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AZ Tech Beat | June 20, 2018

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U of A announces new iSchool

U of A announces new iSchool
Thomas Hawthorne

The University of Arizona will be opening a new school in July focused on information research and technology.

The School of Information, or, less formally, “iSchool,” will focus on developing solutions to information-based problems for technology and information based businesses.

“Coming out of any discipline now to be competitive you need to be data literate,” said Bryan Heidorn, the director of the School of Information. “This gives students an opportunity to learn those tech skills that will differentiate them from other students coming out with just the disciplinary background.”

U of A’s iSchool will join a growing community of “iSchools,” with similar programs at Syracuse University, the University of Washington, the University of San Francisco, Berkeley, and more than a dozen in the eastern region of the US.

The UofA

“Here at Arizona we don’t need to roll out a lot of brand new classes. We can team with natural resources and use their computation model classes within our curriculum,” Heidorn said.

Two existing schools at the U of A, the School of Information Resources and Library Sciences and the School of Information: Science, Technology and Arts, will merge together as a part of the new iSchool. The school will also host faculty from the College of Social and Behavioral Science, College of Science, College of Fine Arts and College of Humanities.

The school will feature classes that range from artificial intelligence and data management to computational art and music and e-commerce and e-health, with a slew of different programs in between.

“As we have access to bigger data and bigger resources people will need to be trained differently,” Heidorn said.

The school will offer three undergraduate degrees:

  • Bachelors of the Arts in information sciences and arts
  • Bachelors of the Arts in e-Society
  • Bachelors of Science in information science and technology

The school will also offer a Masters of Arts in library and information sciences, with another one, Masters of Science in information, in development.

Heidorn said while the Masters of Science in information is currently being reviewed by the school senate, students wanting to apply can send letters of interest to the school.

The iSchool will also offer a variety of certificates.

Read more about UofA advances at AZ Tech Beat.