The Information Technology Program is a campus wide program administratively based within the Provost Office. Our office is in the Fine Arts Center, room 358.
UMass is a leader in its cross- disciplinary approach to IT education. We seek to educate a broad spectrum of students to be the leading IT practitioners and thinkers. Close to 65 courses, offered by eight different schools and colleges, contribute to our curriculum.
The IT Program also coordinates the annual Information & Communication Technology Summit and collaborates to facilitate the Open Education Initiative, as well as, outreach through Five College, Inc. and local colleges. We also continue to explore, initiate and support new ways to integrate technology in order to sustain a quality education and academic environment for our campus community.
Students at UMass can pursue a major discipline of their choice and complement that study with the IT Minor. The curriculum includes courses on technologies and technical capabilities along with courses that focus on the application of IT in particular disciplines.
Our approach is to encouage students to major in a field they are passionate about, and then supplement that with an IT Minor. The framework of the IT Minor ensures that students have technical training, understand the human dimensions of IT, and understand how IT impacts, or might impact, their fields. Within this framework, students can choose from a set of 55 courses (and growing) the six courses that are most relevant to them.
IT Minor Requirements
Computer Competency Certification
The CCC educates and tests students about the fundamentals of the use of computers. It consists of 12 modules with topics ranging from computer hardware to production software to digital citizenry. Partners include the UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College and the School of Humanities and Fine Arts.
Visit CCC Site
Information & Communication Technology Summit
The Information & Communication Technology Summit is an annual forum to discuss how we can cultivate an environment for a 1st class education. We explore collaborative paradigms in pedagogy and research that advance academia through innovative and wise use of information technology.
Visit ICT Summit Site
The UMass Amherst Information Technology Workforce Task Force was formed in 1998 by faculty and staff of the Amherst campus who were members of a President's Office Information Technology Workforce Development Task Force, established to foster linkages between the UMass system and the state's key industries. The UMass Amherst Task Force expanded to include representatives from a number of academic units, including the social sciences, and the humanities and fine arts. At the suggestion of Dean Joseph Goldstein of the College of Engineering, the group took up the subject of IT education at the undergraduate level.
In Fall 1999, UMass Amherst convened a two-day conference and workshop of business, government, and academic leaders to discuss the IT labor shortage. The goal of the conference was to lay the groundwork for a UMass response. See: "Formulating a UMass Response to the Information Technology Labor Shortage."
A short time later, a Curriculum Committee of the IT Task Force formed to sketch out a preliminary IT curriculum for the campus.
On October 13, 2000, some 120 UMass Amherst faculty and staff collected in the Campus Center to focus details of an IT curriculum: who should be involved, what should be taught, what links needed to be formed across the campus in order to move the program forward. The day-long program, sponsored by the Provost, ended with a first request for faculty proposals under the CITI program. By Spring 2001, 20 courses had been developed.
One highlight of the October 2000 workshop was a keynote address by Dr. Cheryl Harris, a UMass alum active in the high-tech sector. While IT programs in institutions around the country have begun with technical roots, Dr. Harris argued that the future of IT requires an even broader approach -- one consistent with the breadth, traditions, and culture of UMass Amherst.
We encourage UMass Amherst faculty and staff with interest in Information Technology to join us. Approximately 70 faculty and staff contribute to our IT Program in a variety of ways, such as program leadership, standing or ad hoc committee work, or teaching courses in the IT curriculum. In return for our contributions, we build relationships with others from across campus that benefit our students and ourselves. Please contact if you are interested in learning more.
Our various partners have helped the IT Program shape and nuture many IT Program endeavors.
Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology EducationCAITE Website
Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology EducationCITI Website
UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors CollegeUMass Comcol Website
UMass Amherst School of Humanities and Fine ArtsUMass HFA Website
A consortium of five campuses, 2,200 faculty members and 30,000 students in western Massachusetts.5 Colleges Inc.