Information Science & Technology


Online Bachelor Of Science In Information Science & Technology

Now available in the UW Flexible Option format, the Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology (IST) degree at the UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies (SOIS) is the only IT degree program of its type in the state of Wisconsin. Focusing on a core set of IT competencies, students are encouraged to expand their skills and knowledge through a personally created degree plan. IST students learn how information is retrieved, organized, manipulated, repackaged, and applied in nearly every aspect of our increasingly digital culture and economy. The degree immerses students in information science, information architecture, information organization, storage and retrieval, and applications of the Internet. IST students can create a custom degree path that matches their career goals.

Areas of Study

In addition to the General Education Requirements and elective credits necessary for a UWM bachelor’s degree, the core competency sets in the IST program encompass the study of the concepts and tools of information science, information architecture, and information technology—all of which are fast becoming important tools of most disciplines.

  • Information Science, the study of the organization, storage, retrieval, dissemination, and use of information.
  • Information Architecture, the investigation, analysis, organization, and implementation of information content where users’ needs and
    specifications are of major importance.
  • Information Technology, the collection of tools that make it possible to access and use information.

Program Requirements

The IST program includes a total of 120 credits. These credits are distributed in the following areas:

  • Area I: General Education Requirements (21 credits)
  • Area II: IST Core Competency Sets (27 credits) – See core competency sets below
  • Area III: Information Studies Upper Division Electives (15 credits)
  • Area IV: IST Cross-functional Electives (15 credits)
  • Area V: General Electives (42 credits)

IST Core Competency Sets (Area II)

INFOST 110—Introduction to Information Science and Technology

Introduces basic issues in information science, including the nature of information, information policy, knowledge organization, information services, and the relationships between information technologies and society.

INFOST 210—Information Resources for Research

Introduction to research processes necessary for effective, college-level, library research. Emphasizes analysis of research questions, development of search strategies, and critical evaluation of materials.

INFOST 230—Organization of Knowledge

An interdisciplinary introduction to information and knowledge organization, including principles of conceptual systems in various disciplines and their relevance and application to knowledge organization.

INFOST 240—Introduction to Web Design

Uses popular authoring tools to cover the basics of organizing information.

INFOST 310—Human Factors in Information Seeking and Use

Overview of human information needs, seeking, and processing, including human factors in the design, development and evaluation of information services.

INFOST 340—Introduction to Systems Analysis

Theories, principles, and tools for planning, organizing, assessing, and evaluating information. Emphasizes the importance of user’s perspective. Covers the various stages of systems analysis and outlines the appropriate methods for each stage.

INFOST 410—Database Information Retrieval Systems

Introduces the design and development of different types of electronic information systems, including database types, design issues, application development, and software selection and evaluation.

INFOST 440—Web Application Development

The interactive web design server interaction. Special emphasis on database connectivity and application development on the Internet.

INFOST 490—Senior Capstone

Analysis, creation, development and presentation of an information retrieval system project for an information organization.

download a free flexible option info kit

Get Your Free Info Kit

Learn more about this competency-based education option and why it’s a smart choice for working adults.

Download a free UW Flex info kit

Fill out the short form below to receive a Flexible Option Information Kit, including an 8-page introduction to this innovative education option and details about the flexible Information Science & Technology program (PDF).

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Too busy to earn a bachelor’s degree? Read about one Flexible Option student who is able to travel and play in a band while earning an Information Science and Technology degree.

The UW Flexible Option is especially designed for self-motivated nontraditional students who want their previous schooling, work skills, and prior knowledge to apply toward degrees or certificates. The competency-based and self-paced format of the UW Flexible Option fits the schedules of students who must balance work and family responsibilities with educational goals. Because most Flexible Option competencies and assessments are delivered online, students have the opportunity to learn when and where they choose.

This Self-Paced Program Is Ideally Suited For Students Who:

  • Working IT professionals who have completed some college, technical school, or
    previous certification
  • Individuals who have significant experience as IT professionals
  • Motivated, disciplined self-starters who can work independently
  • Those who recognize the value of a University of Wisconsin degree

Apply Now



The UW Flexible Option offers working adults a more affordable way to earn a UW degree or certificate. Instead of paying by course or by credit, Flex lets you pay a flat rate for a three-month subscription period. You won’t spend valuable time or money sitting through courses you don’t need. If you already know the material, you may be able to pass assessments more quickly, and potentially accelerate your time to graduation.

Find out more about tuition for the Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology by visiting the Tuition & Financial Aid page.




See How One Student Earned 33 Credits In Three Months With Flex

Programmer Dan Fitch explains how he earned 33 credits in three months and saved $7,500 in tuition by earning a Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology through the self-paced, competency-based UW Flexible Option format.




The UW Flexible Option offers a new way to earn a college degree or certificate, different from both face-to-face classroom instruction and traditional online instruction. As a student in a this program, you will:

  • Start when you want, at the beginning of any month. Your progress is not limited by a traditional semester or term-based schedule, and you can take breaks in between subscription periods if and when you need to.

  • Earn credit using existing knowledge. You may draw upon prior learning to complete assessments and make progress toward your degree or certificate. It does not matter where you gained your knowledge—from prior courses, work experience, military training, or other learning experiences. If you know it and can show it, you can use it to earn credit.
  • Advance at your own pace. Progress toward your degree or certificate is based on assessments of key competencies determined by UW faculty, not seat time in a classroom. Take assessments whenever you are ready. Pass one and move on to the next.
  • Receive personalized support. A dedicated Academic Success Coach will work with you to create your learning plan and a timeline tailored to fit your goals and knowledge. Your coach will help you prepare for assessments and point you to the learning resources you need to succeed.
  • Learn skills employers value. By passing assessments of critical competencies, you will prove your mastery of the skills and knowledge that are important to employers.

Best of all, you will graduate with a degree or certificate from a University of Wisconsin institution that is recognized and respected.

Be sure to visit our FAQs page for more information about the Flexible Option format, how it differs from traditional online and face-to-face programs, and how it works.


AccreditationAccredited Higher Learning Commision North Central Association

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools.

About The Uwm School Of Information Studies

  • The only IT program of its kind in the state of Wisconsin
  • SOIS continues to be an innovation leader in education—the IST has been offered on-site and online since 2003
  • A mix of tenure-track faculty and IT professionals provides assessments and designs the curriculum
  • Students can personalize and custom-design their degree plans based on transfer credits and elective credits to maximize their career options


Call a friendly enrollment adviser to find out more about the UW Flexible Option. If you would like to assess your readiness for this self-paced, online education option, we invite you to take the Flex Fit self-evaluation. This free online assessment will help you and an adviser determine whether Flex is a good fit for your lifestyle, education needs, and goals. Once you have completed your evaluation, call us to discuss your results and next steps. Get started today!

Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. CT; Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; first Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. to noon.

Other ways to contact us:

Fax: 608-262-4096

Flexible Option Enrollment Team
UW-Extension–Continuing Education, Outreach & E-Learning
5602 Research Park Blvd., Suite 303
Madison, WI 53719