Information Systems and Technology

The Information Systems and Technology (IST) program prepares students for careers focused on the planning, application, development, management, and implementation of technology to transform organizations and support data-driven decision-making. The IST curriculum exposes students to industry software and established methodologies while also incorporating emerging technologies. Emphasis is placed on the ability of technology to add value to the processes, products, methods, and decision-making in organizations.

Two tracks are available, though optional: Data Analytics and Digital Business Technology.

Data Analytics

In this track, students gain the expertise for careers focused on utilizing data for decision-making in organizations and designing business intelligence tools. 

Digital Business Technology

Students gain the expertise for careers that bridge the business environment with technology in this track. They will learn methods and techniques for supporting business operations with information technology to enable the collection, storage, and synthesis of data and create efficient work flows and accurate reporting.

Experiential Learning

In the classroom, experienced faculty engage students in a range of courses essential for success. An expansive Technology Center on campus features innovative, computer-based applications. Students have the opportunity to join an active student chapter of the Association for Information Systems at Duquesne, which facilitates connecting with mentors, alumni, and a vast networking of IST professionals.

 

Program Information

Our leading Information Systems and Technology program prepares undergraduate students for careers focused on the planning, application, development, management, and implementation of technology to transform organizations and support data-driven decision-making.

Program Type

Major, Minor

Degree

Bachelor's

Duration

4-year

Required Credit Hours

69

A business student smiles while sitting in the 6th floor lounge in Rockwell Hall.

"Duquesne offered the opportunity for me to get real-world experience with local employers."

Roberto Laporte, Information Systems Technology and Supply Chain Management double major
Hear more from Roberto

Information Systems and Technology Minor

Required Courses
Does not include Business Core courses

  • ISYS 380 – User Experience Design
  • ISYS 381W – Systems Analysis and Design
  • ISYS 382 – Data and Informational Management
  • And one (1) of the following:
    • ISYS 480 – Intro to Python For Data Analytics 
    • ISYS 483 – Enterprise Systems
    • ISYS 484 – Business Intelligence
    • ISYS 486 – IT Security and Risk Management
    • ISYS 489W – Information Systems Capstone
    • ISYS 490 – AI for Data-Driven Decision Making

Course Descriptions

Business Core

3 credits

"What do information systems have to do with business," you ask? Everything! A profound and fundamental shift is underway in our economy. A shift away from an industrial-based to an information-based economy. The information-based economy has complex implications for the management of the modern enterprise. The goal of this course is for students to see how modern businesses use information systems to increase profitability, gain market share, improve customer service, and manage inventory and daily operations across a wide variety of fields, including accounting, finance, marketing, and supply chain management. The course also highlights how innovative firms are constantly experimenting with new types of products, production processes, organizational structures, and competitive strategies that can only be enabled through the use of information systems. In other words, information systems provide the foundation for modern business enterprises. The information economy also has important and irrevocable workforce implications. Tremendous demand will exist for employees that can combine technical skills with business insight to create value for their organizations. Accordingly, this course is also designed to both explore careers in Information Systems and Technology (IST) and demonstrate how Information Systems (IS) can be utilized in any career to facilitate personal and organizational success. The course approaches the above topics by developing requisite technology concepts and skills required for success and efficiently and effectively applying those skills in a business context. 

Business Core

3 credits

Contemporary organizations invest heavily in collecting and storing enormous quantities of data related to their business operations, markets, and supply chains. It is critical for future business leaders to understand the value of this data as a resource to be converted into useful, actionable information. Using an established decision-making methodology as an organizing framework, this course explores the acquisition, storage, analysis, and presentation of information suitable for the support of decision making. Course topic areas include data acquisition, data management, and data visualization in a business context. Where appropriate, these concepts will be supported with technological tools and will build on existing statistical analysis skills to support evidence-based decision making in realistic business scenarios. At the conclusion of the course, students will have necessary knowledge and skills required to explain and demonstrate how data and information can be used to support decisions and thus be a point of strength for an organization.

Prerequisite: ISYS 184

3 credits

Dive into the dynamic world of User Experience Design (UXD) in this comprehensive, hands-on course designed for the next generation of UX innovators. This course offers an engaging introduction to the core principles and practices of UXD and fosters creative design thinking skills in user-centered product development. You will engage in both individual assignments to develop your personal design skills and work in teams on a semester-long project where you’ll take a poorly designed software application and transform it into a user-friendly product. No prior design experience is necessary, just a passion for creating great user experiences.

You will explore and learn: 
1. UX principles and best practices of user-centered design and how to analyze and integrate user needs into the heart of your design process.
2. A variety of research methods to gather insights and validate concepts.
3. How to foster innovation in design to create impactful user experiences.
4. Hands-on experience with the latest tools and technologies shaping the industry.
5. Rapid prototyping and iterative design skills to communicate your ideas quickly and effectively.

Prerequisite: ISYS 184

3 credits

Information systems create value by supporting organizational processes and the management of data. This course introduces student to methods and tools for the analysis and design of information systems where they will explore how to identify and model the information requirements of an organization. This involves the use of data-flow diagrams or UML models to describe the current state of affairs, including the needs of the users, data requirements, existing systems, and the desired system’s functionality. Other topics include the systems development life cycle, agile methodologies, and systems implementation.

Prerequisite: ISYS 184

3 credits

Data is a critical asset for most modern organizations. This course provides the students with an introduction to the core concepts in data and information management. It is centered around the core skills of identifying organizational information requirements, modeling the requirements in an industry-standard conceptual data modeling technique, converting the conceptual data models into physical models, and verifying the models' structural characteristics with normalization techniques. The course utilizes one of the industry standard database management systems (Microsoft SQL Server) to practice the implementation and querying of database designs using Structured Query Language (SQL).

Prerequisite: ISYS 284
3 credits 

This course introduces students to the fast-growing field of data analytics by focusing on introductory skills of programming, problem solving and algorithmic thinking in Python. The course will combine a technical focus with activities and assignments designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn how to increase decision making efficiency and productivity in various business scenarios through programming. The course will take a hands-on approach and no prior programming experience is expected.

Prerequisite: ISYS 284
3 credits

This course provides students with the core concepts in enterprise models and contains content that is applicable across various enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems used in a majority of organizations today. It is centered around the ERP life cycle, ERP systems architecture, business process engineering, process mapping, ERP functionality, and administration of ERP systems both technically and functionally. In addition to discussing the core concepts, this course helps students understand how modern organizations are highly dependent on the use of enterprise systems and how ERP systems can drive a competitive advantage or when used incorrectly, a disadvantage. By the end of this course students will feel empowered to leverage ERP technologies and have hands on exposure to top tier technologies such as SAP. Students will not only understand the systematic procedures to perform certain tasks, but they will understand the business process behind those tasks. A dive into the technical aspects of enterprise system technology will also provide them with a complete understanding of the technical architecture and requirements to set up an ERP system. Students will have a better understanding of how to execute systems projects of various sizes and complexity. With a heavy focus on SAP, the course will focus on empowering and preparing ISM professionals to help support SAP within an organization. When paired with two other qualifying courses, students are eligible for an SAP Student Recognition Award, allowing them to leverage this qualification when entering the job market, separating themselves from other applicants, and identifying themselves as excellent candidates to work and contribute in an organization running a top-tier ERP platform.

Prerequisite: ISYS 184
3 credits

Business intelligence (BI) is a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information. This course will introduce two main components of BI that are crucial for organizations to gain significant competitive advantage: a) data warehousing and b) data mining and augmented intelligence. Through lectures and in-class demonstrations, the course provides a review of basic BI concepts, followed by the application of these concepts using contemporary technology solutions. The course will also provide students with hands-on experience using enterprise-level data warehouse software and various data technology solutions. It counts towards the SAP student achievement award.

Prerequisite: ISYS 382

3 credits

This course introduces the fundamental principles and topics of Information Technology Security and Risk Management at the organizational level. Students will learn critical security principles that enable them to plan, develop, and perform security tasks. The course will address hardware, software, processes, communications, applications, and policies and procedures with respect to organizational IT Security and Risk Management.

Prerequisite: ISYS 284
3 credits

Embark on a transformative journey with our Information Systems Capstone course. This capstone is designed to synthesize and leverage your academic experiences in information systems into practical, real-world applications. It is a blend of lecture-based learning and experiential, project-based activities.

You will create a sophisticated application designed to meet a real-life business challenge. This project will be a practical learning experience and a portfolio piece demonstrating your capacity to deliver tangible business solutions.  This course is not just a culmination of your learning journey but a stepping stone towards a successful career in the tech industry. It prepares you to enter the industry with confidence and advanced expertise, equipping you with the skills and knowledge employers seek.

Prerequisite: ISYS 380, ISYS 381W, and ISYS 382


3 credits

In our rapidly changing world, we are witnessing an exponential growth in the generation and processing of information. This information explosion has given rise to Artificial Intelligence (AI), a transformative force that enables machines to emulate human-like reasoning and decision-making. AI holds great business value for individuals, organizations, and society, but it also presents significant risks, societal implications, and ethical dilemmas. This course provides students with a conceptual introduction to AI, a broad understanding of its fundamental techniques, and practical applications in business, with a particular focus on large language models and their use in business analytics. It also aims to cultivate an awareness of the challenges, risks, and ethical considerations associated with AI and the importance of responsible AI development.

Prerequisite: ISYS 382 with a minimum grade of D