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Information Systems and Statistical Analysis (ISSA) Minor

The ISSA minor focuses on the use of information systems and statistical methods for the solution of human problems. This minor is applicable to any major throughout the University and enhances the student's preparedness for graduate, research and career opportunities. Students in this minor will develop skills in the following areas:

  • Information management and productivity systems
  • Internet-based information and communication services
  • Statistical analysis and interpretation

Each student is required to take a core of prescribed courses to develop specific skills and theoretical understanding in these areas. Each student is also required to take 9-10 credits of supporting courses. These are courses that utilize information systems or statistical methods in an academic discipline.

Upon completion of this minor, the student should have a firm grounding in the use of these technologies and their application to practical problems involving the management and utilization of information.

Prescribed (required) courses

10 credits

  • Stat 200 GQ (4)
  • MSIS 200 may be substituted for Stat 200
  • CAS 283 (3)
  • CAS 483 (3)

Supporting Courses and Related Areas

9 credits

Students must select 9 credits in consultation with their major advisor and/or Ellen Taricani, from courses focusing on information systems, computer science or statistical analysis, with at least 3 credits at the 400 level.

No more than 7 credits (or two courses) may be selected in any of Computer Science, CSE, Management Information Systems, or Information Sciences and Technology.

Following is a list of courses that may be appropriate for use in the 9-credit supporting and related area of the minor. Courses will be added to this list as appropriate.

Important Notes:

Some of these courses may have departmental controls in effect. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Department offering a course to ensure that they will be eligible to enroll in that course.

Most 400-level courses have prerequisites. It is the students responsibility to ensure that the correct prerequisite courses have been taken -- or to contact the Department offering the course to arrange for a prerequisite waver.

  • PSY 15, 201W, 301, 415, 450
  • ECON 390, 490
  • ACCTG 432, 433
  • ADMJ 240W
  • ASM 418
  • AG 200, 400
  • ANTH 409
  • AE 444, 466
  • AET 229
  • ARCH 281, 381, 382, 481, 482
  • ASTRO 410
  • ART 2, 474
  • BA 411
  • CMDIS 450
  • COM 404, 404, 484, 492


  • Any CMPSC or CSE
  • EDPSY 101, 400, 406
  • EDTECH 400, 441, 443, 446, 447
  • GEOG 425, 457, 458, 481
  • HR&IM 350, 470
  • LARCH 410
  • MTKG 450W
  • Any IST
  • Any LST
  • Any MIS
  • Any MSIS
  • MUSIC 358
  • PSY 301, 461
  • SCM 200, 405, 421, 423
  • SOC 207, 400w, 470, 470w, 496

Other courses that make significant use of information systems or statistical analysis may be approved by Ellen Taricani. If you wish to have a course approved, you must write a short (1/2 to 1 page) essay explaining what the course is about and how it uses information systems and/or statistical analysis. You may also need to provide supporting information such as a course syllabus or note from the instructor.

For your convenience in determining what is covered in each of these courses, here is a link to the Baccalaureate Degree Programs course listings.

To summarize the process:

Obtain an Entrance to a Minor form any advising office..

Read the ISSA minor page carefully!

Meet with your advisor to complete the form -- entering all information and at least 19 credits of courses as specified on the ISSA web page. Be sure ALL PARTS of the form are completed.

Have your advisor sign the form -- after it is completed!

Drop the form off for Ellen Taricani at 227 Sparks Building. You can leave the form under the office door.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Following are answers to common questions regarding the ISSA minor.

Do I really need my advisor's help in completing the minor application?

Yes -- it is very important that you work with your advisor in selecting courses for the minor and completing the minor application form. Different majors have different rules for how courses may count on your transcript. Also, the advisor may know of additional courses in your major that may satisfy the requirements of the minor.

Do I need to meet with Ellen Taricani to enter the minor?

No. The only time you need to contact Ellen Taricani is if you have questions about course approvals or substitutions. In this case it is best to contact Ellen Taricani through electronic mail at An appointment can be arranged if necessary.

Is there a GPA requirement for the minor?

No - Once your application has been approved by Ellen Taricani you are officially enrolled in the minor.

I am having trouble finding a 400-level supporting course in the list of supporting courses. Many are either full or have prerequisites. What can I do?

This is another area where it is important to work with your advisor. It is critical to select courses when you are supposed to so that prerequisites can be taken before it is time to take the selected course.

I have learned of a course that uses information systems or statistical analysis, but is not on the list of supporting courses. Can this course be used for the minor?

Perhaps -- we can approve supporting courses that are not on the supporting course list. You will need to provide a short essay explaining how the course uses information systems or statistical analysis in a non-trivial way. You may also need to provide a copy of the course syllabus or a note from the course instructor.

How soon do I need to complete the Application for Entrance to a Minor?

The application must be completed no later than early in your graduating semester. However - you should complete it soon after after declaring a major, to ensure time to complete any prerequisites needed for scheduled courses.

Will I be notified when I have been accepted into the minor?

Not formally. When we have received your application, we will notify you by E-mail if there are any problems. If not, your application will be processed. You should check your degree audit about 2-3 weeks after submitting your application. If the minor does not appear on your degree audit, you should contact Ellen Taricani.

I have heard that an Independent Study may qualify as a supporting course. What is it and how does it work?

Most departments offer independent studies, in which a student designs and completes a course plan, as if they were taking a regular University course, under the supervision of a faculty member. The independent study may count as an ISSA supporting course if it makes significant use of information systems or statistical analysis. Check with Ellen Taricani (via E-mail) if you are considering this option.

I have heard that an internship may qualify as a supporting course? How does this work?

An internship may count as an ISSA supporting course if: (1) it was taken as a regular University internship course (ie, providing credit), and (2) the internship makes significant use of information systems or statistical analysis.

I am already enrolled in the minor and want to make a change in my course selections. What do I do?

Contact via email. Most changes are very easy to effect

My degree audit does not accurately reflect my minor. What should I do?

In most cases this is normal -- the degree audit system often does not understand how to allocate credits for courses that are fulfilling multiple requirements. Ellen Taricani can verify if this is the case. During your graduating semester, Ellen Taricani manually checks your application and degree audit to ensure that you have (1) taken all courses as agreed, and (2) received a grade of C or better in each course. When this is done the Registrar will be notified that you have completed the minor. You will also be send notification by electronic mail.


For more information, contact Dr. Ellen Taricani, Associate Teaching Professor in Communication Arts & Sciences

or 814-865-9317

227A Sparks Building

University Park, PA 16802