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Undergraduate Programs

Academic Services Office

Gould-Simpson 901
(520) 621-4632
Monday-Friday: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Closed for lunch 12:00 to 1:00 pm.

Please email your advising questions to advising@sista.arizona.edu

Click Here to Schedule a Student Advising Appointment

All current and prospective students are invited to email us their quick questions. The online appointment scheduling system is available only to students who have a UA NetID and password.

Prospective students who do not yet have a NetID should contact 621-4632 or advising@sista.arizona.edu to schedule an appointment.

 

Program requirements and comparison of BS and BA:

 

SISTA offers both BS and BA degree programs with a Bachelor of Arts in Information Science and Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology. Each degree provides students with the broad knowledge and skills necessary to function effectively and flexibly as part of an information-based workforce. While students in both the BS and BA programs study a wide range of topics relating to the ways in which information is obtained, stored, organized, processed, and understood, they differ in their focus:

The BS degree is intended for students who expect to use their knowledge in a scientific job or postgraduate program, so the BS is more technical and has a more solid mathematical and algorithmic basis. Thus, the BS has stronger mathematics requirements, and requires more thematic and specialized courses, and more breadth in the areas covered by SISTA courses.

The BA degree extends the idea of a liberal arts education: We live in the Information Age, and a well-educated citizen must understand it. The BA requires less mathematics and fewer technical courses than the BS; however, it does require a minor, encouraging the BA student to specialize in one area where information science, information technology, or information arts makes a difference. The BA minor could well be in studio courses, music, theater, dance; or in any area of the humanities, engineering or science.

Both degrees consist of courses organized into three tiers. The first tier emphasizes foundations: dealing with enormous quantities of data, programming, digital ethics, statistics, and the fundamental ideas in information science. The middle tier goes deeper into techniques that serve multiple fields, such as sequence analysis (e.g., in biology, business, computational music, computational linguistics, etc.); and information retrieval (e.g., in digital libraries, search engines, bioinformatics, cosmology, etc.). Building on these cross-disciplinary courses, the final tier of courses is more advanced, technical, and specialized; for example, students with a particular interest in neurology or computer music might take as a follow-on to sequence analysis a course on stochastic processes. Students in the BA degree will complement SISTA major courses with minors in their particular areas of interest.