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Information Technologies Minor

Contact: Glenn Caffery
Undergraduate Adviser
Office: 220B Stockbridge Hall
Phone: (413) 545-5739

The Field

The undergraduate Minor in Information Technology is a multidisciplinary program in which students study information technology, its applications in many areas of scholarship, and its social and other effects. The goal of the minor is to enable any student to confidently employ information technology, and to secure an intellectual platform from which to develop the capacity to innovate, using information technology in any field. The minor is available to undergraduate students in all majors.

The Curriculum

The 15-credit minor requires a technical core (two courses), one course of broadened inquiry on the uses and implications of technology in society, and two courses applying aspects of technology at a more advanced level in disciplines across the campus. The curriculum provides students with technical and scholarly capabilities in programming, data analysis, research methods, media theory, and an array of other fields. This generalist background enhances disciplinary specialization by allowing students to apply skills and knowledge in a variety of academic areas.

Before embarking on the courses required for the minor, students will need knowledge of the concepts of computer information systems (emphasizing the key concept of information), and the rudiments of electronic technology to succeed in the required technical courses. Students who lack this background may satisfy this prerequisite by completion of one of the following courses: CMPSCI 105 Computer Literacy; RES-ECON 112 Computing Foundations to Frontiers; SCH-MGMT 210 Introduction to Business Information Systems. The level of knowledge provided by these courses will be required for success in the two technical courses which follow. Students who believe that they have the requisite level of knowledge may petition the IT Minor adviser for exemption from the prerequisite.

Requirements (minimum of 15 credits)
Technical courses (minimum of six credits): At least two courses, selected from two of the following three categories, are required to provide a durable, technical core on which to build the minor:

Principles of Object-Oriented Programming: CMPSCI 121 Introduction to Problem Solving with Computers (Java); E&C-ENG 122 Beginning Programming (C++); SCH-MGMT 591I Programming with Visual Basic.

Representing, Storing and Retrieving Information: ACCOUNTG 312 Systems Analysis and Design; CMPSCI 195A Representing, Storing and Retrieving Information; CMPSCI 187 Programming with Data Structures; E&C-ENG 242 Data Structures in Java.

Introduction to Internet Technology, or Multimedia Systems: CMPSCI 120 Problem Solving with the Internet.

Broadened Inquiry (minimum of three credits): At least one course exploring social issues of technology, chosen from the following group:

COMM 297T Social Impact of Information Technology
COMM 334 History of Electronic Media and Information Technology
ENGLISH 391H Writing and Emerging Technologies
ENGLISH/E&C-ENG 297B Contemporary Internet Communications: Writing, Information Design, and Research on the Web
JOURNAL 397T Information Technology in Social and Historical Perspective
LEGAL 491O Conflict in Cyberspace: Online Dispute Resolution
LEGAL 491S Law and the World Wide Web
RES-ECON 390A Economic Issues of Contemporary Information Technology
SCH-MGMT 563 Contemporary Legal and Ethical Issues in Cyberspace

Departmental Electives: At least two courses from the following preliminary list. Others will be added upon approval. Students may substitute courses in the Technical or Broadened Inquiry categories for the Elective requirement.

ACCOUNTG 311 Business Applications of Computers
ART 271 Introduction to Computing in Fine Arts
ART 297H Introduction to Visual Culture
ART 372 Introduction to Computer-Aided Design in Arts
ART 374 Computer Animation I
ART 397 Computer Animation II
ART 397 Computer-Aided Graphic Design
ART 397 Information Design
BIOST&EP 690F Information Systems in Public Health
BIOLOGY 572 Neurobiology
BIOLOGY 597 Genomics and Bioinformatics
BIOLOGY 597F Information Technology in Biology Education
BIOLOGY 597 Advanced Physiology: Communication Current Research in Endocrine Physiology
BMATWT 452 Building Materials Computing and Telecommunications
CMPSCI 370 Image Processing
CMPSCI 551 3-D Animation and Digital Editing
CMPSCI 552 Interactive Multimedia Production
COMP-LIT 236 Digital Culture
EDUC 390R Finding, Using and Evaluating Information Electronically
ENGLISH 391C Advanced Software
FINOPMGT 304 Information Technology in Finance
FOREST 577 Ecosystem Modeling and Simulation
FOREST 587 Introduction to Digital Remote Sensing
FOREST 592G Geographic Information Systems
JOURNAL 391R Travel Writing and Photojournalism
JOURNAL 392M Wired Reporting
JOURNAL 392R Future of On-Line Reporting
JOURNAL 393C Computer-Assisted Reporting
JOURNAL 397P Photojournalism
JOURNAL 397W Introduction to Web Journalism
MARKETNG 491B Direct Marketing
MARKETNG 491D Internet Marketing
M&I-ENG 597O Intelligent and Integrated Design Systems
MUSIC 585 Fundamentals of Electronic Music
MUSIC 586 MIDI Studio Techniques
NRC 297S Introduction to Spatial Information Technologies
NURSING 290B Introduction to Healthcare Informatics
SCH-MGMT 397B E-Business
SCH-MGMT 597G Internet Business Design

Restrictions: At least two of the courses in the IT Minor must be taken outside the student’s major department. Students may count any elective requirements of their major and any one non-elective requirement of their major to the minor. All courses must be taken on a graded basis, and the cumulative GPA for the minor must be at least 2.000.