School of Information Sciences

Diversity at SIS

Diversity is important to the the University of Pittsburgh, the iSchool at Pitt community, and the Information Sciences discipline as a whole. We believe that our discipline and institution are immeasurably strengthened by the inclusion of perspectives and creativity from all different types of people. This diversity is needed to address the complex and multifaceted issues confronting society regarding its management and use of information. 

We warmly welcome students and faculty from an array of states, countries, ethnicities, and academic backgrounds.

SIS’ Incoming Students - Fall 2015

Bachelor’s – 40    Master’s – 251     PhD Students – 9

From 21 different states including:

California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, & Wisconsin

From 11 different countries including:

Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, India, Iran, Kosovo, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, & USA

Scholarships & Financial Support

Academic Backgrounds of Faculty

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the iSchool at Pitt is the fact that our faculty members come from an amazing array of academic backgrounds – indeed, this is a hallmark of the iSchools in general.  If you enroll in a program of study at our School, chances are you’ll take classes with a faculty member who earned their PhD in one of these fields:

- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Networking
- Computer Science
- Curriculum Design
- Earth Science
- Education
- Electrical Engineering
- Engineering and Public Policy
- History/Philosophy
- Information Science
- Information Systems
- Law
- Library Science
- Physics
- Psychology/Mathematics

Academic Background of Graduate Students

Graduate students who come to the iSchool at Pitt have previously earned degrees in a wide variety of disciplines including:

- Accounting
- Anthropology
- Art
- Biological Sciences
- Business Administration
- Communications Engineering
- Computer & Information Systems
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical Engineering
- English
- History
- Information Science
- Liberal Arts
- Library & Information Science
- Philosophy
- Management Information Systems
- Sociology
- Software Engineering
- Telecommunications

Our initiatives to increase the diversity of our school:

SIS has played a leading role in creating national partnerships to further its goals of increasing the diversity of the student pool. For example, the School partnered with the University of the Virgin Islands to secure funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support 25 students from the Virgin Island Territories (a majority of whom were African American) as they earned their MLIS degree.

SIS has a successful track record in attracting and retaining Spectrum Scholars, a nationally-competitive diversity program administered by the American Library Association (ALA). More than 24 scholars have enrolled in the MLIS Degree Program since the Scholarships were first offered in 2000.

SIS collaborated with the ALA Spectrum Initiative on a project to fund the studies of 12 doctoral students from underrepresented groups – this project was funded by the IMLS as well.  Two doctoral students enrolled in the LIS PhD Program as part of the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program.

The National Science Foundation has funded a Cybersecurity scholarship program for the Security Assured Information Systems (SAIS) track at SIS. The scholarships support graduate students in Information Science or Telecommunications & Networking taking the SAIS-track option. The scholarship program emphasizes the recruitment of underrepresented groups to ensure a more diverse and wide-ranging pool of qualified IA professionals. The faculty targeted having 30% of the scholarship recipients coming from an underrepresented group.

In 2009-2010, the Alcoa Corporation awarded 13 scholarships to undergraduate IS students as part of its Alcoa Ambassador Scholarship Program. This program is designed to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in the information technology field.

Student Resources

Students at the iSchool have access to University resources, a diverse faculty, helpful administrators and staff, and  a community of enthusiastic learners.

Diversity Center

SIS plays host to faculty, staff and students from all over the world. Your studies will allow you to interact with this global community.