iSchool at Illinois to launch BS in information sciences

Emily Knox
Emily Knox, Associate Professor and BS/IS Program Director

The iSchool at Illinois is pleased to announce plans to launch a Bachelor of Science degree in information sciences (BS/IS). The first degree of its type on campus—and among public universities in the state of Illinois—it will equip graduates to compete successfully in today’s technology-centered job market.

A STEM-designated degree, the BS/IS will combine technology skills with a broad understanding of how people interact with information. Consistent with other iSchool programs, it will offer a human-centered, interdisciplinary approach to managing and using information.

Students will prepare for work in the public or private sector, including areas such as education, health care, business and finance, arts and communications, and government. Examples of career paths include data analyst, user experience designer, database manager, policy analyst, technology support specialist, and web content analyst/manager.

Associate Professor Emily Knox, BS/IS program director, will provide leadership for the new degree. "The BS/IS focuses on helping people use information and technology to meet their goals and benefit society. It will offer an education in the core values of library and information science—including equitable and open access to information, user privacy and confidentiality, information ethics, inclusion and diversity, and intellectual freedom—to a wider audience," she said.

The BS/IS will include seven required courses, including a database course and research methods course, and a range of electives for degree customization. Students will learn how to:

  • Design information systems and services
  • Organize, manage, and enhance information
  • Interpret data for real-world application and collaboration

"This new degree will allow students to attain rewarding careers in the rapidly growing field of information science," said Dean Allen Renear. "It also is strongly aligned with the University's strategic plan, making transformative learning experiences available to students from diverse backgrounds and preparing them to make a difference in society."

The BS/IS will be offered on campus beginning in fall 2020. Students can get started early in fall 2019, completing the following courses required for the degree: Social Aspects of Information Technology (IS 202) and Computers and Culture (IS 390CC).

For more information about the BS/IS degree, please contact Associate Professor Knox at

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