/ Modified aug 22, 2023 5:29 p.m.

UA launches standalone iSchool, first in the state

The program started in 2015 as a part of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Now it is on its own.

UA Students Old Main Students walk near the fountain at Old Main on the University of Arizona campus. From August 2019.
AC Swedbergh/AZPM

The University of Arizona is now officially the first institution in the state to launch a standalone School of Information–better known as iSchool.

The iSchool started in 2015 at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences with the goal to become its own space. Now, eight years later, the program will continue to offer collaborative courses with different departments while promoting degrees that examine data science.

“The thing that makes an iSchool very distinct is that it is focused on human-centered computing and the human application of some of these technological tools of today,” interim dean Dr. Catherine Brooks said.

The college offers nine degrees reaching both undergraduate and graduate students with programs ranging from a bachelor's in games and behavior to a master's in library and information science. Their initiatives and coursework will focus on the interplay between technology, information, and society.

Brooks says the college will capitalize off of its history of successful programs like library sciences to meet new demands where the data science landscape is moving from books to the internet.

“Information today is digital,” Dr. Brooks said. “So we need a great deal of cyberinfrastructure in order to manage and organize that information and today's librarians are right in the middle of that movement.”

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