2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Information Studies

Portrait photograph of Dean 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.

The Syracuse University iSchool became the original information school in the U.S. when it expanded on the study of library science and embraced the broader field of information. It is a leader in this 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.

Our faculty combine 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. An active research community and research centers explore topics that reflect the faculty’s diverse intellectual backgrounds and interests.

Message From the Dean

If you’re interested in learning about the iSchool, you are a person in the know about what’s both innovative and exciting to study today, and what will lead you to an outstanding, high-demand, cutting-edge, well-paying career in the future.

If you’re looking for your undergrad home, know that while here at the iSchool at Syracuse, you will love and benefit from many experiential, hands-on, outwardly facing opportunities to learn - and not just from lectures and books, although there is that too of course.  iSchool students have the opportunity to get a realistic feel for the variety of positions they aspire to - through internships; trips such as Spring Break in Silicon Valley, EntreTechNYC, and Peak to Peak; exercising their entrepreneurial ideas in the Blackstone LaunchPad and the Student SandBox, with an Entrepreneur in Residence to guide and support their start-up, or hack-a-thon style competitions like a weekend of creating and pitching new apps for MLB.com (that’s the official Major League Baseball communications site!)

As you browse the catalog and website, particularly our news and our InfoSpace blog, you’ll get a strong sense of the excitement, opportunities, rich preparation, and tremendous success stories of our students and alums - and you can be one of them.

Above all, remember that the future opens wide for those who are prepared with the best creative, thoughtful, and technical capabilities for getting the most from the data that surrounds us - as all data is information, and the iSchool at Syracuse excels at preparing you for our ever-evolving world of data - whether it’s textual, numeric, pictorial, or digital - it is all data, and so it’s all INFORMATION - and you too can become the master of it!


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.

Vision and Values

The School of Information Studies, established in 1896 and renamed as the Original  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:

  • 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.
  • Center for Computational and Data Sciences (CCDS). 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 School’s current emphasis on Data Science research.
  • Center for Emerging Network Technologies (CENT). 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.
  • 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: The ICE Box stands for innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. This 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.

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 can enroll in one of the iSchool’s three minors:

  • Data Analytics Minor : This minor is an attractive offering for students who want to apply the principles of data analytics in their primary field of study, such as Psychology, Sport Management, Engineering, Economics, Sociology, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Real Estate, or the Natural Sciences.
  • Information Management and Technology Minor : Provides knowledge of information technology and related information and communication problems that makes students more marketable, no matter their career.
  • Information Technology, Design, and Startups Minor : Provides basic knowledge and skills required to run a successful business including how to develop and refine new ideas – the seeds of innovation – and turn those ideas into a viable venture.

iSchools Organization

We are a founding member of the iSchools Organization an educational organization consisting of deans from over 90 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.