Information Sciences & Technology

Information Sciences & Technology

Welcome to IST

This web site is intended to answer all of your questions about the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Information Sciences and Technology (IST) Department and give you the facts you need to start on the path towards an IST degree.

What is IST?

In today's fast-changing digital economy, you need to know more than just the basics of operating a computer or writing software code. To be successful in the workplace, today's student must also understand the relationship between technology, society, and business in order to know how, when, and where information technology should be applied.

Computer Science, MIS, or Computer Engineering programs focus on building computer hardware and software. In IST, these disciplines are combined to form a strong technical foundation, providing students with a hands-on experience using today's computer systems. Unlike other IT programs, these skills are just the beginning.

Moving beyond technical know-how, the IST curriculum provides students with the ability to see the big picture, to know what technology is appropriate for a particular situation and to know how to implement the solution. The IST program creates highly skilled leaders that are sought after everywhere in the global digital economy - from the board room to the computer room, from government to Fortune 500 firms.

Seeking to improve the lives of people in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the School of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State Wilkes-Barre offers integrated, high-quality programs in teaching, research, and outreach in the disciplines of the information sciences and technology. The WB-IST department excels in providing an environment for learning and research focused on the integration of people, information, and technology.

IST faculty focus on leadership and management, interpersonal relationships, problem solving, communication, foreign cultures, teamwork. They engage students through discussions, exercises, and visiting speakers. The instructors focus on problem-based learning: focusing on the kind of tasks a professional might face in the corporate world.

What IST programs are available at the Wilkes-Barre campus?

Based in the Bell Center for Technology, the Wilkes-Barre IST Department offers a baccalaureate degree, two associate degrees, an IST minor, and several certificate programs in Information Sciences and Technology. You can obtain your IST degree locally, only minutes from downtown Wilkes-Barre, or earn credits before moving to University Park or another Penn State campus.

Please select a degree type from the links on the left-hand menu for more detailed course information.

Where can I get more information?

Use the links on the right to explore the IST web pages. If you need more information or would like to arrange a visit, please contact Dr. Wei-Fan Chen via e-mail at, or call him at (570) 675-9142.