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The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (or SIS) is one of the nation’s pioneering schools in the education of information professionals, with a history that reaches back more than a hundred years to the days of Andrew Carnegie. As of 2009, it is ranked 10th in the list of Top Schools of Library and Information Studies by US News & World Report and is one of the original members in the list of I-Schools. Located on the University of Pittsburgh'smarker main campus in the the Oakland section of Pittsburghmarker, the school is led by its current Dean Ronald L. Larsen.

The School offers an undergraduate program in Information Science, as well as graduate programs leading to a Masters degree, PhD degree, and Certificates of Advanced Study in Information Science, Telecommunications, and Library and Information Science. The School also offers a distance education FastTrack program for earning a Masters degree in Library and Information Science.

The school was originally founded on October 1, 1901 as the Training School for Children's Librarians at the Carnegie Library. The School moved to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1930, and eventually to the University of Pittsburghmarker in 1962. Specialized tracks of study currently range from areas such as School Librarianship Certification and Archival Studies to Digital Libraries to Geoinformatics and Information Security.

Students from the School of Information Sciences perform restoration work for the CONSOL Energy Mine Map Preservation Project.

Degree Programs

The Bachelor of Science in Information Science (BSIS) program is a 120-credit undergraduate program that offers concentrations in
  • Information Systems Concentration enables students to use object-oriented design tools to design, build, implement, and test web-based information systems.
  • User Centered Design Concentration provides the visual and human-computer interaction skills needed to design and build prototypes of information systems interfaces, as well as to perform usability testing of these systems.
  • Networks and Security Concentration offers skills needed to design, build and test LANS, WANS, Wireless, Internet and Web-based networks.

The Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) program is a 36-credit program that offers the following specializations and areas of focus:

The Master of Science in Telecommunications (MST) program is a 36-credit program that offers the following specializations:
  • Telecommunications Systems
  • Computer Networks
  • Policy and Management
  • Wireless
  • Security

The Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MLIS) program is a 36-credit program that offers the following specializations:
  • Academic Libraries
  • School Library Certification Program
  • Archival Studies Specializations
  • Preservation Management Specialization
  • Digital Libraries Specialization
  • Medical Librarianship/Informatics Specialization
  • Services to Children and Young Adult Specialization

The MLIS degree program was ranked seventh in the nation by US News & World Report in the magazine’s 2007 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

In addition, the following specialities were ranked among the best in the nation according to the 2009 edition of US News' America's Best Graduate Schools:
  • Medical Librarianship/Informatics Specialization #1
  • Archives and Preservation Management Specialization #2
  • Information Systems #6
  • School Library Certification Program #8
  • Services to Children and Young Adult Specialization #10
  • Digital Libraries Specialization was ranked #12

The Library and Information Science Program has a 92% acceptance rate, according to Peterson's. 2

The Doctor of Philosophy program prepares students for advanced work in research and teaching. It provides research-oriented graduate study and professional specialization in the science of information.


Information Sciences Building
Originally the American Institutes for Research Building, the University purchased the 1965 Tasso Katselas designed Brutalist style structure[500376] in 1968 and it has since then served as the primary facility housing the School of Information Sciences.[500377]


The Elizabeth Nesbitt Room
The School of Information Sciences Library is located within the School of Information Sciences Building and contains over 70,000 volumes and 470 journal titles.[500378]

The Information Sciences Library is also the home to the Elizabeth Nesbitt Room which houses several special collections on the history of children and children's books and media, rare editions of children's books, and some unique furnishings and artifacts. The room, located in Room 305 and founded by former Professor Emerita Margaret Hodges, was named in 1976 to honor Nesbitt, an internationally known expert on children's literature, Totaling more than 12,000 books and magazines dating from the 1600s to the present, the collection contains a signed special printing of Winnie the Pooh books and a first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit along with other rare books. The room also contains the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Archives which includes a collection of more than 900 videotapes and scripts from the popular children's television program along with other promotional materials produced by Rogers or his production company. A panoramic tour of the Elizabeth Nesbitt Room is available here.


  1. The Inside Story of the Elizabeth Nesbitt Room: Speech by Margaret Hodges (May 10, 1991), accessdate=2008-11-04
  2. Commencement Visitors Campus Tour
  3. Sharon S. Blake, Paying Tribute to Fred Rogers. Pitt Chronicle, March 10, 2003, accessdate=2008-11-03

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