Information Science (iSci) majors study concepts and examine issues at the nexus of people, data, information and computing.   Majors gain the knowledge and skills to create data driven technologies, and to make them work for real communities.   Information Science focuses on the ethical, cultural, and social factors in design and use of information technology-based and data-driven systems.  Majors become adept in the creation, management, retrieval, and curation of data and information.  The major emphasizes designing systems that foster well-being and support the public good.

For instructions on declaring the Information Science major, please see the Information Science webpage.  There are no specific courses that must be completed before declaration. It is recommended that students declare the major as early as possible to plan for required coursework.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Letters & Science Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree requirements.


Mathematics Complete two courses of 3+ credits at the Intermediate or Advanced level in MATH, COMP SCI, or STAT subjects. A maximum of one course in each of COMP SCI and STAT subjects counts toward this requirement.
Foreign Language Complete the third unit of a foreign language.
L&S Breadth Complete:
• 12 credits of Humanities, which must include at least 6 credits of Literature; and
• 12 credits of Social Science; and
• 12 credits of Natural Science, which must include 6 credits of Biological Science and 6 credits of Physical Science.
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework Complete at least 108 credits.
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced Coursework Complete at least 60 credits at the Intermediate or Advanced level.
Major Declare and complete at least one major.
Total Credits Complete at least 120 credits.
UW-Madison Experience Complete both:
• 30 credits in residence, overall, and
• 30 credits in residence after the 86th credit.
Quality of Work • 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
• 2.000 in Intermediate/Advanced level coursework at UW–Madison


Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements. They do not need to complete the L&S Degree Requirements above.

Requirements for the Major

Students must complete a minimum of 30 total credits as detailed below.

List A:  core information science coursework

Complete at least 21 credits
Credits are calculated using any L I S course in a Breadth area below and any of the following additional courses:
COMP SCI/​L I S  102 Introduction to Computing3
L I S 201 The Information Society4
L I S 202 Informational Divides and Differences in a Multicultural Society3
L I S 301 Information Literacies in Online Spaces3
L I S 340 Topics in Information Studies - Social Aspects3
L I S 341 Topics in Information Studies - Technological Aspects1-3
L I S 350 History and Future of Books3
L I S 351 Introduction to Digital Information3
L I S 407 Data Storytelling with Visualization3
L I S 440 Navigating the Data Revolution: Concepts of Data & Information Science3
L I S/​AFRICAN/​COM ARTS  444 Technology and Development in Africa and Beyond3
L I S/​LEGAL ST  460 Surveillance, Privacy, and Police Powers3
L I S 461 Data and Algorithms: Ethics and Policy3-4
L I S 464 Applied Database Design3
L I S 470 Interaction Design Studio3
L I S 500 Code and Power3
L I S 501 Introduction to Text Mining3
L I S 510 Human Factors in Information Security3
L I S/​NURSING/​OCC THER  517 Digital Health: Information and Technologies Supporting Consumers and Patients3
COMP SCI 570 Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (Information Science Coursework)4
L I S/​LEGAL ST  645 Intellectual Freedom3
L I S 646 Introduction to Info Architecture and Interaction Design for the Web3
L I S/​LEGAL ST  663 Introduction to Cyberlaw3

Information Science breadth requirements (ALL MUST COMPLETE)

Ethics, Computing & Society Coursework

Complete one course & at least 3 credits
L I S 201 The Information Society4
L I S 202 Informational Divides and Differences in a Multicultural Society3
L I S 461 Data and Algorithms: Ethics and Policy3-4
L I S/​LEGAL ST  460 Surveillance, Privacy, and Police Powers3
L I S 500 Code and Power3

Computational Techniques and Tools Coursework

Complete one course & at least 3 credits
L I S 351 Introduction to Digital Information3
L I S 501 Introduction to Text Mining3
COMP SCI/​L I S  102 Introduction to Computing3
COMP SCI 220 Data Science Programming I4
COMP SCI 200 Programming I3
COMP SCI 300 Programming II3
COMP SCI 368 Learning a Programming Language1
STAT 433 Data Science with R (Complete one course & at least 3 credits)3

Principles of Information and Data Science Coursework

Complete one course & at least 3 credits
L I S 440 Navigating the Data Revolution: Concepts of Data & Information Science3
L I S 464 Applied Database Design3
STAT 240 Data Science Modeling I4

Designing for Human Computer Interaction Coursework

Complete one course & at least 3 credits
L I S 470 Interaction Design Studio3
COMP SCI 570 Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction4
I SY E/​PSYCH  349 Introduction to Human Factors3

Communicating Digitally Courses

Complete one course & at least 3 credits
L I S 407 Data Storytelling with Visualization3
L I S 350 History and Future of Books3
COM ARTS 200 Introduction to Digital Communication3

List B career/community/internship coursework (1-6 credits)

Complete 1-6 credits
Some courses listed may have additional requisites:
INTER-LS 210 L&S Career Development: Taking Initiative1
INTER-LS 215 Communicating About Careers3
INTER-LS/​INTER-AG  250 Undergraduate Research Experience1-3
INTER-LS 260 Internship in the Liberal Arts and Sciences1
DS 601 Internship1-8
INTL ST 322 Washington DC Semester in International Affairs Internship Seminar4
INTL ST 523 International Internship1-3
INTL ST 622 Washington DC Sem in International Affairs Seminar4
L I S 399 Independent Reading and Research1-4
LSC 399 Coordinative Internship/Cooperative Education1-8
POLI SCI 402 Wisconsin in Washington Internship Course4
PUB AFFR 327 Administrative Internship3
COM ARTS 605 Digital Studies Capstone1
COMP SCI/​STAT  403 Internship Course in Comp Sci and Data Science1
GEN BUS 450 Professional Experience in Business1
JOURN 697 Internship1-3
INTER-HE 202 SoHE Career & Leadership Development1

list c approved electives

Complete additional credits from courses on List A (Core Information Science), the courses listed for Breadth Requirements, or from any of the following:
ACT SCI 652 Loss Models I3
ACT SCI 655 Health Analytics2-3
COM ARTS 155 Introduction to Digital Media Production4
COM ARTS 200 Introduction to Digital Communication3
COM ARTS 345 Online Communication and Personal Relationships3
COM ARTS 346 Critical Internet Studies3
COM ARTS 478 Rhetoric and Power on the Internet3
COM ARTS 509 Digital Media and Political Communication3
COM ARTS 577 Dynamics of Online Relationships3
CNSR SCI 257 Introduction to Retail2
CNSR SCI 301 Consumer Analytics3
COMP SCI 200 Programming I3
COMP SCI 220 Data Science Programming I4
COMP SCI/​E C E  252 Introduction to Computer Engineering3
COMP SCI 300 Programming II3
COMP SCI 304 WES-CS Group Meeting1
COMP SCI 310 Problem Solving Using Computers3
COMP SCI/​E C E  354 Machine Organization and Programming3
COMP SCI 407 Foundations of Mobile Systems and Applications3
COMP SCI 400 Programming III3
COMP SCI 402 Introducing Computer Science to K-12 Students2
COMP SCI/​E C E  506 Software Engineering3
COMP SCI 542 Introduction to Software Security3
COMP SCI 545 Natural Language and Computing3
COMP SCI 564 Database Management Systems: Design and Implementation4
DS 120 Design: Fundamentals I3
DS 140 Visual Thinking - Form and Space3
DS 221 Person and Environment Interactions3
DS 321 Problem-definition: Design Programming3
DS 341 Design Thinking for Transformation3
DS 451 Color Theory and Technology3
DS/​COMP SCI/​I SY E  518 Wearable Technology3
DS/​COMP SCI  579 Virtual Reality3
DS 679 Research Methods in Design3
GEN BUS 306 Business Analytics I3
GEN BUS 307 Business Analytics II3
GEN BUS 656 Machine Learning for Business Analytics2-3
INFO SYS 322 Introduction to Databases3
INFO SYS 371 Technology of Computer-Based Business Systems3
INFO SYS 424 Systems Analysis and Design3
I SY E 348 Introduction to Human Factors Engineering Laboratory1
I SY E/​PSYCH  349 Introduction to Human Factors3
I SY E 350 Industrial Engineering Design I3
I SY E 450 Industrial Engineering Design II3
I SY E/​COMP SCI/​DS  518 Wearable Technology3
LSC 350 Visualizing Science and Technology3
LSC 432 Social Media for the Life Sciences3
LSC 440 Digital Media and Science Communication3
LSC 532 Web Design for the Sciences3
LSC/​COM ARTS/​JOURN  617 Health Communication in the Information Age3
JOURN 175 Media Fluency for the Digital Age3
JOURN 411 Multimedia Design4
JOURN/​COM ARTS/​LSC  617 Health Communication in the Information Age3
JOURN 622 The Impact of Emerging Media3
JOURN 463 Digital Media Strategies4
MARKETNG 355 Marketing in a Digital Age3
MARKETNG/​OTM  427 Information Technology in Supply Chains3
MARKETNG 445 Digital Marketing Analytics3
OTM/​MARKETNG  427 Information Technology in Supply Chains3
OTM 453 Operations Analytics3
R M I 660 Risk Analytics and Behavioral Science2-3
R M I 670 Cyber Risk & Regulations2-3
STAT 240 Data Science Modeling I4
STAT 433 Data Science with R3
PUB AFFR 281 Discovering What Works in Health Policy3
PUB AFFR 380 Analytic Tools for Public Policy3
PUB AFFR 523 Policy, Privacy, and Personal Identity in the Postgenomics Era3
HIST SCI 150 The Digital Age3
LSC 340 Misinformation, Fake News, and Correcting False Beliefs about Science3
LSC 460 Social Media Analytics3

Residence & Quality of Work in the Major

  • Minimum 2.000 GPA in all  L I S and major courses 
  • Minimum 2.000 GPA computed on 15 credits of upper-level work in the major1
  • Minimum 15 credits in L I S courses taken on the UW-Madison campus2



 All Intermediate or Advanced-level courses are considered upper-level in the major.


A course is considered “at UW-Madison” when it is taken on the UW-Madison campus.

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Demonstrate understanding of ways in which the policies, ethics, and values associated with information systems can affect society
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the relationships between information, cognition, and human social activity
  3. Apply design principles and information science concepts to improve information systems and solve problems
  4. Apply introductory data analysis and data quality management approaches and communicate results
  5. Apply computational tools to accomplish goals and meet human needs
  6. Communicate well in oral, written, and visual forms

Sample Four-Year Plan

This Sample Four-Year Plan is a tool to assist students and their advisor(s). Students should use it—along with their DARS report, the Degree Planner, and Course Search & Enroll tools—to make their own four-year plan based on their placement scores, credit for transferred courses and approved examinations, and individual interests. As students become involved in athletics, honors, research, student organizations, study abroad, volunteer experiences, and/or work, they might adjust the order of their courses to accommodate these experiences. Students will likely revise their own four-year plan several times during college.

Communications A3L I S 201, 350, or 461 (Meets Communications B Requirement)3
L I S/​COMP SCI  1023Literature Breadth3
Foreign Language (if needed)3Humanities or Social Sciences Breadth5
Humanities or Social Sciences Breadth5Electives3
 14 14
L I S 440 (meets Quantitative Reasoning B)3L I S 202 (Meets Ethnic Studies Requirement)3
Biological Science Breadth3INTER-LS 210 (Meets Career/Community/Internship Requirement)1
Humanities or Social Sciences Breadth3Literature Breadth3
Elective6Biological Sciences Breadth (if needed)3
 Intermediate/Advanced COMPSCI, MATH or STAT (if BS) or Elective (if BA)3
 15 15
Communicating Digitally course3Ethics, Computing & Society course3
Human Computer Interaction course3Career/Community/Internship course (if needed) or other Intermediate or Advanced Electives3
Physical Sciences Breadth3Humanities or Social Sciences Breadth if needed3
Intermediate/Advanced COMPSCI, MATH or STAT (if BS) or Intermediate or Advanced elective (if BA)3Sciences Breadth if needed3
Humanities or Social Sciences Breadth3Elective3
 15 15
Information and Data Science course3Computational Techniques and Tools course3
Complete Core Information Science coursework or other Intermediate or Advanced Electives10Complete Information Science Coursework Requirement or other Intermediate or Advanced Electives10
Humanities or Social Sciences Breadth (if needed)3Humanities or Social Sciences Breadth (if needed)3
 16 16
Total Credits 120

Looking for Information Science advising?

Students who are interested in information science academic advising for the major should visit the Information School website or contact the advisor by email: iSciAdvising@ischool.wisc.edu.

L&S career resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.

Please visit the iSchool Website for a complete list of faculty, instructional and academic staff.