College of Information Sciences and Technology Penn State University Park

College of Information Sciences and Technology Penn State University Park

University Park, PA
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
December 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
2 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


An interdisciplinary college in a globally recognized public research university

Pennsylvania State University--University Park has been educating students since 1855, when the original campus opened in State College, Pennsylvania. Today the Penn State system enrolls more than 10,000 graduate students. Students enrolled in the College of Information Sciences and Technology have access to 2 graduate degree programs: the PhD in Information Sciences and Technology and the MS in Information Sciences and Technology.

"US News & World Report" ranks Penn State among the Best Global Universities. The university has been included among the nation's so-called "Public Ivies," schools that offer an Ivy League-quality education at public-school tuition rates. In keeping with that reputation for value, "The Princeton Review" includes Penn State in its Best Public Schools, Colleges that Pay You Back, Best Northeastern Colleges, and Best Alumni Networks.

A strong research focus in the College of Information Science and Technology

The College of Information Science and Technology at Penn State University has won more than $70 million in research grants and contracts, and the college operates multiple research centers. These include:

- The Center for Big Data Analytics and Discovery Informatics

- The Center for Cyber-Security, Information Privacy, and Trust (The LIONS Center)

- The Center for Human-Computer Interaction

- The Center for Online Innovation in Learning

- The Center for Enterprise Architecture

- The Center for Network-Centric Cognition and Information Fusion

The IST program also operates more than a dozen research labs and groups dedicated to such areas as spatial information, artificial intelligence, machine learning and information retrieval, intelligent information systems, applied cognitive science, computational social science, cybersecurity, network science and crisis informatics.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Information Sciences and Technology

The PhD in Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State is a competitive and research-focused program that works to develop students into sought-after problem solvers in a number of IST disciplines. The program's research areas include, but aren't limited to:

- artificial intelligence, particularly in the areas of machine learning, image analytics, and computational discovery

- big data, including privacy and security as well as discovery informatics

- cognitive science, with strengths in distributed cognition, psycholinguistics, and dynamic network modeling

- health and bioinformatics, with a strong focus on brain informatics and protein-interface analysis and prediction, and

- information economics and policy, with a particular emphasis on information-security economics and the relationship between digital privacy and public policy.

Graduate students have the opportunity to present their research at Penn State's annual spring Graduate Exhibition as well as at other conferences. Research by IST graduate students and faculty members has earned awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, UbiComp, and the Association for Computing Machinery.

The Master of Science in Information Sciences and Technology

The MS degree program in the College of Information Sciences and Technology is a 30-hour, research-focused endeavor that requires either a research thesis or a scholarly paper as part of the program. The program requires 2 years of full-time study.

Core courses in the MS program are Foundations of Theories and Methods of Information Sciences and Technology Research and Foundations of Research Design in Information Sciences and Technology, both designed to give students a holistic understanding of the subject. Twelve credit hours may come from a combination of specialized IST classes and graduate-level courses from other relevant disciplines.

A streamlined financial aid process

The College of Information Sciences and Technology automatically considers all graduate studies applicants for assistantship positions and funding. PhD candidates in the IST program receive full funding in most cases. The college takes pride in its strong track record in winning research grants and contracts, and in supporting PhD students through scholarships, assistantships, and fellowship programs. Assistantships and fellowships include a stipend sufficient to cover living costs in this region, full tuition coverage, and access to university-provided health benefits.

In addition to the assistantships available for PhD students, IST often provides additional funding for travel to professional events such as conferences and workshops. Typically these funds are provided for students who are making presentations at the event and advanced students who are on the job market. Other travel funds may be available from advisors and research sponsors.

Alumni achievements and career paths

Graduates of the Information Sciences and Technology PhD program have gone on to teach at Harvard, Michigan State, Carnegie Mellon, and universities overseas. Others have pursued careers with businesses and agencies including the US Army Research Laboratory, Microsoft , Google, and GE Labs.

Nearly half (48%) of the program's PhD graduates pursue careers in academia, while another 41% move into business and industry and 2% accept government positions. Master's degree holders from the College of Information Sciences and Technology primarily (64%) go on to business and industry roles. Another 15% work toward the PhD, and 4% take up academic careers.

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Information Science Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Doctoral Degrees 13
    • Master's Degrees 13
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
    • Distance learning programs available? Yes
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Location & Contact

College of Information Sciences and Technology

Penn State University Park

321F IST Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

Phone: 814-865-8711

Request More Info


44% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 161
    • Accepted 72
    • Acceptance Rate 44
    • Enrolled 35
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $65
    • Application Fee - International $65
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International
    • Fall deadline December 15th December 15th
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE, TOEFL iBT (international applicants), resume, writing sample, statement of research background and goals, three letters of reference
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE, TOEFL iBT (international applicants), resume, writing sample, statement of research background and goals, three letters of reference

Tuition & Fees

    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Types of financial support availableGraduate Assistantships, Graduate Fellowships, Scholarships and/or loans
    • Other types of financial support availableFAFSA
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadline for FAFSAMarch 1

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students140
    • Female Percentage33%
    • Male Percentage67%




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