What are the Information Sciences?

The Information Sciences (IS) field has so many applications that it would be hard to find a profession that isn't touched by it in some way. Institutions that make up our everyday lives - hospitals, banks, supermarkets, manufacturers, entertainment companies, governments, and corporations - employ Information Professionals.

The Information Sciences discipline focuses on the intersection of information, technology, and people. The field requires a broad interdisciplinary approach to the individual elements that comprise information (systems, users, delivery methods, ethics of use and production), the relationship between them, and their relationships to other aspects of society and human endeavor. The research and academic programs at Information Schools (iSchools) address the challenges and opportunities in managing both information and information systems, melding them to serve the needs of the individual, industry, and society.

Currently, the United States, like the rest of the world, is experiencing what some call the "digital divide." There is a disparity between the information haves and have-nots. Every day, we are becoming more overwhelmed by the volume of available information available to us, but we just don't have enough professionals to help us make the best use of it. And not enough of those professionals reflect the face of society.

Studying at an iSchool

By studying at an iSchool, you not only obtain critical skills and knowledge, but can gear your professional contributions toward the community of your choice. Do you want to help children to learn better? Create an online reading program. Do you want to help a not-for-profit to better track the distribution of relief supplies? You can do that. Would you like to be a role model for potential students in a leading-edge discipline? There's no better way to make a difference.

Think of it this way: The amount of information that is digitally available triples each year. That creates a growing demand for people who can manage the data — and design the systems — wisely. But it's not just about job security; it's about changing the world.


i3 is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


  • Drexel University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Pittsburgh