FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Admissions

Q.  What is iSchool? 

iSchool stands for “Information School.” iSchools study the opportunities and challenges of information management. This includes data science and management, library science, archives and digital curation, and technology design for the purposes of information access and management. iSchools are particularly interested in the design and preservation of information spaces, with a core commitment to universal access and user-centered organization of information. Information spaces can be virtual, such as online communities, social networking, the World Wide Web, and databases, or physical, such as libraries, museums, and archives.iSchools also utilize and develop cutting edge technology to foster information access. This includes the study of human-computer interaction and technology development for youth learning, disabilities, communities, and sustainability.

Q.  I hate coding; is your program a good fit for me?

If you aren’t a fan of coding, this program is a fit for you. Programming and/or coding isn’t the sole focus of the Information Science program. Our students are introduced to programming and learn programming skills by taking courses in R, Python, SQL, PHP to make sure they are familiar with unique features and capabilities each of those programming languages has and for being able to efficiently communicate with technical teams; however, you won’t be expected to build and design programs and software after graduation.

In addition to technologies, our program also focuses on information and people, analyzing:

  • Technologies and the most strategic ways to collect, sort, clean, store, and visualize information;
  • Human behavior when it comes to information seeking, collection, and usage;
  • The most efficient information sources;
  • Strategic people leadership and management.

Q.   What’s difference between Information Science, Information Systems, Computer Science, and Information Technologies?

These fields are fairly similar, but differ in how they relate to technology, people/businesses, and information.

Information Science is the study of how people use technology to efficiently organize, analyze, college, classify, manipulate, store, retrieve, and disseminate information. It is a field that works with technology, people/businesses, and information.

Information Systems is the study of how to use technology to benefit a company. It is a field that works primarily with technology as it relates to people/businesses.

Computer Science focuses on the processes and algorithms of creating usable computer programs and applications, as well as the theories behind those processes. This field usually works exclusively with technology.

Information Technologies focuses on the hardware, software, telecommunications, and anything else dealing with information transmittal. This field primarily works with technology and information.

Q.   Who are your faculty teaching courses at Shady Grove?

All courses at Shady Grove are taught by the same experienced iSchool faculty who have excelled in the field of Information Science.

InfoSci at Shady Grove vs. InfoSci at College Park

Q.   What is the difference between the InfoSci program at Shady Grove and the InfoSci Program at College Park?

The program at Shady Grove admits students only during the fall semester due to the cohort style of four semesters sequential full-time degree program. There are no mid-year admissions into the Shady Grove program. The InfoSci program at Shady Grove has a very structured 2 year course plan, in which students are enrolled full-time taking 5 courses per semester (4 in-person and one online) for 4 academic semesters. Our in-person courses are typically offered Monday-Thursday, 8am-11am. Please note the schedule may change due to instructor and course availability).

All courses at Shady Grove are taught by the same iSchool faculty; the program consists of the same required courses and has the same graduation requirements as the one offered at the College Park campus. Students who complete the InfoSci program at Shady Grove graduate and receive a degree/diploma from the University of Maryland, College Park, College of Information Studies.

As an InfoSci students at Shady Grove, you have access to all Shady Grove and College Park events and scholarships.

Q.   What are the advantages of studying InfoSci at Shady Grove?

Students studying at Shady Grove will enjoy small class sizes and easy access to academic advising and career counselors. Expedited registration will assure course availability. The Shady Grove Center is located close to everything in the high-tech Montgomery County corridor.

InfoSci students at Shady Grove can take advantage of the career events and scholarships from both campuses, Shady Grove and College Park.

In addition, even though the tuition cost is standard across both campuses, Shady Grove students are paying lower campus fees.  

Q.   I am worried, with so many different academic programs offered at Shady Grove, students in other academic programs could take InfoSci INST courses and block me out of courses I need to graduate?

This will not happen. All InfoSci INST required and elective courses are reserved for students enrolled in the InfoSci at Shady Grove cohort program. Students from other Shady Grove and College Park programs may be able to register for our courses, however, InfoSci Shady Grove students are always given the registration priority for InfoSci Shady Grove courses.

Q.   Is the Shady Grove campus mentioned in my diploma?

No. Students who complete the InfoSci program at Shady Grove graduate and receive a degree/diploma from the University of Maryland, College Park, College of Information Studies.

Q.   As an iSchool InfoSci @ Shady Grove student can I use services at both College Park and Shady Grove campuses?

As a University of Maryland (UMD) InfoSci student studying at The Universities at Shady Grove campus (USG) you have access to all services provided by USG. These include all services provide by the Office of Student & Academic Services department (i.e. the center for academic success,the  center for student engagement and financial resources, the center for counseling and consultation, career and internship services, and the center for recruitment and transfer access), as well as all student activities, food service, study areas, computer labs, bookstore and a library, gym, USG scholarships etc.  For a list of all services available for USG students please visit the USG web page at https://shadygrove.umd.edu/ In addition to all USG services, as an iSchool student you also have access to all InfoSci academic and student services and events offered by the College of Information Studies at both, College Park and Shady Grove, campuses. This includes iSchool scholarships, all InfoSci student organizations, iSchool faculty, and career/networking events. As a UMD student, you have access to all UMD College Park services covered by your tuition (e.g. health center, counseling center, libraries, disability support services, career center). For example you can use the University Career Center on the 3rd floor of the Hornbake Library building, the internship and job database Careers4terps, and McKeldin Library. UMD students enrolled in an undergraduate program at USG also have the option of purchasing additional UMD College Park services covered by the UMCP Mandatory Fees, e.g. UMCP recreation center, athletic tickets, club sports, all UMD student organizations, etc. Students interested in purchasing these additional UMD College Park services covered by the UMCP Mandatory Fee should visit the USG Student Services Office and complete the necessary forms.

Resources

Q.   What is MTAP?

The Maryland Transfer Advantage Program (MTAP) provides a pathway for students at participating community colleges to earn an undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland (UMD). This program is geared towards students who intend to complete 30 credits or an associate’s degree at a participating community college, then transfer to the University of Maryland to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Q.   What is TTP?

The Terp Transfer Partnership (TTP)  program is a Transfer Access Program (TAP) designed to benefit Montgomery College students who plan to transfer to a University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) Bachelor's degree program at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG).  Students selected for TTP are determined and talented with a clear vision for their future. The Terp Transfer Partnership program is completed entirely while students are completing an Associate's Degree at Montgomery College.Students enrolled in a TTP program are eligible to take early advantage of USG’s modern campus, focused student body, and convenience to home and work.

Please note: your acceptance into the TTP program doesn’t guarantee your acceptance into the Information Science program at the Universities at Shady Grove. However, upon successful completion of all TTP requirements, students are prepared to seamlessly transfer to the Information Science program at USG.

Q.   Do you offer Pre-Transfer Advising appointments?

Yes, we offer pre-transfer advising appointments. We offer them at the many community colleges during recruitment visits as well as scheduling appointments at the Shady Grove campus. Please reach out to usginfosci@umd.edu to schedule a pre-transfer appointment with us.

Q.   Can I complete the program online?

The expectation is that you will complete all of your degree requirements at Shady Grove. Students are able to take one course per semester online during their tenure at USG.

Q.   Can I complete the program part time?

The InfoSci @ Shady Grove program is a full-time two-year cohort-based program, in which your degree requirements are offered during only one semester of your 4-semester sequence. Download our sample degree map to see how the program is typically completed within a 2-year timeframe. 

Q.   Where is the office for receiving undergraduate students services in the Information Science (InfoSci) major?

The Universities at Shady Grove
9631 Gudelsky Drive
Building IV, Office 4101
Rockville, Maryland 20850
 

Q.   As an InfoSci  student at Shady Grove, what academic calendar will I follow?

As an InfoSci student you will follow the University of Maryland academic calendar and deadlines.

UMD Academic Deadlines - http://registrar.umd.edu/deadlines.html

UMD Academic Calendar - https://www.provost.umd.edu/calendar/17.html

Q.   Is advising mandatory for undergraduate students in the major?

Yes, advising is mandatory for all InfoSci students at Shady Grove. All student must schedule an appointment to meet with their academic advisor each semester prior to registration.

Q.   Do you do offer job placements?

No, but students have access to the University Career Center on the 3rd floor of the Hornbake Library building on UMCP Campus, the internship and job database Careers4terps, and McKeldin Library. On the Shady Grove campus students have access to The Career & Internship Services Center to help you achieve your career goals, whether it's finding your dream job or furthering your education at graduate school. They offer a variety of free services to assist you with all of your career-related needs:

  • Resume & cover letter reviews
  • Mock interviews
  • Job and internship search strategies
  • Graduate & Professional School search strategies
  • LinkedIn Profile Reviews
  • Free Business Cards
  • USG Career Connector - the database with 1,500+ opportunities for only students from USG
  • Big Interview - online interview platform that allows you to learn and practice your interview skills

Q.   Is an internship required to complete the program and how do I get an internship?

An internship isn't required to complete the InfoSci Program, and you will not earn credits in case you complete an internship. However, students are strongly encouraged to do at least one paid or unpaid internship while in the program. Internships are about professional experience and will help you grow and expand your professional network. Your internship experience will help you in finding your first job upon graduation.

UMD, USG, and iSchool all organize various professional development  events throughout academic year, helping students meet potential employees, expand their professionals network, and find internship and full/part-time employment opportunities. Please attend as many events as you can.

Application Process

Q.   What is your application deadline and requirements?

https://shadygrove.umd.edu/academics/degree-programs/bs-information-science-bsis/admission-criteria?_ga=2.51165097.1834137371.1559139113-1948700480.1554824670

Q.   How are admissions decisions made?

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis once a completed application is received.

Q.   I was accepted to InfoSci at College Park; was I automatically accepted for Shady Grove?

Students will receive two separate admissions letters if accepted into both campuses. It is important to note that College Park and Shady Grove have different admission processes and criteria.

Q.   Do I need to complete the AA/AS Degree from my community college?

InfoSci at Shady Grove successful applicants have completed a two-year Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree in information science, information systems, computer science or related field, or have completed 60 college credits, including required benchmarks or their equivalents.

Q.  If I meet all criteria, am I eligible to apply for the scholarships listed on the iSchool web page?

Yes. All InfoSci @ Shady Grove students are encouraged to apply for scholarships, offered by both, USG and College Park campuses for which they are eligible.

CP Scholarships - https://ischool.umd.edu/tuition-fees

USG Scholarships - https://www.shadygrove.umd.edu/admissions-aid/scholarships

Q.   Can I take courses at other institutions while in your program?

The InfoSci @ Shady Grove program is a full-time two-year cohort-based program, in which your degree requirements are offered during only one semester of your four-semester sequence. The expectation is that you will complete all of your degree requirements at Shady Grove.  The only time we foresee you having to take a course at another institution is if you are missing a required lower-level core course which is not offered in your program sequence at Shady Grove or if you must repeat a course which you failed to complete with a “C-” or better. You must have prior approval from your InfoSci academic advisor before taking any (fall, spring, summer or winter-term) classes at another institution.

Q.   Am I able to take any course at College Park?

Students are able to take one course per semester at College Park.

Q.  Since I was admitted to the University of Maryland, InfoSci program at Shady Grove, can I also take a few classes at College Park?

The InfoSci program at Shady Grove is a full-time two-year cohort-based program, in which your degree requirements are offered during only one semester of your 4-semester sequence. The expectation is that you will complete all of your degree requirements at Shady Grove.  

Q.   After I was admitted to the University of Maryland, InfoSci program at Shady Grove can I transfer to the University of Maryland, InfoSci program at College Park?

When students are admitted to the InfoSci program, they are admitted to a specific program location: College Park or Shady Grove. Students cannot go back and forth between the two program locations. There are exceptions to this rule. Please consult your InfoSci advisor for more information.