Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Penn State University

4-Year Baccalaureate Majors

Majors by Area of Interest


COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Computer Engineering* (Start at any Campus and Finish: Behrend)

The mission of the faculty of the undergraduate Computer Engineering program is to provide students with the knowledge and experience needed to pursue a productive lifelong career in industry or to engage in further study at the graduate level. Students participate in a balanced program of instruction covering the basic principles of the design and application of computer systems. The program includes coverage in breadth and depth in basic science, engineering, and abstract concepts of information handling. Students will specialize in and be prepared for careers in the design, analysis, and use of hardware, software, and systems. The program is structured to ensure that graduates have a clear understanding of the design and applications of computers as well as the ability to apply this knowledge throughout their professional careers.
(College of Engineering)

* Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012; telephone, 410-347-7700; www.abet.org.

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Computer Engineering* (Start at any Campus and Finish: University Park)

This major provides students with a strong foundation in computer engineering through a combination of classroom study, design projects, and laboratory experience. Analysis and design of computer hardware and software systems are stressed. Built upon a core of science and mathematics courses, this major has the objective of educating graduates to be problem solvers. Students acquire the ability to work as members of a team toward successful attainment of a common goal, preparing them for industry or further study in graduate school. In addition, written and oral communication skills are developed, culminating in a senior design project that stresses communication as well as engineering content.
(College of Engineering)

* Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012; telephone, 410-347-7700; www.abet.org.

College of Engineering

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Computer Science (Start at any Campus and Finish: Harrisburg)

This program is designed to help students prepare for employment as computer scientists in engineering, scientific, industrial, and business environments as software developers, programmers, and systems analysts. While most students will enter the job market directly upon graduation, graduate school in computer science or related areas is also an option. Selection of electives can be tailored for students pursuing this path. The Computer Science major provides a solid foundation in the areas of systems programming, algorithm design, artificial intelligence, and engineering large software systems using state-of-the-art methodologies and programming languages. Students may expect to: develop a solid foundation in mathematical studies relevant to computer science; master skills in computer science; enjoy possibilities for internships and part-time employment with local companies; and become problem solvers. These goals are consistent with the goals outlined by the Association of Computing Machinery.
(Capital College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Computer Science (Start at any Campus and Finish: Behrend)

This major builds on a firm foundation of computer science, mathematics, and natural science courses. The major stresses the fundamentals of computer science—programming, discrete math, data structures, graphics, analysis and design of algorithms— and their practical applications in system programming, database management, scientific visualization, and telecommunications. Graduates of this program will be prepared for a wide variety of computer-oriented careers in business, industry, and government, particularly in areas that require the practical application of computer science concepts and techniques to solving problems in the natural sciences. In addition, graduates will be prepared to pursue graduate study in computer science or in computationally intensive subdisciplines of the natural sciences, such as bioinformatics, computational biology, computational physics, or computational chemistry.
(The Behrend College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Computer Science (Start at any Campus and Finish: University Park)

Computer Science is concerned with the analysis, design, and applications of computing software and systems. It includes a core foundation in computer hardware and software with emphasis on the design of efficient, fault-free software. It includes programming languages, data structures, compilers, operating systems, databases, and artificial intelligence. The major is designed to provide fundamental training in preparing graduates for positions in schools, commerce, industry, and government. Students should consult their advisers in formulating suitable programs.
(College of Engineering)

College of Engineering

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Data Science Start at any Campus and Finish: University Park

The inter-college Data Sciences major will educate students on the technical fundamentals of data sciences, with a focus on developing the knowledge and skills needed to manage and analyze large scale unstructured data to address an expanding range of problems in industry, government, and academia. The underlying knowledge for data sciences derives from machine learning, data mining, computer science, statistics, and visualization, and the emerging science of managing and analyzing data at scale. Students will gain breadth of knowledge through common core classes, as well as depth in one of three options. After taking common courses during the pre-major stage, students will choose among options focused on application (College of IST), computation (College of Engineering) and science (College of Science). Students in all three options will come together in their junior and senior years for two shared capstone experiences. In combination the three options position Penn State to offer highly trained professionals who understand data science’s multiple dimensions for a growing segment of the U.S. economy.

Applied Data Sciences - This option focuses on the principles, methods, and tools for assembly, validation, organization, analysis, visualization, and interpretation of large and heterogeneous data, to support data-driven discovery and decision making, with emphasis on addressing pressing scientific, organizational, and societal challenges. A combination of required and elective courses provides students with the training and skills needed to develop advanced tools and domain-specific analyses that yield actionable knowledge from data. This option also provides critical analytical skills needed to assess the benefits and limitations of data analytics across a broad range of applications.

Computational Data Sciences - This option focuses on the computational foundations of the data sciences, including the design, implementation and analysis of software that manages the volume, heterogeneity and dynamic characteristics of large data sets and that leverages the computational power of multicore hardware. Students in this option will take upper-level courses in computer science and related fields to develop the skills necessary to construct efficient solutions to computational problems involving Big Data.

Statistical Modeling Data Sciences - This option focuses on statistical models and methods that are needed to discover and validate patterns in Big Data. Students in this option will take upper-level statistics and mathematics courses, learning to apply the theoretical machinery of quantitative models to the solution of real-world problems involving Big Data.

(College of Engineering,College of Information Sciences and Technology, Eberly College of Science)

College of Information Sciences & Technology

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Digital Media, Arts, and Technology (Start at Any Campus and Finish: Behrend)
Digital technology has transformed the way we live, interact, learn, and work. The interdisciplinary Digital Media, Arts, and Technology (DIGIT) major is designed for students who are curious about and want to explore the growing significance of technology in the modern world. DIGIT combines historical and theoretical course work with intensive practical training in the creation and use of digital media tools and computational systems. Foundational DIGIT courses familiarize students with the key concepts, methods, history, theories and practices of Digital Liberal Arts while a range of competency courses introduce them to industry-standard software applications alongside cutting edge tools that continue to emerge from the open source community. Combining the broad perspective of liberal arts training with in-demand technical skills, DIGIT incorporates either a capstone project or a digital media internship, in order to provide students with a successful transition from college to an increasingly technological job market.
(The Behrend College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Information Sciences and Technology (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, World Campus, Worthington Scranton and Finish: Harrisburg)

This major is structured to provide students with the theoretical frameworks and skill sets necessary to compete and be productive in the information technology-intensive global context that defines the new “Information Age.” Specifically, the degree program focuses on building an understanding of core information technologies and related areas of study; helps students prepare for the practical application of various information sciences and related technologies; and engages students in sharpening their abilities to think critically and work in teams. All this is done with considerable interdisciplinary integration in order to expose students to the cognitive, social, institutional, and global environments of IST. Team projects in most courses, a required internship, and a senior capstone experience provide additional, focused venues for involving students in the cutting-edge issues and technologies of the field. Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in for availability.
(Capital College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Information Sciences and Technology (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, World Campus, Worthington Scranton and Finish: Beaver, Brandywine, Greater Allegheny, Hazelton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensignton, Schuylkill, Wilkes Barre, Worthington Scranton, York )

This major is structured to provide students with the theoretical frameworks and skill sets necessary to compete and be productive in the information technology-intensive global context that defines the new “Information Age.” Specifically, the degree program focuses on building an understanding of core information technologies and related areas of study; helps students prepare for the practical application of various information sciences and related technologies; and engages students in sharpening their abilities to think critically and work in teams. All this is done with considerable interdisciplinary integration in order to expose students to the cognitive, social, institutional, and global environments of IST. Team projects in most courses, a required internship, and a senior capstone experience provide additional, focused venues for involving students in the cutting-edge issues and technologies of the field. Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in for availability.
(University College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Information Sciences and Technology (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, World Campus, Worthington Scranton and Finish: Abington)

This major is structured to provide students with the theoretical frameworks and skill sets necessary to compete and be productive in the information technology-intensive global context that defines the new “Information Age.” Specifically, the degree program focuses on building an understanding of core information technologies and related areas of study; helps students prepare for the practical application of various information sciences and related technologies; and engages students in sharpening their abilities to think critically and work in teams. All this is done with considerable interdisciplinary integration in order to expose students to the cognitive, social, institutional, and global environments of IST. Team projects in most courses, a required internship, and a senior capstone experience provide additional, focused venues for involving students in the cutting-edge issues and technologies of the field. Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in for availability.
(Abington College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Information Sciences and Technology (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, World Campus, Worthington Scranton and Finish: Berks)

This major is structured to provide students with the theoretical frameworks and skill sets necessary to compete and be productive in the information technology-intensive global context that defines the new “Information Age.” Specifically, the degree program focuses on building an understanding of core information technologies and related areas of study; helps students prepare for the practical application of various information sciences and related technologies; and engages students in sharpening their abilities to think critically and work in teams. All this is done with considerable interdisciplinary integration in order to expose students to the cognitive, social, institutional, and global environments of IST. Team projects in most courses, a required internship, and a senior capstone experience provide additional, focused venues for involving students in the cutting-edge issues and technologies of the field. Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in for availability.
(Berks College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Information Sciences and Technology (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, World Campus, Worthington Scranton and Finish: University Park, World Campus)

This major is structured to provide students with the theoretical frameworks and skill sets necessary to compete and be productive in the information technology-intensive global context that defines the new "Information Age." Specifically, the degree program focuses on building an understanding of core information technologies and related areas of study; helps students prepare for the practical application of various information sciences and related technologies; and engages students in sharpening their abilities to think critically and work in teams. All this is done with considerable interdisciplinary integration in order to expose students to the cognitive, social, institutional, and global environments of IST. Team projects in most courses, a required internship, and a senior capstone experience provide additional, focused venues for involving students in the cutting-edge issues and technologies of the field. Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in for availability.
(College of Information Sciences and Technology)

College of Information Sciences & Technology

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Information Systems (Start at any Campus and Finish: Harrisburg)

This major prepares students to enter rapidly expanding fields associated with technology. This includes programming, systems analysis and design, database administration, network management, support services and training, and management of information resources. Students obtain competence both in information technology and in business theory. Each student’s background is complemented with basic business instruction in accounting, marketing, management, and finance. With business and non-business electives, the program is designed to develop necessary skills to be an effective information systems employee.
(Capital College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Management Information Systems (Start at any Campus and Finish: Behrend)

This major prepares students for typical IT-related jobs such as programmer/ analyst, systems analyst, data analyst, database administrator, team leader, project manager, consultant, and MIS manager. Since the focus of such jobs is on the application of information technology to business problems and opportunities, the MIS curriculum integrates three main areas of study: core business courses, computer science courses, and MIS courses in the areas of database management systems, systems analysis, and systems design and development. Students may also choose to pursue SAP certification. An internship is required for the major.
(The Behrend College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Management Information Systems (Start at any Campus and Finish: University Park)

Students in this major learn about managing business information systems within organizations and spanning supply chain networks. The courses provide students with the depth and breadth to become effective managers of information systems that support core business processes. After receiving a thorough grounding in the core elements of business, students develop knowledge, skills, and abilities in programming, information resource management, managing the IT portfolio, business process re-engineering, and use of telecommunication and Internet technologies to manage core business processes. Examples of career opportunities include IT manager, business process re-engineering specialist, business systems analyst, and business application developer.
(Smeal College of Business)

Smeal College of Business

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Security and Risk Analysis (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scrantons and Finish: Harrisburg)

The bachelor of science degree program in Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) is intended to familiarize students with the general frameworks and multidisciplinary theories that define the area of security and related risk analyses. Courses in the major will engage students in the challenges and problems associated with assuring information confidentiality and integrity (e.g., social, economic, technology-related, and policy issues), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various methods for assessing and mitigating associated risk. The major provides grounding in the analysis and modeling efforts used in information search, visualization, and creative problem solving. This knowledge is supplemented through an examination of the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues related to security that includes analyzing privacy laws, internal control, and regulatory policies, as well as basic investigative processes and principles. Such understanding is applied to venues that include transnational terrorism, cyber crimes, financial fraud, risk mitigation, and security and crisis management. It also includes overviews of the information technology that plays a critical role in identifying, preventing, and responding to security-related events.
(Capital College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Security and Risk Analysis (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scrantons and Finish: Altoona)

The bachelor of science degree program in Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) is intended to familiarize students with the general frameworks and multidisciplinary theories that define the area of security and related risk analyses. Courses in the major will engage students in the challenges and problems associated with assuring information confidentiality and integrity (e.g., social, economic, technology-related, and policy issues), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various methods for assessing and mitigating associated risk. The major provides grounding in the analysis and modeling efforts used in information search, visualization, and creative problem solving. This knowledge is supplemented through an examination of the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues related to security that includes analyzing privacy laws, internal control, and regulatory policies, as well as basic investigative processes and principles. Such understanding is applied to venues that include transnational terrorism, cyber crimes, financial fraud, risk mitigation, and security and crisis management. It also includes overviews of the information technology that plays a critical role in identifying, preventing, and responding to security-related events.
(Altoona College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Security and Risk Analysis (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton and Finish: Berks)

The bachelor of science degree program in Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) is intended to familiarize students with the general frameworks and multidisciplinary theories that define the area of security and related risk analyses. Courses in the major will engage students in the challenges and problems associated with assuring information confidentiality and integrity (e.g., social, economic, technology-related, and policy issues), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various methods for assessing and mitigating associated risk. The major provides grounding in the analysis and modeling efforts used in information search, visualization, and creative problem solving. This knowledge is supplemented through an examination of the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues related to security that includes analyzing privacy laws, internal control, and regulatory policies, as well as basic investigative processes and principles. Such understanding is applied to venues that include transnational terrorism, cyber crimes, financial fraud, risk mitigation, and security and crisis management. It also includes overviews of the information technology that plays a critical role in identifying, preventing, and responding to security-related events.
(Berks College)

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Security and Risk Analysis (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton and Finish: University Park, World Campus)

The bachelor of science degree program in Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) is intended to familiarize students with the general frameworks and multidisciplinary theories that define the area of security and related risk analyses. Courses in the major will engage students in the challenges and problems associated with assuring information confidentiality and integrity (e.g., social, economic, technology-related, and policy issues), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various methods for assessing and mitigating associated risk. The major provides grounding in the analysis and modeling efforts used in information search, visualization, and creative problem solving. This knowledge is supplemented through an examination of the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues related to security that includes analyzing privacy laws, internal control, and regulatory policies, as well as basic investigative processes and principles. Such understanding is applied to venues that include transnational terrorism, cyber crimes, financial fraud, risk mitigation, and security and crisis management. It also includes overviews of the information technology that plays a critical role in identifying, preventing, and responding to security-related events.
(College of Information Sciences and Technology)

College of Information Sciences & Technology

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Social Data Analytics (Start at any Campus and Finish: University Park)

Social Data Analytics is an interdisciplinary major that prepares students to participate in both a research environment where “big data” is a major source of insight into social and political processes, and an economy increasingly organized around data analytics. Students completing the major will have the technical skills to handle, analyze, apply and present big data, and the disciplinary knowledge to draw valid inferences from such information to address real world problems. The program integrates coursework in the social sciences with courses in statistics, mathematics, information science and computer science to develop the unique skill set necessary to conceptualize data sources in relation to the social conditions from which they arise; to think critically about big data in relation to specific problems; and to derive and test hypotheses through application of data tools and techniques. Students will gain valuable practical experience working with data through a capstone experience and participation in faculty research.

This major is intended to produce graduates who are big picture thinkers with the knowledge to formulate good questions and leverage vast stores of unstructured data in answering them. Students will be prepared for careers in government, business, healthcare, and industry. The major also provides a strong foundation for advanced study in social science, law, business and public policy.
(College of the Liberal Arts)

College of the Liberal Arts

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Software Engineering* (Start and Finish at Behrend)

This major provides students with a strong foundation in software engineering through combination of classroom study, software development experience, and design projects. Design, analysis, verification, and maintenance of software systems are stressed. Built upon a core of science and mathematics courses, this major has the objective of educating graduates to be problem solvers. Students acquire the ability to work as members of a team, preparing them for work in industry or further study in graduate school. In addition, written and oral communication skills are developed, culminating in a senior design project that stresses communication as well as engineering content.
(The Behrend College)

* Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012; telephone, 410-347-7700; www.abet.org.

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.