2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Information Studies

Image of Elizabeth D. Liddy

Elizabeth D. Liddy, Dean & Trustee Professor
Hinds Hall

About the School

The Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) is a leading University center in advancing both the theory and practice of the information professions, based on an interdisciplinary view of information phenomenon. The iSchool at Syracuse University the original information school-is a leader in the information field, which lies at the intersection of management, technology, and people. The iSchool offers an innovative curriculum that is continually updated to meet future industry trends and incorporate rapidly changing technologies.

Our approach stands out from other institutions that offer computer science, management, information science, and related programs in that our focus is on users and user information needs as a starting point for integrating information and information technology into organizations. The faculty combines expertise in information systems, linguistics, computer science, library science, education, business management, school media, digital literacy, management information systems, data science, enterprise and cloud computing, wireless and emerging technologies, and communication. The faculty are very active in research topics that reflect their diverse intellectual backgrounds and interests.

The Central Themes of the School of Information Studies

Five basic themes express the school’s research and teaching mission. These themes define our vision of the information field and provide a focus for both the design of our curriculum and our sponsored research.

The Interrelationship Among the Five Central Themes of the School of Information Studies:

  • Information and Telecommunications Management considers information and technologies within organizational contexts.
  • Information in the Marketplace focuses on how organizations interact with each other and exchange information and products.
  • Information Representation and Retrieval forms the building blocks of information systems, as well as the processes necessary to enable humans to access and use information.
  • Human-Information Interaction focuses on people and how the individual or group seeks and uses the products of information representation and retrieval.
  • Information and Society considers the implications and issues for culture and society of the broad use of information systems and technologies.

The School of Information Studies offers the following degree programs:



   * The Telecommunications and Network Management program is not currently accepting new applicants.

Certificates of Advanced Study

Message from the Dean


The greatest challenge facing us in our increasingly digital world is the potential for the wealth of information that now exists to create a poverty of attention. We as a society need to better organize, represent, locate, and provide information efficiently and effectively, or risk being consumed by this overabundance of information. That is where the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) makes one of its most significant contributions.

Our vision is to expand human capabilities through information. What matters is that we make a difference in everything we do, and that this difference is a positive one affecting individuals, organizations, and ultimately society. We intend to add value to society through education and through the information, systems, and services we help to create. We pledge to do this ethically, competently, professionally, with respect for the individual, and with passion.

We connect people to the information they seek so they can make the best decisions for their organizations-whether their business is commerce, government, entertainment, communications, medicine, education, or human services. All of these organizations make decisions and take actions based on the information that is known. Our graduates ensure that they have the most accurate and appropriate information from which to base those decisions.

Originally founded as a library science school in 1896, our school was the first in its field to embrace the information revolution by becoming the Original Information School in 1974.

Our expertise in information management attracts the attention of global companies, governments and organizations that compete to recruit our graduates. Our faculty members are working with global leaders in the information technology industry in research and curriculum development in such areas as green data centers, global collaboration, big data, and identity management and access control.

We educate our library and information science students to take leadership positions and to develop forward-looking policies and guidelines for libraries and other organizations. Our school media faculty members and graduates are changing policies to improve the quality of education and to motivate learning in students of all ages.

Our faculty and alumni are reshaping information governance and policies around the globe, securing our networks and information systems, and expanding access to information communication and technology through innovative product design and implementation.

Our faculty members are masters of many academic fields and work across traditional disciplinary lines, and teach our students to do the same. This unified diversity is the strength of the school as well as of the information field itself. The information profession is the field of the future and we invite you to become part of this future. Let us provide you with the skills to achieve positive change at the intersection of management, technology, and people.

Join us!

Vision and Values

The School of Information Studies, established in 1896 and renamed as the first Information School in 1974, has a long tradition of leading innovation and change. Our ideals and values are the foundation for our success.

Our Vision

To expand human capabilities through information.

Our Values

  • Inquiry. We are dedicated to exploration. Exploration and innovation are critically important to the information field and a vital part of our school. We share the university’s vision of being a leading student-centered research university by dedication to being a student-centered research college. We promote this goal through discovery, development, application, integration, and active learning.
  • Individuality. We are committed to the individual. High-performance organizations are composed of high-performance individuals. Our faculty, staff, students, and partners are risk takers who have a high tolerance for ambiguity. While we value our work together in a highly spirited team atmosphere, we value the individual, and respect individuality. Our organizational norms dictate that we are relentless in attacking problems, but supportive in valuing individual differences.
  • Diversity. We are intellectually diverse. Complex problems require multidimensional and interdisciplinary analysis and solutions. The school fosters a multiplicity of “voices” addressing the important areas of teaching and research in the information field. The school seeks faculty from many related disciplines who respect a diversity of opinion and perspective, and thrive on the tension of discussion and debate.
  • Adaptability. We are adaptive and able to evolve. Today’s competitive, complex, and ever-changing environment requires innovation, flexibility, and rapid responses. Our initiatives and developmental processes are driven by a Do-Learn-Revise model. This model encourages entrepreneurship and risk-taking, celebrating success as a community achievement and embracing challenge as a learning opportunity.
  • Unity. We are a faculty of one. The faculty sits as a whole, not as individuals or groups who represent one specific program in which they teach or ascribe affiliation. Students and faculty are challenged to benefit from the paradox of a single information field manifested in many professional expressions. Students and faculty learn from each other by shared intellectual experiences and by appropriate curriculum integration across the degree programs.
  • Continuity. We are an enduring organization. With over a century of innovation and leadership behind us, the school makes a lasting contribution to our field. In building our school we concentrate on building an abiding organization that goes beyond the influence of any particular dean or member of the faculty.

Our Goal

To transform the information field through leadership in research, development, and education.

Our Points of Distinction

  • Whatever we do, we do through information and for people
  • Through information we transform individuals, organizations, and society
  • We recognize that information technology and management processes are means and not ends

Research Centers

Many of the faculty conduct their research individually and in small, flexible, interdisciplinary teams. For certain specialized areas and cross-unit collaborations, however, research centers and laboratories provide a venue that supports long- term commitment to a particular research area. The following research centers and laboratories are located in the school:

  • Center for Convergence and Emerging Network Technologies (CCENT). The mission of CCENT is to understand the future of networking technologies, and to engage students, faculty and industry in the process of defining and shaping that future. CCENT currently has setup four testbeds for studying emerging network technologies, including wireless networking, network security, unified communication systems, and Internet protocol version 6.
  • Center for Digital Literacy (CDL) is an interdisciplinary, collaborative research and development center dedicated to (1) understanding the impact of information, technology, and media literacies on children and adults (particularly those from underserved populations) in today’s technology-intensive society and (2) studying the impact having or not having these literacies has on people, organizations, and society.
  • Center for Computational and Data Sciences (CCDS) is committed to advancing important and practical research in the social sciences, using advanced computational approaches. The Center builds on the iSchool’s historic strengths in human language technologies, such as natural language processing and machine learning, and the iSchool’s emphasis on data science research. CCDS researchers work to advance the science of data collection, retrieval, curation, analysis, and archiving and apply those techniques to important social problems.
  • Behavior, Information, Technology and Society (BITS) Lab is the home of an inter-disciplinary team of researchers who develop cutting-edge applications, tools, and software, and engage in innovative studies of how people use information and communication technologies and how their use of these technologies affect society.
  • Social Computing Systems Lab (SALT) focuses on systems research in social computing. Researchers seek a deep understanding of how people interact with sociotechnical computing systems, and develop original designs that either enable new forms of user/social interaction or impact existing user/social interaction.
  • Smart Grid Project Center researchers seek to understand the impact of merging information technologies with the electric grid. Integration of these technologies creates a smarter grid, providing opportunities for the energy industry to improve its reliability and efficiency.

Our faculty members embrace innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in their research. The iSchool supports the Syracuse Student Sandbox incubator, and works closely with the Blackstone Launchpad, a campus-based experiential entrepreneurship program open to students, alumni, staff, and faculty, offering coaching, ideation and venture creation support.


Hinds Hall-Academic Facilities

Hinds Hall, located on the Main Campus Quad, is the home of the School of Information Studies. This four-story, 48,000 square-foot building showcases the latest in technology and design, including collaborative work rooms, state-of-the-art classrooms, research centers, and a student lounge and cafe.

Equipped with high-performance wireless networking, the facility supports virtual collaborations with global partners and includes an enhanced computer laboratory infrastructure with four main labs:

  • The iLab-Accommodating up to 40 students, this is our signature computer lab, featuring dual display screens for increased productivity in a variety of computer applications.
  • iTELL (Information Technology Experiential Learning Lab)-Students get hands-on experience working with the latest telecommunications equipment on their own servers and networking devices in the iTELL Data Center.
  • iSysLab (Information Systems Lab)-Dedicated to the iSchool’s more technical classes, this lab features a variety of hardware and software for students to use.
  • Innovation Studio-This multi-purpose, highly reconfigurable 1,000-square-foot space is modeled after an artist’s studio to promote collaboration, idea generation, and rapid prototype development for student and faculty teams. A video studio with editing bays is attached.

The ICE Box, a space for innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship, is a newly renovated iSchool work area in Hinds Hall. The space has become a model for blending creative design and technology within a community environment. The ICE Box merges physical space for co-working and hosting events, and a resource hub supporting entrepreneurship opportunities both on- and off-campus. Originally designed to allow for the spontaneous expression of creativity, the ICE Box has become a place where students collaborate on innovative products and services, meet with faculty and professionals, mentor each other on the nuances of their classes and even complete their homework. The space has been built with the new economy in mind and the understanding that the best ideas flourish when conversations include diverse parties from multiple colleges.

The iSchool’s home in Hinds Hall received an American Institute of Architects Central New York Chapter Citation Award for the redesign and renovations conducted by Ashley McGraw Architects of Syracuse.

Undergraduate Education

Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) undergraduates are innovative problem-solvers who enjoy interacting with people as well as exploring new information technologies such as mobile devices, sensors, and wireless networks, as well as social media and data analytics.

The iSchool offers the undergraduate Information Management and Technology, BS , which combines technology, business, and communications courses to educate 21st century professionals who can enter virtually any industry upon graduation.

Our flexible curriculum allows you to pursue a broad array of intellectual areas while providing a core knowledge of the technical, organizational, and communication skills necessary to succeed in our networked society. You can craft your education to fit your individual interests, and we offer dual degree programs with Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management  and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications .

Students often combine their iSchool education with another passion such as art and design, journalism, sports analytics and management, marketing, political science, or a foreign language. The small-school atmosphere provides individualized attention to each student while the larger Syracuse University community offers a rich array of additional resources.

Students from other schools and colleges at SU often enroll in one of the iSchool’s two minors:


Syracuse University is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and all programs are registered with the New York State Education Department. The MSCHE is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that has been dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation, since 1919.

The Master of Science in Library and Information Science within Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) is accredited by the American Library Association. ALA accreditation indicates that the program has undergone a self-evaluation process, been reviewed by peers, and meets the standards established by the American Library Association and Committee on Accreditation.

The iSchool is also a registered Project Management Institute Education Provider, meaning that the school’s curriculum meets an international standard of best practice in the field of project management.

iSchools Organization

We are a founding member of the iSchools Organization, an educational organization consisting of deans from over 80 leading information schools across the globe who have joined together to build awareness of, support for, and involvement with the information field. The organization holds a yearly gathering, the iConference, to provide a forum in which information scholars, researchers, and professionals share their insights on critical information issues in contemporary society.