Cornell University
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New Curriculum FAQ

Why the change?

Our current curriculum hasn't been revised since it was created over 12 years ago. The goal was to develop a new curriculum with more defined areas of study within information science, highlighting student career goals/paths, while providing more scheduling flexibility for students.  We set out to create a more flexible program, especially around the core, that would allow our majors to take more ownership and leadership in their own program. In addition, the faculty also wanted the update to reflect the current directions in Information Science, and to reflect the interests of our growing faculty.

Do I have to switch to the new curriculum?

No, current students will be "grandfathered" into the old curriculum but may also elect to switch to the new curriculum. Students should consult with their advisors to determine which curriculum best suits their intended career path and the course work they have finished to date.

What's changing?

COGST 1101, Linear Algebra, the second social systems, and INFO 2300 will no longer be required, however, INFO 2300 may be used to fulfill one of the three electives. CS 2110 may be a pre-requisite for some concentration classes and is a required class for the interactive design concentration.

CS 2800 will no longer be an option to fulfill the math modeling requirement within Information Science. Current students following the new curriculum option must complete INFO 2950.

What isn't changing?

The following classes will remain part of the core or required courses for the major: INFO 1300, INFO 2450, INFO 2040, Statistics, and Calculus.

What is new for the core/required classes?

INFO 1200, Information Ethics, Law, and Policy and CS 1110, Introduction to Python.

What is replacing the tracks?

The concentration, more defined areas of study, each require the completion of four courses just as the primary track currently does. The secondary track is being replaced by three electives which will allow students the option to develop depth in a particular area of study within the major or the opportunity to achieve breadth by exploring other areas of study within Information Science.

Anything special I need to know?

Students should take into account the pre-requisites for classes under their desired concentration when doing short and long term academic planning.

The overlap in some classes within the various concentrations provides students with the opportunity to complete more than one concentration.

Several classes previously approved to fulfill the track areas will not be available to fulfill the elective area including AEM 3220, HADM 4890, and upper level Computer Science classes unless cross listed with Information Science.  HADM 4890 is an course option under the Information Ethics, Law, and Policy concentration.

INFO 4900, 3 credits minimum, may be used to fulfill the elective area without petitioning.

"I'm a raising junior interested in switching to the new curriculum but I've been following the current affiliation requirements. Will I need to delay my affiliation with the major?"

The department recognizes the need to make accommodations for current students during the transition period, so students will be allowed to affiliate using the current curriculum admission requirements.

What are the new affiliation requirements and when do they go into effect?

The new major affiliation requirements are CS 1110, Intro to Python, Calculus or Statistics, and two of the five Information Science core courses; INFO 1200, INF0 1300, INFO 2040, INFO 2450, or INFO 2950. All students entering as of Fall 2015 will be required to complete the new curriculum and follow its affiliation requirements.

"My electives will be completed if I finish two concentrations, right?"

Not necessarily. Depending on the classes selected in each concentration it's possible not to fulfill the elective area. A simpler way to look at it is you need seven different classes in total, four from one concentration and three electives per the guidelines provided and in turn you may use those seven classes to fulfill the optional concentration. No one class may be used to fulfill three areas (two concentrations and the electives). Just as you may not use INFO 2300 to fulfill both a concentration requirement and an elective requirement.