Learn how information is retrieved, organized, manipulated, repackaged, and applied in nearly every aspect of our increasingly digital culture and economy.
The Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology (IST) degree immerses students in information science; information architecture; information organization, storage and retrieval; and applications of the Internet.
Offered by the UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies (SOIS), this is the only IST degree program of its type in the state of Wisconsin. Focusing on a core set of IST competencies, students are encouraged to expand their skills and knowledge through a personally created degree plan built to match their career goals.
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.
Who Should Apply
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 UW 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
- 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
About the UW-Milwaukee 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 provide assessments and design the curriculum
- Students can personalize and custom-design their degree plans based on transfer credits and elective credits to maximize their career options
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools.
The Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology (BSIST) emphasizes core IT skills like front-end web design, HCI and database management, information architecture, human computer interaction, information organization, storage and retrieval, and applications of the Internet. The only IT degree of its kind in the UW System, the IST program prepares graduates to be IT leaders in our increasingly digital culture and economy.
“My bachelor’s degree in IST has opened the doors to software and web development projects I would have otherwise not qualified for.” – Tyler Coady, 2017 graduate
Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology (IST) program will have the ability to:
- Analyze complex information and technology needs, and to apply principles of information science and other relevant disciplines to identify and implement solutions.
- Design, implement, evaluate, and administer information systems to meet a given set of requirements – including user and organizational needs — in diverse environments.
- Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
- Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in the design, implementation, and evaluation information technology solutions.
- Recognize organizational and social responsibilities as information professionals and make informed judgments based on legal and ethical principles.
The IST program includes a total of 120 credits. Click on each heading to see the competency sets available in each area!
Area I: General Education Requirements (21 credits)
General Education Requirements, or GERs, are competency sets that all students need to meet to earn a UW-Milwaukee degree. General Education requirements should be completed early in the academic career. Your Academic Success Coach (ASC) will help you understand your general education requirement needs and options to complete them.
Area II: IST Core Competency Sets (27 credits)
INFOST 110x—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 210x—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 230x—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 240x—Web Design I
Uses popular authoring tools to cover the basics of organizing information.
INFOST 310x—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 340x—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 350x – Introduction to Application Development
Introduction to the fundamental concepts of application development. Basic application development concepts will be explained, analyzed, and practiced.
INFOST 410x—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 440x—Web Application Development
The interactive web design server interaction. Special emphasis on database connectivity and application development on the Internet.
INFOST 490x—Senior Capstone
Analysis, creation, development and presentation of an information retrieval system project for an information organization.
Area III: Information Studies Upper Division Electives (15 credits)
Choose 15 credits of electives that are at the 300 level or above. Some examples of such competency sets include:
INFOST 330x – Electronic Information Retrieval Systems
Examination and utilization of advanced technologies and practices being employed in web usability and design.
INFOST 370x – Data Analysis & Visualization for the Information Professional
Introduction to data analysis and visualization using simple statistical analyses to create graphical depictions of data that can improve comprehension, communication, and decision making.
INFOST 375x – Multimedia Web Design
Fundamentals of interactive Web development and scripting, allowing students to create Web animations and render interactivity of information on the Web.
Additionally, the UW Flexible Option offers a related certificate that you can earn, which may help satisfy your Area III requirements for your IST major:
Area IV: IST Cross-functional Electives (15 credits)
Choose 15 credits of electives from each of the following areas: business, communications, technical arts, philosophy/psychology, & information science. Some examples of such competency sets include:
INFOST 120x – Ethical Issues in Information Technology
This competency set provides a comprehensive overview of the ethical issues in contemporary information and communication technologies.
BUS 101x – Introduction to Business
Introduction to the role of business in the modern political, social and economic environments; describes career opportunities.
ENG 206x – Introduction to Business and Technical Communications
Students will learn to assess communication situations using core rhetorical principles of audience, purpose, and context, and, after study and practice, will demonstrate their competency in producing key verbal and written genres such as email, memos, letters, presentations, and reports.
EGR 110x – Engineering Graphics
An introductory course in engineering graphics focusing on graphical communication. The course incorporates computer aided drafting (CAD) with engineering applications using 2-D drawing and 3-D modeling techniques.
Area V: General Electives (42 credits)
Your Academic Success Coach will assist you with the selection of general electives that are appropriate to your career goals to complete the 120 total credit requirements for the IST Degree.
Additionally, the UW Flexible Option offers a related certificate that you can earn, which can help satisfy your general elective requirements for your IST major:
“Everything I’ve learned applies to my work” – Cathy Zornes, 2018 graduate
In this program, you’ll take competency sets designed by expert UW-Milwaukee faculty. Check out our faculty directory to learn more about the School of Information Studies faculty team.
University of Wisconsin System campuses require students to complete a specific number of credits “in residence” to earn a degree. (“Resident credits” are credits earned at the campus granting the degree.) Transfer students are responsible for fulfilling these residency requirements.
Transfer students must complete at least 30 credits with UWM, even if this brings the total number of earned credits beyond the total number of credits required for the degree. For example, if you enter a UW Flexible Option program with 100 transferable credits, you must complete 30 credits with UWM to receive the bachelor’s degree (even though normally the degree requires 120 credits).
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, UW 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.
During your subscription period, you are able to access learning materials, complete assessments, and receive academic support. Subscription periods begin on the second day of every month. You can choose from two subscription options, each with a different tuition, depending on the number of competency sets you wish to attempt during the subscription period. Not sure what a competency set is? Check out our sample competency set to see one for yourself.
- All-You-Can-Learn Option: Choosing this option allows you to enroll in two or more competency (skill) sets. You may enroll in as many competency sets as you can successfully master within a three-month period for a flat tuition rate of $2,250. This option is ideal for motivated learners who would like to earn their degrees or certificates more quickly.
- Single Competency Set Option: If you would like to study at a slower pace during a three-month subscription period, you may enroll in a single competency set. As with the All-You-Can-Learn Option, you must successfully demonstrate mastery of each competency in the set through a series of assessments. The tuition for this “one-set-per-subscription-period” model is $900. Note: After the tenth day of the subscription period, students who are enrolled in the Single Competency Set level are not eligible to add additional competency sets during their subscription period. Such students must wait until a subsequent subscription period to add additional competency sets.
|Subscription options||Term length||Tuition||Competency sets you can complete|
|All-You-Can-Learn||3 months||$2,250||2 or more|
|Single Competency Set||3 months||$900||1|
Additional Fees: Tuition covers assessments and mentoring, but excludes the cost of books and other special materials that may be required for your program.
Finishing your degree is closer than you think! This page has everything you need to know about the admissions process.
To be considered for admission to the Bachelor of Science in Information Science & Technology, you must have at least 1 year of professional IT experience.
Applying for Admission
You will be considered for admission after completing the following action items:
- Schedule an advising call with your Enrollment Adviser. You can make an appointment at 608-262-2011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submit your e-application and the $50 application fee through apply.wisconsin.edu.*
- Send in your official transcripts from all colleges attended (including transfer credit), and from your high school or equivalent of graduation.**
UW Flexible Option Admissions
5602 Research Park Blvd., Suite 303
Madison, WI 53719
- Send in a statement of your professional IT experience (you could also send in a resume).
- Complete transferable algebra and English coursework. See the Placement Testing section below for details.
- Do your Holistic Student Profile survey and Orientation Part 1. Your personalized links will be sent to you after we receive your e-application.
Our admission process considers many factors when assessing your application for admission to a UW Flexible Option program. Your high school records, strength of prior college coursework, rigor of curriculum and academic readiness, test scores, grade point average, academic goals, relevant work experience, and your potential for success will all be considered. Please contact us at 608-262-2011 or via email at email@example.com to discuss your readiness for this program.
UW Flexible Option is only admitting domestic students at this time. A domestic student is someone who is either a U.S. Citizen, a U.S. Permanent Resident, or holds Refugee, Asylee, or Jay Treaty status. All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores or similar proof of English proficiency.
Students Returning to UW Flexible Option
If you were previously enrolled in the UW Flexible Option and now wish to return after a period of time away, discover your next steps.
Placement tests are designed to measure prerequisite skills that help us place you into the correct college-level English and math competency sets.
You will be asked to take a placement test if:
- You are a new freshman student who has never attended college
- You are a former college student who has not completed a transferable college-level English composition and/or algebra course
During the application process for UW Flexible Option, you will be notified if a placement test is required. If you are required to take a test, an Admissions Specialist will send you scheduling instructions.
Still have questions about the admission process?
Check out our Admission FAQ page.
*You are not required to pay the $50 application fee if you were previously enrolled in a degree program at UW-Milwaukee, or if your most recent degree program was through one of the 2-year UW Colleges campuses or UW Colleges Online.
**You are not required to submit a high school transcript if you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.