General Information

The School of Information (also called the iSchool) offers the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Informatics*, the Bachelor of Science in Informatics*, the Master of Science in Information Studies, the Master of Science in Information Security and Privacy and the Doctor of Philosophy. In addition, the School of Information offers a Minor in Informatics designed to complement many other undergraduate degree programs at The University of Texas at Austin. Students also have the option of tailoring the Informatics Minor sequence to focus their studies on Human-Computer Interaction or Digital Humanities. Please contact the advising office in your home department for details about adding a minor. 

Our Vision 

The goal of the The University of Texas at Austin's School of Information is to be the premier research and education program for the 21st century field of information. We are changing the future by engaging the present and preserving the past. Research and teaching at the iSchool changes the ways that we interact with information and technology, changes how information can make the world a better and fairer place, and changes the ways we protect and preserve our collective memory. 

Core Values

Information serves humanity. At the School of Information, we are committed to making a positive difference in people’s lives through excellence in research, teaching, and public engagement. We understand that information technologies must serve the needs of people, and that access to reliable and trustworthy information is essential to a functioning civil society. Information technologies and systems must be designed to augment and enhance human and organizational capabilities; doing so requires bringing people into the process from the start. All emerging technologies raise ethical and social issues that require study, research, and intervention. Multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches such as those that are central to the School of Information offer the best hope for building information systems and shaping information practices that will serve the public interest. 

These core values underpin our efforts to shape the field of information for human and social benefit by: 

  • Discovering new and vital knowledge about information 
  • Educating the next generation of leaders in the information professions 
  • Developing new scholars who will advance knowledge 
  • Improving society through service and collaboration 
  • Applying human-centered values to all our work 

History 

What is now the School of Information was founded in 1948 to educate information professionals. Since that time, the name of the School and of the degrees offered have changed several times, but we have always balanced the values of information access as a human and social benefit with the intellectual and technical skills needed to lead developments in the information age. 

The School has offered master’s degrees since 1948, and doctoral degrees since 1970. Undergraduate teaching has been part of the School for many years, but 2021 marks the inaugural year that students will be able to earn a complete undergraduate degree (either a B.A. or a B.S. in informatics*) from the School of Information. 

Facilities 

The School of Information provides students with a wide variety of workspaces, labs, and equipment. Some labs are open regular hours and others require a reservation, but all are available for student use and students are encouraged to make full use of them. 

The Information eXperience Lab 

The Information eXperience Lab is a research facility dedicated to the science of information studies, the empirically-based design of human-information interaction, and the education of students in the process of both. This state-of-the-art lab is used to conduct experiments on human-information processing and usability, accessibility, and other studies of the interaction between humans and information sources. 

The Digital Archaeology Lab 

The Digital Archaeology Lab is a significant part of the School of Information’s research and education in digital archiving. The facility provides multiple computer platforms, including a complete forensic workstation, a variety of media drives, and current and legacy software for the purpose of recovering digital objects from noncurrent environments for transfer into a preservation environment. Students and faculty carry out research to develop extraction protocols and to test efficient and safe means of treating legacy media and formats. 

The Information Retrieval and Crowdsourcing Lab 

The Information Retrieval and Crowdsourcing Lab was established to advance the state-of-the-art methodologies for search and human computation/crowdsourcing. The aim is to integrate crowdsourcing with automatic algorithms to improve search engine experiences, capabilities, and evaluation. 

The Conservation Lab 

The Conservation Lab contains a large variety of tools and equipment for examination, analysis, photo documentation, and conservation treatment of books and paper. A thorough sample collection, including more than 10,000 photographs and many other materials, is available for student use. 

The IT Lab 

The IT Lab offers desktop computers (Windows & Mac), a wide variety of software utilized in iSchool and UT courses, printing services, computer and a/v equipment borrowing, and a variety of IT teaching resources. IT Lab attendants assist students, faculty, and staff. 

The Digitization Suite 

The Digitization Suite is used in digitization coursework. It can also serve as a small classroom for specialized course sessions, and provides a cross section of current and legacy digitization equipment for text, slides, audio, and video. 

Sound Rooms 

The sound rooms are small individual rooms with higher-end equipment where people can record and edit audio, edit movies, create tutorials, or experiment with the latest voice recognition software.  

Student Services 

Our students are a vital part of our scholarly community, and we provide services to facilitate students’ development and enrichment year-round. Our student support staff is available to help majors and non-majors with their academic and career questions. 

Academic Advising 

The academic adviser’s office is responsible for providing information and advice to undergraduate students. The students are also advised to consult their Degree Audit on a regular basis in order to keep track of their own academic progress.  

Career Development 

The iSchool Career Development Office is a collaborative partnership with faculty and staff to empower students to achieve their dreams beyond academics. The Career Development Office supports the students and alumni of the School of Information by offering career development and job search resources, connecting them to employers, mentors, and key professionals. The iSchool Career Development Office is located on the fifth floor of the UT Administration Building (UTA 5.338).