IST Admission Requirements

IST Admission Requirements

Students interested in applying to the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) will be more successful if they bring with them a strong background in mathematics, including a year of trigonometry. However, because of the program's interdisciplinary nature, students with a limited mathematics background should not be discouraged. Any academically strong students seeking a challenging learning experience will be successful in IST.

For freshman admission, the minimum high school units required are:

  • English: Four (4) units including, composition and literature
  • Foreign Language/Social Studies/Art/Humanities: Five (5) units in any combination. Two (2) units of the same foreign language are recommended. Students who graduated from high school in 2001 or since then and who have not completed the recommended two high school foreign language units will need to schedule appropriate foreign language course work at Penn State within their first two years of study.
  • Science: Three (3) units
  • Math: Three (3) units, which must include one and a half (1.5) units of algebra, one (1) unit of plane geometry, and a half unit (.5) of trigonometry.

These criteria also apply for transfer admission. If a student is missing a Carnegie unit from high school, but has taken the missing course work in college, that information will be taken into consideration.

The transfer of credit is a two-step process. The Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Office determines which credits will transfer to the University. The College of IST determines how credits will be used to fulfill degree requirements for the IST degree.

Penn State credits are expressed in semester hours. When courses transfer to Penn State from institutions that use another form of academic credit (i.e. quarter credits, units hours, etc.), the unit of credit is converted into semester hours.

For more information about transfer admissions and whether a student is classified as a transfer student, please visit our transfer page.