT profession, continued learning is key to advancing your career. With this in mind, you might want to enroll in the associate degree in IST or the certificate in IST programs as you work toward your bachelor’s degree. Many of the credits in these programs can be applied to the requirements for your bachelor’s degree, so that means you can benefit from Penn State's highly respected name on your résumé even sooner. Your adviser can help you plan the best path for you to achieve your goals.
The Penn State Advantage
Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology is a leader among an emerging group in higher education known as i-schools, or information schools. Your faculty members in this online program are the same faculty who teach our respected on-campus programs. They are a diverse group of thought leaders from numerous fields, including computer science, engineering, psychology, chemistry, artificial intelligence, and more.
Here’s what you can expect:
- an academically rigorous, yet career-focused curriculum
- courses taught by highly respected faculty members
- access to a full-range of student support services
- technology to support your learning goals, not simply for convenience
When you have successfully completed this program, you will receive the same Penn State diploma that all of our graduates receive. You will become part of a worldwide network of alumni and can choose to join the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world with more than 170,000 members.
Online Education at Penn State
Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about Penn State World Campus.
To earn the Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology degree program you must complete a minimum 125 credits.
- 84 credits required for the major
- 26 prescribed credits
- 13 additional credits
- 21 supporting courses and related areas credits
- 24 option credits (Integration and Application or Design and Development)
- 8 credits of electives
- 45 General Education credits (12 of these credits are included in the requirements for the major)
The prescribed courses focus on developing theoretical foundations and the skills needed for incorporating information technology into different systems to enhance or improve system performance. The emphasis is on providing the theoretical frameworks needed to use information technology, as well as application-oriented experiences and skills.
Prescribed Courses (26 credits)
Students must earn a grade of C or better in all prescribed courses except STAT 200.
Additional Courses (13 credits)
Students must earn a grade of C or better in all additional courses.
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (21 credits)
- Emerging Issues and Technologies (3 credits): Please consult your adviser to learn about additional options for this course requirement.
- Foreign Language (12 credits): Attainment of third-level proficiency in a single foreign language. Proficiency must be demonstrated by either examination or course work.
- International Courses in Foreign Cultures (6 credits): Select 6 credits in international courses in foreign culture from University-approved list (semesters: 5–8).
Options (24 credits)
Customize your path by choosing one of the 24-credit degree options:
Studio Courses for the Design and Development Option (select 3 credits)
Students must earn a grade of C or better in all studio courses for the option.
Additional Courses for the Design and Development Option (select 6 credits)
Students must earn a grade of C or better in all additional courses for the option.
Supporting Courses and Related Areas for the Design and Development Option (9 credits)
Select 9 credits from College-approved list in consultation with an adviser.
Additional Courses for the Integration and Application Option (select 3 credits)
Students must earn a grade of C or better in all additional courses for the option.
Supporting Courses and Related Areas for the Integration and Application Option (12 credits)
Select 12 credits from College-approved list in consultation with an adviser.
Electives (8 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): 6 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
- Integrative Studies: 6 credits
This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.
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.
Costs and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||If you have 59 or fewer credits||If you have 60 or more credits|
|11 or fewer||$620 per credit||$664 per credit|
|12 or more||$7,527 per semester||$8,125 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 31 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by March 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.
Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.
You must be a high school graduate or have completed your GED to be eligible for admission into the degree program.
You are also required to satisfy the entrance-to-college requirements to be admitted into the College of Information Sciences and Technology by any of the following methods:
- completing three units of mathematics (four are recommended), selected from any combination of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. The college requires one-half unit of trigonometry or higher level math within the required three units
- completing MATH 022 (College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry) or MATH 026 (Plane Trigonometry) OR a higher-level math course offered by Penn State such as any one of the following:
1. MATH 040 (Algebra, Trigonometry, and Analytic Geometry)
2. MATH 041 (Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry)
3. MATH 110 (Techniques of Calculus I)
4. MATH 111 (Techniques of Calculus II)
5. MATH 140 (Calculus with Analytic Geometry I)
6. MATH 141 (Calculus with Analytic Geometry II)
- completing a trigonometry or higher-level course at another accredited institution with a grade of C or better
- receiving sufficient scores on Advanced Placement trigonometry or calculus exams
Important: Penn State's math placement exam results are NOT sufficient for satisfying the entrance into the College of IST requirement. The requirement must be demonstrated by letter grade or transfer credit. For more information about the entrance into the College of IST requirement for this program, contact an adviser.
Once you are admitted to the College of Information Sciences and Technology, you will work closely with your academic adviser to gain entrance to the bachelor's degree in information sciences and technology.
Criteria for entrance to the IST major:
You will have earned at least 27.5 credits with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and a C or better in the following courses: IST 110, IST 140 (or equivalent CMPSC 101 or CMPSC 121), IST 210, and IST 220.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:
High school transcripts or GED transcript - First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.
Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable). (All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.)
Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where coursework was attempted.
Submit official documents by mail to:
Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park PA 16802
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Start Your Application
Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.
If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:
- Review the application instructions before beginning.
- Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
- Pay the application fee.
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.
Review the technical requirements for this degree program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
Michael R. Bartolacci
DegreePh.D., Industrial Engineering, Lehigh University
DegreeMBA, Lehigh University
DegreeB.A., Engineering, Lafayette College
Dr. Michael R. Bartolacci is an associate professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State Berks. He conducts research in telecommunications modeling, electronic commerce modeling, customer relationship management, manufacturing modeling, and international aspects of telecommunications.
James (Jim) Farrugia
DegreePh.D., Spatial Information Science and Engineering, University of Maine
DegreeM.S., Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
DegreeB.A., Mathematics, East Stroudsburg University
Dr. James (Jim) Farrugia is an assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology. His areas of interest include programming, software development, data synthesis, and design and development.
DegreeM.S., Computer Education, Philadelphia University
DegreeB.S., Elementary Education, concentration in Mathematics, West Chester University
Nannette D'Imperio is a lecturer of information sciences and technology at Penn State Brandywine. Her areas of interest are programming languages, web-based learning, and applications.
DegreePh.D., Spatial Information Science and Engineering, University of Maine
DegreeM.S., Public Administration and Computer Science, Government School of the Joao Pinheiro Foundation, Minas Gerais, Brazil
DegreeB.S., Mechanical Engineering, Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Dr. Fred Fonseca joined Penn State in 2001 as an assistant professor. His work in the areas of research, geographic information science, information science, and information systems has led to many journal papers, research grants from NSF and other agencies, and successful master's and doctoral students.
DegreePh.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Penn State
DegreeM.S., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Penn State
DegreeB.A., Psychology, Florida International University
Dr. Katherine Hamilton, an assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology, teaches statistics and research methods. She conducts research on team effectiveness, particularly in the areas of virtual teams, team cognition, and team conflict.
David M. Hozza
DegreeMPS, Information Sciences (Cybersecurity), Penn State
DegreeB.S., Computer Science and Management, East Stroudsburg University
David M. Hozza is a lecturer in information sciences and technology. Prior to his appointment, he had a 30-year career in the IT industry, with responsibilities in storage architecture, systems administration, data analysis, and leadership management. His areas of interest include cloud computing, cybersecurity, data protection and storage, and enterprise integration.
Sadan Kulturel-KonakDegreePh.D., Industrial and Systems Engineering, Auburn University
Dr. Sadan Kulturel-Konak is a professor of management information systems at Penn State Berks. Her primary research focus is modeling, analysis, and optimization of complex systems using metaheuristic approaches, including Tabu search and genetic algorithms, combined with techniques from probability and operations research. Primary applications of her research include facility layout, redundancy allocation, orienteering, and scheduling.
Lynette Kvasny Yarger
DegreePh.D., Computer Information Systems, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University
DegreeM.S., Computer and Information Systems, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University
DegreeB.S., Computer and Information Systems, Mercy College
Dr. Lynette Kvasny Yarger is an associate professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Her areas of study include community computing initiatives in economically oppressed communities, the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the IT workforce, ethics and gender identity performance in online spaces, and the use of social media for political activism and social justice.
Alison R. Murphy
DegreePh.D., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
DegreeB.S., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
Dr. Alison R. Murphy is an assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology. She enjoys teaching students to think critically about the socio-technical impacts of technology on individuals, organizations, and society. She is also dedicated to researching how to improve the usability of health information technology for both individuals and organizations through the use of qualitative methods and UX design principles.
DegreeM.S., Information Science, Penn State
DegreeB.S., Information Systems, Philadelphia University
Joseph Oakes is a senior lecturer in information sciences and technology at Penn State Abington. His areas of interest are android, software development for mobile devices, gaming, cryptography, and cluster networks.
Gregory O'TooleDegreePh.D., Media and Communication, European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland
Dr. Gregory O'Toole is a lecturer in information sciences and technology at Penn State Abington. His areas of interest are open source web design and development, web research, and education.