What computer-related majors are available at Penn State?
- Information Sciences and Technology
The IST degree is offered through the College of IST. Several options are available within the major. Most students enroll in the Integration and Application option which provides a foundation in system administration, networking, and IT within organizations. In addition, the College of IST also offers a Design and Development option which is focused on software design and programming. Students often ask how this differs from the Computer Science major. At the risk of oversimplification, it tends to be more focused on people and programming, while the Computer Science major is more mathematically and engineering-oriented including software and hardware development. IST also offers the People, Organizations and Society option which explores how technology impacts organizations and society. While students can begin the IST major at Altoona, it must be finished at University Park. For more information, contact David Barnes at Penn State Altoona and see the Penn State IST page.
- Data Sciences
The Data Sciences major is offered through the College of IST. It focuses on the principles, methods, and tools for management, integration, analysis, visualization, and predictive modeling of massive, complex data. While students can begin the IST major at Altoona, it must be finished at University Park. For more information, contact David Barnes at Penn State Altoona and see the Penn State Data Sciences page.
- Security and Risk Analysis
The SRA major is offered through the College of IST at both University Park and Altoona. It trains students to protect people, computer systems and informational assets from threats. Students can begin the major at Altoona and finish it at University Park, or students can complete the entire major at Penn State Altoona. For more information, contact David Barnes at Penn State Altoona and see the Penn State Security and Risk Analysis page.
The Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations (CYAOP) Bachelor of Science program prepares students to protect digital information from attack through cyberdefense strategies. With a foundation in mathematics and computer programming, students will be prepared to recognize, analyze, defend against, and manage risks related to a wide range of threats to online information, data stores, and networks.
- Computer Science
The Computer Science major is offered through the College of Engineering. The degree is focused on computer programming as well as computer engineering. While students can begin the Computer Science major at Altoona, it must be finished at University Park. For more information, contact the College of Engineering and see the Penn State Computer Science page.
What are the SRA Support of Option courses?
In addition, see your adviser if you have taken advanced computer science or business courses. Some of those are also acceptable on a case by case basis.
Where can I find an internship?
For students in the College of IST majors including SRA at Altoona, the College of IST provides the Compass system. Place your resume in the Compass system so that employers can find you, and search the Compass system to find employers that you might want to contact. In addition, contact employers in your area to see if they offer internships. Many will advertise those on their websites. Talk to your friends and family members. If they know someone who works in IT, that can often lead to the creation of an internship just for you. Finally, we are occasionally contacted by employers looking for interns. When we receive these requests, we email our juniors and seniors with information about the positions.
While you can do an internship before your sophomore year, Penn State Altoona will not allow you do take the internship course, IST 495, for credit until after your sophomore year.
- For information on Altoona internships, visit the Internships site.
- For information on internships once you have transferred to UP, visit the Penn State IST site.
How do I re-enroll after an academic suspension?
For more information on academic warnings and suspension, visit the Penn State Faculty Senate site.
How do I schedule courses through the World Campus?
If you are a World Campus student or for the summer sessions, courses through the World Campus can be scheduled in LionPATH like any other course.
If you are an adult student enrolled at Altoona, you can schedule World Campus courses like any other course.
If you are a traditional undergraduate student, you can schedule World Campus courses for the spring or fall semesters, but only on a space-available basis inside of one week before the start of the semester. If you are planning to schedule a fall or spring course, it is a good idea to reach out in advance to let the World Campus know that you are interested in a course. Contact information is available on the World Campus site.
How do I transfer courses from other colleges to Penn State? How can I check if a course will transfer to Penn State?
Course transfers are handled by Admission at University Park. Have your transcript sent to Admissions, and they will evaluate the courses and add them to your transcript if appropriate.
If you are considering taking a course at another college, it would be best to check if the course is a direct substitution for a course at Penn State or if it will be accepted before you take the course. Courses can be checked with the Transferring Credit Tool.
The college that I am attending this summer wants my Penn State adviser to sign a form that says that I have approval to take the course. Will you sign it?
Sure. You have approval to take anything you want anywhere that you want, but understand that your Penn State adviser cannot attest in any way to your ability to take a course at another school. We have no way of knowing if a course is appropriate for you at another college. Additionally, we will not attest that Penn State will accept either the credits for a course or that a course will transfer in as a particular Penn State equivalent. Those determinations are made by Admission after the coursework is completed. Once again, use the Transferring Credit Tool to see whether courses will be accepted.
When do I schedule courses for next semester?
When you schedule classes depends on the number of credits that you have completed and are in progress. For example, seniors schedule before sophomores. In addition, first-year students who start with transfer or AP credits may schedule before others. To determine the date when you can schedule, check Enrollment Dates in LionPATH. Note that athletes, honors students, veterans, and disabled students have access to priority scheduling so that they can schedule before other students. Finally, schedule your courses as soon as you can. Courses do fill up, and it would unfortunate if as a junior or senior you cannot schedule a course that you need because it has already filled up with sophomores.
Where can a learn about available scholarships?
Check with the Student Aid Office.
Why is there a hold on my account?
There are multiple reasons for account holds which will prevent you from scheduling. For example, holds are placed on accounts for outstanding bills, parking tickets, failure to acknowledge various notices and academic probation. If there is a hold on your account, you can view it in LionPath on your home screen. Penn State Altoona has recently implemented a new policy that requires you to meet with your academic adviser to have a hold on your account removed if your academic performance is unacceptable. Until you meet with your adviser, you will not be able to schedule for the upcoming semester.
What is an Academic Requirements Report?
This report shows the courses that you have completed and still need in order to complete your major. During your last two to three semesters you should run this report as soon as you finish scheduling for the upcoming semester in order to be sure that you haven't missed any courses as graduation approaches.
Why do I have to take math courses to get into IST/SRA? My friend is in the same major and does not have to take any math courses.
IST and SRA both require math in order to be admitted to the major even though it is not listed as a requirement to graduate. Students with calculus or trigonometry credits from high school have automatically met the requirement. Students without those courses from high school have to complete Math-22 or better to get into the major. In addition, you can take an equivalent math course from another college and transfer the credits into Penn State to meet the requirement.
How do I find general education courses at Altoona? How do I find interdisciplinary and linked general education courses?
Search for general education classes in LionPATH.
To search for general education classes such as IL, GN, GH, interdisciplinary, etc. courses, go to LionPATH. Under the Search for Classes box, choose the appropriate Term and Campus. Then expand the Additional Search Criteria area. Select General Education from Course Attribute and then choose the type of general education course that you are looking for in the Course Attribute Value box. This will give you available courses for that particular gen ed course.
How much does it cost to go to Penn State?
First and foremost, all questions regarding cost and financial aid should go through the Financial Aid Office.