Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Penn State University

4-Year Baccalaureate Majors

Majors by Academic College

College of Information Sciences & Technology

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)

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)

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)

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